Saturday, 21 July 2012

Me and Asperger's - Communicating with staff in a small office

When I first started work back in 1989, the dept was small and there were only six staff members.  The Registrar and his PA, and the two Assistant Registrars and their assistants. I remember my interview. I am sure that I was quiet and didn't hear what they asked me properly.  When I come to think of it, I am positive it was this quietness that made them decide to employ me, and for the AR on one of the sections (there were two - medicine and dentistry) to be able to bully me.  I later found out after a couple of years, that no one liked the AR for medicine. She was one of those people who could be nice to you one minute, then later on talk down to you as though you were beneath her.  The other AR I couldn't talk to really as I felt she was too posh to do so but she seemed nice.  The rest of the staff, inc the Registrar, I got on well with.  One of the assistants whom I shall call Y, was nearer to my age and I got on really well with her and ended up confiding in her about the problems I was having with my dad at the time.  We often talked on the train home as her nan lived near to me.  The other assistant I also got on really well with, so well in fact, that at times I would take the mick out of her accent - she came from Yorkshire.  I also got on well with the Registrar's PA, who teased me sometimes.  The Registrar was nice too, and after a year or two he allowed me to call him by his first name, much to the Medicine AR's shock. She wanted me to call him as Mr...

I remember one occasion when I tried to stand up for myself against the nasty AR, whom everyone hated.  I can't remember exactly what she said, but it must've been in her condescending tone as per usual, that she said something to me, and I tried to retaliate by replying to her in the same tone of voice. It didn't work.  She had a go at me, and I ended up walking out in tears.  I hated her.

A few years later, she got her just desserts.  She caused a major row in our busiest time of year (registration) and was suspended pending investigation.  I was off with a bad cold at the time, and was phoned to say that she had resigned voluntarily.  IMO she was forced to resign, as things couldn't have gone on like they were.

Thinking back now to those first few years of working there, I now know that I did communicate better with a few people instead of a dept of 20.

Next time I blog about Asperger's it will be about something different - sensory overload.


Cara Cooper said...

It's so sad that bullies prosper sometimes Julie. Glad the one you knew got her comeuppance in the end. Work can be fun and enriching it can also be the place you hate to go to in the morning. Glad to see your writing is going well, and congratulations on the reviews for your book.

Julie Day said...

Thanks, Cara. It is only now when think about it, I realise that I was probably bullied at work by this person because of being different - as in quiet.