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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

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Tally

Work Question

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Tally   

I started a new job in December. I did not tell them I have ASD because I did not think it would affect my ability to do the job. It has not affected my ability to do previous jobs. I don't even know if it's the cause of the problems I am having in this job.

 

What I am wondering is, having not told them at application that I had ASD, can I tell them now? And is it a good idea? Might it be used to blame me for the problems I am having?

 

The main way it affects me in work is that I find it hard to have conversations and make friends in work as I am very quiet and shy. But not to the point that I cannot ask or answer questions about the work. So I don't feel it impacts on the actual work.

 

I have also found that my OCD has flared up since I started the new job. I think it is down to the change in routine associated with starting a new job. I did not anticipate it at all and so did not disclose this diagnosis at interview. It had previously been very much under control for a number of years. It is a contributing factor in making me want to do things very properly. Not knowing much about what I am actually expected to do at work has meant that I do not know when we are in a rush and things have to be glossed over a bit, so I am still doing things very thoroughly when other people are having to rush to take up my slack, but without telling me. My ASD may be contributing to why I do not realise this as well.

 

In one job about 2 years ago I did have a series of interpersonal problems with a number of people. Things were fine for several years, I was well-liked and encouraged to apply for management positions. And then I had a series of problems all in quick succession before I left for completely unrelated reasons.

 

The biggest problem was with one person in particular. She came across as being a very nice person and in fact we were friends for a while before things changed. I feel I was bullied by her, and the way I handled it (partly as a result of not being believed) led to problems with long-standing colleagues. I also had some problems with a series of new starters who were completely insane. Well, that is how it seemed to me. But I am not sure because it was so many other people that I don't know if I can blame it all on other people or maybe the problem was me. I was certainly a common factor in problems with 3 people, 2 of whom resigned citing working with me as the reason they did not want the job.

 

Once again, I am having problems where I feel that I am being bullied by a person who is extremely popular with other colleagues. I do not feel it is my fault and another new starter has told me she is thinking of leaving because of the exact same issues. A colleague who has worked there for a while now has also told me that he had similar issues with this woman when he was new.

 

I'm not sure what to do, or who to talk to about the problems I'm having, and how much to tell about my own problems. I'm not sure even whether to ask for help or just leave. I don't think there are any easy answers since it is a very small shop and it would be impossible to isolate me from this woman. If I were believed and she were instructed to stop what she is doing then I fear it could lead to more problems if she told other colleagues I had complained about her. I am still on my probationary period and could be got rid of very easily if I am found to be the cause of the problem.

 

The other new starter is the partner of a manager, so is unlikely to want to cause any trouble by making any kind of complaint with me.

 

I was given the job after the intervention of a family friend who is a personal friend of the personnel manager who carried out my interview and made the decision to hire me. I do not want to make her look bad.

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bid   

What about going to your line manager and saying you are still a bit unclear about your job role, and ask for a written list of what you are expected to achieve each shift? If you phrase it to say you are anxious to perform well in a new job, it will be seen as a positive thing rather a negative thing.

 

You could do that first if you feel uncomfortable with explaining you have AS.

 

I'm 'middle management' at work, and I often discuss any difficulties in my team with my line manager, who comes up with practical suggestions as above. What I mean is that people often have little glitches with their job, without having AS or anything. So your line mamanger should be used to dealing with requests for support.

 

Bid :)

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dm2010   

I had a lot of interpersonal problems in my first job - before AS diagnosis.

But that place was a bad employer, so in retrospect I don't feel bad about it.

 

But there were a few things I do now to avoid getting into trouble. I have reputation as a pretty harsh but fair operator.

 

1. Wait 24 hours befor reacting when faced with bullying, bad behaviour or the like to think of a logical unemotional response. Exception is when someone swears at me directly then I just tell them to be quiet. Last time this happened those present reckoned it was just the right thing to do.

 

2. Don't be alone with someone who wants to give you a hard time. If they behave badly in public towards you don't react, in fact get them to repeat themselves - it helps build a blame free case. You also get points for not rising to it.

 

3. Try and be the last person to fall out with someone rather than the first.

 

4. If something unpalatable has to be said and you have clear evidence to back it up, then say it, in public if necessary. Criticise the work, not the person. "e.g. this document is missing key sections x,y,z and was delivered a week late." I call this approach 'killer facts', designed to kill criticism stone dead because no comeback is possible - apart from excuses.

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Tally   

OK, I have though about this a bit more and had a good sleep. Bid's approach sounds like a good one. It means I do not have to make accusations about what is happening, and shows that I want to resolve this myself rather than placing all the responsibility on my employer. It implies things aren't right without having to say, "X is doing this."

 

Ideally I would just leave the job, but there are so few jobs available and it is difficult to explain to a new employer why want to leave a job after only a few weeks. So it's not likely I can get a new job. Which means I do need to find the confidence to talk to someone at work about it to resolve the situation in my current job.

 

I am on holiday next week and I'm not due in work for a week and a half now, so I need to phone up and book an appointment to see someone.

 

I don't think the problems I am having have anything to do with Asperger's or me in general. So I don't think I need to tell them about having ASD as a result of what's happening. I can pinpoint behaviours in my colleague that are clearly unreasonable and have written them down in a list. I haven't done anything with the list at the moment. I will keep it and add to it as and when things happen and submit it later if necessary, but for now hopefully I can turn it around from a list of complaints into a list of requests.

