In this day and age of agency workers, zero-hours contracts and apprenticeships, it occurs to me that you do everything in your power to make your manager happy and spend your weekdays dreaming about, and living for, the weekend because the rest of the week belongs to your manager. You can be at your desk half an hour early every day for six years; you can push yourself to the point where you are mentally and even physically exhausted to make your bosses more money, but where will all this dedication get you? Nowhere at all.
In fact, I’ve heard that some employers are now adding yet another get-out clause to the ever-growing list of obscure reasons to throw you on the trash pile when they’ve finished exploiting you… This new clause states that should you become unwell mentally (which covers a vast multitude of things) then your employment will be terminated without notice.
This makes me sad and angry simultaneously: Sad that we allow corporations to treat individuals in this appalling way, with seemingly little or no defence against this practice. Angry because someone who is diagnosed with a condition on the autism spectrum could be released without warning from their servitude, simply because their face no longer fits with the corporation’s vision or brand.
The only lifeline that autistic people have is the Disability Discrimination Act, which I must admit is both a blessing and a curse. The upside is that people who are registered disabled have a safety net to protect them. The down side is that to use this act to safeguard them, they must ultimately admit to themselves and others that they are disabled.
That is sometimes the hardest part for me. “Why?” I hear you ask. Well, if you met me in the street or in the workplace and you didn’t know me, you would probably not realise that I have a disability at all, I may come across as shy, weird or perhaps rude, but because I’m not on medication or in a wheelchair or some other stereotypical thing, you would be forgiven for thinking that I’m normal. But I do have a disability
If you take just one thing from this tale, please let it be that you can’t always see the disability and we are all human beings at the end of the day. Shouldn’t we all be treated with respect?
Stay Safe X