Advice needed- co-working model isnt working!

Page 1 of 1 [ 6 posts ] 

AlienorAspie
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 18 Mar 2014
Gender: Female
Posts: 159

06 May 2017, 8:23 am

I started a job about 6 weeks ago. I've had lots of jobs before, but none of the jobs involved lots of emailing, paperwork or keeping my own calendar. I sadly had to give up my own business purely because of the paperwork side of things. When I was younger and had more energy I could just about keep a calendar, but now I'm generally overwhelmed by it and terrible at making it to appointments or getting in touch with anyone.

The role was advertised as a "learning disability and autism expert advisor" (as in experts-by-experience; people who have first-hand knowledge of LD/autism in their personal lives which is useful to healthcare professionals when designing services/training staff etc). It was advertised alongside a role for someone without a learning disability or autism which was called "LD/Autism expert advisor (co-worker)". I have been struggling hugely with the emailing and calendar side of things and, although technically this wasn't a support worker role, I was given the impression that the co-worker's role would be to support me to make sure I could do my job, gradually letting me take over responsibility as I created a routine and got used to it.

I assumed that's why there was a co-working situation- so the co-worker could spend some time talking me through everything slowly or taking over that side of the work for short periods if I was overwhelmed. Unfortunately, through no fault of his own really, he hasn't been able to do that and i've got at least 60 unread emails, and 100 more that needed short replies or 'actions'. Nobody seems to understand how unbelievably stressful this is for me. I'm actually at the point of quitting. I've never quit anything in my life and I love the actual job (without the beaurocracy/organisation side) and think I'm good at it when I'm actually doing the job!

Yesterday, when someone asked me when we could schedule our next meeting I referred them to my co-worker and said "[he] is having to do my diary because I'm not able to at all", he just replied briskly "I don't do your diary". One woman said "we all wish we had somebody to do our diary!", and the other one laughed and agreed. They had the tone that I was just being a diva or trying to get my co-worker to do the "boring" bits of the job. I've been having a full-on meltdown today over this because I just don't feel like I can work with anyone in this type of set-up. It is probably the worst situation I could be in- constantly having to work together on the same projects, with undefined roles, no 1-1 meetings and contacting colleagues and trying to correlate our diaries constantly.

I could have applied for a scheme in the UK called "access to work" which would've supplied someone to help me catch up on everything once a week, or whatever I needed. Unfortunately it takes weeks/months just to set up, and needs to be for at least a 6 month period, and my contract was only 6 months in total so I cant apply for this any more.

Has anyone had similar experiences with their supported employment situations; "support workers" or "co-workers" etc? What should I do to get help without making myself look like a b***h, getting my co-worker into trouble (he's usually very nice- I think he just has too much work to do) or quitting altogether?



Chronos
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Apr 2010
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 8,698

08 May 2017, 8:52 pm

AlienorAspie wrote:
I started a job about 6 weeks ago. I've had lots of jobs before, but none of the jobs involved lots of emailing, paperwork or keeping my own calendar. I sadly had to give up my own business purely because of the paperwork side of things. When I was younger and had more energy I could just about keep a calendar, but now I'm generally overwhelmed by it and terrible at making it to appointments or getting in touch with anyone.

The role was advertised as a "learning disability and autism expert advisor" (as in experts-by-experience; people who have first-hand knowledge of LD/autism in their personal lives which is useful to healthcare professionals when designing services/training staff etc). It was advertised alongside a role for someone without a learning disability or autism which was called "LD/Autism expert advisor (co-worker)". I have been struggling hugely with the emailing and calendar side of things and, although technically this wasn't a support worker role, I was given the impression that the co-worker's role would be to support me to make sure I could do my job, gradually letting me take over responsibility as I created a routine and got used to it.

I assumed that's why there was a co-working situation- so the co-worker could spend some time talking me through everything slowly or taking over that side of the work for short periods if I was overwhelmed. Unfortunately, through no fault of his own really, he hasn't been able to do that and i've got at least 60 unread emails, and 100 more that needed short replies or 'actions'. Nobody seems to understand how unbelievably stressful this is for me. I'm actually at the point of quitting. I've never quit anything in my life and I love the actual job (without the beaurocracy/organisation side) and think I'm good at it when I'm actually doing the job!

