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TheEmptyShell
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07 Jul 2021, 11:35 am

Hi. I have Asperger's and I heard about this forum a few years ago. A recent bad experience left me with a horrible feeling and has prompted me to come on here, share and perhaps get some help from people like me who understand. This is going to be a long post since I have bottled up everything inside and need to get it off my chest, but hopefully some of you will be willing to read and I very much appreciate your time. As I am typing this, I am unsure how much I want to reveal or how even to express it (this is the internet after all), but I'll do my best to give enough context.

A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to enter a particular industry based on the skills I gathered from my university degree. Compared to what the world perhaps considers "normal", I am starting the process of finding a job many years late. Some of that is due to no fault of my own from a serious illness while studying for my degree, but also procrastination from a fear of the unknown. Anyway, I still needed to learn specific skills relating to my industry of choice so I joined a professional body and completed some foundation courses. I am someone who always aims high and expends a lot of effort in order to achieve my goals, so I was pleased when I achieved excellent results for these courses and gives me some confidence in myself and my abilities to do work.

The start of this year was an ideal time for me to take the scary leap into job hunting. I was as ready as I could be and things are opening up again from COVID. Looking at job descriptions, seeing that most businesses want at least 3 or so years’ experience for an entry level role is rather confusing and discouraging to me. I meet many of the other requirements and yet I feel that I am not the candidate they are looking for. Instead, I decided a better approach would be to send emails to businesses near me requesting work experience, a placement or something else along those lines. I remember the first time I sent an email was nerve-wracking. I was not sure whether I would get a response or not and if I did, what they would say or exactly what means they would contact me back.

After sending 5 or so of these emails with no success, one company replied to my email and said that after reading my message and CV, they would be interested in having a "chat". By the way, I had not revealed to anyone that I had Asperger's yet. Not that I have any issues with doing so, it's just that I can communicate and present myself in a way where people would never have though I have it. I would describe myself as having a mild form of Asperger's. Back to the story, this business is expanding in their industry and from looking at their website they provide a wide variety of services and they advertised themselves as being unique compared to similar businesses. I agreed to meet them for what I believed to be an informal meeting, the aim being to collect information from each other by asking questions much like what would be in a real interview except it would flow much more like a conversation. I was excited to get a positive response so quickly and curious as to what they had in mind, since it sounded like they were considering me for more than just a work experience.

I prepared for some common interview questions and came up with some questions I wanted to ask based on what I had researched about them. I felt somewhat ready to deal with this experience that was new to me. However, upon arriving at their offices, it was soon made clear that this was not a "chat" but a full on, formal interview for a job that was never defined. The person who had replied via email and the person I was expecting to meet was not in the interview room. Instead, there were three people; two were the partners/directors of the business, and one was a member of staff who had already been through the job searching path I was about to embark on. One partner who I will refer to as Nigel (not real name) was responsible for the side of the business I was interested in, the other partner Gerald (again not real name) was responsible for the other unrelated side of the business and was there to assist Nigel.

Most of the questions were worded exactly in the way you expect for an interview i.e. “Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?” or “What do you know/How did you find about [our business]?”. Open-ended, an Aspie’s nightmare. I was nervous and uneasy, but I felt I managed to answer the questions well. I even reveal my disability in response to one of the questions while keeping a positive spin, as recommended in an interview. About ten minutes in to the meeting, I was asked what my favourite part of the courses I had completed, something to that effect. After I gave my preference, all of a sudden Nigel abruptly said “I am sorry, you are not what we are looking for” and “it’s a no”.

At this moment I experienced a feeling that I know from many past experiences in my life: shock, embarrassment and panic all at once. He started giving an explanation that the job I was seeking was already held by somebody else and that they would never fire them. I tried to clarify that the preference was simply just a preference and I was happy to do other work that I had seen and learned in my courses, but Nigel had already made up his mind. There was an awkward silence as if they expected me to just leave the room and their offices immediately, it was very uncomfortable. I didn’t understand if what I said was wrong or if I offended Nigel in some way, I couldn’t read if he was angry or not. Did he already decide he didn’t like me earlier in the interview and used this explanation as a “get out of jail free” card? All that I can be certain about is that he brutally dismissed me after I expressed something I liked about the industry, which I found rude and unprofessional. Am I wrong?

