HOLDING DOWN A JOB
Trust and Loyalty
A worker is someone who does tasks for another
worker called a boss because the boss doesn't have the time or the
capability to do all of their own tasks.
Workers are expected to be empathetic and loyal
to the work related values and goals of their boss and their employer.
Workers are expected to diligently complete any
tasks they have accepted responsibility for to the best of their
ability, and to return with the results.
Workers are expected to not accept tasks they
know they won't be able to complete and to be able to explain why
to the best of their ability.
Failure to be consistent in these things can lead
to a lack of trust in assigning tasks to the worker, and a worker
with no tasks isn't doing work for the employer and might as well
not work there.
The good news is that nobody is a perfect worker
and that it is part of a boss's responsibility to deal with most
of these problems.
The bad news is that social interaction unrelated
to work or even outside of work hours can also contribute to trust
or lack of trust.
It is nearly always a boss's responsibility to
be higher in the pecking order. If they fail to do this, the workplace
tends to fall apart.
Each company and organization within a company
has its own unique "culture".
This culture is basically a mixture of written
and unwritten policies related to things such as quality, efficiency,
communication and even social and cultural things.
Members of the organization are consciously and
unconsciously evaluated by how well they follow these policies.
People who fit in with the culture become highly
valued and are often given a bit of leeway in the way they are permitted
People who don't fit in often suffer, no matter
how good a worker they otherwise are, or how much they have achieved
for their employer.
If you find yourself in the latter situation and
unable to break out of it, you might consider seeking another job
rather than letting your work record and self confidence suffer.
These things are much more important than they may at first seem.
There are companies such as Google and Microsoft
that have cultures that are dominated by autism spectrum people.
These companies are mostly in industries that autism spectrum
people excel at, such as the software industry.
The culture itself can ruin a company or organization
when it has to adapt to external forces which often makes culture
of great concern to boss's themselves.
Autistic people are often exceedingly good at
customizing their environment to suit their particular day to day
wants and needs: however rearranging the workplace is often a dangerous
thing to do, even if the changes lead to significant ongoing net
profits for the employer. Bosses often simply won't see the connection.
It is usually the boss's job to govern the way
an organization operates. Rearranging the workplace without their
approval can be seen as a challenge to the the pecking order.
The simple solution to this is to simply ask for
approval before making the changes however, doing so usually requires
being convincing about why the change is beneficial. Also, if you
seek permission and it is turned down, it is usually much harder
to subsequently be forgiven.
All changes cause a temporary reduction in efficiency
and quality while they are being implemented. Bosses hate this,
and it is why change is often frowned upon.
Bosses often hire other companies for exorbitant
amounts of money to implement change properly. If a boss realizes
that a worker has saved them having to do this, then this can lead
to a boost in the value placed in that worker; however the worker
will rarely, if ever, see any of the exorbitant amounts of money.
Having realized this, it is easier and more profitable
for a boss to accept credit for the change himself while rewarding
the worker in less monetary ways. It is a boss's job to manage change
after all, and credit and blame will naturally fall into their laps.
It is best to negotiate any benefit, bonus or
pay rise BEFORE making a regular practice of implementing change,
but don't expect to receive it without asking, or without having
a track record of making good changes well.
Changes can often lead to less work, but no change
will ever lead to working less, unless it is by being fired. A job
in this society will always require doing tasks, whether it is necessary
for survival or not.
Given all of this, it is often easier to simply
not attempt to rearrange the workplace, and to just hunker down
and do your best to ignore the stupidities happening around you.
If you use the last rule, be glad that there are
people stupid enough to give people money to do silly things.
Rearranging your own workspace is often OK, so
long as it isn't detrimental to your work or the work of others.
Don't light camp fires in your cubicle.
Beware that the greater the changes to your workspace,
the less someone else will be able to work in it. This can make
eccentric people less replaceable, but bosses will often start trying
when they realize this. Rogue workers tend to scare bosses.
If you find that you are constantly thinking of
better ways to do business in your workplace, you may be better
off in a research and development profession.
Formal Employment Termination Proceedings
Some large employers allow employees to respond
to formal accusations before deciding whether to fire them.
If this happens, the people making the allegations
will be different from the ones doing the firing.
