Female Asperger Syndrome Traits [Employment]

IN Autism Aspergers
Female Asperger Syndrome Traits [Employment]

If you haven’t been following along, currently I’m going through all Asperger traits and reflecting on them to see if I can discover which areas Asperger’s has affected my life. Today I’m going through my jobs to see if the ‘troubles’ I had with some of them are Asperger’s related.

Will often have trouble holding onto a job and may find employment daunting.

I look at every job that I’ve had, and I’ve always thought it was ‘them’ that was the problem, and now I’m thinking it was the Asperger’s that was the problem. Crap.

I can’t do interviews, and the worst interviews are ‘group interviews’. Most jobs I got without an ‘official’ interview because of recommendations or personal experience with doing business with them from previous jobs, and the majority of jobs that I’ve been perfect for but not got, was because the interview was just so awful. I’ve even had a meltdown in an interview where I ended up sobbing and obviously that didn’t go down well. I had an interview a few days ago via Zoom and although it was better than a face-to-face, I couldn’t ‘connect’ with them, I didn’t want to talk about past jobs or courses, or ‘sell myself’, or relate past roles to future tasks or think about a time I ‘did this and it’s result’ kind of questions. I just knew that I would be able to do the job well and unfortunately you need to be able to portray that in an interview but it’s something that I’ve never really been good at, but has worsened these days in that I don’t seem to be able to ‘recall’ the past.

Literally if I’d been diagnosed with this earlier – I wouldn’t been able to understand so many situations better, I would of been able to give employers a heads-up on the best way I learn, I would’ve been able to understand why ‘mean’ staff bothered me more than most, why I obsessed with ‘fixing’ systems and making the company more efficient, why I didn’t communicate very well with peers, and that loud noises, strong smells, and uncomfortable clothing effect me, etc.

One of the things with the Asperger’s I think is that we can’t do anything against our soul and if we do, we lose our shit or drop in a heap. All work places have a line they cross in regards to what is considered ethical. And they all have fakeness. They are fake on the phone, they do their fake customer service. They aren’t genuine. Being authentic seems to be important to me – even though it seems I’ve been ‘faking’ being authentic my entire life to try and fit the norms. Irony.

My first job was a traineeship at a hairdresser which was 100% not for me. Now I’m trying to think of why. I was young (15), and it was my first paid position. I don’t remember much other than I couldn’t even ‘sweep correctly’ and not wanting to dust every single shampoo & conditioner bottle because I was worried about getting asthma, and I didn’t understand the register. I also hated having to dress up in tight skirts and high heels for a job that was on your feet all day, so I was really uncomfortable. I lasted 2 weeks in 2 different stores. My friend (who actually wanted to be a hairdresser) then got the job and lasted 3 days. So we figured it was them, not us. But it was probably us – young and clueless. I guess I’m only bringing up this job because of the comfort-level thing.

I was a Girl Guide, so did volunteer work at different places. Every Saturday I worked in an op-shop. It was good because you could find old books/magazines (back when they were useful) and other gems, but there were not many benefits to it – the customers didn’t really need you and the smell was over-powering, everything was old and dusty, and it mostly entailed sorting through charity bags and hanging smelly clothes.

I also volunteered at Pennyweight Park. Not sure what it’s called now but it was a place for disability support. I loved that. We weren’t 100% responsible for the care, we were the ‘helpers’ or more accurately, the ‘extra set of eyes’ when they went on outings. I can’t remember many activities that we did, it was too long ago. But I do remember the day we went to the lake and the only reason I remember is that there was an incident that happened in which we were taking the scenic route and one of the ladies who was driving her electric wheelchair almost ended up in the lake as her wheel got stuck and she started to tip over, and I had to grab her quickly and she was terrified and the whole incident was scary because she could’ve been electrocuted or drowned. Other than that experience, I thought the job was worthwhile and it felt good to help people.

One of the big things that distressed me about one of the larger retailers I worked for, is that they destroy clothing and food that is not yet expired instead of donating them to people in need. So you’d have 100 Men’s Hoodies that have a spelling error in the screen-printing, or something that makes the headlines as ‘inappropriate’ for the community, which were recalled or taken off the market- not for safety reasons – but because someone messed up the design. So perfectly good clothing with nothing wrong with them, that could keep people warm in the winter were destroyed. Staff had to cut the clothing with scissors before throwing them in the skip. This is insanity to me. They tasked me with the job and I told them there’s absolutely no way I’m doing that. The clothing can be donated to refugee centres, charities, or animal shelters.

