With ASD often comes the trait of making gaffes. What is a gaffe? An unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder. Being the king of gaffes, I have found myself in some incredibly embarrassing social situations in the past. In response to something that I mentioned about me making inappropriate remarks, RQ said the kindest thing: "That is the Rory who we all know and love!" I am prone to saying some incredibly awful things without meaning to cause offence. Invariably awful due to the temporal context rather than what was actually said. This tends to happen verbally rather than literally (in writing). I do not have the time to think or plan my responses or reactions. Often when I find myself in an environment where I feel uncomfortable or anxious, or around people who are less sympathetic and/or understanding of the way in which I am programmed, whose language might not be amenable to my own. Yet whose auspicious, authoritative tone demands immediacy of response. I tend to say the worst thing that anyone could have ever possibly said at that particular moment and unintentionally causing offence or alarm. Welcome to my world.
Yesterday, I was in the office working on some BOTW stuff. My manager was checking the database logs. He asked why a certain colleague had logged into the database 39 times on 2nd January. I jokingly suggested that she was having a barney. Or that she was having a bad day. Since my manager was speaking, and not writing, I instantly thought that he wanted a chat and nothing too serious. Nevertheless, those lighthearted remarks bought me enough time to think up a more measured, "serious", business-like response. I added that it seems pretty unlikely that the company would be logging in so soon after New Year's Day. 😅
Redeemed? For the moment, at least. I said something awful. I said:
"Maybe she walked out of the office and simply closed her laptop without shutting down the database. The database spawned a load of records. Rather like the cells in cancer multiplying." It was intended as an analogy, a passing comment, a neutral observation.
We walked out of the office together. My manager asked me what my plans were for the evening. I told him that I was doing a recording and spent a happy few seconds enthusing about it. He did not respond. I thought that he might be making small talk as we were sharing the elevator. I thought that it might be impolite not to ask about his plans for the evening. I asked him how his brother is doing (as I know my manager stays at his brother's when he commutes to London). He replied "my brother is fine, it is actually my father who I am more worried about. He is awaiting a potential cancer diagnosis. Results come on Friday." I just about managed to stutter out "oh, shit," when I realised he was walking to St Pancras and not to King's Cross in the direction that I was walking. He made a hasty farewell and took off without saying another word.
A few moments later, I cursed myself and wept as I recalled the insensitivity of what I said to him some 15/20 minutes earlier.
Ding Dong! Here we go again...
Just had a horrendous day at work, involving GS and BOTW. What happened? A few weeks ago, BOTW's server crashed, taking FileMaker with it. It corrupted FileMaker. We provisioned a new server for them. But the file has still been corrupted. I have had a field day for the last few weeks programming a migration shell and transferring the data across all tables into a clean healthy clone.
Were they giving me "shit"? Today was launch day. And yes, shit hit the fan. What did they say? Well, basically, I thought that it was fine, I was helping everyone log back into their accounts etc. lovely lardy dar.
Suddenly, GS called me on my mobile. I answered it through my MacBook. GS gave me a reprimanding, saying: "people are effing and blinding up here - as you can imagine - why is this issue still happening? We are paying you a service and you should be sorting it out! We are now in the place where everyone wants to go back to Google docs etc., that is not a place we wish to be in. We are in the middle of a massive set of tours, FileMaker has been down all morning. This is pretty serious, Rory. Are you receiving any help with this or has BF [my manager] left you to your own devices? I will be honest with you Rory, we are getting pretty close to formal status. We are paying a lot of money for you to sort this out. This problem is still happening. You should be the ones taking care of it. You are providing our hosting. You should be fixing this. I want you to call me in an hour with an update. We are getting close to registering a formal complaint."
Of course, the whole conversation was on speaker phone via my MacBook. Broadcast to the entire office, including my manager [BF]. GS thought that he was talking only to me. BF stayed silent and stony-faced throughout the proceedings. Wonderful.
What was the issue? Same old story. I had been given verbal instructions. I found them difficult to follow. They keep changing. Tabbed is an email that I sent to GS back in September when he was asking me why I was applying for jobs.
