Told off for not looking happy and not talking enough

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andyfzr
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13 Jun 2018, 3:53 pm

I think my days are numbered as with my previous jobs when they get rid of me for no decent reason apart from I don't fit in to their social norm. I was pulled in the office for an assessment so they said but it was more of a case of being told to try to fit in more at work. apparently I have to engage in small talk with my work colleagues as they have been complaining that I don't talk enough and also I have to look as if I'm happy. I was unaware of this but people have been saying that I'm often in a bad mood. I only really talk to people if I need to ask questions about work and I can't help my apparent mood but I've never had any arguments with anyone and no one has said anything to my face so its a case of the usual just not fitting in with the in crowd. This always happens every time I get a job, I try my hardest to work hard and do as I'm told and I'm always being told to slow down and not work as hard but that's the way I like to work. I just can never seem to fit in no matter how hard I try and I struggle to make conversation with people especially for the sake of talking. Even when I have tried to talk about things, none of them have any interest in anything that I like so there's not much I can think to talk about. So now I have to try to look as if i'm happy everyday and try to make conversation but I don't think I can really change who I am so I think they will end up getting rid of me in the coming weeks. I feel like I'm under pressure to preform for them now and that I'm being assessed by everyone so they can go running to the manager when I fail to comply. I'm really struggling to cope with life in general at the moment especially with depression and I'm scared of losing my job again because the last time I was put on the new Universal Credit and they hounded me to take any and every job going and bombarded me with job club and courses which stressed me out more than actual work. I'm just worried I'll end up losing this job which I can just about cope with and being forced into some brain dead factory job which I have done before but really struggled with the environment and repetitiveness. I just can't change who I am and what I am because I don't fit in. I do try to fit in and I'm always polite and well mannered but that's just not enough. Anyway I've booked a couple of weeks holiday so hopefully the rest may do me some good.



Wolfboy99
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13 Jun 2018, 4:38 pm

Let me run this by you:

If you work harder than everyone else, you are making them look bad. They can’t complain about that, so they found something else to complain about. You’re an easy mark because you’re different.

Think about scaling back and working only as hard as your coworkers and see if that makes a difference.


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leejosepho
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13 Jun 2018, 9:29 pm

I am now 68 and I have not worked for several years, but I have always had the kind of challenges you have mentioned. Some people thought I was making them look bad, and others would gaslight me to try to protect their self-perceived status as "leaders of the pack".

As suggested, maybe try to pace yourself a bit to help avoid drawing attention to yourself. Or as in my own case, maybe look for job assignments other people did not want and then offer to do those. It was neither my desire nor my intent to self-isolate, but my supervisors knew I could be trusted even on my own and I knew they needed those jobs done.


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hobojungle
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14 Jun 2018, 9:45 am

andyfzr wrote:
apparently I have to engage in small talk with my work colleagues as they have been complaining that I don't talk enough and also I have to look as if I'm happy.


Like work isn’t hard enough. As far as small talk goes, you can’t go wrong discussing the weather. I think you are practicing great self-care to take a holiday.



andyfzr
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14 Jun 2018, 3:57 pm

I think the time off will do me good to gather my thoughts. I get stressed out when things like this happens and it causes me a lot of anxiety so I'm going ti make the most of the heat wave were having as the sun always makes me feel better. I'm just going to spend a couple of weeks just lying around in the sun and hopefully by the time I get back to work I will be feeling much more relaxed and happier. Plenty of time to practice my small talk.



Wolfboy99
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14 Jun 2018, 4:08 pm

Yay!

Enjoy your vacation!


