Do Aspies have trouble in fast-paced work environments?



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E_Rock93
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Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:32 pm

Hi everyone, first of all, I'm new here, and I'm really glad I discovered this site. I'm looking forward to becoming part of the community here.

I am a 20-year-old college student, and I was diagnosed with Aspergers about six years ago. I have it very mildly, and you probably wouldn't be able to tell just having a conversation with me, but I know I most definitely have it. The main issue is with multitasking and fast-paced work environments. I am still thinking about a future career, but I would like to work in a low-pressure, relaxed environment. My first job, like most kids, was at a fast-food restaurant. I worked as a cashier. I have good people skills for an Aspie, but like I said, I could barely handle the pace, especially when things got busy. The pressure was the main thing. My boss was a huge jerk, and he often humiliated his workers publicly, which is my #1 fear. I often felt like I was about to have a panic attack whenever we were getting busy, and I just had to get away. So basically what I'm asking here is, do any of you guys experience any similar problems, or does this have nothing to do with Aspergers?



franknfurter
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Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:40 pm

I have the same problem, high pressured situations make me panic, I am wondering what kind of job I can do, I think things changing a lot like a lot of travelling and getting things done really quickly would not work for me.

that cashier job sounds really stressful, I was told I looked too grumpy with customers when I was a cashier :D bit insulting considering that was just my normal facial expression

e.g. chef would be a terrible job, as would being a nurse or paramedic

I think it probably is an aspie thing, also if you have a specific problem with executive functioning



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Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:43 pm

I certainly do have trouble with fast paced working environments and situations, often revolving around the inability to process too much information, rapid decision making and lower physical speed and weaknesses in physical and mental stamina. I often can only hope for low paced, no physically demanding, professional but a challenging job with minimal stress to avoid overload, physical injury and migraines.

It generally depends on the Aspie, there's perhaps a few who absolutely thrive in fast paced working environments simply for having and naturally higher cognition speed than usual.


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khaoz
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Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:53 pm

Maybe it depends on the job. Maybe the reason Aspies have trouble in this area is that we tend to be very organized and need to establish a routine. I always found that I had trouble only if management refused to recognize that part of me. I had no trouble with the fast pace as long as I could organize the flow of the work or organize my particular area of work in a specific way that would make it easier for me to keep up, but I really did not like having someone looking over my shoulder all the time. As long as I was not forced to be the focus of attention I was fine. And that has nothing to do with this "leader/follower" bullshit. I knew how to do my job and always completed everything assigned to me, but I had to do it MY way. I always figured, as long as the job is done correctly and on time, what does it matter how I get it done other than someone with some power trip issue took pleasure in making other people uncomfortable and asserting dominance over others for no reason other than they were in a position to do so.



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Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:45 pm

I can't do fast-paced, short-term memory jobs. My job as a barista years ago ended after two weeks, because every order was like a mini-crisis to me. So there I was, Mr. Genius Ivy-Leaguer, forgetting how many pumps of chocolate go in a grande mocha, while the others had no problem. That's Asperger's for you. I also was clumsy. That's also Asperger's. I also didn't know how to deal with customers. That also was Asperger's.

It was a bad job. To this day I deeply admire cashiers and baristas.



mr_bigmouth_502
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Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:17 am

I'm a 20 year old aspie, and from my experience working as a grocery cashier, I can definitely say that working in such a fast-paced environment puts a strain on me. I constantly have to deal (read: argue) with customers, scan their stuff, answer their (oftentimes idiotic) questions, count change, clean my till, and somehow maintain my sanity while I'm at it. As well, I also have to make time to put away baskets and occasionally put misplaced items back on the proper shelves. Taking on large numbers of customers due to the lack of staff we have is "fun" too. :roll:

The worst part is when I'm trying to scan something in, and either the code doesn't register, or there's no barcode on the item in the first place, requiring me to get a price check over the intercom. All the meanwhile, customers will start quoting prices for their items, as if that will actually help me get them on the bill. The way the cash registers work at my store, I can't just put an arbitrary item on the bill for an arbitrary price, at least not without a supervisor's override.

Another terrible part is dealing with my customer's lack of cleanliness/hygiene. Whether it's people licking their fingers as they go through their bills, or placing leaking packages of raw meat on the conveyoer belt, or people who are sick nearly coughing or spitting on me as they talk.



babybird
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Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:53 am

I'm ok at my job but if I'm asked to take on any responsibilities -like team leading for instance- then I get distracted and nothing works.