Instead of giving it away or marking it down, the “policies” require them to be destroyed and I just couldn’t get my head around this. The reason they destroyed them before putting them in the skip is that they were concerned that someone will go through the bins and try and get a refund (which is valid – some people are dodgy). But still destroying the clothing seemed the ‘worst’ possible solution to the problem and I couldn’t believe that not one person seemed to question it, instead, being perfectly ok with destroying them and more confused at MY reaction! I just couldn’t understand their point of view, it still makes no sense to me to this day. Even if you “MUST” cut them up, which I don’t agree with it all – but even if you MUST do it or face execution or certain death lol – then cut them up, put them in clean bags, and give them to a dog pound or cattery or someone who makes pet beds, so that animals have something warm and fluffy to sleep on. I’m still a little bit rised-up by that.

Jobs that go against human decency and who are wasteful do my head in. It’s just unbelievable to me they will destroy a skip-bin full a day of stuff that could otherwise be marked-down or given to charities. Not just clothing, but potato chips and chocolate and baby food that have to be removed from shelves after a certain date, toys and equipment that some kid “may” get hurt if they swallow it, and some policy that decides to recall an entire line for “public goodwill”, a marketing ploy. Dolls and board games and prams that have been on the market for years. I agree with being overly cautious about faulty heaters or faulty electrical equipment that may burn someone’s house down – but more for ‘repair’ or use the material for something else rather than immediately destroying them.

Click to Expand (Recall Examples)

  • A puzzle recalled because “the knobs attached to the puzzle may come loose, posing a choking hazard to young children”.
  • A board game recalled and destroyed – just because of the dice! (Um..replace the dice?).
  • Wii game controllers because “if they are swung at excessive force and ‘accidentally’ let go, the cord can break potentially causing the controller to strike bystanders” (are you kidding me? You need to recall EVERYTHING that someone could ‘accidentally throw with excessive force’ if this is a valid reason to destroy an item)
  • A Barbie doll with dog because one of the accessories “the pooper scooper” contains a magnet that may come loose, which children may swallow. (Kids do swallow anything that they can put in their mouth and shove random things in their nose… batteries, toy soldiers, anything and everything.. we’re in a ‘new age’ where the onus is now put on the toy-makers instead of the guardian, which is more necessary these days because there are way more made-in-china toys and gadgets than in previous generations, I get that.. what I don’t get is the destroying of the items – you could remove ‘the pooper scooper’ and still donate the doll).

Again, I have no problem being cautionary about hazards that could cause injury, but I think it’s gone too far to destroy items where fixing the hazard is less wasteful and if the product is safe in most cases, mark them down removing the ‘dangerous item’, or donate the items for repair/re-use. We’ve become so damn wasteful since getting China to produce everything. We’ve become a throw-away society where it’s cheaper to throw something away and buy a new one than repair or reuse the old.

And the same place in a different location had no recycling (“because there was no room” was the reason they gave me) – but I promise you if a law came in that forced them to recycle suddenly they’d ‘figure out a way’. This is a company that prints off paper tickets which are changed every single week with the new sales, and reports that are 100 pages long are printed daily for different managers of the store, so they waste reams of paper on a daily basis that could be made into park benches, shoe boxes, soundproofing, furniture, moving boxes, and other recycled items as well as reduce landfill.

Click to Expand (Tangent about Too Many Laws)

I’m anti-those making a law for everything just to get people to do a consensus ‘right thing’. We should be able to do the ‘right thing’ without a law. But now people who get offended about something like to turn up to council meetings and demand a new law. Instead of looking at what we can do to take personal responsibility for using common sense in most cases, people are lining up to get new laws in place so that ‘others’ can behave the way they wish them to based on ‘one person’ who misbehaved and is likely to ignore the law in future. Creating a new law for everything you disagree with, hurts the majority – takes your free will away, and makes you look for a sign instead of using common sense. Every new law you make is another pay check into the government’s pocket. I don’t belong in this world where there is a new law for everything, I’m probably breaking the law right now in some legal-loophole somewhere – everyone is now subject to being affected by some law they don’t even know exists, and yet ‘ignorance is no excuse’.

