I think my boss wrongly responded to me sharing diagnosis

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Nandrews356
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17 Apr 2021, 6:25 pm

Hey everyone,

Something happened at my job the other day and trying to figure out if I should be telling someone else at work about it. I was having a 1-on-1 meeting with a member of higher level management where I voluntarily mentioned as part of the conversation that I have Aspergers (Officially Diagnosed). His response to me mentioning that were a couple comments like "Yeah, I can clearly tell" and "It's pretty obvious".

I am not used to getting responses like that when I talk about my diagnosis so I am unsure if I am justified in how negatively it made me feel and if it is something that I should bring up to another member of management or HR?

Has anyone else had experiences like this?



CarlM
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17 Apr 2021, 6:38 pm

I think you just disclosed to someone with knowledge of AS. I don't see anything wrong with his response.


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MrsPeel
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17 Apr 2021, 11:43 pm

We need more context, as those remarks may or may not be OK depending on how they were said.

If the way the words were said were in a derogatory tone, in the sense of just having confirmed that there was something 'wrong with you', you might have a valid concern. Though I would tend to give the benefit of the doubt and see if the boss displays any discriminatory behaviour towards you before going to HR.

If the way the words were said indicates that the boss has experience with and is able to recognize AS, that may not be a bad thing. The difficulty may be that he has some prejudice based on what he thinks he knows about the condition, which might not be valid in your specific case. Again, you might need to wait and see if he discriminates against you.

I wouldn't worry too much about it at this stage. It would be nice to think that disclosure would always be met with at least acceptance, if not interest, and an enquiry over whether you may need any support, but in real life it's a rare piece of luck to get a boss that enlightened.



cyberdad
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18 Apr 2021, 12:02 am

Your bosses response was a little uncaring/unsympathetic and he could have handed it better.

But at the end of the day he was being honest. He picked up you had AS and its not really that surprising that employers/managers pick up these things in their employees.

On the flipside I'm NT and I worked for a boss back in 2010 who I suspected had Aspergers and was an absolute horror to work for. Ironically I was extremely tolerant of his outbursts and poor emotional intelligence because my daughter had just been diagnosed and I was becoming familiar with the tell-tale signs.

I think give your boss the benefit of the doubt for now, but if you suspect he is treating you different because of your AS then you have grounds to go to HR re: discrimination.



aspiemike
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18 Apr 2021, 9:20 am

Well, your boss acknowledged it. My boss simply told me in front of union representatives and company HR that the document I had was something he didn't want and it wasn't on my file anyway. It was then revealed that the document was on my file for at least 4 years before he arrived.


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kitesandtrainsandcats
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18 Apr 2021, 9:48 am

CarlM wrote:
I think you just disclosed to someone with knowledge of AS. I don't see anything wrong with his response.

That's the feel I get from the available information.
And having only that, I see "Yeah, I can clearly tell" and "It's pretty obvious" as merely a statement of what is.

Brings to mind some years ago a similar thing with a surgeon when I said I was aspergers/autism, they said something to the effect that they had immediately deduced about me that since their now adult son was on the spectrum.

Okay, cool, we can communicate.


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Mr Reynholm
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21 Apr 2021, 8:07 am

My advice is to not take offense if none was intended. If this doesn't affect your life beyond the conversation you had with this person then it is nothing to worry about.
Also unless your Aspergers somehow affects your job there is no reason to disclose it at work. I'm not saying to be ashamed of it. Its just that your employer doesn't need to know everything.
I am recently diagnosed and have worked for the same company for years. At this point everyone knows that I'm a little different and thats OK with everyone.
Anyway, Best of wishes with your job!!



kraftiekortie
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21 Apr 2021, 5:40 pm

What made you share the diagnosis?

I try to avoid making mention of autism or Asperger's on my job. And I've been on my job 40-plus years.

I wouldn't want it on my file.....

Maybe in 20 years, people will be more knowledgeable about autism; but, in 2021, they are not knowledgeable enough.



cyberdad
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21 Apr 2021, 6:40 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
What made you share the diagnosis?
I try to avoid making mention of autism or Asperger's on my job. And I've been on my job 40-plus years.


If you read the OP's post her boss knew anyway. Employers make it their business to look for signs of such things in case it might be an issue down the track.

I've watched/studied bosses I've worked for and most pick up even minor quirks in their staff even when the employee doesn't realise they are doing it.

But it's only a big deal to the employee when the boss tries to connect performance with particular quirks, habits or conditions. otherwise it's discrimination.



kraftiekortie
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21 Apr 2021, 7:00 pm

I read the OP's first post.....why would I comment if I didn't read it?

I don't know what to make of it. As another poster put it, more context is needed.

I was talking about MY OWN experience. Employers in the US are not allowed to fire somebody for being autistic, and for "being" many things. However, in the absence of a union contract, a person could be fired in the US for anything under the sun ("At-Will Employment").

I am a member of a union. And it would be VERY difficult to fire me because of my civil service status (and I don't do anything that would get me fired, anyway!). And I've been fully civil service since May 26th, 1982. But I still wouldn't "disclose." I've been on my job since November 3rd, 1980, but I was a "provisional" until November 26th, 1981, when I was put on civil service probation for six months after being "picked up" from a civil service list after passing a civil service test.

I am certainly not saying that it was definitely a mistake for him to "disclose." I've heard stories where people disclosing were accommodated, and even gained respect from their employers.

I'm saying, in general, that it COULD be a mistake for anybody to disclose their disability in an employment setting in the US.



Last edited by kraftiekortie on 21 Apr 2021, 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cyberdad
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21 Apr 2021, 7:07 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I am certainly not saying that it was definitely a mistake for him to "disclose." I've heard stories where people disclosing were accommodated, and even gained respect from their employers.

I'm saying, in general, that it COULD be a mistake for anybody to disclose their disability in an employment setting in the US.


In a volatile job market its a risk to voluntarily disclose a underlying condition, I vividly remember a female boss who openly advocated women's rights restructure a position in order to terminate a permanent female staff member the moment she disclosed to her boss she and her husband were trying for a baby.



kraftiekortie
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21 Apr 2021, 7:10 pm

Yep. This sort of thing happens all the time....



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26 Apr 2021, 6:54 am

as Stated , the Context is Key . Like Many Have Said . The Boss May Be Very Familiar With ASD Traits So Their Reaction was Blahzay Like it Really Isn't An Issue To Them .

If The Response Was a Bit Cocky, it Shows a Lack Care