What exam? They made me do an exam? FileMaker Developer Certification. Twice. I failed both times. Am I not good at that? Liam asks. I am an administrator, not a developer.
BF took me outside for a chat. He took me out on his lunch with him to discuss BOTW. I came out to him about my ASD. Which one is ASD? Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I am "Rozzer" to my ex-colleague, Liam. I think that he understands. Of course, he is my friend. Everyone has "shit" going on. No judgement here. Understanding is the first step towards acceptance.
What did BF say? He spoke honestly with me. He said that there is a big part of the job that I am not understanding. He has not got the time to put into me to get the value of time out of me. Which part of the job? The part that floats out there in the aether within a vague, formless cloud of confusion and ambiguity?
The nature of the job is is bespoke development. Everything is nuanced and different. There is no set standard process for everything. Even BOTW. Every client, every FileMaker database and every setup, is different. Writing SOP's (Standard Operational Procedures) for everything would take forever. Maybe in a bigger company, where everyone has a clearly-defined role, there might be scope for this to happen. At DT, everyone has to know a bit of development, a bit of hosting, a bit of integration and a bit of administration. In a bigger development company, everyone would have one niche. There would be a set process for everything. Since we are such a small company, it is important that I have a wider understanding of every different area.
I cited my experience at BOTW. I had done everything - marketing, fundraising, programming, learning, hiring, finance, operations and events management. When I worked in a bigger company (Serious), I specialised in one area, which was communications (i.e., or whichever area I was assigned to be working on. Small companies share, too. Even within marketing at BOTW, there are different areas. There is Press & PR, Online, Reporting etc. Liam & I did different areas. We each had different strengths that were complimentary. I will never forget when Ruth sent us both to the same conference. She put it bluntly. "Liam, I want you to understand how we are doing this. Rory, I want you to understand why we are doing this. 😅
I was focused on the process. But I was not seeing the wider picture. Liam saw the wider picture and how everything fitted into the context. But he lacked the detailed processes-oriented mindset that I had.
Which conference was that? Something like Arts & Business. Or YouTube. Or Google. Or The Audience Agency. I cannot remember. It was one of those Manchester arts marketing conferences. I think that it was the Facebook one actually. The one where Liam walked out half-way through because it was "common sense". I took extensive notes and circulated them around the office and no one paid the blindest bit of attention to them. The one in BOTW? Yes, that one. Downstairs. Liam thinks that was "bullshit". Waste of time.
Ruth hit the nail on the head there. She was always a smart, canny bird 🦜
I wish that she had stayed on. There are different aspects of marketing. At Serious, I was only involved in one aspect of marketing.
DT is not a big enough company to accommodate people who cannot work on intuition.
Am I leaving? I do not know. I do not need to make that decision yet. GS phoned at 11:30. He demanded that I call him an hour later. I was supposed to call and update him at 12:30. But I was already out with BF having coffee and a frank, honest conversation. I told BF about my ASD and social anxiety. I am likely to have a phone call with someone and I think that they would like to have a chat when they actually wish to discuss business. Something is discussed, agreed, backhandedly dealt with in a verbal utterance. It happens in a whirlwind of noise and angst. Afterwards, I put the phone down, I begin to doubt if the conversation happened at all or whether it was all a figment of my imagination. Let alone be able to remember what happened.
Read More: Verbal Communication
I am not great on the phone about work, am I? No. Business should not be discussed on the phone. People would like a chat. A bit of banter. I treat it as that. If people wish to talk on the phone, it means that they are not being serious. Because nothing is in writing. And I take things literally. It cannot be proven. I make notes and follow them up in an email. What is the point in doing so if no-one bothers to read the notes, let alone follow through? This has happened so many times in my life. Consequently, I have come to learn that content of the call or meeting is of no importance. People do not follow through on what was spoken. Therefore, I have learned that verbal communication has little or no significance (apart from emotional significance).