There’s an organization that wants to remove every single tree from highways and roads because her son was killed by speeding into a tree. The mother sees the ‘trees’ as her son’s murderer. I think her grief wanted to do something – and a lot of people who are grieving create some really great causes for preventing the same accident from reoccurring, but destroying all the trees? The tree didn’t kill him, it didn’t jump in front of him unexpectedly on the highway, it didn’t reach out it’s branches and grab his car and throw it off the road, the tree did nothing. The tree has been there for a hundred years. A kid who drives erratically or goes too fast and rams into a tree is not cause for removing all trees. I’m sure there are some areas more dangerous than others, with branches that could fall at any time hovering over some roads, or are in a blind spot or some ‘danger trees’ that probably need attention, but removing all trees is insanity.

People think creating new laws is helping the community keep safe, but rule-breakers don’t obey rules. Most people can drive down a highway and know what a safe speed is without needing a speed camera clicking away looking for anyone going 2kms above it. There’s a road in Melton that used to be 100km (and still says so on my sat-nav) but the speed limit has been changed to 70km – it ‘feels’ like a 100km road but now everyone has to slow down to 70km despite it feeling ‘wrong’ and way too slow for this country road. Another street in Melbourne – one of the busiest intersections has been changed to to a permanent 40km – which is an unheard of speed except in school zones – so they have pocketed almost $8million dollars in fines so far because only those who live in that area are conscious of the 40km limit because no one – NOONE – considers it a 40km zone because it’s “not a normal speed” to have on any road, especially at 6pm at night away from a school zone.

Ok so had a rant, and can see why my opinions (which I do keep to myself and to this blog, and private facebook groups, except when directly affected), can cause differences in perspectives in the workplace and in life.

Even when I was fruit-picking there was an ethical dilemma. From exposure to pesticides and chemicals to the amount of waste of perfectly edible peaches, plums and nectarines that get thrown away because the supermarkets only buy a particular size, quality, age, and colour. They can’t have anything that has a bruise on it, or where a bird has pecked it, they have to pick the fruit ‘too early’ so that it can be in transport for weeks. There is so much wastage that happens. You’d think that you could just go fruit-picking and not get caught up in the politics – even travellers with not a word of English and zero experience can do fruit-picking – you’d think it would be a safe-bet to escape the everyday ethical dilemmas, but nope, I can’t even be a fruit-picker without being upset about all the food that goes to waste, and the disgust now that society depends on the big supermarkets for their survival instead of growing the majority of food ourselves and swapping with our neighbours. (Don’t even get me started… )

When I worked at NetConnect the first time, I relished in it, because I loved helping people, I knew the answer, I loved finding solutions and helping people fix their problems. I then loved being promoted to the ADSL coordinator position because I had my own office, was away from the incoming calls, and was excited that we were finally getting ‘fast’ internet. We spent 7 years on this slow-dialup bullshit and finally we had speed. Faster knowledge into my system. Faster answers. Faster games. I loved it.

When I worked at another computer shop, I only had an issue when staff were doing their own personal things at work instead of working. Like letting me do the work while pursuing their own personal stuff but getting paid the same or more than me. I actually had an issue about that in a few jobs.

Another job that comes to mind is when the guys were all playing online chess against each other and leaving me to answer all the incoming calls and reply to all the emails. But at that particular place, I would go out for a smoke and they were non-smokers who’d bitch about it, so maybe that was their way of ‘having a smoke’. I felt guilty that I was a smoker, but I was also like – the only time they actually had to do any work was when I went out for a smoke, so possibly they were more upset with having to interrupt their game and actually do some work. Sometimes I would go out for a smoke, just because I was sitting there stewing on them not working.

I had a problem with a not-for-profit organization I worked for which was “free” for end-users, and I was so proud of that, I loved supporting people and getting that genuine gratitude from them for helping. But the government changed, and the new government put all government-subsidised programmes on hold until they could review them and with that, came a change in our pricing structure, and I couldn’t handle it. I understood that something had to be done, and the reasons why, and that it was out of our control, but I also felt dirty in that the reason the software was so popular and integrated by most of the clinics in Australia, was because it was cross-platform and free. And we promoted it proudly as free, lifetime free. To suddenly tell them that they had to immediately start paying for something, and high pricing (per user), that they had been promised will always be free, felt really horrible. I loved the job itself in that I felt I was doing something worthwhile and helping people. And the job turned from something where every call and email was appreciative, to every call and email being a complaint and I was traumatized by this because I was the main point of contact for all end-to-end customers. I was the one-on-one to the people who actually used the software, and they were not happy-campers and I wished I could do something, but didn’t know what to say other than the truth of the situation, which often wasn’t understood or didn’t make them feel any better. I think it felt bad that I was the face of something that was marketed as free and that the forced-pricing situation made me break my word to them. And it’s also that – there were much better software alternatives around at the time, but they were expensive, the reason they used our software rather than the better alternatives was because it got the job done and it saved them money.