Yesterday, when someone asked me when we could schedule our next meeting I referred them to my co-worker and said "[he] is having to do my diary because I'm not able to at all", he just replied briskly "I don't do your diary". One woman said "we all wish we had somebody to do our diary!", and the other one laughed and agreed. They had the tone that I was just being a diva or trying to get my co-worker to do the "boring" bits of the job. I've been having a full-on meltdown today over this because I just don't feel like I can work with anyone in this type of set-up. It is probably the worst situation I could be in- constantly having to work together on the same projects, with undefined roles, no 1-1 meetings and contacting colleagues and trying to correlate our diaries constantly.

I could have applied for a scheme in the UK called "access to work" which would've supplied someone to help me catch up on everything once a week, or whatever I needed. Unfortunately it takes weeks/months just to set up, and needs to be for at least a 6 month period, and my contract was only 6 months in total so I cant apply for this any more.

Has anyone had similar experiences with their supported employment situations; "support workers" or "co-workers" etc? What should I do to get help without making myself look like a b***h, getting my co-worker into trouble (he's usually very nice- I think he just has too much work to do) or quitting altogether?


So you work at a place that is supposed to understand and help people on the spectrum and with learning disabilities, and wanted an employee who is on the spectrum and has learning disabilities, but don't understand or accommodate your needs.

Have you expressed to them that you need someone to keep your diary for you a a disability accommodation?



Anon_92
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 26 Apr 2017
Gender: Male
Posts: 196

18 May 2017, 9:30 am

I found a good owner once and luckily he used me... he let me run his business for him and even let me do the hiring and firing for him etc... of course I'd let the people talk themselves to death then ask a few simple questions just to get the right yes/no answers etc...

But the boss ended up abusing me. I told him "my car is breaking down so one of these days I might not be the first in every day with coffee ready for everyone else" and he replied "don't worry- I'll get you a company car when that happens" so I stopped worrying. But three months later when I asked for the free company car, he said that he never said that...

So from that moment on, I stopped kissing butt and stopped making coffee and just did my job as it was defined to me as best as I could... I'd show up at 8:55 and stand by the time clock waiting for 8:59 etc...

He fired me three months later. I told him "I've been waiting for three months for you to fire me- about time" and that made him nervous. He then asked if I wanted to clean out my desk and I said "no reason to... I already took everything I wanted from my office months ago" and he was even more pissed off. He then wanted me to leave right away and I said "I will only if you let me show you a few things and have a notebook and pen" so he wrote down every word I said then I said "are you done?" and finally said "I guess so (dammit)" so I walked out there with my head held high.

That was 19 years ago- who wants to bet that guy still remembers me?



Empathy
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,548
Location: Sovereign Nation & Commonwealth

19 Jul 2017, 8:26 pm

AlienorAspie wrote:
I started a job about 6 weeks ago. I've had lots of jobs before, but none of the jobs involved lots of emailing, paperwork or keeping my own calendar. I sadly had to give up my own business purely because of the paperwork side of things. When I was younger and had more energy I could just about keep a calendar, but now I'm generally overwhelmed by it and terrible at making it to appointments or getting in touch with anyone.

The role was advertised as a "learning disability and autism expert advisor" (as in experts-by-experience; people who
I assumed that's why there was a co-working situation- so the co-worker could spend some time talking me through everything slowly or taking over that side of the work for short periods if I was overwhelmed. Unfortunately, through no fault of his own really, he hasn't been able to do that and i've got at least 60 unread emails, and 100 more that needed short replies or 'actions'. Nobody seems to understand how unbelievably stressful this is for me. I'm actually at the point of quitting. I've never quit anything in my life

Yesterday, when someone asked me when we could schedule our next meeting I referred them to my co-worker and said "[he] is having to do my diary because I'm not able to at all", he just replied briskly "I don't do your diary". One woman said "we all wish we had somebody to do our diary!", and the other one laughed and agreed.
I've been having a full-on meltdown over this because I just don't feel like I can work with anyone in this type of set-up.