My trouble is, is that I can't multitask, and once I lose focus, the whole thing just descends.

This means that I will never be promoted. :(

I did try it but it didn't work.


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zer0netgain
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Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:03 am

I currently work in one.

It's not "bad," but I really can't handle being told to do things that I don't have time to do.

Yes, there are maybe 5 things I should do as part of my job, but if I'm consumed doing one, and can't manage doing the others until I can get away from what I'm doing right now which is top priority. When people throw an attitude at me for not "doing my job" I have to shout back that I can only do one thing at a time and can't leave what I'm doing to manage something else..

I doubt the job will last. I don't think I can ever move fast enough to keep up with all if it. I am not "fast" with physical work. Limitations on how coordinated I am is a big factor. I finally got into a rhythm and then I had to take a 10 minute mandatory break. When I came back, I was screwed up for an hour...never got back into the rhythm.



ouroborosUK
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Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:20 am

I would be extremely bad in such an environment. Having to constantly react and adapt to new tasks and orders and prioritizing stuff would be unbearable.

On the other hand, I tend to react well to stressful situations that arise in my (otherwise quite peaceful) work, things like deadlines, complex technical issues that have to be solved quickly, etc. I usually remain rational and efficient whatever the stakes or the delay ; I just do my best. And it is a bit the same for "real life" emergencies like someone injuring itself. I can be slow to react and what I do is not always the best, but I almost never panick in the same way some NT people around me do.

That is probably the (only) good side of living in what I could only describe as a permanent low level fight-or-flight situation. When a real emergency happens, I am better prepared than most people.


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Astera
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Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:29 pm

ouroborosUK wrote:
I would be extremely bad in such an environment. Having to constantly react and adapt to new tasks and orders and prioritizing stuff would be unbearable.

On the other hand, I tend to react well to stressful situations that arise in my (otherwise quite peaceful) work, things like deadlines, complex technical issues that have to be solved quickly, etc. I usually remain rational and efficient whatever the stakes or the delay ; I just do my best. And it is a bit the same for "real life" emergencies like someone injuring itself. I can be slow to react and what I do is not always the best, but I almost never panick in the same way some NT people around me do.

That is probably the (only) good side of living in what I could only describe as a permanent low level fight-or-flight situation. When a real emergency happens, I am better prepared than most people.

Wow, that sounds a lot like me. I can't handle fast-paced environment and longs periods of pressure (I get overloaded very quickly). But at the same time, I'm quite good at handling emergencies. I manage to keep the cold logical approach when other people panic.



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Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:04 pm

PerfectlyDarkTails wrote:
It generally depends on the Aspie, there's perhaps a few who absolutely thrive in fast paced working environments simply for having and naturally higher cognition speed than usual.


That's me, I suppose. I'm a florist, which is a wicked thing to be during sometimes. Both phone lines ringing constantly, with a string of people waiting at the counter, and then someone goes and throws a curve ball at you with a complex order, or someone who doesn't know what they want and expect you to tell them everything from prices to colors to quantities of flowers. Let's not talk about Valentine's Day . . .
At first it felt like I wouldn't be able to handle it, and it was fraught with embarrising moments. I willed myself to change, step by step, little by little, until I could handle most of it.

It takes a lot of mental work, but it can be done.


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androbot2084
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Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:11 pm

My fantasy is the Star Trek cyborg collective which is a slow paced work environment.



Atom1966
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Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:58 pm

I have always had a serious problem with time pressure and faced paced working environments.
I honestly can't take it.



mr_bigmouth_502
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Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:01 pm

I'm kind of cursed because on the one hand, I sort of need a faster-paced environment to keep me on-task and motivated, but on the other hand I find that working in a fast-paced environment can be extremely stressful. I would like to have a slower-paced job some time in the future, but not so slow-paced that I end up slacking off when I should actually be getting stuff done.



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Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:42 pm

I can't stand working in a hectic, fast paced environment. I easily get stressed out in that environment and just can't keep up. My first job was in fast food (in the kitchen) and I hated it! My current job is not exactly fast paced, but it is sometimes stressful because it's loud and sometimes a car may come in that needs to be done at a specific time and I need to stop what I'm doing and work on that car :evil:


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