It’s like the marketing tactics from snake-oil salesmen that give you a free trial until you are dependant upon it, and then start charging, which is another pet-hate of mine. I felt that we did a similar thing even though there was no way around it – I just felt stuck. They are forced to pay because they have already spent years using our software and getting all the people they communicate with to also use this software – everyone is already using it. They can’t just use an alternative now because they’re already ‘invested’. I felt we betrayed them and maybe I took it personally that they made me into a liar – even though there was nothing we could do about it. I couldn’t think of a solution that would keep the company going as well as keep the software affordable. Is this an Asperger’s thing? Can other people handle this? Am I the only one that was having a meltdown and traumatized by it? Well most of the other staff stayed, so there’s definitely something different about me. The manager introduced me as “their biggest critic” to a business advisor they brought in to try and help do something to save the company. And honestly I just thought I was just being the person who understood our clients the most. Now I’m reviewing my part and whilst I still believe what I just stated, I’m wondering if there is another way of looking at this from a non-Asperger’s point of view?

Another company where I left due to ‘ethical differences’ was a call centre in Melbourne. I relished in doing well in this job. Actually it was a shit job – one call every 30 seconds, and usually off the call in 10 seconds and then a new call would drop in. You don’t stop talking all day and it’s constant and repetitive. Within 3 months, I’d not only taken on 4 other companies’ inbound calls, but also got promoted to skills coach which is sharing my shortcuts on how I was able to be so friendly, efficient and accurate. It required sitting one-on-one with staff who weren’t as effective, and showing them your best tips and tricks, encouraging them and working out why they are making mistakes and helping them to overcome their struggles. I loved the new role and loved helping my team.

What I couldn’t handle was how loud everyone was on the phone. If I was placed near a particularly loud person – a “phone yeller” – I couldn’t hear my own call and it really bugged me to a breaking point where I end up in a yelling match with one particular constant-yeller asking her to please lower her voice because I can’t hear my own customers. I couldn’t understand why she needed to shout and disturb everyone but now I’m looking at this Asperger’s thing – of which a common trait is the inability to handle loud noises, and wondering if I was the only person bothered by this. Maybe normal people can handle her and still hear their customers. Maybe normal people can mentally turn down the volume of her voice and still be able to concentrate on their job. I don’t know. I moved desks and never sat near her again which fixed that problem.

The reason I left was because of a Leadership meeting. As Skills Coach, you are also a Team Leader when the Team Leader’s go home, and so as part of the leadership team, you need to attend the same meetings that the leaders and big-guns go to, and it was in one of those meetings that I encountered a problem I couldn’t get passed. A team member’s father had passed-away and he hadn’t been to work in 3 days. He was in contact to say his father had died but apparently didn’t call for other shifts that he didn’t turn up for. They decided to sack him. I was horrified at the lack of empathy. This is a company with hundreds of employees; 60+ people taking calls at any one time, 24/7. We don’t need him to be here – there are hundreds of replacements. The guy’s father died for crying out loud. You want to sack him because he didn’t show up for work? How about sending him some flowers and a condolence card with a message to take your time and come back when you’re ready? How about cutting the guy a break? I was in an ethical dilemma, only new to the position, too scared to speak up in the meeting, not in an ‘important enough role’ to have a say, and yet unable to understand their way of thinking. It was immoral and inhumane.

It was like these people had no humanity left in them, and I was so upset by it that I called my old manager from another company and asked: “What do I do, I’m in this situation where they’re going to give this guy the sack because his father died”. I needed to know the ‘right thing to do’. He loses his father and now he’s going to lose his job because of it? Kick someone while their down why don’t you. What do I do about this? I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t fix it and I couldn’t let it go. The old manager told me there was a position available back there if I wanted it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m from a small town that I thought this was a cruel and unusual way to handle a staff member who’s grieving, but unable to do anything about it, and unable to look at any of the managers without disgust and despair in my heart, I gave my 2 weeks notice and was out of there, back to work for the company in my hometown.

I’m looking at my resume now to see if Asperger’s has affected any of my other jobs in any way.

