Why do we make enemies so quickly?

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kornik
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13 Aug 2007, 9:36 am

I can resonate with all the postings about office politics; its not what you do but what you say/who you grovel to etc.

However, I have found one way that seems - for me at least - to mitigate these issues enormously and has help me to really fit in as someone with AS: identifying and having an intelligent boss!

It sounds simple doesn't it. However, when I look back on my career its incredible how often this hasn't happened and how, in the three cases where I have worked successfully, how it has.

In two of the cases my managers were not intellectually qualified at all. However, there were very intelligent. In my current role my boss is an Oxford graduate though, like the other two, he is also very down to earth.

The reason why it works is because, I have found, they focus on output, not air. providing you get the work done they are happy. The way you do it doesn't bother them. I have also found that you can talk to them about peripheral issues (such as politics/difficult colleagues) and they will listen to and focus on facts. In addition, being intelligent usually means that they are tolerant.

Now whenever I go for a job I ask questions about the person I will work for and also what goes on higher up. I have foudn that the problems usually start at the top and work down.


unnamed wrote:
I talked to my counselor yesterday about this subject. It's my hardest problem right now post-diagnosis. Realizing why I've never fit in, especially at school and work, is a true relief, but it sucks to face the future knowing that it's not likely to change. My counselor agrees that NTs think a certain way and look for certain things in employees and co-workers, and there's nothing I can do to change that. As I'm unable to provide a listening, empathetic ear for their mindless chatter, I'm at a permanent disadvantage when working with others. I can't "act" as though I'm interested, and I wouldn't want anyone to do that to ME. It offends me that those of us who actually would rather work are seen as a liability, while those who'd rather spend all day avoiding work by socializing and butt-kissing are rewarded. It's a joke, pure and simple. And everyone knows it, yet no one will admit it. That's what really hurts.

Every time I bring up my concern over going back to work and what type of work I should attempt next (I was a medical insurance claims examiner for 17 years before burning out), she always just says to write a book about my experiences. She says everyone loves to read about someone else's painful strugges. I have a 15-page outline, and maybe I will actually start writing it soon. But on the other hand, I feel angry that (unlike the token sappy addict/recovery memoir), only others on the spectrum would be able to relate to what I've written (assuming anyone would ever get a chance to read it). It's so frustrating and disheartening that we're constantly expected to fit in, explain and justify our entire existences to other people. I used to see the idea of writing a book as a good way to educate the world about what it's like to live with AS, but now I've begun to see it as just another craven exercise in attempting to justify myself to people who couldn't really care less. I'm very sad and frustrated over this.



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13 Aug 2007, 8:10 pm

Quote:
* Start an on-line company based around your talent.
* Note how many people will attempt to get your services for free.


Yep, been there, done that! It doesn't need to even be an online company! My home phone rings off the hook constantly as people bug me to go over their house and tweak up their computer, adjust their TV or hook up their stereo, or fix some electronic device they own. When I give them an estimate as to how much it will be, they somehow seem shocked and offended that I would ask for money! Um....did it ever occur to you that I make a living with a business doing these things?!?! Yes, I give them a break on price, but you are still utilizing my time, resources, parts, and materials for your own benefit. At the very least, you need to pay me for this.

For some reason, it seems as if people think you will do things for free for them if they think you are enough of an acquaintance. When they call to bilk free services out of me, they seem to overlook the answering machine message that says "This is Steven with audiovisual solutions" which would I think be enough of a clue that they have called a business that charges for these services versus an electronics hobbyist. I could see someone that did this sort of thing as a hobby doing work for someone just for the fun of it or for a pastime, but I do this work for a living, it keeps a roof over my head, my lights on, and my furnace burning.



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14 Aug 2007, 1:25 am

Why do we make enemies so quickly? We're noticeably different.



Vulcan613
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14 Aug 2007, 10:39 pm

I worked once as a proofreader for an insurance corp and there was this underwriter who kept confusing "statue" with "statute" over and over. Every time she did that, I had to send back a galley proof page to be corrected and that cost the company money. So I finally wrote her a note explaining that a statue is a piece of sculpture and a statute is a law. So who gets reprimanded? ME!! For embarrassing her. I was told by my boss never to do that again -- just shut up and make corrections. They would rather lose money fixing the same mistake over and over instead of teaching some vocabulary. Go figure.