Gerald soon told me that I shouldn’t take this as a defeat and that based on the strength of my CV he was sure I would find work elsewhere. This was genuine as early in the interview both him and Nigel stated that they thought my CV was very impressive and it’s why they wanted to see me. However, this still doesn’t justify Nigel speaking to me like that in the moment especially since he knew (or should know) I was there for practical, real life work experience and that I am Aspie. Trying to behave in a professional way I asked for some feedback on my approach to finding work experience.

The other staff member in the room, Norman (real name… not), said something along the lines of needing to discover what I really want in this industry and go for it. He was the nicest person I had talked to that day and related to a lot of his story. His advice I suspect is good when told to a neurotypical person, but to me it begs the question “How can I possibly know what I want when I haven’t been given a chance to experience working in the real world?”. I also remember Nigel saying that they “don’t have time to train people here” and thinking “Why did you want to meet me then? I clearly said in my email that I wanted work experience.”. After talking with them some more they explained in more detail what they were looking for, and eventually I could connect the dots on why I was objectively not the right fit for their business and didn’t meet their criteria.

The meeting came to an end and I went home. I told my parents what had happened in the meeting, having not yet fully realised how bad it really was and the emotional impact it would have on me over the next two days. My mother explained how horrible it sounded and she was visibly angry, and the more I thought about the whole ordeal the angrier I felt. I was unfairly put into the position of an interview when I was told it wouldn’t be and made to believe I was a failure when all I did was ask for some work experience. That night I hardly slept due to stress, my head filling with thoughts. What were they thinking during the meeting? What did I say that caused them to think that particular way? Was I unprepared or not enthusiastic about working enough? The list goes on. I was made to think about the other negative experiences that caused these same feelings within me. Much of the decisions I have made in my life have been to avoid these feelings, and the fact that this happened suggests that I have made a bad one, yet I have no clue when.

I woke up the next morning and decided that, tired and still feeling angry, I would send a follow up email to the person who originally invited me to meet. He was a fellow director at the business but not a partner. In this short email, I pointed out the informal “chat” was actually a formal interview and criticised Nigel, the way he talked to me and how he should treat potential employees more like human beings. However, I made sure to praise both Gerald and Norman for giving me positive feedback and to the director for his positive communication with me. I sent this email knowing that it’s tone likely meant I would not receive another response back, but that wasn’t why I sent it. My response to negative experiences in the past was to do nothing and move on, but this time I didn’t want to feel like **** anymore and have them believe that what they did was okay.

Email sent and the case was closed, right? I hoped so, but alas the feelings still lingered throughout the day. I was checking my inbox four times every hour to see if I received a reply. I couldn’t move on and it was horrible. I wondered if they didn’t reply would I ever be able to relax and feel good again? Fortunately, my turmoil ended when I did receive a reply from the director that evening. There were no comments given on my feelings towards Nigel, which is understandable as it would not be appropriate to stand against his boss. However, he did say he regretted not being able to meet me, wished me best of luck on my job search and was apologetic that the meeting didn’t go as we would have liked.

I can never know for sure what is going through that director’s mind, but I like to think I caused a stir in the office that day. Regardless of the actual opinion of Nigel or any of his colleagues, I feel this reply has given me the closure I need… mostly. I have come on here and written this after all, so there is still a part of me that is bothered by it. I am still searching for ways that I can prevent these feelings popping up, or if I must feel this way, ways to reduce the emotional pain they are causing me and reduce the time they are affecting me. Talking to my parents was my solution for when I was younger, but over time that has helped me less and I suspect they are unsure how to help me nowadays. I am afraid that I won’t know what to do to help myself in negative situations like this when they are gone, among many other things.

I want to finish by talking about the interview advice I see on the internet. The few videos I have seen on what not to say in an interview upset me. There is an overarching theme that you can’t be too honest and most of all show that you are enthusiastic about the job and that you really want to work for their business. I don’t think most people are excited about searching for a job even neurotypicals, so having to pretend that you do I think is wrong and employers should realise that. I don’t know whether I want a career yet, but what I do know at this moment in time is that I want to have a job like normal people and that should be enough to get one. For now, I will continue to seek work experience in hope that I will get an employer who listens and understands, even though I now have serious doubts about entering an industry ran by people who behave like Nigel. It would be a shame for all the hard work and time I put into completing courses and money I spent for them go to waste, and to essentially start from square one again choosing a profession.