In my most recent job, a manager kept saying that people learn my job within 2 days in the Melbourne office, and there’s no way. There was so much to learn, there were 27 different things you had to check for and know just to setup a bin, let alone having to know all the suburbs, postcodes, truck routes, truck types, waste types to send the right truck to the right area on the right day. Let alone every single customer had different pricing depending on area and contract. I found it completely overwhelming that you had to know all these things just to do something so simple and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why it wasn’t all automated with an online form.

Their way of training was the person in the next cubicle “yelling over the cubicle” the answers to questions when I got stuck, and I don’t learn that way. I need “do it” while someone who knows how to do it is sitting nearby and paying attention to what I’m doing. I need to take notes. I need to understand exactly what my role is and how to find the answers. I need a goddamn manual and some way to figure out the answers without yelling over a cubicle to someone who is ‘annoyed’ at being told to train me. I need organization and systems. And I think this is where my Aspie traits let me down the most. I knew that I didn’t learn that way but I had no words to convey to them why I can’t learn from someone who is annoyed with me – shouting the answers whilst simultaneously focused on something else and not even looking at me is not how I learn.

One of the things that is a good/bad Asperger’s trait is that we’re always looking at better ways of doing things – or at least, I’m wired to be solution-focused. So I look at a problem and automatically try to find the most efficient way to systemize it. What is the most practical, logical, and more effective way of doing this task?

Old dogs don’t like new puppies coming into their home with new ideas to improve things. And this has been a reoccurring problem I’ve not understood. The staff who have been there for years don’t like the new puppy coming in and messing things up (their view), they want to keep doing things the way they’ve always done it and want to throw the new puppy under the bus and blame the new puppy for every mistake because the new puppy does make mistakes sometimes so they can get away with blaming the new puppy for their own errors as well. And the new puppy can’t understand why the old dogs are still doing things the long and ineffective way or could be so cruel as to put their job in jeopardy by blaming them for things they didn’t do. The new puppy wants to be encouraged, supported and accepted.

So when I went to fix errors that I found, I was told not to. When I found something out of whack that could be a problem in the future, they told me to ignore it (and eventually the problem would happen just as I predicted, and they never apologized or acknowledged that this is something I said would happen… instead, the blame went to me), when I went around them to try and get the ‘right’ answer because something didn’t add up and I wanted to prevent a similar disaster, I was ‘banned’ from contacting them, and suddenly we’re in meetings where finger-pointing is happening about errors with everyone’s looking at me, and I can tell this ‘meeting for all’ was a ‘meeting for me’ because without giving me any examples, it seems that their bitch-fest had succeeded in throwing me under-the-bus.

The job itself, once I understood all the different things you had to do, was awesome and totally my cup of tea. I relished in being able to achieve so much on a daily basis. The days were extremely busy and I loved the job itself, it was like it was perfectly designed for my skills. But the people. I would stress and be ‘in distress’ about the people. And I do believe now that I’m starting to understand Asperger’s a bit more, that it played a big factor in this role and others.

If I’d known this about myself, I would’ve understood why I had a meltdown when they put me in ethical-dilemma’s, I would’ve had ‘something’ to explain why I needed to be trained a different way than yelling over a cubicle, and I would’ve understood my perfectionism, my need to ‘do right’, my need to follow-the-rules and fix anything that could potentially be a problem, I would’ve maybe understood that they think differently to me, that they are wired different, that they have different value-systems, I may of been able to have a reason why some of the situations bothered me, or how my unique quirks bothered them.

Before looking at this role from an Asperger’s point of view, I just thought they were unnecessarily mean, heartless, back-stabbers, unprofessional with the way they communicated, fake to customers and each other, didn’t give a second thought to the repercussions of not fixing past errors, ignorant about potential future mistakes, and training me in a way where I felt they kind of got a joyful inner-kick trying to ‘get me to fail’, that they needed someone to complain about and the newest one cops it. I avoid conflict so they can get away with it with me for a lot longer than most people could ever tolerate.

I noticed in this company that if they notice that something has been done wrong (by themselves or someone else in the past), they were like “Oh well, let’s just forget about the 2 years of errors and just from now on, we’ll do it right”, and I couldn’t wrap my head around that, and I wanted to fix it, and I wanted to tell the manager about it, and I wanted them to care about it. I can ‘see’ the future problems that will unfold and I guess they just knew that if anything bad happened, they could just blame me.