In any case, why not cut the crap, omit the first stage of having the phone conversation and formulate everything straight into writing? Cuts crap. Saves time. Alleviates emotional angst. I follow instructions to the letter. I cannot complete a task properly if I am dealt verbal instructions left, right and centre. It is a tornado of meaningless noise and drama. It is overwhelming. I cannot process it all at once. It is too much. It happens too quickly. That is my social anxiety.
As much as people must accept me for the way in which I am, I must accept people for the way in which they are. I know that this is potentially difficult. It is "a rock and a hard place". BF does not like to write. His writing is appalling. It is difficult for us to communicate with one another. I send him emails, breaking everything down into check lists, annotations and numbered / bulleted outlines. He comes me up behind me, and randomly asks me "how is the BOTW stuff going?" out of the blue. I panic. I look at my screen. I say to him that it is on 44%. Can he not read what is on my screen? Why must we have a conversation about this?
BF attests that I was giving him "non-committal" answers. What was I supposed to say? Express an emotional response to the graphic rendering of the progress bar? Whittle my hopes and openly pray that the procedure might actually work?
I said to BF, "to be honest, when you give me the quick fire, my mind goes into panic overdrive. I am so worried about responding to the question in case I get it wrong. Say the wrong thing, in the wrong way, in the wrong nuance. I find it challenging to know how to answer open-ended questions.
Especially if it is in the heat of the moment. How am I supposed to respond to that? Just say "Yes"? "No"? "Three bags full"? "Thank you"? Invariably, BF says to me "Nope! Wrong answer!" And then becomes silent. I become silent and stare back at him. I am thinking, "should I take another guess?" It is excruciating. That is going to make me more nervous next time that he asks me a question. The downward spiral continues. I lose confidence. I am always getting shot down. No matter how I respond.
Personal issues aside, it is almost no wonder that my meltdowns happened in the workplace.
Liam thinks that I should get out. It is a bloody job. Just quit. Keep looking until I find somewhere better for me.
If I quit, I will not get any help. At least, if I am made redundant, I will receive redundancy pay. Or even refuse to take the voluntary redundancy if it comes to that. It is not fair. I turn up to work every day, earlier than everyone else, without fail. I am efficient with my emails, putting tasks in the task tracker, managing the clones, managing the backups, recording and documenting processes and procedures, producing documentation, triage work, maintaining a database of licensing info. Those are my strengths.
I put that to BF. I told him "I have made a difference, have I not? Improved things?"
"Yes, you are good at that. But that is only 20% of the job. I could potentially give you more of that style of work but that would probably only take it up to 30% of the job, at best. There is a limit to what we can do with your time. You are being challenged in a way that does not play to your strengths. There is not much about the job that we can adapt. We need someone trustworthy enough to be able to go out on site and manage multiple projects with clients and multi-task. This is not you."
I explained that I felt like I had not been given enough guidance sometimes. I would ask him a question in the office. He would become silent. He would have his head in something else. I carry on without the question being answered. BF said that the situation with BOTW got out of control. He compared it to a burning house. He needs to know when there is smoke and when there is a fire.
Liam asks if he a [bad person]?* *(I censor what Liam actually said, possibly the reason why Liam prefers verbal communication is because it enables him to get away with uttering outrageous expletives!)
He is not. Just different. Different to me. I think that he has trouble understanding and working with me in a way that GS did not. He says that he needs to know if I am not understanding properly. For me, that means taking written notes. Run them by him so he can properly see what he is doing. Immediately, I reminded him of what he told me in my 2nd review back in December '18: "I do not need to know" was what he said, referring to when I would take notes from a conference call or meeting and run them by him. It was so that he could check that I am understanding everything properly. He said that he did not have time to read my notes. Now he is saying that I do not communicate enough when there is a problem. Is he impossible to please?
