1. I still feel bad about leaving my agency shift yesterday. It seems to me that I can hear a voice in my head screaming ‘how dare you!?’. When I first become interested in psychology, over 20 years ago, a popular belief was that those things are caused by experience we had with our caregivers, but the thing is, although my parents could get strict at times, I really don’t remember them ever using this phrase with me (it would be ‘jak śmiesz!?’ in Polish).
Now, when I know what I know about my condition, I believe it is my own thinking process that decided to throw this phrase on me. Deep down I believe that if I agreed to work, I have to work regardless of the circumstances. Yesterday I made a decision that I need to go against this belief and those are the results.
2. I will be starting my new job in 3 days! It will be in a nursing home not too far from where I live – I can walk there in under 20 minutes and it is a pleasant walk through residential area without all the noise you get from walking along a main road. I am getting mildly excited and I’m not too worried as yet.
3. I went there two days ago to get my photo taken and collect covid tests and uniform. When I came in, I was asked to wait in the reception so I sat in one of the armchairs and put my rucksack next to me. I briefly spoke with a female staff and we realised the uniform size I requested may in fact be too baggy on me so she went back to the building to get me a smaller one and also to bring me antigen covid test – this one that needs sending to laboratory – on top of two lateral flow tests that were stored in the reception.
When she left, a young man came in and asked me about something. From the label on his t-shirt it looked to me that he was a delivery driver, although I don’t quite know how I worked it out as it wasn’t a company I’ve ever heard of. I was a bit perplexed about what to tell him as saying ‘sorry, I don’t work here’ felt to me like rejecting a job offer. Funny thing, isn’t it? At the time it was true and all he needed to know was that I wasn’t able to let him in or answer any questions but I really couldn’t say that so instead I said ‘sorry, I don’t know nothing’. But at least I said something, not like when I was around 10 and was waiting outside of my friend’s house for her to get out when a random visitor turned up and asked if ‘my dad’ is in. Well…
Anyway, the delivery driver left (he wasn’t carrying any parcel BTW) and the lady who I was waiting for came back. It turned out the colour of uniform I need was not available in the next size down (every wing has different colours) so she brought me the right size in different colour, just to try it on. We then focused on that and I forgot about the antigen test. As I was getting ready to leave, I realised there is a small parcel next to my rucksack and I got really confused. I was sure it wasn’t there when I sat down – I would not sit down on an armchair where someone left a parcel, and anyway, why would anyone left anything on the chair if there was a table there?
The first explanation that came to my mind was that the delivery man dumped it there! It was just a fraction of second as I quickly realised that not only the man didn’t carry anything but also he didn’t even come close to me. I guess it was just the association: ‘parcel – delivery driver’ that my brain needed to take into consideration before moving on to something else that was much more likely.
I bet I looked really autistic during those couple of seconds – while looking ahead of me I kept tapping the parcel and I said, in a slow, confused manner ‘That’s not mine’.
‘That’s your postal test’ – the lady answered.
‘Is it?’ – I responded with a real dread in my voice. I could feel my lips twisting like a child’s lips when they’re just about to start crying. I’m not sure if the lady I spoke with looked at me at the moment, but if she did, she didn’t show that my reaction was unusual, which allowed me to move on from that quickly.
We then went outside to get my photo taken against a white wall but the only white wall that was there was in bright sunlight. I don’t like having my pictures taken in bright sunlight, it is so difficult not to squint, I’m telling you! Anyway, I told myself I’m only going to be for a minute or so, just this one photo, so I stood against that wall and smiled. I remembered to have my eyes wide opened and when I saw the photo I was pleased with how my face looked like, only that my head was slightly tilted down.
I’m always very conscious about how I look like on photos for work use, like badges or staff photo boards. I think I see them as extension of my professional image and I am overly aware that it will always stay the same so I want it to look as flattering as possible, but on this occasion, when I was asked if I liked it, I told myself, does that really matter? What if with the next one I have my head up but won’t be happy with my face expression? The lady I was speaking with could then think that I’m neurotic and that won’t be a good start, will it?
And that is, BTW, another example where insisting on being ‘assertive’ may backfire. Sometimes we need to let go.
It took me like 30 minutes after leaving before I slowly started coming to terms with the idea that the lady I was speaking with must have put the parcel next to my rucksack when I was looking at the uniform. That made me think, however, I need to be more aware about not doing similar things to other people! And it definitely is something that I could do: when I know that someone is expecting me to bring them something but I see they’re busy, I’d just put it next to them without saying anything. And that is another example of ‘autistic behaviour’ that may not get appreciated by another autistic person, mind you.
4. I do wonder how I can go about blogging on workplace relationships when I start my new job? When I worked for the agency it was easy because I never even have an opportunity to tell anyone that I’m a blogger. I don’t want to say no to blogging about what my colleagues said as it may be great source of inspiration. I still remember about how someone asked me at one of my agency shifts how long I’ve been in the UK and that single question inspired me to write two blog posts. I am however aware that some people may feel uncomfortable if I comment on them, even if I don’t give out their names and I won’t say anything negative about them. That’s just how some people are.
I put blogging on my CV so the management knows, I presume maybe I’ll mention I’m a blogger to my colleagues during one of those general ‘get to know you’ chats people normally have at work, see how everyone reacts and take it from there.
I was thinking to ask my job coach what the best course of action would be but the first one, who left a few weeks ago, told me that it’s not anyone’s business what I do in my free time, which is kind of true but we all know that’s not how individual employees may look at it and I don’t need any unnecessary conflicts at work. I’d also rather avoid deleting posts.
I think I’ll just see how things go. I noticed that sometimes, when I like a particular story that happened to someone but I know I can’t share it on the blog, I am able to come up with a different story that has the same meaning and I’ll share this one instead as something just that came to my mind so possibly I could do that. I will see.