If you have read this far, thank you very much. Please let me know your thoughts on anything you’ve seen here, and I would welcome any advice on how to deal with my feelings and whether or not I am alone in feeling like this.



IsabellaLinton
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07 Jul 2021, 12:39 pm

Welcome to WP, EmptyShell. I read your whole post and first off I want to say I'm so sorry about what happened. That totally blows. I can only imagine how stressed, confused, and disappointed you must have felt. If you're like me, you'll be ruminating about it for a long time too.

Let me assure you that you did nothing wrong. Your approach to job searching was honest and realistic, given the circumstance. You expected honesty and realism from others. You held that invitation for a "chat" in good faith. I would have expected much the same thing, which would include a back and forth conversation rather than an interview. Also, good for you writing back to them after the experience. You're likely right to assume that you ruffled a few feathers by pointing out the issues about Nigel.

Advice for dealing with your feelings? Well, I know that's a hard one. Trust that you did nothing wrong. You have a keen ability to see incongruity in situations. You have a vision about how companies should operate and treat people with respect. You value truth and decency. All of that matters. I'd say "chalk it up to a learning experience", but I'm sure you're already trying to do that. Maybe allow yourself some time to decompress and process the feelings. Have a wee shutdown if you need one, but then rest assured that you are in good standing to try again. You know which things to clarify and you know a little better how to proceed with caution.

Are you alone in feeling like this? Um, no. I've heard similar stories many times. When I started my career much like yourself after University, I was invited to two interviews.

#1 - I expected a regular interview and possibly more rounds at a later date, if I was successful. I arrived and passed the first round, exhausted but thinking I could go home. To my surprise they said that the second / third / fourth rounds were all being conducted that night. Successful candidates needed to attend up to four consecutive rounds of interviewing with different faculty members. That in itself was enough to give me a panic attack. I hadn't packed enough emotional energy for that much of an ordeal. I can't remember how far I got. I think it was the second round. Definitely not the last round.

Here is what the panel said to reject me: "We don't believe that your colleagues would like you. There's something about your vibe. We don't see you fitting in with other people, or being accepted at social gatherings".

8O 8O 8O

#2 - At my second interview it was a huge boardroom table with about eight suits. All cis-white men. I could feel them look me up and down according to my business attire and my mannerisms, but also in a sexist way.

I was asked how I would demonstrate "organisational skill". Being a literal thinker I didn't know if they meant:

a) How to organise an ... organisation? Workplace policies?
b) How to demonstrate I was a good fit for their organisation?
c) How to organise my schedule or my time?
d) How to organise my actual work?
e) How to organise my life in general so I wasn't a train wreck? (LMAO)

I tried to blend all of that in one answer, hoping to get a nod or some form of encouragement that I was on the right train track track. It didn't happen. I couldn't read them at all. I kept rambling.

They stared at me like I had three heads and then interrupted to say, "No, not that. Think specifically. For example, how would you organise your pencils?"

8O 8O 8O

My pencils?

I thought they were joking. What the hell? My pencils? I cracked a smile and tried not to laugh, at which point they said the interview was over and I could leave.

I didn't hear back.

I did end up being gainfully employed for many years. Everything worked out well despite burnout and stress. For the most part, I liked my career. It just took a long time to find the right fit.

Don't give up!

Best wishes, and hugs!



rve
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07 Jul 2021, 7:03 pm

I'm also new here (recently diagnosed) but would like to answer to your post, maybe offer some help.

First of all, Nigel should not treat you like this. I did some awefull interviews in the past, but was never treated like this. This behaviour says more about Nigel then about you.

Second, try to learn from this and don't give up. For example always asume a talk will be a full interview. It probably always will be.
Gerald's remark is deffinetly something positive you can keep in mind for the future.
I eventually learned how to do an interview but it took me a lot of trying.

And yes, you have to play along with the whole "I like working. It gives me satisfaction. I like being with collegues" thing. There's no escaping that. These are the set out rules.

Also I don't think it's a good idea to mention ASD in the first interview. The first interview should be all about selling yourself.
Personally I will not tell it at all in interviews. But I don't know if that's the best practice.



rve
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07 Jul 2021, 7:06 pm

I forgot one thing.

From experience I know they put a lot more requirements in the discription than actually needed.

Feel free to sollicite for jobs that require 3 years of experience. Not many applictions will say 0 years.

No sollicitent has all te requirements.



