Not sure what to do about the situation

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Summer_Twilight
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09 Jun 2021, 9:07 am

Hi:
This morning, while on my way out to the bus I was in the process of taking the trash to the dump at the front of my complex. When I went up there, I noticed someone was up there at the dump which turned out to be my neighbor friend who is also on the spectrum. He likes to dumpster dive for certain items that he fixes for a hobby of his.

I said hello to him as a way of letting him know I needed to dump my trash as he was in the way. As I did this, he had a meltdown by shouting "You scared me" repeatedly. I told him he didn't need to snap and to just relax and I was tired. I also walked away and told him to be careful and headed for the bus.

I don't know how to approach him if he is in the way like that when I need to take my trash to dump and he is in the way like that without scaring him.

Though he lives on his own, he lives in his own world and has the mind of a ten-year-old though he is 45. My feeling is that some of the other people in the neighborhood need to dump their trash and could also scare him to a meltdown. Only they are not going to understand and there are some people in live in my neighborhood who do not have patience.

What do I do?



Fnord
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09 Jun 2021, 9:17 am

I am not sure either, but can you sing or whistle?  Maybe it would give him more advanced warning.

How about going to the dumpster at the same time every day (as needed, of course)?  If he expects you to show up regularly, it might not throw off his "autistic" routine, and he might be less startled at your arrival.

In any case, if you feel threatened, then maybe a word or two to the people responsible for the dumpster would be in order.


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Summer_Twilight
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09 Jun 2021, 9:57 am

He is usually never out at the dumpster that early on week-days whenever I am headed to the bus. However, I occasionally see him at that time doing other things. I don't feel threatened but I can't worry about taking my trash to the dump and move over for him because he happened to find another treasure. Besides I feel like he was in the way of myself and anyone who would probably pass through there.



angelofdarkness
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09 Jun 2021, 10:09 am

That's kinda a tough one, maybe like Fnord said about making some kinda noise like singing or humming on your way there. But other then maybe having a talk with people in charge of the dumpster about it or trying to explain it to him some, i don't see what all else can be done.


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browneyedgirlslowingdown
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09 Jun 2021, 10:15 am

I suspect this will sound insensitive but if you are not worried about your safety then I would just continue on, say hello, and dump your trash. He will have to adjust for people dumping their trash at all times, as no one is ever going to schedule around him, he'll have to realize in this particular area of dumpster diving that his neighbors at times will deliver more goods. If you reach out to the people over the dumpster, it will likely be an end to his dumpster diving.


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Summer_Twilight
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09 Jun 2021, 10:42 am

browneyedgirlslowingdown wrote:
I suspect this will sound insensitive but if you are not worried about your safety then I would just continue on, say hello, and dump your trash. He will have to adjust for people dumping their trash at all times, as no one is ever going to schedule around him, he'll have to realize in this particular area of dumpster diving that his neighbors at times will deliver more goods. If you reach out to the people over the dumpster, it will likely be an end to his dumpster diving.


No, I agree with you and actually I contacted him and asserted myself about the matter and he said that he was out there getting things out the trash that were not supposed to be there. He also works around the complex picking up litter and some other things. Still I told him that other people are going to pop in and out when he is there. That said, I told him to let me know in advance when he is out there working and what would help him so he does not feel that I scare him?



kraftiekortie
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09 Jun 2021, 10:54 am

If it's a big garbage area, can't you just put your garbage away from where he's located?

He has no right to block your path towards getting rid of your garbage. He's acting like it's his home or something.



browneyedgirlslowingdown
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09 Jun 2021, 11:12 am

Summer_Twilight wrote:
browneyedgirlslowingdown wrote:
I suspect this will sound insensitive but if you are not worried about your safety then I would just continue on, say hello, and dump your trash. He will have to adjust for people dumping their trash at all times, as no one is ever going to schedule around him, he'll have to realize in this particular area of dumpster diving that his neighbors at times will deliver more goods. If you reach out to the people over the dumpster, it will likely be an end to his dumpster diving.


No, I agree with you and actually I contacted him and asserted myself about the matter and he said that he was out there getting things out the trash that were not supposed to be there. He also works around the complex picking up litter and some other things. Still I told him that other people are going to pop in and out when he is there. That said, I told him to let me know in advance when he is out there working and what would help him so he does not feel that I scare him?


I think you are being very considerate, but you don't have to be at all. I would just let him know when you leave your trash, and go on about your business, like hey I usually leave my rubbish in the morning before 8 and then keep doing and say hello if you see him and not worry about it.


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Diagnosed ASD 5/17/21
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Your broader autism cluster (Aspie) score: 153 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 50 of 200
You are very likely on the broader autism cluster (Aspie)
Systemising Quotient (SQ) 78
Empathy Quotient (EQ) 41
CAT-Q 156 Compensation 56 Masking 48 Assimilation 52


Summer_Twilight
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09 Jun 2021, 12:12 pm

Thank you so much for the suggestions and I think I will make sure he hears my foot steps with some music on. When I get close enough I will say "Excuse me," and throw my trash away.

As for him owning it, I don't know about that, he is not the type of person who seems like certain places or things are his territory or personal property. Rather, I think the problem is that he is may not have proper work etiquette and maybe that's why he's snapped at me. Instead he's been making money by selling and auctioning things online where most of the interactions are done by phone.



browneyedgirlslowingdown
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09 Jun 2021, 4:33 pm

Summer_Twilight wrote:
Thank you so much for the suggestions and I think I will make sure he hears my foot steps with some music on. When I get close enough I will say "Excuse me," and throw my trash away.

As for him owning it, I don't know about that, he is not the type of person who seems like certain places or things are his territory or personal property. Rather, I think the problem is that he is may not have proper work etiquette and maybe that's why he's snapped at me. Instead he's been making money by selling and auctioning things online where most of the interactions are done by phone.


Hope it works out :-)


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Diagnosed ASD 5/17/21
AQ 40/50
Your broader autism cluster (Aspie) score: 153 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 50 of 200
You are very likely on the broader autism cluster (Aspie)
Systemising Quotient (SQ) 78
Empathy Quotient (EQ) 41
CAT-Q 156 Compensation 56 Masking 48 Assimilation 52


Summer_Twilight
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10 Jun 2021, 12:03 pm

I mean internet.

All of his conversations are at the level of a maybe an 8-year-old which are redundant and silly. For example, he asks
questions like "What would happen if I put my hand into a hive full of bees?" and "What would happen if I get into the swimming pool with my cat?"

That said he is pretty active around the neighborhood and the in the community next to having some pretty neat hobbies. He also has a good collection of movies which I have watched with him.