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Scorpius14
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14 Jun 2018, 7:19 pm

in my experience it only takes a few days for employers to not like the look of me or how i work and then just sack me then and there, in doing so avoiding all the potential other ways I could do something wrong in the workplace that might get me fired



ladyelaine
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14 Jun 2018, 10:29 pm

I have been there. People get freaked out by how quiet I am. I have had bosses and co-workers say that I should talk more. I like to make sure I'm comfortable with my co-workers and that I click with them before I get chatty with them. I like to make sure I can trust them as well. My co-workers at my first job had big fat mouths and couldn't keep anything to themselves, so I was very careful in what I said to them. My boss at that job was impossible to please. Nothing I did was ever good enough for her. For the first three years of my current job, I had a boss and co-workers that I really didn't click with. I didn't really feel like we were a team. I like my current boss and coworkers. We work well together. I am still careful about what I share with them. People finding about my disability is the kids of death for me.



nick007
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16 Jun 2018, 8:27 am

Do they know about your autism or other mental issues :?: It may help to make them aware that not talking & smiling a lot is related to disabilities so they could risk getting in trouble with the distillates act by firing you over em. & if they do fire you you afterwards for that reason you could talk to a lawyer about filing a disabilities discrimination lawsuit against them. At l;east that's how things could work in America but I see your from the UK. They may have some kind of anti-discrimination policy for disabilities there too but not sure.


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ExceladonCity
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10 Jul 2018, 2:39 pm

As I've learned from the tumultuous relationship I had at my last job, you pretty much have to BS your way through social interactions with coworkers. I had no desire to make small talk or even be friends with my coworkers; work is an unfortunate reality of adult life and spending my time forging transient relationships with people I have no desire to interact with outside of work wasn't on the agenda. Well, as societal norms would have it, people aren't willing to help loners. At my current job, I have to force myself to make small talk just to secure the base-level camaraderie needed to get assistance and not be thought of as a weirdo. It's a stupid game, but we have to begrudgingly play along.



mr_bigmouth_502
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10 Jul 2018, 7:49 pm

You'd think a boss would love an employee who just does their work efficiently and doesn't engage in any small talk.


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ExceladonCity
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11 Jul 2018, 1:24 pm

mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
You'd think a boss would love an employee who just does their work efficiently and doesn't engage in any small talk.


You'd think that, but it's kind of the opposite. Higher-ups want someone they can be friends with, even if the quality of work is mediocre, bosses will look the other way if you're apart of their "homie squad." I've watched surly, unproductive as*holes get bumped up over me and several other more qualified workers because they "knew the right people."



ladyelaine
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11 Jul 2018, 4:57 pm

ExceladonCity wrote:
mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
You'd think a boss would love an employee who just does their work efficiently and doesn't engage in any small talk.


You'd think that, but it's kind of the opposite. Higher-ups want someone they can be friends with, even if the quality of work is mediocre, bosses will look the other way if you're apart of their "homie squad." I've watched surly, unproductive as*holes get bumped up over me and several other more qualified workers because they "knew the right people."


My dad, my brother, and I have all dealt with that on the job. We saw all the screw ups and mediocre employees get away with a lot and get promoted because they were besties with the boss while my brother and my dad get laid off and I get ripped into by my boss.



Slug on a Bike
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13 Jul 2018, 9:01 am

This
is in my job description:

"Communicate effectively with warmth, sensitivity, and understanding to administrative colleagues, teachers, students, parents, faculty, college personnel and program associates."

That is not
going to happen.

If it does,
I'm lying.



RandomFox
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18 Jul 2018, 12:44 pm

I've been working at the same place for 6+ years and at the beginning I used to get similar messages - "not a team player", "avoids conversations with co-workers"... but in the end, by watching others, I adapted to their communication styles and I just take mental notes of things I need to ask them next time I see them so they feel like I care (sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, but I can act)
Oh, the cat was ill. Ask about the cat.
She's got a new car. Talk about the car.
It's not been raining for weeks. Ask about his lawn that he cares about so much.
Occasionally conversations go beyond small talk and then I feel much better.

And that's how it goes. I'm getting better at it with time and I no longer get messages like I used to in the past. Now I'm "positive, friendly, efficient". People show me photos of their babies and pets, while in the past they simply avoided me.
It took "only" 6 years of learning... 8O what some people get in a day.



sorrowfairiewhisper
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18 Jul 2018, 1:38 pm

I don't understand why someone would tell someone off for not looking happy or talking enough, maybe instead they should try to uplift the person, encourage them to talk more. People are strange. What an odd thing to tell someone off for. People cannot help how they look or feel and if they don't feel like talking, they don't.