Worst Dilemma – Work Related.

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@MrsD41503:  Hey, so I am hoping I can help a little bit.  First, I feel how your employer handled it – in a group setting meeting – is completely ridiculous.  If the issue is between employee A and employee B, then the manager should coordinate a mediation between the two, and not open it up for other’s opinions on the situation.  Why? Because now you were given further information on him/her from employee C.  

The problem there is now you may feel bad about being uncomfortable, which is not OK.  And/or, maybe you will feel like you should excuse his/her behavior now, thus not making the situation ANY better and causing you to be tense at work?!  Again, not OK.

I have a cousin who has Aspergers Disease.  He typically cannot handle the general public, or be around many people, because he maintains a certain arrogance and finds ‘others’ to be silly or stupid.  He can talk for hours, in a know-it-all attitude about a subject, but does not comprehend cues people may exude regarding their lack of interest in the subject, or even if they have a varying viewpoint, which then has him thinking they are stupid (admittedly so).  It is hard to communicate with him at all, and sometimes sad when you are fed up with him, and that is OK. It is part of HIS Disease.

From what I understand, those with Asperger’s Disease can vary in symptoms, and maybe your co-worker really did not read your non-verbal cues (because that is part of it), however, his disease does not give him or anyone a ‘free’ pass in the workplace.  If the employer knew this Disease upon hiring, then the employer under the Disabilities Act has agreed to work with this individual, and to ensure their comfort/safety and well-being in the workplace.  This includes maintaining the well-being of other employees too.  IF this is the reason there is a problem, then again, it is not for it to go ignored, but to alleviate the issue for both parties via managament or a Supervisor.  Maybe it includes moving one or both parties to different areas of the office, if that is possible, so that you are not working side by side.  Maybe it is further mediation, or specific ideas given on having you verbalize your frustrations, while having him stop being aggressive, etc.

The list can go on…but I feel you may need to communicate more with the Supervisor, or go above him/her if you are not comfortable with the situation!!!!

Post # 4
1581 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@OUgal0004:  There’s a good chance that, if this coworkers does have Asperger’s, that they are unable to understand non-verbal (or even verbal) cues. My brother has Asperger’s, and one of the definining traits of the disease is being unable to empathize with people–so, for example, while he may be able to logically understand why I’m crying when I’m watching a sad scene in a movie, he just cannot emotionally get it. Your coworker may genuinely not know that their actions are coming off as horrible as they are.

Post # 5
1372 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

@MrsD41503:  yeah,  Asbergers is characterized by a lack of ability to read social cues, amongst other things. When your coworker says they didn’t understand your basic body language, they are being honest, not oblivious.

I think the best thing you can do is be direct in the nicest way possible. Everything you’re doing isn’t bad, they don’t plain can’t see it. If theres something going on that you don’t like, you will have to either talk to them about it or not worry about it. It’s nice to give subtle clues and it makes life easier but not everyone gets them.

For whatever is it worth, this person is probably not trying to be a jerk. I don’t know if that’s any consolation or not. The intent is more than likely perfectly innocent and not malicious! 

Post # 6
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Couldn’t you just say something the next time this person is acting inappropriately?  To let them know what’s going on. Like, “I know you might not be aware of it but your gestures and actions of ____ is rude.  Remember when we talked about it in the meeting?”  or “I don’t want to talk about this with you right now” if you are trying not to engage.  By being really blunt and straightforward will at least make the person aware that something they’re doing is inappropriate.

Post # 8
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@MrsD41503:  My brother is autistic, so I’m not quite as familiar or comfortable with the lower end of the spectrum that Aspergers falls on, but the main takeaway for you here is that your coworker does not process social cues like you and I do.  The thing that “clicks” for us and tells us when people are communicating non-verbally doesn’t work the same way for your coworker.  This can be REALLY frustrating, since it’s a new kind of communication, but it may be helpful in the future to just say exactly how you’re feeling and why.  Not in an attacking kind of way, but more like “I feel like you aren’t listening to me when you interrupt what I’m saying with thumbs ups or exaggerated head nodding” or “It makes me feel bad when you make frustrated noises and throw your bookbag down”.

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