It’s been another busy couple of weeks for me. I’ve finally seen the draft post for my interview on being an autistic employee. I have to admit it was not an unpleasant experience to go through unless you were the person trying to take notes as my brain kicked into gear part way through the interview and I really started to roll. The blizzard of ideas blew through my head at hurricane force and what was supposed be a half-hour interview turned into an hour and could easily have been more. But I got across what I wanted to. The only thing for me is that it is obviously not my writing as the tone is a lot more straightforward, that is the price that has to be paid for this. It’s a compromise I am prepared to make simply because when I started this journey the first thing that hit me was the general lack of pretty much anything for autistic adults, be that support, awareness or inclusion. I wanted to do my bit to address some of that as it is just wrong. This article will hopefully do something for that as to simply be doing it shows that change is happening and things have started to move in the last couple of years. Unlike many articles this is not from a perspective of specialist recruitment program. It’s just about be able to be who you really are without fear and people who were able to see strengths and skills that fitted what they needed. As I’ve explained in previous blogs, I have been through a specialist autistic recruitment and for one reason or another (mainly my lack of code knowledge at the time and probably not being mentally ready at that point) I didn’t progress. I don’t think these sort of schemes are a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. What they are though is a starting point. In my mind the true meaning of diversity and inclusion is a place where what you can offer is the overriding factor and not anything else, I see the ultimate goal of a recruitment process that is robust enough to just look at what people can offer regardless or race, religion, gender or disability. We are a way off that yet though, the fact that there is a gender pay gap says the amount of work still needed. If people can be penalised for something as obvious as gender, how can they cope with something they can’t see and have no concept of. There a long way to go. It’s going out on autistic pride day on June 18th. I will share the link when it does.
I’m also now an employee reporter at work. This is all part of a drive to change communication in the company and make it a bit more real and honest. I have to say that it was not something that I was massively interested in at first, but I had quite a lot of encouragement to do it from those who like my writing style. One major caveat I take my own photos. There’s about 60 or so of us spread around the country. We have a forum and jobs get posted and we can accept them. I like the concept of this. We’ve had our first conference call, to pitch what we are about and how it all works. As usual it was not until several hours afterwards that it all got processed through my brain and the questions started coming out. A quick list of questions fired off by email, with the obligatory explanation that I’m not trying to be difficult, just understand how it all works. My main question was about how the launch of this was going to be contextualized, the response to this was for me to be given a series of questions to effectively interview myself for part of the opening article explaining the change. This is quite a change for me as ,(is probably quite obvious) I’m very much a free range writer and photographer. I decide my own brief and pretty much write about what I want from my perspective. It’s going to be a challenge to have to work to someone else’s brief. What will be fun will be the subjectivity of interpretation and how my eye and writing match with other perspectives.
In other news, I’ve finally got my final NAS workplace assessment report. It’s quite an interesting read, very much a support document with recommendations for the employer to help get the best for them and me. On the whole, it was an interesting experience. I did have to cover a fair amount of ground on my previous difficulties. This was something that I wasn’t really expecting to do, but mainly because I don’t have anywhere I am now. It was something that was quite difficult to go back over as I’ve pretty much processed it now and filed it away in my brain and didn’t really want to go back over it. That said is what it did do was make me appreciate how far I’ve come in a short period of time. I do have to say I’m rather proud of myself for how well I’ve adapted.
I’ve had a wonderful few weeks of having a general sort out in my favourite place, my garden. I been happily exhausting myself getting it all nicely tidy. Not overly so though. I view myself as a custodian of my garden, yes I own it, but I’m not it’s only resident. I hate gardens that are an exertion of human will over nature. I’ve never used a pesticide in my garden in the eight years we’ve lived here. For me it’s not just the plants and my fish in my pond that are part of it. I’ve got resident frogs and toads, slow worms, a resident grass snake, who lives under my waterfall, a yellow-necked wood mouse who lives under the bridge over my stream and most recently moles in my bank copse. I’m probably more proud of encouraging this than I am that it looks nice. Although the one thing I really would like to take up residence is a hedgehog. This has come to a sharp and rather painful end as a concrete block fell on my big toe while I was breaking up an old fence panel and I have literally shattered it. So it’s purely light duties for the next few weeks while it heals. So I’ll have to leave pest control to my little gardening partner who keeps me company by tidying up the pests after I’ve been busy and giving me a song to hurry me up when he wants to get at any goodies I’ve exposed for him.
Be nice to each other