Autism In The Workplace: A First Person Perspective {Guest Post}

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Part of the reason I own and author this particular website is to shine light into corners that others might miss.  I try to use my voice in ways that Jacob cannot.  When I heard of a problem a young man with autism had at his workplace, I asked if I could write about it.  Gainful employment for Jacob, when the time comes, plays a lot on my mind.   

He told me that I could. 

But then I got to thinking – here is a man who can speak for himself.  He doesn’t need my voice.  I instead offered him my platform, from which he could tell his own story.  So this is that man’s story, in his words.  No editing, formatting, or other intrusion by my voice.  He does an excellent job speaking for himself:

autism workplace

Hello I am an 18 year old male who has Autism. Today I am writing this blog because of a situation in my workplace involving a female manager in the fast food restaurant that I work in. Now I am going to tell you about my experience with this person.  Most of you know that when you work in a fast food restaurant you are around a lot of fried foods that require being put in a vat. This particular morning it was very close to lunch and I dropped hash browns and there were 8 of them in the oil and then this female manager saw what I did and yelled at me very harshly and loud enough that the customers heard her. At this point in time I was very embarrassed and I then went to the back sink to try and calm down about what had just happened previously. So I asked a co-worker to get the manager in charge which was not this female manager it was another male manager there he was busy at that moment when I needed to vent to him about what just had gone on. So instead the female manager who I had just had the problem with came out back to the sink and asked me “What can I do for you “. So when she asked me this I said “I can wait for the next available manager and talk to him”. She then became very aggravated and said “You knew you weren’t supposed to drop them at that time”. And I then got very upset to the fact that she was acting this way towards me I’m sure most of you out there would have been too. So then the male manager comes out and sees that I am very upset crying mind you. He then asks “Are you able to finish your duties” I said “No I am to upset and I need to leave this place”. So then I walked out of the fast food restaurant very stressed about what had gone on. So I called my mother and she said “WHAT”!!! So she then called the main office of this fast food restaurant. She finally about 2 days later the district manager called my mother and talked about having a meeting with just me and I agreed to this. Me and the district manager met alone and we talked about the mistreatment that was allowed to go on she said “They should be more understanding of people with learning disabilities”. I then stated that “I am refusing to go back to work until this whole situation is resolved. So the 1 week had passed since the meeting and I had got a phone call about not showing up for work and I talked about not coming back to work for a while and she understood. She also talked about having a meeting with the female manager that mistreated me. So then I called the main office and told them that this female manager wanted to meet with me alone. She talked about wanting her assistant to be present at the meeting because she was going on vacation and I told her I was ok with the other district manager meeting with us instead of her. So the meeting took place 1 week later and It went very smooth and that female manager told me “I am sorry for the way I have treated you will you except my apology”. So I accepted and I thought it would be better now that it was resolved. A few weeks passed by and the general manager told me “We have to cut your hours to 3 hours a week”. And I began to become suspicious about the previous situation that had gone on and wondered if that was why they were cutting my hours. I am one of the people in the restaurant that get very low hours and it kind of bothered me. I am concluding this blog by saying that I felt that my disability rights were violated and it was uncalled for behavior especially to someone who has Autism and it really bothers me that things happened the way they did.

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    • Wanda on November 23, 2014 at 3:46 pm
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    I so hear this situation. My daughter had a part time job the manager knew her & her disability. They had staff on vacation & gave her extra hrs. I reminded them and they were only doing it for a week but it continued to the point she became overwhelmed confused and lost her job.

    1. It’s so tough. This gentleman knows his job, and is conscientious. He just really feels mistreated.

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