Even the basic task of filing. They had someone come in and do filing for them randomly who doesn’t normally work in an office, and it was all over the place. So when it was my turn to take-over the filing, when I realized what a mess it was, I wanted to fix it. I didn’t want to be ‘blamed for it later’ because I was already in their cross-hairs, and how do you find anything if you’ve put it in the wrong place? So I decided to bring out all of the files and fix it once and for all. I spent 4-5 days over the quiet times to sort all the file-folders into proper alphabetical order. I don’t normally care about stuff like that – like at home – it’s not an OCD trait or anything, it was partly self-protecting in that it was such a mess that I didn’t want them to put it on me when they couldn’t find something, and partly perfectionism in that a filing system is useless if you can’t find the file. That was another aspect to me that didn’t make sense to them, they thought I was wasting my time doing that and my mind was more on the lines of it being illogical to keep doing the wrong thing and that if you don’t sort it out now it will be a bigger mess down the track. My thinking was also that even if I just decided to do it ‘right from now on’, it’s still out of order, so I’m still going to get the blame if they go to find something and can’t find it because now “I’m the one in charge of filing”.

I hate people doing things the same way they’ve always done it, just because that’s the way they’ve always done it, without questioning why they do it and whether there could be a more efficient way of doing it. At most companies this happens, but I can think of hundreds of examples, which I’ll spare myself from recalling because it will hurt my brain and mental health. One of the jobs was an IT company that never saw a client face-to-face. The registrations were only ever done over the phone or online, and yet they scanned and printed and paper-filed that paperwork. It was illogical and a waste of time as there were no ‘original signatures’ to keep for legal reasons and it was all filed and backed-up daily on the computers. Triple-handling something and wasting your life doing unnecessary things, pushing papers, because you don’t question the system in place.

I may of lost my last job due to COVID, but 2 weeks later I was so relieved, and I would never go back. I know that the other reason that I had problems with them was that my radar was picking up their negative-energy. I knew they were throwing me under-the-bus and bitching about me, and it’s hard to work in a place with toxic people who mean you harm. It’s what they did with the last one before me and the one before that, and it’s unlikely that tradition will ever change.

I don’t do conflict. I don’t stick up for myself because I know that I think differently so I’ve trained myself to be silent about things and it takes months of abuse before I “have to” speak-up, and sometimes years or never. I could feel that they had negative-vibes towards me and because I can’t do fake, and don’t often see situations the same way (like when they hang up from being nice on the phone with the customer but say ‘fucking bitch’ or ‘cunt’ after they hang up) – I can’t be friends with people like that. I know that if they are doing it to a customer, they are also doing it to each other and I can’t trust someone that thinks that is ok. I can’t suck up to people that I don’t agree with on a soul-level – if they’re default is bullying people or talking down to people, bitching, or trying to rally their armies to single someone out, then I will avoid that person like the plague. I don’t want anything to do with them. I can’t work with nasty people.

Back to the retail job when I had to speak on a microphone. This is definitely something I struggled with the entire time. There are people there that don’t even need to write a script, they’re a natural. But I have to write a script word-for-word before I do it, and even then I find it scary. Other people seem to do it perfectly without any prompting. Every 15 minutes they wanted me to speak on a microphone and announce the daily specials. Every 15 minutes. I’m like wouldn’t that annoy shoppers? I guess because I don’t like the hard-sell myself, I don’t like ads and I would be bothered by the constant disruptions, but maybe some people would appreciate hearing about the specials? I guess I don’t like being made to do something that I would hate other people doing to me.

When I had my own business, I didn’t like invoicing, paperwork, asking for money, or dealing with the customers (even though I loved them). My todo list was huge and I worked 20 hour days for 2hr pay. I also struggled charging the right price and always did things for free.

This is very boring and hard for me to get through and “YUCK” putting my focus on the ‘worst’ parts of jobs I’ve had, but I really must know if I have Asperger’s or not and I’m looking for clues and trying to understand myself better.

I really liked the computer consultancy business. I was there by myself most of the time. I loved computers and I loved helping people, and because I was there by myself, I could spend a long time with customers that needed extra help without the pressure you get in some companies where you have to ‘get rid of the customers as soon as possible’.

There were 3 ‘owners’, and they would just come in whenever they wanted, and I had no idea of their schedules or anything, they just set their own hours, and would just come in and out as they pleased. One of the owners kept coming in and getting petty-cash and not filling out the petty-cash receipts, and apparently there was a time they thought I was stealing it.

