One size does not fit all

The square peg in round hole.

One thing I have noticed since I started work is that very few places treat you as an individual. Conformity to an expected set of standard or ideas is the rule.

And when you are Autistic it doesn’t work that way.

Take my current role.

I have so many leave days per year. If I have nothing specific planned like a big holiday, then I will take some time at Christmas (to avoid total burnout) and work one day less a week for a while to give me longer weekends. I will also carry the maximum number of days forward.

There’s little more damaging to me than being forced into taking leave for the sake of taking leave. What’s the point?. Time off with no clear plan is painful to me. I sit at home thinking I could be at work and doing something. I’m not good at relaxing or whatever it is NTs do…and I don’t have any DIY jobs or gardens to tend to.

So I hate being forced into taking time off.

But they do not get it. They think I’m gaining some sort of advantage by not taking time off, that I’ll have more leave than them. But I won’t. I’m not asking to carry more leave over than I’m actually entitled to. On the contrary I’m doing more work than I’m contracted to and saving them money.

The NT view is that we are all the same and that rules have to be applied fairly to all. Whilst the latter is true and rules should be fair I’m asking for appreciation that I’m not one of them but an individual. I’m not asking for special treatment but an understanding that forcing me to do A or B is detrimental to my health.

Forcing me to take X% of my leave by an arbitrary date is also unhelpful. What’s the significance of the percentage or the date?. If my NT colleagues want leave then they can have it. I’m certainly not stopping them.

I’d also like to be treated like an adult. I’d like to think that I can read a calendar and see my colleagues leave and work around them, not have to be organised by a third party and ordered around. I’d like to think I’m responsible and sensible but perhaps I’m not and I really do have to be hammered into the round hole like all the others.

So, one size does not fit all. Another frustrating Autistic experience.

I’m sure there will be many more!.

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