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It is not a legal requirement to prove/disclose a disability or being on the autistic spectrum. In principle, it is perfectly okay to state, after you have commenced employment, that you have a disability. There can be no legal consequences for doing so and many people with a disability do this. By disclosing, your employer has to make reasonable adjustments as you are covered by the Disability Discrimination Act. However, if your employer does not know, and it is unreasonable for him/her not to have known, then you are not covered. In your circumstances, I would not disclose although that is a personal decision. Bullies play victim when confronted and the perpetrator will use your ASD to defend herself. In employment law, the burden of evidence is on probability and not proof. Disclosing that you have ASD, I fear, will lead to you being discriminated against. ASD, I hate to say, is the perfect way for a bully to convince anyone that you are the problem. I wish you all the best, as it shows how desperate you must be feeling about the situation to even consider disclosing. I too am being bullied by my line manager and everyone knows as she has done the same to others. However, I would not rely on others as evidence as though they may know you are telling the truth, and sympathise, they are unlikely to back you up. They may even have good reason to use you to fire 'bullets'. Bully's always befriend managers so they can get a way with it. Manager's all to often side with bullies and lose good staff. As you work for a small shop you would be vulnerable by disclosing. Keep a diary and keep that secret or leave. I hope that helps. As I have Asperger's (diagnosed three weeks ago), I know how you feel. Be strong.

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Tally   

Just want to say a big thank you for letting me talk this through and for helping me come up with a solution I'm happy with.

 

I'm going to phone the personnel manager on Monday morning (she is not in at the weekend) and make an appointment to go in and talk to her about it.

 

I'm not going to mention the Asperger's at this stage because I don't think it's relevant. I'm also not going to make any kind of complaint or mention bullying.

 

I'm going to start by saying that I enjoy the work and hope to stay in the job for a number of years and do it well. Then I'm going to say that my colleague is helpful when I know what specific questions to ask and is popular with colleagues, so I hope that we can get on in the long term. But she seems to be finding it very stressful working with a new starter and finds it hard to explain what my role is, and that it is making us both very unhappy in the job at the moment. I'm going to ask if I could get some guidance from someone else who is more comfortable giving instruction so that I can feel more confident in what I am supposed to be doing and to relieve the stress on my colleague feeling responsible for my work.

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dm2010   

Bravo - makes the point but in a measured way.

Preparing for something like this always works - and I would be very surprised if you didn't get a favourable answer.

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shellz   

I started a new job in December. I did not tell them I have ASD because I did not think it would affect my ability to do the job. It has not affected my ability to do previous jobs. I don't even know if it's the cause of the problems I am having in this job.

 

What I am wondering is, having not told them at application that I had ASD, can I tell them now? And is it a good idea? Might it be used to blame me for the problems I am having?

 

The main way it affects me in work is that I find it hard to have conversations and make friends in work as I am very quiet and shy. But not to the point that I cannot ask or answer questions about the work. So I don't feel it impacts on the actual work.

 

I have also found that my OCD has flared up since I started the new job. I think it is down to the change in routine associated with starting a new job. I did not anticipate it at all and so did not disclose this diagnosis at interview. It had previously been very much under control for a number of years. It is a contributing factor in making me want to do things very properly. Not knowing much about what I am actually expected to do at work has meant that I do not know when we are in a rush and things have to be glossed over a bit, so I am still doing things very thoroughly when other people are having to rush to take up my slack, but without telling me. My ASD may be contributing to why I do not realise this as well.

 

In one job about 2 years ago I did have a series of interpersonal problems with a number of people. Things were fine for several years, I was well-liked and encouraged to apply for management positions. And then I had a series of problems all in quick succession before I left for completely unrelated reasons.

 

The biggest problem was with one person in particular. She came across as being a very nice person and in fact we were friends for a while before things changed. I feel I was bullied by her, and the way I handled it (partly as a result of not being believed) led to problems with long-standing colleagues. I also had some problems with a series of new starters who were completely insane. Well, that is how it seemed to me. But I am not sure because it was so many other people that I don't know if I can blame it all on other people or maybe the problem was me. I was certainly a common factor in problems with 3 people, 2 of whom resigned citing working with me as the reason they did not want the job.

 

Once again, I am having problems where I feel that I am being bullied by a person who is extremely popular with other colleagues. I do not feel it is my fault and another new starter has told me she is thinking of leaving because of the exact same issues. A colleague who has worked there for a while now has also told me that he had similar issues with this woman when he was new.

 

I'm not sure what to do, or who to talk to about the problems I'm having, and how much to tell about my own problems. I'm not sure even whether to ask for help or just leave. I don't think there are any easy answers since it is a very small shop and it would be impossible to isolate me from this woman. If I were believed and she were instructed to stop what she is doing then I fear it could lead to more problems if she told other colleagues I had complained about her. I am still on my probationary period and could be got rid of very easily if I am found to be the cause of the problem.

 

The other new starter is the partner of a manager, so is unlikely to want to cause any trouble by making any kind of complaint with me.

 

I was given the job after the intervention of a family friend who is a personal friend of the personnel manager who carried out my interview and made the decision to hire me. I do not want to make her look bad.

i always feel honesty is best,but if you feel so uncomfortable it may be best to find another job,or discuss it with the friend who put you in touch for this job,,it must be someone you know n trust if it a friend who put you onto it. bid and dm have positive suggestions i feel so maybe try what they suggest.....good luck truley x

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Tally   

I have an appointment to see the Personnel Manager on Friday. She asked what it was about and I just said that I was having a bit of a problem but I'd prefer to discuss it in person and she seemed OK with that. So hopefully it will go OK on Friday.

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