Hi blue collar aspie here

Hi 

Just thought I'd say hello. I'm not actually officially diagnosed but I've known for quite some time that I'm on the spectrum. I know because of the way I live my life, I don't mix well with others and I prefer to be on my own with my interests. I like History and the sciences, all of them, ha! I have an 8 year old with the condition as well, luckily she's getting the help at school which wasn't there when I was a kid and she's so far doing well, science in particular. 

I'm currently struggling with a low wage manual job in a refrigerated warehouse, the main problem being getting on with the lads in there. Not that it's their fault really we're just, in cerebral terms, differently orientated. 

Just here to see what's going on really maybe pick up some pointers for getting through and improving things, thanks 

  • It is only a very small minority who really cause big trouble. I left the UK decades ago, but you don't automatically escape THE LADS by doing that; there are some major league pains living here too. I feel that I can get on quite well on with most people, because my own way of life isn't really very much different from them. I appreciate (so-called) ordinariness more than self-publicizing brilliance. With FB and online local newspapers, it really is quite easy to keep an eye on how a this small minority have shaped up with old age. One guy in particular, who was perhaps something like a hormone-imbalanced controllist. We ended up getting on well enough, when he eventually realised that I was always going to look for a diversion around his way of doing things. He was obviously highly intelligent, but seemed to revel in constantly going against the grain. He eventually retrained into a caring occupation. But he's now extremely vocal on FB, and has been in-and-out of the local newspapers in recent years, standing as an independent local councillor (with only a handful of votes) and harassing councillors to the point where he ended up in front of the magistrates. I wonder if he has made any startling discoveries about his own behaviour over the years. I hope he has, but it seems unlikely. He seems to revel in the attention of being a self-appointed big fish in a small pond; but never quite gets the vox pop to back it up.

    I suppose my point here is that we don't automatically bond any better with other  individuals with issues. We might well sometimes get better support from less obtrusive individuals. It isn't necessarily the wrong planet.

  • Hi Matthew and welcome.

    Work is one of the main areas we struggle, as it involves communication, cognitive empathy and social skills. NTs use "small talk" to evaluate other people and work out what their group identity is, e.g. Football supporter, music fan, fashionista, etc. Some of us Aspies have more unusual interests, which most people aren't interested in such as science, history, sci-fi, computers, etc. They may find it difficult to "place" you in a familiar group, and group identity will be important to them.

    I'm a woman and I've found common interests with female colleagues due to my interest in nutrition (they're always going on diets) and fashion (I've always been interested in art & design and this is a branch of that). I also have male colleagues and have common interests with some of them - music of the 70s & 80s, comedy programmes/movies. I don't discuss my interests in Sci-fi or playing The Sims computer game (too "odd" for them) or sociology or politics (they're not interested, or it would cause arguments)

    Do you have any other interests your colleagues might share? Music? Movies? Video games? Sports? Paint balling? Sometimes you can find out someone has an interest or hobby you didn't know about because they usually don't talk about it due to it not being popular, like playing an instrument, breeding dogs, or taking part in reconstructions of battles. To find this out, you need to learn what to ask - such as what did they do at the weekend, what music do they like did they see x on tv the night before, etc. Sorry if it sounds like I'm telling you the obvious, but sometimes we autistic people can struggle with this sort of stuff. We also need to learn to actively listen to others and not launch into a long monologue about what interests us.

    You might find it easier to get on with NT colleagues if you can learn more about how they are different to us. I recommend a book called "A Field Guide to Earthlings" by Ian Ford, which is a guide to NTs for autisic/ asperger people.

  • I'd strongly suggest you get officially diagnosed as it will help at work. Especially if there are any problems.