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15 Aug 2007, 12:27 pm

Vulcane, I've learned that in society it's not what you did but who you did it to. Chances are for some reason this person had an influence on your boss. You can get away with murder and you can be blamed for the most innocent act. It all depends WHO you are dealing with. Who as in who's who.


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15 Aug 2007, 7:27 pm

iamnotaparakeet wrote:
Why do we make enemies so quickly? We're noticeably different.


and you're all jerks



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15 Aug 2007, 10:41 pm

iamnotaparakeet wrote:
A good leader shouldn't punish good workers by giving them the hardest jobs


I just had a thought - maybe that's a good thing.

(suddenly realises everyone's walking away)

No no, hear me out. Think about it - if you get a hard job, couldn't it be said that the manager who gave that job to you has faith in your ability to do it? If they gave it to a worker without your skills, it might not get done properly, in a timely manner, or at all. That's a great complement that they feel you have the skills to do the job right.

But yeah, it wasn't until I had a manager who noticed that I had the skills, and they needed to be applied in a certain way, that the managers at Big W started taking me seriously.

(edit: spelling mistake.)


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16 Aug 2007, 6:52 pm

Aaron_Mason wrote:
iamnotaparakeet wrote:
A good leader shouldn't punish good workers by giving them the hardest jobs


I just had a thought - maybe that's a good thing.

(suddenly realises everyone's walking away)

No no, hear me out. Think about it - if you get a hard job, couldn't it be said that the manager who gave that job to you has faith in your ability to do it? If they gave it to a worker without your skills, it might not get done properly, in a timely manner, or at all. That's a great complement that they feel you have the skills to do the job right.

But yeah, it wasn't until I had a manager who noticed that I had the skills, and they needed to be applied in a certain way, that the managers at Big W started taking me seriously.

(edit: spelling mistake.)


I wish my pay had reflected their confidence in me.



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20 Aug 2007, 6:41 pm

Well that's upper management, not your managers. And it's not against you - everyone at your level is at their mercy. And what's worse, our country is headed that way too :(


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iamnotaparakeet
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20 Aug 2007, 7:01 pm

Aaron_Mason wrote:
Well that's upper management, not your managers. And it's not against you - everyone at your level is at their mercy. And what's worse, our country is headed that way too :(


I would like to move to Australia someday, what exactly is going on there?



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21 Aug 2007, 9:40 pm

The government's bringing in individual workplace agreements, which basically means if you want a payrise, you have to do it yourself, you can't call upon a union - no access to collective bargaining anymore. The awards system - which once dictated pay rises - is being dismantled in favour of a government-run fair pay commission. While some pay check amounts have increased, certain conditions - like holidays, penalty rates (rates for public holidays, overtime and the like) and paid leave - are being sacrificed, and these are things our forefathers fought for over a hundred years. And if you want to bargain them back, you can expect to lose your job.

But that's not all - if you're on an unemployment benefit, you have to take the first job you're offered or your benefit gets cut for 2 months. Which means that the employer can put you on a contract that has shitty conditions with shitty pay and you have to take it, you don't have a choice.

I could go on all day, but I think you have my point.

But it's not all bad news - the opposition party promises to tear these laws up and reinstate the awards system. They've been against them since day one and will fight to have them repealed. They are linked to the unions, so I think we can trust them.


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AspCat
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22 Aug 2007, 8:52 am

Perhaps it's an AS thing, but I think we tend to call the shots as we see them and not 'play along' with the office jingle-jangle.

I think the 'bad management' theme does loom large. I am decompressing from a hi-tech fiasco involving an engineering director (with NO engineering credentials - here in a major hi-tech area!) who propagated and supported a project just for his own vanity. Basically, he had been involved in it for 5 years, it was not they type of solution the problem needed, but he wanted to save face and not admit to the executives that they should consider an alternate (in spite of tech staff telling him to leave it be and move on). The result is tension and career-limiting scenarios for those of us who had to work on it - for the director's VANITY!! !! ! Is putting up with this sort of thing considered the 'soft skills' so prized these days????! !! !