I’ve never stolen a thing in my life…
(except accidently taking makeup outside when I was waiting for a script at a chemist – was intending to buy it when the script was ready but then I went outside for a smoke and realized I still had it in my hand and because of my age I thought they wouldn’t believe it was accidental. I was mortified and had massive social-anxiety returning to the store, and after that day I never went back to that chemist – the shame was too much).

So I would never, never steal, and to find out 8 months after the fact that they suspected me, that perhaps had even been spying on me, and that I was their first suspect, was mortifying. Even though they were telling me, because they knew that I hadn’t done it, I was still devastated. That was a trauma for me, because my integrity had been doubted, the betrayal that they were ‘investigating me’, the complete unawareness of it happening so unable to ‘defend’ myself. The secrets and lies that must’ve gone on behind my back. I was gutted by that. They lost ‘my’ trust with that. I don’t like my integrity being questioned. I find that’s one of the highest values that I have, my honour, I’m always trying to do whatever is the ‘right’ thing. It’s a big part of my being, my integrity is everything. So even though they were telling me ‘jokingly’ after the fact, to ‘prove’ my innocence; they were like ‘haha, we thought it was you”, and trying to be funny as they relayed the story on how they found out who it was, I felt betrayed. I didn’t leave on bad terms with them, nor for this reason, I was offered a job from one of our suppliers to run their Superstore in Melbourne and I took it.

I moved to Sydney to be with a guy, which ended ‘on the drive there’, but the first job I got – they thought I was brilliant in the interview because I was able to answer all these hardware questions that apparently no one else got right, but I felt they were almost ‘trick’ questions because they were so obvious to me. They can’t be seriously asking me to tell them why a floppy-drive light would stay on, when I’m going for a job in I.T.? They were so impressed by my answers that they announced it to all the staff and I got a round of applause and people were genuinely coming up to congratulate me, which made me feel good but also confused me because I thought everyone in I.T. knew the answers. But when I started the job, the problem I had was pain. Standing for 8 hours/day in high heels in an I.T. retail outlet. Oh the pain. Walking 30mins up & down bitumen hills to get to the train station, then a 2 hr train-ride (standing!) to get to the city, another walk to the store, standing up all day, collapsing at lunch, getting back to work for another 4 hours, then waiting for the train again, another 2 hr train ride, and another 30 min walk. The first week, all I dreamt about was a foot spa and a massage, and it was the first thing I bought. And the job wasn’t enjoyable, it was like working at Harvey Norman and as interesting as selling ice-cream; they were selling cookie-cutter computers whereas I came from different companies that custom-made all computers to the specific needs of the customers. I started searching for another job straight away and as soon as I got a new job, I left and my feet is still whispering ‘thankyou’.

I moved to a corporate job which hired me specifically to help with the ‘millennium bug’ which was a concern at that time because it was thought that there was a lot of corporate businesses with custom-software that wouldn’t work once the time switched-over to the year 2000.

Sydney is hot, humid and sticky, and I had to wear corporate attire. I purchased the lightest-colour business suit that had short-sleeves and loose pants, and I didn’t wear a bra under it because it was way too hot, and was still stupidly wearing high heels.

I’m thinking this is the Asperger’s. The comfort of clothing is so damn important to me. If I look at those 2 jobs alone, without all the other jobs, uniforms and footwear, the high heels, the business suits, were not logical and extremely unbearable to wear.

I was solution-focused in that company as well, so I was looking at.. how can we automate things, how can we systemize things, I made a website for staff knowledge and troubleshooting. I spent most of my time trying to systemize and collate data, and it’s been my thing everywhere I go.

So I need a job where that ‘quirk’ where I’ve always got to improve things is valued and embraced. I can’t be in a place where they do things in an illogical way when things can be systematized and automated and leveraged, and made easier/simpler/clearer and more efficient. Most companies like things to stay the same as they’ve always done it, and they don’t want the new puppy to come in and make changes, even if the changes that improve accuracy and efficiency.

Is my only solution working for myself?

Penny (PennyButler.com)
Penny (PennyButler.com)

Who are we? What are we doing here? What is the meaning of life? Penny is a truth-seeker, ever-questioning, ever-learning, ever-researching, ever delving further and deeper down the rabbit hole. This site is a legacy of sorts, a place to collect thoughts, notes, book summaries, whilst providing a searchable archive to easily lookup and reference.