HOW AUTISTIC NICK FUNCTIONS AT WORK

HOW AUTISTIC NICK FUNCTIONS AT WORK

This blog post is about me describing what its like for me as an Autistic person functioning at work and my thoughts and feeling process and what that looks like from an Autistic person’s point of view.

Outside Fielder Street I am dropped off outside my office by my support worker.

I place my facemask onto my face and feel it taking its tight grip.

I take a deep breath and enter the building.

I check in via my Safe WA app and then climb the stairs into the ABC’S offices.

My breathing is heavy, and my anxiety is already climbing, attempting to tear its way out of my body and strangle me.

The lights, the noise, the people on the phone, the conversations happening, the radio show being beamed into the office speakers.

It’s a sensory onslaught.

All I see is a sea of faces.

I inhale and exhale as I step into the newsroom.

My mind is already whirling like a Catherine wheel at a fireworks display.

Who will speak to me today?

Will I remember to maintain eye contact?

What will they say?

Who will say hello?

How will they say it?

Will the smile?

Will they hold a conversation with me?

What will it be about?

How will I respond?

Will I say something offensive?

Will they let me know?

I remember some funny things that I watched last night on the TV.

I think should I repeat them?

Would anyone laugh?

Would they/ do they care?

Do they want to know?

I make my way towards my desk and begin to unpack my bag and log into my computer.

Whilst that is happening, I go and fill my water bottle up and return to my desk.

I remove my mask and gulp down some of the icy cold water, it is a welcomed relief.

Back at my desk I click onto my emails, and they begin to flash up, one after the other.

Flash, flash, flash, flash.

Bing, Bing, Bing, Bing, is the noise that they make as they each are received into my inbox.

I turn the volume down. I don’t need to hear the annoying Bing sound.

I end up deleting most of these emails, they are unimportant or irrelevant to me.

A few people have now said the obligatory hello to me, and I have responded.

Where is that document that I was working on last week gone?

Did that person that I was chasing rely to me?

Do I have to chase them up?

Still having issues finding that word document.

Where the bloody hell is it?

Checks inbox, not there, checks sent folder thinks he’s found it.

Opens the document, waits.

Yes, it’s the one!

Checks to see who my point of contact is for the day, hopefully if that person is sick arrangements have been made and there is someone else in the office to be my POC for the day.

Opens a fresh new word document.

It stares back at me; nothing is written in it yet.

It is waiting for me to type something.

I open & then check my last what I did at work today document.

Then I make a fresh list of what I need to do today before I have my story pitch meeting.

BING Another Email.

Go away.

I need a cup of tea.

I head into the kitchen to make one.

I’m 100% sure that I’ll have to make small talk with someone as I wait for the kettle to boil.

I hate small talk, what do you talk about?

Make tea, walk back to desk, someone says hi.

I smile and say hi back.

Why do people always say hi whenever I am carrying a hot drink?

Sit down back at desk.

Sigh.

Check time.

Pitch meeting is in 10 mins.

Am I ready?

Do I have anything to pitch?

Do I have any issues that need resolving from last time?

Do I have any current issues?

I’ll no doubt forget something and have to go back and ask before my shift is over.

Have pitch meeting.

Return to desk.

Sigh.

See I’ve had an email reply.

They want me to ring them.

I send them an email explaining why I don’t make phone calls as it overwhelms me as an Autistic person.

I also get pissed off that people don’t read my email signature where it states when I work and when I check emails.

Look Linda, I don’t work Monday, Wednesday, or Friday.

Big huff.

I take my mask off again and drink some water, why is it choking me?

Does it enjoy its strangulation hold that it has on me?

I grab my pass and head outside.

The air is cool, and I can breathe.

I forgot to let someone know.

Sigh.

Too late now.

I’ve left my phone in my bag.

I can’t think.

I also don’t know the time.

I don’t know how long I’ve been outside for.

Should I head back?

Will they send someone out to look for me?

Will they know that I stepped outside?

Do I need to give a reason why?

I panic.

I decide to step back inside the office.

From then on in it’s just me and an assortment of noises.

The clicking of my mouse.

The tapping of my fingers on my computer keyboard.

The clicking of my mouse.

The tapping of my fingers on my computer keyboard.

The clicking of my mouse.

The tapping of my fingers on my computer keyboard.

The clicking of my mouse.

The tapping of my fingers on my computer keyboard.

The clicking of my mouse.

The tapping of my fingers on my computer keyboard.

The clicking of my mouse.

The tapping of my fingers on my computer keyboard.

Smiling, being part of a conversation, smiling, eating, drinking, taking in the noises around me, having my noise cancelling headphones near me, the noise the marker pens makes as it comes into direct contact with my whiteboard, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak.

The days ends.

The sensory onslaught is over.

I have survived.

A nap is now what awaits me.

My fatigue can rest, and I can recharge.

CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION

What is it like at work for you as an Autistic person?

Let me know in the comment section below.

As always, I can also be found on Twitter:@AutisticNickAU and on the Autistic Nick Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AutisticNickAU/

Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.

3 thoughts on “HOW AUTISTIC NICK FUNCTIONS AT WORK”

  1. Hi Nick,

    I’m a long time reader of your blog posts.

    I felt very seen reading your blog post today and just wanted to say thank you. As someone with anxiety I have so many of the same questions whirling around in my head at work about responding to conversations and what to talk about if someone starts a convo with me.

    Thank you for being so candid with your work experience – sensory onslaught is now how I’m going to describe my work day! It has been really good with COVID working in the office as no one is around but everyone is returning this week which has been very busy, lots of voices, new faces and distractions.

    I hope your work day today goes well.

    Kind regards,

    Erin

    Like

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