Employers that do this usually allow employees
to apply for other jobs within the company, and this may be the
best thing to do if you succeed in refuting the allegations since
the underlying problems that caused the accusations in the first
place will still be there, and will have to be resolved if the situation
is to stabilize.
In such cases, always consult with people you
know and trust within the company before making any decisions. These
things happen to more people than it may at first seem, but people
don't often talk about it.
You may have union representatives too and these
are normally people you can talk to about this, but if they are
part of your workplace, beware that they may be part of the problem
and as such, may have conflicting interests.
One good reason to follow procedure and formally
respond to the accusations is that simply quitting without doing
so usually results in a bad employment record.
If you plan to defend your job, respond to the
allegations that are easiest to disprove first and the ones that
are hardest last. If you can succeed in exposing the malice in the
easy ones, then the hard ones will need less, if any convincing.
Always get someone you trust to proof read your
response. It needs to be as concise, clear and convincing as possible.
In all cases, avoid letting your boss, workmates
and employer know you're looking for another job or that you're
going to quit until you do. Otherwise satisfactory jobs can turn
bad this way.
Choosing a profession
Beware the jobs and professions that require significant
investments of time, energy or money to get into. If you want to
leave them, those investments can be wasted or hold you back.
When all is said and done, the job that you enjoy
doing most is probably the best one to have.
Manual labor can be good exercise and has its
Manual labor jobs are usually easier to get, get
used to, and quit.
On the other hand, manual labor usually requires
much more diligence than highly skilled labor
Driving and machine operation are amongst the
best manual labor jobs for autistic people since they often involve
little human contact.
Highly skilled labor
Highly skilled yet non research & development
(R&D) jobs are also jobs where autistic people can excel.
Such jobs are usually high stress and carry a
lot of responsibility. Take note of this, people with bipolar
They are often harder to get than less skilled
labor jobs and as such, represent a deeper commitment which, again,
is a problem for bipolar people.
They may involve knowing a lot of workplace specific
knowledge and as such, not permit time off to address personal issues.
This can also happen in R&D jobs.
They often also include interacting with people
who have little time for communication problems.
They often also include working closely in a team
which may or may not include other autism spectrum people.
Research and development
It is necessary to understand that the research
and development professions that autistic people often excel at
have some far-reaching ethical problems associated with them.
Research and Development are fundamentally different
kinds of work from other jobs. They are largely acts of invention.
Inventions are patentable and employers will often receive patents
for the inventions of their workers.
Furthermore, employers own all "intellectual
property" their workers develop during working hours by default
legally. Workers who do research and development are usually paid
in wages and rarely become financially secure.
People who want to patent their own inventions
or own their own "intellectual property" usually have
to support themselves financially while researching and/or developing
Once a worker finishes an R&D job, the worker
in question is no longer relevant to the invention. This means that
unless the worker receives an income from owning patents or intellectual
property, another source of income will then be necessary.
Until an R&D project is finished, there is
usually very little to show for the work done. This is a major cause
of conflict in R&D workplaces.
For example, when such projects keep missing their
deadlines and budgets, deadly serious "blame games" usually
Just as a bell cannot be unrung, an invention
cannot be uninvented, and inventions seem to have the innate quality
of being usable for just as much evil as good.
A personal note
This section comes from my experience working
at a corporation that had a strong union movement which prevented
me being fired for the 6 years I worked there. Instead, my boss's
and workmates tried to teach me from the ground up about the things
I needed to do to survive there. I tended to spend my spare time
fixing many of the rather obscene problems occurring in the workplace,
and succeeded in multiplying productivity within the organization,
but I was working with some rather sociopathic people who found
ways to make me suicidal and eventually to quit. I didn't work in
the decade afterwards due to the experience and lived very frugally,
yet the corporation in question still earns money from my not particularly
well remunerated work. So please understand that I had a lot of
time to work this out and that I can't communicate the following
things properly if the more cynical parts are removed. JWM.
This autism fact sheet is licensed under the
Free Documentation and is adapted from an article called A Survival
Guide for People Living on the Autism Spectrum. Click here
to read the full publication at WikiBooks.
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home page to view the full range of autism fact sheets at www.autism-help.org