Why, oh why, can't people see things for what they are? Is that why we are hated?



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22 Aug 2007, 9:50 am

AspCat wrote:
Perhaps it's an AS thing, but I think we tend to call the shots as we see them and not 'play along' with the office jingle-jangle.

I think the 'bad management' theme does loom large. I am decompressing from a hi-tech fiasco involving an engineering director (with NO engineering credentials - here in a major hi-tech area!) who propagated and supported a project just for his own vanity. Basically, he had been involved in it for 5 years, it was not they type of solution the problem needed, but he wanted to save face and not admit to the executives that they should consider an alternate (in spite of tech staff telling him to leave it be and move on). The result is tension and career-limiting scenarios for those of us who had to work on it - for the director's VANITY!! !! ! Is putting up with this sort of thing considered the 'soft skills' so prized these days????! !! !

Why, oh why, can't people see things for what they are? Is that why we are hated?
Maybe soft skills are actually "soft-headed skills".


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25 Aug 2007, 3:26 am

I realise that I will likely be repeating a lot of what has already been said given the plentiful supply of replies in this thread, but this is simply me putting forth my experiences.
I have found that while qualifications and experience do matter, connections and the ability to kiss ass matter more.
I have plenty of experience and fairly good stats, but because I am not a good ass-kisser and dont know 'the right people', I am usually considered suitable for the job.
those jobs that I have been able to get have usually fired me within a few months after my novelty has worn off and they realise just what they have actually hired.
Idiots are usually much better at bull $hitting than smart people are, and much better at covering their own backsides and placing the blame elsewhere. this is why they tend to get further in life.
I know that my approach is somewhat cynical, that is a survival trait.
Do not ever let anyone tell you that jobs are skils and experience based, that is simply not true. otherwise there would be more skilled people happily employed, and less idiots ocuppying smart jobs.


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11 Feb 2008, 5:19 pm

I work at the Qubica-AMF warehouse/plant in richmond, va. Although you'd think social politics wouldn't really matter so much in this type of environment, believe me they do. My immediate supervisor (called a "team leader") is an incredibly rude and bossy woman that writes people up for being 1 minute late. There have been countless complaints against her by past employees, yet she seems untouchable. My next boss (her boss) rarely sees that side of her because she is always as nice as can be as soon as anyone above her is near. She prides herself on being fair and even but I have seen the way she plays favorites with certain employees. I remember when a girl that happens to be her church friend was sick one day and was told she could leave early if she needed to, but when i was sick a few weeks later (and i have to be really really sick, i.e. throwing up or w/diarrhea before i even think about trying to leave) and asked to leave early, she told me she would write me up if i left. then she said i should go to walmart on my break and buy some medicine and that i needed to just deal with it. It was ridiculous because we were in a slow period of production where we barely had enough work to stay busy. i told her i was too sick to be there and that i had no jobs to do. you'd think the company would want to save money by sending people home when it was slow, especially if they were sick and could potentially get others sick. but she still said she'd write me up. then there is my next boss (her boss) who is one of the laziest and incompetent idiots i've ever seen. His boss is actually kind of cool (i think an aspie, possibly). It was his boss who is always the one that notices when i have a good idea or when i have done a good job. Unfortunately his office was recently moved to the front of the building, so he is rarely out in the plant anymore to even notice me working my ass off while others are slacking around and chatting about football. Most of the team leaders are incompetent and only have their jobs because they've been there for years and are buddies with various supervisors and other higher-ups in the office. My 2 immediate supervisors are literally STUPID yet they treat me like a moron and think they are so much smarter than me...they didn't know what i was talking about when i asked about a pneumatic impact gun (air gun) and looked at me like an idiot. i've been there a year and i'm at the point where i want to cry every day.



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13 Feb 2008, 4:49 am

Pandora wrote:

Maybe soft skills are actually "soft-headed skills".


:lol:

It would be nice if it was enough to be good at one's job and polite. Why can't people just leave their egos behind when they are at work? It's a job, not a feelgood happy warm fuzzy friendship convention.


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