TheEmptyShell
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08 Jul 2021, 6:49 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Welcome to WP, EmptyShell. I read your whole post and first off I want to say I'm so sorry about what happened. That totally blows. I can only imagine how stressed, confused, and disappointed you must have felt. If you're like me, you'll be ruminating about it for a long time too...


Hello Isabella. Thank you very much for your reply and validating my thoughts. I am especially glad you recognise that I am already thinking of what to do better next time. It is something that occupies my mind a lot of the time, maybe more time than necessary. I get irritated when my parents say that sort of line to me, since it is almost like they didn't really listen to me. I love my parents very much and I know they love me but when I've faced difficulties, they've been "distant" with me from the moment I started University.

As you are with me, I am sorry that you had to go through those two interviews. If I found out that there were many rounds to go today I probably would have left the process, so respect to you for following through. What that panel said has nothing to do with your ability to do the job. It's like they're judging a popularity contest, and that's not fair. Also, I am aware that it has become the norm to have rounds of interviews... it shouldn't be. There is a problem if you're interviewing somebody and you can't find out all you need to make a decision from one session. Perhaps I can understand a second interview if the first faculty member isn't sure and the hiring business need a second opinion, but 3+ rounds? Unnecessary in my opinion.

The boardroom situation sounds awful, again very sorry that happened. You likely dodged a bullet in that you probably don't want to work for a place where there is such lack of diversity at the top, but still that whole setup is disgusting and what do they even gain from asking you how you organise your pencils? It's a stupid way to phrase a question.

Anyway, I am happy that you eventually managed to get employed. Like I said earlier I'll keep looking for work experience and I'll probably stick with my current answering approach. I'm sure there is some employer out there who will see the value in what I have to say.



TheEmptyShell
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08 Jul 2021, 7:28 am

rve wrote:
I'm also new here (recently diagnosed) but would like to answer to your post, maybe offer some help...


Hi rve, thanks for your comments. Seeing yours' and Isabella's opinion on Nigel gives me much more certainty that I simply had some bad luck.

There are articles I found online which recognise informal chat's and formal interviews as two different things, so I am leaning towards the idea that they communicated the wrong way to me rather than me misinterpreting their invite. Still, it turns out much of the preparation is the same for both kinds of meeting so I felt ready for both. I was just a bit upset that they brought me in under false pretences.

The playing along with liking to work and being enthusiastic I think is a social construct among neurotypicals. As an Aspie I shouldn't have to mask who I am, and actually the interview advice is teaching candidates how to stroke the employer's ego. I don't need to stroke someone's ego to make them realise that I have respect for them as a leader. They have likely built and accomplished many things in their industry so clearly they are worthy of praise. Nigel could have been upset that I didn't acknowledge this power dynamic and kiss his feet. At the end of the day, if I prove I have the abilities to do the job and professionally collaborate as needed with others on the job, that should be enough to land the job.

I am not sure what the best practice is when revealing ASD either, but concerning selling myself in an interview telling them about my ASD is part of me. This is something we are born with and sure there have been many times where I wish I didn't have ASD. Also if I do get hired they are going to find out eventually and there is a chance they may see it as me lying to them. I don't want to lie to make progress because 1) I don't think it is morally right and 2) I am not very good at it.

However, I will have a think about applying for jobs which ask for more years of experience. Now that I've sent some of these emails I am more used to not receiving anything back, and in a way applying on job sites is easier since it's just a click of a button to send off my CV. Thanks.



rve
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09 Jul 2021, 11:10 am

I'm not even sure if stroking the employers ego is good advice. I think you're right not to bother with that.



TheEmptyShell
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09 Jul 2021, 2:11 pm

rve wrote:
I'm not even sure if stroking the employers ego is good advice. I think you're right not to bother with that.


The interview advice I’ve seen doesn’t specifically say to stroke their ego, it’s just how I’ve interpreted. Looking at it makes me more upset so I think I’ll just stick with what I'm doing. Maybe I’ll decide to slightly reword some of answers if they show they’re picky about my phrasing.