Nowadays, I ask him a question or tell him something in the office. He goes silent on me. I am left thinking:
Today, I explained these thought processes to him today when we were having lunch and coffee. I acknowledged that I might act a little more assertive and confident with him. I might be a soft touch, a doormat and a pushover. I need to lay it to him: "BF we are having a problem". Because he thought I was fine with the switchover. I was not 100% clear on what I needed to do. Every time that I asked him for instructions, he would tell me verbally "oh, you just do XYZ" as if it were second-nature. I highlighted that he has had years and years of experience in dev/IT-work, which I have not had. He has a high-level understanding, which I do not. I need him to relay from the top to the bottom. He approaches it from the top. I approach it from the bottom. He has said that this is a problem. It is not working for him. I explained that this was not necessarily my personality, that one of my therapists attributed it to my ASD. She said "that is the ASD speaking, not you".
Liam thinks that I should leave. Do not bring my personal problems into it, it will make matters worse. He sounds like a [bad person]*. Or not what I need right now. *Again, I have censored what Liam actually said!
I must be honest about my ASD. If I have learned anything this past year. I have trouble fitting into a society that does not tolerate honesty. That is OK. It does not need to be anything bad or threatening. It is something to be aware of. I had not told BF about my ASD before because it had never been an issue up until now. I am not always open about it. People do not know how to or work with it. They shut down. They disengage. If my personality is affecting my work, I must be honest about it. BF's problem with my communication style is turning into a work-related problem.
I said that it is not a bad condition to have. Asperger's can actually be a strength. A quality in people. If people understand how to tap into it then it can work well within a company. I have a specific set of skills. Perhaps I could maximise on those within the company, i.e., setting up a central processes system, coding programmed emails, merge messages, logging everything. I felt like my words were coming out in a hostile space where they were working against the grain. I was finding it difficult to have the courage to speak positively and proudly about my condition.
BF shook his head. He said that this was not his main concern. Or concern of the company. I apologised about the phone call with GS, I said that I am embarrassed on behalf of myself and behalf of the company. But I had to be honest with him about the way I am.
Liam says that I need to leave.
Yes, I do. But I am not a quitter. That is not who I am. There is an alternative way!
Or massively change my way of working, which is impossible.
I am a bloody difficult man, Liam knows that. 😅
But I get things done. And I do not give up. I get on with it. If that is not enough for DT, I am sure that I will be out of there in due course.
In the right place. I will do fine. Liam says that quitting is not a bad thing.
Neither is admitting.
Whereas doing something that is not healthy for me is might be a bad thing.
Yes, but I need to think about my options here. I have no other options, no other work. I must find some work. I am good at that.
I came 2nd in the "Data Systems Administrator" job at the Roundhouse in October. That job was made for me. They offered it to the other person because they had more front-end application support experience (see tabbed feedback).
"Application support skills as well as more in-depth experience of training, product ownership and database scripting." Which is exactly what I am doing at DT with clients. I forwarded this feedback to BF. As a subtle note that I am doing fine and need to be held onto. Subliminal message. I doubt that he even read the email, despite inviting me to forward my feedback from the Roundhouse. Let alone the subliminal message. But at least it is provable.
When was this?
The Roundhouse fiasco was in October. They took me out for coffee, seeded expectation in my mind that the job in the bag and sent me a generic dig letter (see tabbed). Classy.
Just like I still have all of the old emails from BOTW. People took work off me. They distributed it to other people. I took issue with that. In the end, Simon went to GS and told him that there was not enough work to justify my hours. I am going to do what I do best. The way in which I do it. And that is, retain proof of everything. And then bring it up as and when needed 😉 😏
At the moment, I do not need to do anything. Tomorrow, BF will speak to GS. I am sure of that. If he does not, GS will probably call him anyway, or call me. GS wants answers. GS understands exactly was is going on. I will let them talk amongst themselves.
Unfortunately there is a lot of data missing - it looks like about a week out of date?
What was the actual issue? The actual issue was what SC described. Data missing. BF tasked me to write a migration shell. He instructed me to match import records rather than import new records. This will mean that the process can be repeated if necessary. Without any duplication of results.
There was a misunderstanding. I kept re-running the migration shell. It was taking hours longer than expected.
