What could I have done differentlly in this situation?

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Qbeez999
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16 Nov 2023, 9:23 am

I was at a cafe with my support worker. The queue was long and blocking the cake I wanted. I waited for the queue to move along so that I could get the cake but before that happened a worker asked us if we wanted hot food. Sometimes I have to think before I speak and before I could say "I'm waiting for the queue to move along to get a cake" my support worker said "no we're not having any hot food" so the worker told us to go to the till. We did and my support worker was surprised when I had no cake. I told her the queue of people had been blocking them. She asked what cake I wanted in an irritated voice. I was so overwhelmed by then, that I couldn't tell her. The queue was even longer by this point and not wanting to wait in it again she told me we were leaving and so we left. I quietly cried not wanting her to see me crying.

I have had my support worker for just over two years and I do really like her but this was the first time an incident like this has happened.



Blue_Star
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16 Nov 2023, 10:05 am

Qbeez999 wrote:
The queue was long and blocking the cake I wanted.


So it was you, long line of people in the queue, and then the cake? Stand across from the cake. Say, "excuse me". Reach and take the cake. You could also say, "excuse me, I need to grab the cake" while reaching. Either should be enough to get people to open a way so you can grab the cake.

EtA: That's what I do, but I don't have a support worker.



ChicagoLiz
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16 Nov 2023, 3:56 pm

Qbeez999 wrote:
I have had my support worker for just over two years and I do really like her but this was the first time an incident like this has happened.


Your support worker should have helped you in this situation, not made it worse. The fact that you didn't feel comfortable crying tells me you're not actually getting support from them.

I agree with @Blue_Star, that you could have asked politely to reach in to get the cake you wanted. Now you know for next time.

Your support worker should have a plan in place -- maybe a word or phrase, or a physical use of your hands, something -- so that you can indicate that you need help at that moment figuring out how to handle the situation. That's what they're supposed to do! Instead, the issue came to a head, to the point where you could no longer explain what you needed.

And, when things go awry like that, they should have asked you to explain the situation afterward so that they could help you figure it out for next time.

Do you feel enough of a connection to sit them down and explain now?


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Qbeez999
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16 Nov 2023, 4:06 pm

ChicagoLiz wrote:
Qbeez999 wrote:
I have had my support worker for just over two years and I do really like her but this was the first time an incident like this has happened.


Your support worker should have helped you in this situation, not made it worse. The fact that you didn't feel comfortable crying tells me you're not actually getting support from them.

I agree with @Blue_Star, that you could have asked politely to reach in to get the cake you wanted. Now you know for next time.

Your support worker should have a plan in place -- maybe a word or phrase, or a physical use of your hands, something -- so that you can indicate that you need help at that moment figuring out how to handle the situation. That's what they're supposed to do! Instead, the issue came to a head, to the point where you could no longer explain what you needed.

And, when things go awry like that, they should have asked you to explain the situation afterward so that they could help you figure it out for next time.

Do you feel enough of a connection to sit them down and explain now?


We did talk about what happened and what we could do next time.We decided that I'd sit down for a bit until the queue was shorter.



SharonB
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16 Nov 2023, 8:53 pm

Sounds like my donut shop and ski resort incidents last year except I balled my head off in front of everyone (including my children - who *I* am supposed to support). My husband is my "support person", but he wasn't there (donut shop b/c I thought I could handle it; ski resort b/c he had to go back to the car). In retrospect, both were lines and I also needed breaks --- for example, I could ask someone to hold my spot in line and go wash my hands. I like the running water and quieter space - or I could tap or sway some. Without that relief, I had no tolerance for the clerks' rudeness I encountered: Pop!



techstepgenr8tion
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16 Nov 2023, 9:28 pm

I'd say not. If you were waiting for your space in line to be adjacent to the cake and you got pulled out of line for some reason by other people and then you had a lot of help dropping the ball.