2007kid
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16 Jul 2021, 7:51 pm

You're not wrong, man.
And I don't know why the hiring process is so idiotic.
"Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"
Homeless.



idntonkw
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17 Jul 2021, 2:11 am

TheEmptyShell wrote:
Hi. I have Asperger's and I heard about this forum a few years ago. A recent bad experience left me with a horrible feeling and has prompted me to come on here, share and perhaps get some help from people like me who understand. This is going to be a long post since I have bottled up everything inside and need to get it off my chest, but hopefully some of you will be willing to read and I very much appreciate your time. As I am typing this, I am unsure how much I want to reveal or how even to express it (this is the internet after all), but I'll do my best to give enough context.

A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to enter a particular industry based on the skills I gathered from my university degree. Compared to what the world perhaps considers "normal", I am starting the process of finding a job many years late. Some of that is due to no fault of my own from a serious illness while studying for my degree, but also procrastination from a fear of the unknown. Anyway, I still needed to learn specific skills relating to my industry of choice so I joined a professional body and completed some foundation courses. I am someone who always aims high and expends a lot of effort in order to achieve my goals, so I was pleased when I achieved excellent results for these courses and gives me some confidence in myself and my abilities to do work.

The start of this year was an ideal time for me to take the scary leap into job hunting. I was as ready as I could be and things are opening up again from COVID. Looking at job descriptions, seeing that most businesses want at least 3 or so years’ experience for an entry level role is rather confusing and discouraging to me. I meet many of the other requirements and yet I feel that I am not the candidate they are looking for. Instead, I decided a better approach would be to send emails to businesses near me requesting work experience, a placement or something else along those lines. I remember the first time I sent an email was nerve-wracking. I was not sure whether I would get a response or not and if I did, what they would say or exactly what means they would contact me back.

After sending 5 or so of these emails with no success, one company replied to my email and said that after reading my message and CV, they would be interested in having a "chat". By the way, I had not revealed to anyone that I had Asperger's yet. Not that I have any issues with doing so, it's just that I can communicate and present myself in a way where people would never have though I have it. I would describe myself as having a mild form of Asperger's. Back to the story, this business is expanding in their industry and from looking at their website they provide a wide variety of services and they advertised themselves as being unique compared to similar businesses. I agreed to meet them for what I believed to be an informal meeting, the aim being to collect information from each other by asking questions much like what would be in a real interview except it would flow much more like a conversation. I was excited to get a positive response so quickly and curious as to what they had in mind, since it sounded like they were considering me for more than just a work experience.

I prepared for some common interview questions and came up with some questions I wanted to ask based on what I had researched about them. I felt somewhat ready to deal with this experience that was new to me. However, upon arriving at their offices, it was soon made clear that this was not a "chat" but a full on, formal interview for a job that was never defined. The person who had replied via email and the person I was expecting to meet was not in the interview room. Instead, there were three people; two were the partners/directors of the business, and one was a member of staff who had already been through the job searching path I was about to embark on. One partner who I will refer to as Nigel (not real name) was responsible for the side of the business I was interested in, the other partner Gerald (again not real name) was responsible for the other unrelated side of the business and was there to assist Nigel.

Most of the questions were worded exactly in the way you expect for an interview i.e. “Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?” or “What do you know/How did you find about [our business]?”. Open-ended, an Aspie’s nightmare. I was nervous and uneasy, but I felt I managed to answer the questions well. I even reveal my disability in response to one of the questions while keeping a positive spin, as recommended in an interview. About ten minutes in to the meeting, I was asked what my favourite part of the courses I had completed, something to that effect. After I gave my preference, all of a sudden Nigel abruptly said “I am sorry, you are not what we are looking for” and “it’s a no”.

At this moment I experienced a feeling that I know from many past experiences in my life: shock, embarrassment and panic all at once. He started giving an explanation that the job I was seeking was already held by somebody else and that they would never fire them. I tried to clarify that the preference was simply just a preference and I was happy to do other work that I had seen and learned in my courses, but Nigel had already made up his mind. There was an awkward silence as if they expected me to just leave the room and their offices immediately, it was very uncomfortable. I didn’t understand if what I said was wrong or if I offended Nigel in some way, I couldn’t read if he was angry or not. Did he already decide he didn’t like me earlier in the interview and used this explanation as a “get out of jail free” card? All that I can be certain about is that he brutally dismissed me after I expressed something I liked about the industry, which I found rude and unprofessional. Am I wrong?