BF said "why is it taking hours?" I said "I do not know". BF became silent. I said "should I cancel it?" BF said "yes". I did. He went back to what he was doing. I was struggling with anxiety. I felt like I was bugging him if I kept asking questions. I could see that he had his head deep in something else. I hovered there, awkwardly. In the end, I knew that I did not want to keep BOTW waiting because this issue had been dragging on for weeks.
Sure enough, they did. SC noticed a load of missing event records. She had barely emailed in when GS was hot on the case and got me on my mobile. It is fine, I do not blame SC at all. It is not the first time that she had emailed in about missing event records, which I expected her to do. GS phoned me on my mobile. It was quite a heated phone call. You know how GS gets when he vents. He is a kind person. But he can be intimidating when he is angry. Sometimes, he finds it difficult being honest. So, when he is honest, it comes across strong. Which is fine. I appreciate that. He lets off steam. That is OK. To my knowledge, he has never upset anyone, or made personal comments to them (directly). He acts rationally. He becomes fired up 🔥
BF heard the whole conversation. I was thankful for this. If I had to recount such a verbal bombardment, it might have been a disaster. It might have reduced me to a quivering, quailing, nervous wreck. Better that BF heard it from the horse's mouth.
Basically, there is a communication issue. Between me and BF. It has impacted on BOTW.
Was it bad? Yes, GS became heated. I said "thank you" and "ok" over and over again. I said "thank you" and "goodbye" at the end of the phone call. GS expected a call back from me. I did not call him back. I was already outside with BF. Earlier on, I was quite tempted to email GS and tell him what has been going on. I think that is a bad idea. Well, not bad in the long run. GS needs to know at some point. But not now. It is raw. It would be unprofessional of me to go behind BF's back. GS will understand that. I need to let BF sort it out with GS directly. That is what I will do. It is not my responsibility to sort it out. It is over my head. I do not wish to become involved in it. I am not going to do anything. Yet. I do not have to.
I can still think about quitting, or taking a voluntary redundancy or even the most lucrative option which would be reducing my hours. I think that this would actually be a good option for me because I would still be doing administration work but without the added pressure. I can think about these things as much as I wish. I do not have to take any action yet. Keep it in the back of my mind. Let BF and GS say what needs to be said.
I should not email GS. Just get my head down. They will see it as excuses. Just do my job as best as I can. These business people hate excuses. GS was the one who introduced me to DT in the 1st place. He did the interview on my behalf while I swanned off to play saxophone at a wedding 🎷
This was because I needed another job. Triggered because Simon was relieving me of my duties and responsibilities. It all traces back, I still have all of those emails.
Not to worry, I will not email GS. Best advice, ever: get my head down. Just do my job as best as I can. That is exactly what I am going to do.
Exactly, these business people hate excuses. I still have all of the proof, all of the emails, there, waiting for if and when I need it. The proof is in the pudding (= emails). 🍨
But, that time is not now. At the moment, it is out of my remit.
It will not make any difference. They might not care. If they do not care, that is not the environment in which I am supposed to be in anyway. But like Liam said, there is no need to send any emails yet. I need to play to my strengths here. They will recognise this. Carry on, carry on, as I have always done. Logging everything, recording everything, sending those "Rory Tasks" emails every Mon-Wed-Fri morning. I do this as a matter of cause now so that they cannot accuse me of not doing something. Something that might have been implicit but not "obvious".
In October, the duty manager at the Mosaic Sanctuary gave me some good advice. She said:
"do not force doors open, let yourself free fall, and allow those doors to slide open on their own accord".
By the "hanging on in there", approach. That is exactly what I am good at. What I did all of those months at BOTW when Simon was deliberately ignoring me. It is the same process here.
I am going to do a Theresa May "yes" (irritable voice, tense jaw), "I am still here...persevering" 😬
Bless that woman 🙏
A quiet inspiration! Sorry, I know Liam does not believe me 😑😏🤭🤫
I do not need to do anything yet. Let the powers that be. Just crack on. Exactly what she did, anyways... 🙃
Until she was bullied out of Parliament by the treachery of a load of Tory backbenchers, ousted by those dogs. So tragic 😥
Liam says that I am not Theresa May. He says "I am much nicer".
