In retrospect, being open about autism in the workplace was a very bad decision.

My manager and CTO got to know about it and since that moment, every single thing I do has a different meaning to them.
All my technical decisions have to be validated by someone else, and my critique about how certain things are done is dismissed as if I were some kind of alien.

I really wonder when they're gonna ask me about their future or something.

  • 16
    Document document document.

    If you can prove your case, you can sue them for discrimination.
  • 7
    @sariel I have been thinking about this, just not sure if I wanna go though that hassle. It already feels bad enough as is, so it's hard to go even further.
  • 12
    @null0v0id take care of yourself and your mental health first.

    You can never get the time and piece of mind back one you have lost it.
  • 11
    Workplace could as well be called warplace or site of arrest. Everything you say can and will be used against you, every weakness you expose WILL BE exploited by someone: if not an a-hole manager it will be a power-hungry colleague.

    A giant hug to you, friend. I’m also fighting my demons (years of depression + huge loss which lead to certain reasoning structures…)
  • 7
    @piratefox Indeed, an I usually see it like a warplace. For some reason it felt safe for a moment and I let that information go... It was really an effort to be transparent with people because some were making comments about certain habits of mine.

    I'm sending out another giant hug, Pirate! I hope you will feel better soon, depression is very serious and the struggle is very familiar to me. All the love!
  • 2
    Fuck em. Dealing with a personal problem is hard as it is.
    Talk to a lawyer, and ask what needs to be done for them to pay for creating a "harmful work enviroment". Then decide if you want to make them pay, or just leave for the next thing.
  • 5
    It appears they have no idea what to expect, and are ignorantly assuming you're cognitively disabled. I would approach HR, and advocate for mgmt to attend some mandatory training to demystify this scenario.
  • 4
    @sariel That is the WRONG response. The right response is: "This is why medical information is PRIVATE!"

    The employer has done nothing wrong if now they treat someone different because of some illness they claim to have; something the employee didn't need to tell them.

    This whole era of telling everyone our medical information is really bad. It breaks decades of laws and ethics rules (and yes, this includes which medication you're taking; including new entirely experimental emergency use drugs)

    I wrote about this here:

  • 3
    @djsumdog In my case, I was put on the spot regarding some of my habits with a lot of jokes being made about how I articulate phrases different and stimming. So I figured that it would be better to be honest about it.

    The company was holding multiple seminars on D&I, focusing on people with disabilities and how that didn't make a difference in the workplace, so it seemed safe enough.

    It is just disappointing to realise how hypocritical their whole spiel on equality really is, it made me feel very uncomfortable.
  • 2
    I would expect the other way round tbh! Decisions depending on more logic and facts I would assume. Where are you and what is your profession? Frontend? Backend? We hire, dude!
  • 1
    @danzig666 Hey, my specialty is security, mostly on the offensive side but have been working recently on secure designs and building secops teams. My coding in decent but not to a point where I'd consider myself to be a dev.

    I'm in the EU and have been applying to some local companies, some interviews are already getting scheduled. I won't allow these idiots to take my vitality away! :)
  • 0
    @null0v0id good to hear that you take action. EU is huge, cold or warm part? I‘m central EU :-) security is a topic you even might try going for yourself, start s company and offer audits maybe?
  • 1
    @danzig666 I'm also Central-EU, bnl! I've been thinking about starting my own thing but still have to decide on a strategy to approach the market properly and have something consistent. Until then I will just find somewhere else to work at.
  • 3
    @bahua I would not recommend approaching HR at all. They are not your friend, they work for the company not you. I used to work alongside HR and that entire industry is completely corrupt. They will make sure the target on your back is multiplied x1000 if you out yourself as a potential discrimination case about to go nuclear. They’ll start to manufacture piles documentation in their favour to prep for a potential lawsuit if you tip them off. The seminars they put on about being an accepting workplace is all about getting you to feel comfortable about sharing your vulnerabilities so they can exploit them. Believe me, I used to do it for a living and I am not proud.
  • 4

    I didn't assume all would be sunshine and roses. I suggested it because it would be a fast effective way to determine whether the company was worth OP's continued time.
  • 2
    it's a lose-lose situation. if you don't tell them, they won't give you accomodations you might need, but if you tell them they will make everything impossible for you 😑

    my patience for NTs gets smaller by the day
  • 2
    what i mean is, I don't think it's supposed to be a bad decision, it's not your fault they're ignorant. it shouldn't be this hard to be treated with respect
  • 2
    @darksideofyay the only way NTs will understand is if it impacts them directly. Like if their kid is NNT.

    This is because they lack a strong sense of empathy. I didn't believe it before, but after these last two years... It's hard to not see it.
  • 1
    In my experience being open about anything not directly work related in the workspace is a bad idea. And God forbid being honest in any kind of workplace surveys, especially "anonymous" ones.
  • 0
    @PAKA Yeah, I've also decided to be honest about an anonymous survey they did, but this time around it was a calculated move.
  • 1
    @null0v0id about your last sentence in your rant... Why don't you know when they're going to ask you about their future? You have that gift, don't you? 😜

    Jokes aside (sorry), we're hiring too and we're a remote friendly tech company in Groenlo, NL (DDG it). And AFAIK we're very open to the great diversity of bright people in the world. Of course, I'd be lying if I said that there never was conflict or individuals misbehaving (to some extent), but the truth is that how we handled those situations is what matters. I feel that I'm working at a very safe company, with a good safety net of people I can rely on if things would go bad. It seems to me that that safety is precisely what you thought you had, but actually didn't have.

    You are knowledgeable in security and that seems perfect! There might be even a vacancy for a security expert/engineer.
  • 1
    I'm so sorry to hear this. FWIW, not all companies are like the one you're at now.

    I'm a software engineer for a major retailer in the US, as is my husband. Our teenage son has High Functioning Autism. We're teaching him Python, SQL, etc.

    My boss has already told me he'll be happy to give our son an internship when he's ready. I have a variety of coworkers on the spectrum. I probably have undiagnosed Asperger's myself.

    Many companies in the US work with Specialisterne, an organization that matches up people with autism and companies who want to hire them, including, IBM, Boeing, and Microsoft. I believe Specialisterne has chapters in the EU as well.

    My son stims and stammers, too, but he's the smartest, kindest, and hardest working person I know. Please don't let the asshats at your current company drive you out of software engineering.

    Good luck. I wish I could give you a hug
  • 0
    @eeee It's really nice to know that some other Dutch companies are more open to diversity. Also, Groenlo looks really nice but mijn Nederlands is niet zo goed. Who knows next year :)
  • 0
    @null0v0id no need for Nederlands at a remote friendly company! Also don't let 'mastery of the dutch language' scare you. A good non-dutch person will always be considered.
  • 0
    @kbdevmom I consulted for some more progressive companies in the US and all those experiences were very professional and respectful. It made me happy to see that and have those opportunities.

    I'm sure your son will have a very bright future considering how much you're aware and care for his wellbeing. In the meantime I will try to make my part in advocating our spot in the workplace.
  • 0
    Most Dutch people speak better English than most Americans.
  • 0
    @null0v0id Thanks! I hope things improve for you. I'm glad you have a safe space here to talk about this.
Add Comment