I've had a few obnoxious things happen at local takeout places that really annoyed me and it had to do with people not behaving respectably.

The first case was a crepe place, never had a problem with it before but at the checkout (narrow shoe-box style strip mall slot) the owner and one of her employees was talking to an elderly man who was seated at a table close to the checkout. All I did was walk up to the checkout to pay for my call-ahead order and instead of the owner continuing to talk to the guy and having her subordinate ring me out something bizarre happened where they both got fake, set their eyes down, acted like I did something criminally socially inappropriate, didn't speak for something like thirty or forty seconds, did ring me up after strongly signaling that I'd made some kind of status infraction (skinny probably loser-male who didn't look like 'Johnny True Blood' rudely disrupts a discussion with some wonderful patriarch far better than myself.... if they're going to crunch the math that way it makes me wonder if they have the maturity to be running an establishment). I don't often do this but I was in enough shock to pay, drive off, and throw the food in a dumpster because I couldn't bring myself to eat it after getting openly disrespected like that.

The only thing I could have done in the above situation was turn around and walk out (not pay for my order) the moment I realized they were playing games.

Maybe a month or so later I was at a local gyro place, walked in by myself, and there was a middle-aged Mediterranean man whose English wasn't great. I made a simple order, he kept pointing in a general direction where there was a wide variety of sign posts of different things, my eyed didn't go immediately to where he was pointing me, it devolved from there and it seemed like the guy was pulling the misunderstanding in a narcissistic direction - and I started to realize that we weren't going to get along and that this was one of those bitter people whose regressing in social maturity as he ages. I gave him my credit card and he took it in the most limp-wristed condescending way he could as if I were a child. The best part - he got his ego off on my by his inability to speak English clearly, not cognitive adult behavior.

With that situation - really hard to imagine how I could have been more prepared. I got taken on my good faith of trying to understand what the guy was saying. The only alternative I would have had is if I would have just said 'Sorry, I don't understand what you're saying' and walked out of the establishment - which, TBH, I did not have enough forewarning that things were going to go downhill.


The reason I'm bringing all of that up - when you get blindsided by anything from people's disorganization or them putting their own psychological problems on you, at least if you're self-aware of those kinds of risks, by the time something like that hits you it was a confluence of things that came down and the odds that you could have predicted it all happening or seeing enough red flags ahead of time to avoid it is a bit magical.

This is why I really am my happiest as a semi-shut-in. I don't like dealing with people when I don't have to because... well... an awful lot of people either lack the psychological and emotional sophistication to handle themselves as adults, or you'll run into people with dark triad traits in random exchanges, or you'll find yourself in the presence of people who are really bitter about how their lives have turned out (like the old Greek guy I mentioned above - middle aged and working a checkout at a restaurant, not as an owner). Even just going to the grocery store, it seems like actually looking where you're going with your cart seems like a sign of weakness and you're really supposed to just walk into people and apologize or if there's any momentary confusion as to traffic routing bathe the people around you with condescension like you're letting a cognitive child be a cognitive child and go first.

It's just too many people projecting their own crap on others for me to enjoy being out in public when I don't have to be. Anymore I just expect the world to be both chaotic and narcissistic and most of the time that assessment proves accurate.


So yeah.... I'd say don't worry about it too much... although when you've been trained to find personal fault with everything that goes wrong (as we on the spectrum are taught from childhood) it's really tough not to reach for self-criticism first. Learning to undo that habit, especially when you know that you have your social propriety together and other people just didn't or they wanted to pull status on you, pull intimidation, pull eugenics, etc.. it's all the same crap and it's really important to know when the problem genuinely isn't you or, when it's no one in particular, when group dynamics didn't go well either (like a lot of people pulling you along to where you didn't get your cake).


Also - understand that NT's don't have some esoteric knowledge, they just do something most of us don't which is never admit to their own mistakes, and / or they'll be really good at projecting and blaming others for anything that doesn't go right.


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