Like her, I am "nice". I find it difficult to articulate that. I am a bit wooden sometimes. A robot 🤖
Yes, but she voted against gay rights and for the bedroom tax. That is not me. [Not true: see here].
Regardless, I respect people who have certain beliefs. I respect people who have to uphold somewhat unconventional views in a world that does not accept such views. They might have their reasons for it. Despite not understanding.
Liam thinks that people who agree that poor people should be kept in poverty and rich people should be made richer should be burnt to a crisp.
It is not that simple. Everyone is different. I accept people for who they are, but at the same time, I am honest about the way in which I am. That is the most important thing for me that we find honesty, communication, collaboration with one another. We build those bridges of trust.
My acceptance of our fellow man is more than they would ever give me or Liam.
True, yes. Maybe that is a problem. Well, not a problem (again, I have a low opinion of myself), a reality. That needs to be accepted at some level. I will read an email set of instructions to the letter. If something seemingly "obvious" is omitted, it might not ring with me. Because I will read a set of instructions at face value.
BF tried to write me some instructions.
He wrote down "grab last night's clone". I said "wait...slow down a minute, on which date are we performing this action?" Actually, he did not make that part clear to me. I asked him to put a date to it in the instructions.
He said "obviously, I meant 02/05/2020".
I said "no, it was not obvious".
I followed the instructions, exactly as written, to the letter (see tabbed). The blue text is my own annotations into the email of what I had done.
Does Liam see what I am getting at, here? I know that Liam understands me. There is a communication issue. If something is delineated in a set o written instructions, I will follow it to the letter. Regardless of the wider background, context or implications. That is the way I interpret information. Some people might my prescriptive approach as a problem.
Unless it was in the same email thread and he referenced back to something that he said in a previous message.
At which point, I am forced to bend over backwards into a vague abstract nuance, start juggling and my balls fly everywhere 🤹♂️
He does not up the existing email thread. He starts a new email thread. I think that he is talking about something separate. He says "remember we are talking about this".
I say "oh" and then embed it back into the original email thread and corresponding task. 😇
Like that time when we were doing a mailer with Ruth. Liam sent me an instruction in a different thread. I thought that he was talking about something separate. I went ahead and sent the mailer. Ruth had a barney because there was a misunderstanding. Does Liam remember that? He does remember. Simple mistake though. I do not know how to handle things. I re-contextualise it. No-one pays any attention.
BF said something to me today along the lines of "how can you not remember what I had said?"
I explained that:
"See, this is what concerns me, Rory..." And it starts all over again.
It is understandable. Just different approaches. There is nothing wrong with that.
Liam understands what I mean. It must overload my brain. He struggles!
It is overwhelming. Having to process that information in the moment, focus on listening and taking information in verbally at the same time and then having to recall it. It is a minefield (see above juggling analogy). It is exhausting. It is emotionally draining. Why can he not write it down? What is the problem? Why must there be conversation and a drama about everything? We should not need to have a phone call about this. You could might have simply written it in an email. Now I am stressed and anxious and wondering what to do.
I opt for the former. 🤓
I understand that people would like to have a chat. That is indeed a lovely tart. I told BF that when people phone me up, I assume that they would like to have a chat, because they are lonely and they would like to have a natter...or let off some steam...or shout at someone, or all 3 of the above. Not because they actually wish to "Do" something. "Talking" and "Doing" are 2 different things. Words and actions. They should be treated as such.
BF said "actually I do make small talk for the 1st 10 seconds. Then it is down to business" = i.e., multi-tasking. Talking and Doing. Excuse me while I take a moment to chuckle within...
How can it be "down to business" if all that ever happens is unaccounted talk, and meetings, and conferences, and nothing that is actually referenced or followed through properly. With a job so intricate and sophisticated as FileMaker development. Which requires great detail, precision and accuracy. How can one simply blow off about servers and integrations and migrations"off the cuff" like that? Without writing anything down? This is an office. Not a pub or café.
