I did something that I shouldn’t have done recently. I made the mistake of looking at the trip advisor account for my place of employment. It was a painful mistake that I won’t soon repeat.
Nevertheless, I did learn a number of things from it. Firstly, I realised that some people complain about the slightest of things. I’m sorry that I’m a coeliac and can’t test your lager before I serve it to you. It would make me very ill for at least a week, and leave me in a great deal of pain. I’m fairly sure you’d find it a bit weird if I did, too, and yet you complain that I didn’t.
Secondly and more importantly, people see someone like me, who is not obviously Autistic but who is, let’s be honest, trying his hardest to do the best he can. I try to be a good barman, and serve with a pleasant chat and as much eye contact as he can. They don’t realise how very hard that is for me, and all they can say is “he’s blunt” “comes across as rude”, “doesn’t seem to be paying attention, as he’s looking elsewhere”.
I would love to see these people do the hours I do in my public-facing (sometimes fast-paced) job, with my disabilities. These are probably the same people that would call me a sponger and a benefits cheat if I were to stop doing what I do and go off long-term sick. They wouldn’t last a shift, let alone a week.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: It’s clear to me that I’m not Autistic enough for most people to realise my difficulties and disabilities. This also happens with the Autistic community at times. I’ve taken one thing from this whole experience. I’m not going to care about what someone who doesn’t know me says, or those who don’t want to acknowledge that I’ve worked a lifetime to get to the point where I can do such a social job. Those people that love me know I’m trying my hardest to do the best job possible, with limited resources.
Please, everyone, think before passing judgement on someone like that. They could be on the Autism spectrum and trying their best to stay in employment.
Stay Safe X