I could have applied for a scheme in the UK called "access to work" which would've supplied someone to help me catch up on everything once a week, or whatever I needed. Unfortunately it takes weeks/months just to set up, and needs to be for at least a 6 month period, and my contract was only 6 months in total so I cant apply for this any more.

Has anyone had similar experiences with their supported employment situations; "support workers" or "co-workers" etc? What should I do to get help without making myself look like a b***h, getting my co-worker into trouble (he's usually very nice- I think he just has too much work to do) or quitting altogether?


Actually, this sounds like a major PR nightmare. If you are applying for anything like this in the first place, of course with limited experience you wont get very far, but i find the initial process of filling out theapplication useful and gratifying if i have to complete a questionaire 'based on the experience and value research of the company interest'.
The last one was on a FireMonkey survey, and i stated the job would be better without all the muti-tasking that you've just described in your admin nightmare experience. I actually find the process of email, setting up powerpoint and processing and passing back data a real thrill to do and complete.
Timelines deadlines are all important in the structures of dealing with interpersonal relationships, and i guess housing bureaus are only interested in making money for their own means.
I had issues ones within the supported employment or whatever it was, and it didn't actually serve as a purpose to speed up the process of gaining insightful awareness into employment, it became a barrier, as feedback has to be stored and shipped back to the main providers who I had nothing but a bad telling of from and it pained me.
So much so, that i never went for an induction on the basis that your input determines on whether or not you get paid for not sounding derrogatory and discriminating a very smal portion of societies invalids on the grounds they are senile and have to keep ringing a cord but also should their abuser be forgiven for trespassing on their vulnerabilities. at the time, i was only applying for a laundry role which should not have defibrilated into the care side chaos i had not imagined. Support in any sector will be a far cry from anything you attempt to acquire by solitary means.
Good luck of you're still there.



Sweetleaf
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 6 Jan 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 31,425
Location: Somewhere in Colorado

20 Jul 2017, 9:35 am

Sounds like either the job was misleading, or somewhere along the line you misunderstood something. I mean generally a co-worker is someone in an equal position to you...not someone who will provide special support or keep you caught up when you're behind. Why did you have the impression the co-worker would be more like a support worker?

Also though once you've realized that is not the role this co-worker plays why would you tell someone asking about a meeting that he was keeping your dairy if that's not his responsibility. I mean that does kind of make it look like you want him to do all the boring mundane stuff for you in addition to the work he already has to do. I mean you can't just obligate a co-worker to take care of something for you I mean did you ever ask if he could help you with that and he agreed? By his response I assume not...so why would you tell someone he was keeping your dairy if he never agreed to do any such thing?

Also do they even know you have a disability and are on the autism spectrum...and thus may struggle with the work load and need some extra help or accommodations?

I mean it sounds like you may have to consider quitting unless you can get the management to work with you a bit more on this.


_________________
Fascism is a disease.


AngryAngryAngry
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

Joined: 11 Feb 2016
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 496
Location: New Zealand

12 Aug 2017, 4:54 am

Speak to the manager. Explain your situation.
Also with the emails, allocate a set time each day (such as first thing) to do a set time of tackling them (eg 10min). Soon you will find that you're getting on top of them.
If your routine is interrupted, say by a meeting first thing. That does not matter, you still do the 10min of email checking immediately after that has finished. After all it is not your fault that your schedule is being messed with.
You are in a situation where your work load is overburdened. This is NOT your fault.
Take no responsibility for it, do the best you can, to the best of your abilities. At the end of the day, you did good work to the best of your abilities under adverse conditions - that's what matters.
And that is what you put in your CV under achievements for the job, when you apply for other jobs.

With the calendar, you can set up notifications on your mobile phone 10min ahead of schedule, this might be complex to set up & manage, but it might help you to make it to appointments on time.