When people invent characters to convey a message

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Jayo
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19 Feb 2012, 10:35 pm

As a working professional with Aspergers, here's a phenomenon that I noticed on three separate occasions that I can recall, all workplace-related, and I don't think it's paranoia but one of those subtle get-the-point-across tactics that NTs use - when they tell you "I knew this person who..." or "I once worked with this person who..." and the rest of their anecdote revolves around their apparent contempt for somebody whose behavioural traits eerily seemed to match yours (i.e. match Asperger traits).

First occasion: I was by the desk of this manager who I would describe as a "dragonlady" - stay on her good side, or you'll be torn down. While I was waiting to ask her a question about a project, she was having a chit-chat with one of her direct reports about their kids, and she said something like "well, I don't know about how some of these kids are raised these days - this one boy at my son's school, you have to explain things to him again and again because he keeps misinterpreting you, that kind of thing really infuriates me." 8O Then she turned to me and said "Oh! Did you have a question for me?"

Second occasion: I was at an office job doing systems analysis, and the uber-extroverted, narcissist director of my unit, who knows that I have a masters degree and two certifications, told me in one of our "coaching" sessions how she used to work with a guy who had a law degree, an MBA, and a professional accounting designation. But this guy, she said, couldn't work with people to save his life - he was constantly saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, he didn't pick up on political context or boundaries, etc, etc, a not-so-subtle mockery of me, in other words. :x

Third occasion: I had a job interview (didn't get it) where a director who definitely seemed of the very extroverted, former sales-manager variety, told me "Listen, I need to tell you the story of this one guy who used to be here - he only lasted three months. He had a good attitude and was technically savvy, but his communication skills were poor - people found him confusing and aloof, and we had to let him go. So you can see why we want to make the right choice, and you need to ask yourself honestly if you think this is the right job for you." I kept pressing and emphasizing what I brought to the table, stating that I'm always very upfront with people, and will not hesitate to clarify or answer any questions in a timely fashion, etc, etc. That seemed to please him... 8)

So, I have to wonder - are these people inventing these characters to "teach the Aspie employee a lesson??" or did they really exist, and in effect they heightened their contempt level towards current Aspie staff?? It seems very passive-aggressive, or maybe it's just part of that NT "custom" of calling attention to things indirectly, hoping the recipient will take the hint (and instantly modify their behaviour...riiiight. :roll: )



questor
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19 Feb 2012, 11:21 pm

The characters may or may not have existed, but it appears that the stories were definitely targeted at you. The intention was that you would hopefully get the point of the stories, and respond in the desired NT way. That is, that you would stop acting different, and be like them.

We have Asperger's Syndrome or Autism, or one or more of the other neurological conditions. We can't be like them, no matter how much we may want to.

Just do the best you can at what ever job you have.


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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.--Henry David Thoreau


Jayo
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20 Feb 2012, 8:54 pm

Yeah, it could very well have been frustration at me not being exactly like them - or maybe they already surmised that I couldn't (naturally) be like them, so they resorted to a more oblique harassment technique, one which would be more more difficult for me to document as harassment (based on handicap) if I was ever to lodge a complaint.