To say or not to say (that is the question)

So, I had a couple of situations at work today that I didn’t know how to handle. I guess that’s quite a lot, considering I’m just a cleaner, working on my own and only 3 hours per day, but yet, they happened.

The first situation was just after I mopped kitchen and a little dining area at the back of the shop and then moved on to hoover meeting room. A lady who, I suspect, may be a manager, but I didn’t have a chance to get that confirmed (should I just ask her? Would that not be rude?) approached me and said it would be nice if I stayed with them for longer. Well, I thought, what do I say? I do admit some areas at the back of the shop were not very clean when I came there the first time, and even on the shop floor there was a bit too much dust in corners, but what do I say?

‘I can’t stay because I’m about to start a different job as soon as my DBS comes back but maybe you should just tell your regular cleaner off?’ No, that doesn’t seem right. Thank god, I didn’t say that.

Suddenly I had a breakthrough idea: to mirror the information that I am being given.

The lady I spoke with only said it would be nice if I stayed, didn’t comment on previous cleaner work at all, didn’t even comment on my work. So the right response would be to explain I’m about to start a job in care and that’s what I did. What I realised later, I wouldn’t know how to use this approach if I in fact wanted to stay. It seems like a different strategy should be used in that situation. Or, possibly, it would be ok to say ‘Oh, thank you, that would be nice indeed. I really like being here’ and then see how the situation is progressing.

The second situation was, when a different staff member, a young girl (girl for me is any female under 26), complained about having dry lips. ‘Did you try vaseline?’ I was about to say when I realised that she probably knows about that trick. Would I sound bossy and boring if I said that? I really don’t know, but that’s what people seem to think about me when I offer them a piece of information (I can read face expressions up to a point, I just never know what to do with what I found out). ‘It’s probably the cold weather’ I finally said. Hard to say if it sounded any better, but maybe it did as I wasn’t telling her to do anything. And, after I said that, I continued cleaning. This is what I like the most about cleaning job: it’s so easy to make myself busy and avoid long conversations.

And, to be perfectly honest, it’s not that I don’t like talking to people, it’s more that they seem not to like talking to me so I try to spare them this effort. You see, I already stated multiple times here: I think about other people the entire time!

The third situation was, when a lady, a bit older than me, told me she had a bad cold and she feels worse now, on the forth day, than when it started. The first thing that came to my mind was to tell her this may be COVID and then laugh. But then, I realised, that would not be appropriate towards somebody I don’t know well. But then, how do I know if I know someone well enough for this kind of joke? Only after realising I’m autistic I found out that some jokes are appropriate in some situations and not in others, but I still don’t really know how to tell one from the other.

Before my self diagnosis my default mode was to just say it and only later I’d be like how come other people are not laughing and why I get things wrong so often? Now I’m more like ‘don’t say anything that you think may be funny, don’t say it just in case’ but then, I’ll be like, am I not becoming the most boring person ever? Boring cleaner, what can be worse than that?

Anyway, I had another of my chocolate and zucchini muffins today and it tasted and even looked much better than yesterday, so I will consider making them again. I also have plenty of energy, which must be due to the SAD lamp. Straight after work I went to town, not because I was desperate to get anything, but because I decided I didn’t want to sit at home on my own. After coming back home I started cleaning and tyding and washed my bedding and towels. I actually had to force myself to sit down, which is what I’m doing now, drinking tea while burning some essential oils in my oil burner.

Having this tiny bit of rest, I keep thinking, what I’ll be doing before I go to sleep. Normally I’d be on my mobile, but it feels I have too much energy for that. Fingers crossed my flat will become clean, tidy and well organised from now on. I trully recommend the lamp to anyone.

Oh, BTW, I spoke with my brother and he said he’s planning to pay electricity bill but didn’t know what to do with the meter reader to report on his usage, but he got this sorted already. This is what kind of overprotective neighbours we have, although I take it, my brother was probably panicking while speaking with them.

I also had a phone call from my mum’s care home. She’s apparently not very well, very weak, however her parameters are not bad and she says she’s not in any pain. It’s really sad I can’t even go and visit. Hard to say how much life she has left. At least good that I moved her to a nicer place, I would really regret now if I haven’t done that.

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