Monthly Archives: July 2017

An Aspie’s Workplace Experience

When he graduated high school, college was not an option. He spent a year going out five days a week with his resume tucked under his arm.  He got two interviews.  No job.

At the end of that year, he heard about a temporary labour agency where you showed up and signed up for the day.  If you got called, you got work and you were paid at the end of each day.

For the following year, he caught a bus at 4 a.m. so he could be one of the first in line for the 5 a.m. assignments.

He had a little experience doing some pressure washing and clean up for his grandfather’s painting company. Eventually he got chosen for some warehouse work, some clean up work and other odd labour jobs.

His favourite was a demolition site where he got to smash all the walls with a sledge hammer.  One company hired him to unload pallets for three months.

Working for the temporary labour company, he learned some important lessons.

  • You don’t get on the bad side of the guy who’s in charge of handing out the jobs.

  •  Working steadily and finishing what you start will get you called back.

  •  Save your money.

When a doctor told him that injuries suffered in a previous accident meant he couldn’t continue to do warehouse work, without serious repercussions, he had to rethink his situation.

He had a friend who worked as a security guard.  He was encouraged by the fact that security guard work involved very little social interaction, and was compatible with his skill set. Using some of the money he had saved, he took a course and became a licensed security guard.

He learned about timing.  He was trying to break into the security guard business in a city that had just hosted the Olympics and therefore had approximately 1200 out of work security guards.

He finally got a temporary assignment; three weeks work.  When he asked around about the possibility of getting a full time job, he was told “none”.

Being an Aspie, he made a point of walking the exact beat assigned by the company.  In his mind, it was a fitness routine and he got paid for doing it.  Bonus!

He performed each of his checks on his rotation, signing off with the date and time at each required location.  None of the other workers were doing this. They ridiculed him for doing so. There was no supervision, it was graveyard shift and there was no activity on the premises.

But he’s an Aspie and that’s what Aspies do.

At the end of the three weeks, he was hired.  Full time. The job was routine, but it kept him fit while giving him a lot of time to think on his feet. Eventually he was promoted to supervisor.

He learned some valuable lessons from his supervisory position.  It taught him responsibility and how to assert himself in a small office setting.

He decided he wanted to be a paralegal.  As a detail-oriented and focused individual, it seemed a good fit.

Working part time as a security guard, and using a combination of student loans and savings, he signed up for the course.

Recently he received his certification and started work in a law firm.

So Aspies, if you find yourself in what is perceived as a no-brainer, low-paying job, do not despair.  Learn what you can. Do your best, and look at the positive aspects of the situation.  What you do with what you learn is up to you.  Who knows where it could lead? It is entirely up to you!

Yours truly,

Margaret Jean.


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