Gerald soon told me that I shouldn’t take this as a defeat and that based on the strength of my CV he was sure I would find work elsewhere. This was genuine as early in the interview both him and Nigel stated that they thought my CV was very impressive and it’s why they wanted to see me. However, this still doesn’t justify Nigel speaking to me like that in the moment especially since he knew (or should know) I was there for practical, real life work experience and that I am Aspie. Trying to behave in a professional way I asked for some feedback on my approach to finding work experience.

The other staff member in the room, Norman (real name… not), said something along the lines of needing to discover what I really want in this industry and go for it. He was the nicest person I had talked to that day and related to a lot of his story. His advice I suspect is good when told to a neurotypical person, but to me it begs the question “How can I possibly know what I want when I haven’t been given a chance to experience working in the real world?”. I also remember Nigel saying that they “don’t have time to train people here” and thinking “Why did you want to meet me then? I clearly said in my email that I wanted work experience.”. After talking with them some more they explained in more detail what they were looking for, and eventually I could connect the dots on why I was objectively not the right fit for their business and didn’t meet their criteria.

The meeting came to an end and I went home. I told my parents what had happened in the meeting, having not yet fully realised how bad it really was and the emotional impact it would have on me over the next two days. My mother explained how horrible it sounded and she was visibly angry, and the more I thought about the whole ordeal the angrier I felt. I was unfairly put into the position of an interview when I was told it wouldn’t be and made to believe I was a failure when all I did was ask for some work experience. That night I hardly slept due to stress, my head filling with thoughts. What were they thinking during the meeting? What did I say that caused them to think that particular way? Was I unprepared or not enthusiastic about working enough? The list goes on. I was made to think about the other negative experiences that caused these same feelings within me. Much of the decisions I have made in my life have been to avoid these feelings, and the fact that this happened suggests that I have made a bad one, yet I have no clue when.

I woke up the next morning and decided that, tired and still feeling angry, I would send a follow up email to the person who originally invited me to meet. He was a fellow director at the business but not a partner. In this short email, I pointed out the informal “chat” was actually a formal interview and criticised Nigel, the way he talked to me and how he should treat potential employees more like human beings. However, I made sure to praise both Gerald and Norman for giving me positive feedback and to the director for his positive communication with me. I sent this email knowing that it’s tone likely meant I would not receive another response back, but that wasn’t why I sent it. My response to negative experiences in the past was to do nothing and move on, but this time I didn’t want to feel like **** anymore and have them believe that what they did was okay.

Email sent and the case was closed, right? I hoped so, but alas the feelings still lingered throughout the day. I was checking my inbox four times every hour to see if I received a reply. I couldn’t move on and it was horrible. I wondered if they didn’t reply would I ever be able to relax and feel good again? Fortunately, my turmoil ended when I did receive a reply from the director that evening. There were no comments given on my feelings towards Nigel, which is understandable as it would not be appropriate to stand against his boss. However, he did say he regretted not being able to meet me, wished me best of luck on my job search and was apologetic that the meeting didn’t go as we would have liked.

I can never know for sure what is going through that director’s mind, but I like to think I caused a stir in the office that day. Regardless of the actual opinion of Nigel or any of his colleagues, I feel this reply has given me the closure I need… mostly. I have come on here and written this after all, so there is still a part of me that is bothered by it. I am still searching for ways that I can prevent these feelings popping up, or if I must feel this way, ways to reduce the emotional pain they are causing me and reduce the time they are affecting me. Talking to my parents was my solution for when I was younger, but over time that has helped me less and I suspect they are unsure how to help me nowadays. I am afraid that I won’t know what to do to help myself in negative situations like this when they are gone, among many other things.

I want to finish by talking about the interview advice I see on the internet. The few videos I have seen on what not to say in an interview upset me. There is an overarching theme that you can’t be too honest and most of all show that you are enthusiastic about the job and that you really want to work for their business. I don’t think most people are excited about searching for a job even neurotypicals, so having to pretend that you do I think is wrong and employers should realise that. I don’t know whether I want a career yet, but what I do know at this moment in time is that I want to have a job like normal people and that should be enough to get one. For now, I will continue to seek work experience in hope that I will get an employer who listens and understands, even though I now have serious doubts about entering an industry ran by people who behave like Nigel. It would be a shame for all the hard work and time I put into completing courses and money I spent for them go to waste, and to essentially start from square one again choosing a profession.

If you have read this far, thank you very much. Please let me know your thoughts on anything you’ve seen here, and I would welcome any advice on how to deal with my feelings and whether or not I am alone in feeling like this.