Sorry, Liam. I am upset about this. We are in the work place. Stop mixing business and pleasure. They do not mix. I understand that we are human and we like to chat and pool and discuss ideas and all that. That is wonderful. Let's party. 🕺🕺
But why not formulate that straight into writing and get on with it. Instead of all this Talk and hot air. I understand people like to have a natter. That is the way we are programmed as human beings. There is a time and place for that. Not when trying to administer a file migration. It is not a simple task. I need a detailed set of instructions or some form of written guidance. If I am unsure and I do approach my manager with a question, I must be at liberty to ask that question without fear of sarcasm.
It is true that:
But how am I able to draw the connection between one mistake and another without having any documentation or context? Am I supposed to guess? Am I supposed to meditate and miraculously pull some vague bunny out of a hat? Am I supposed to whittle? I need things breaking down into detail.
I should be told what to do in the office, not just be faced with blank silences, or be expected to "know" or interpret everything because it is "obvious". Apparently this is what the job requires. But it goes against everything that is in the nature of FileMaker. Prescription. And, apparently, I am not up to it.
BF says that it is the same as playing a musical instrument. Intuition.
It is not the same as playing a musical instrument. When you are learning, you have a score in front of you. That is what I ought to be doing.
Is that not what I trained to do for my masters? None of this bullshit. Or at least some form of admin. Blogging, writing websites, managing musicians and the like, coordinating, administrating. Those are other things that come naturally to me. Working with systems. Administration. Management.
Not trying to second "guess" what someone is asking of me. Trying to respond "appropriately" according to society's expectations of what might be "appropriate". Imposed on me.
I am terrified of BF. Of his questions. Of having to answer to him. Of his intelligence. Of his quick wits. What is he going to say next? What bomb shell is he going to suddenly spring on me out of the blue? I sit in that office next to him in living terror of him.
When he randomly calls me up and says "what have you got planned for today?" or "how is BOTW looking?" These open-ended questions. Terrifying 😬😓
I do not know how to respond in case I get the wrong answer, in case he shoots me down. I become nervous, anxious, I hesitate for a minute. I look it up in the database or the emails. Too late! He is already onto the next thing. Or when he walks into the office from behind me and asks me out of the blue something else that I should be looking at that is not on my pinned tasks list. And I am like "errr... errr..."
What was it that Victoria said? That I am "slow".
[11:09, 02/11/2019] Victoria: Rory you are too slow for me
I am scared. Mondays and Fridays are bearable. BF works from home. Tuesdays-Thursdays are the worst. Especially Tuesday, when we have our staff meeting. I am sat there being ignored most of the time. Because I hardly speak in the office. Questioning my worth.
I must hang on in there. If I quit, I will not have a leg to stand on. From a 'legal' point of view. I am not prepared to take that risk. I would feel safer letting my job gradually proliferate. Until someone else grabs the bull by the horns. Why should I have to pay for my ASD and lack of Self Esteem? I would rather be made redundant or have my hours reduced. At least, it would not be coming from me. It would be coming from them.
What happened at BOTW? I let circumstances control me. Maybe that is where my problem is. I do not grab the bull by the horns. I let my fear control me. I am too timid and nervous to speak out for myself. When I do speak out, I am incredible honest. It is too much for people. I go to the other extreme. Once again, I retreat into my shell. 😌
At BOTW, I let Simon control me. At DT, history is repeating itself, I let BF control me. If I know how to control myself, which I now know, letting circumstances happen to me is the best thing that I can possibly do right now. The key difference is that:
From this, I have deduced that: I am taking control. Of myself. By deciding not to take control!
I will do what I do best. Not "react". Remain in control. Carry on, as I have always done, go quietly about my business, retain that information until I feel that I need it. That is the way in which I feel most comfortable. That way, my response sits within my own mantra of life.
GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
I take comfort from this poem:
I try to live by it. It is my mantra.
It do not interpret it to mean withholding information indefinitely, or not acting with honesty. It is about acting passive until such a time at which I feel that the information needs to be extricated. Not passive aggressive. Just passive.
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have his reward.
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I have been recommended to acknowledge and process all that I have been though, where it all started from how it has affected me.