Perhaps if you tell my story you could keep my name out. I finished a Masters Degree in Translation and Interpreting Studies (Translation-only Stream) specialising in Japanese to English in 2014. I wasn’t able to get NAATI accreditation which is why I am looking at other avenues of work and/or training. I am interested in technical writing, copy writing, content creation, proof reading, editing and instructional design (these are similar to the end refining process in translation) etc. I’m also interested in areas such as administration, multimedia and tech support.
The Masters Degree and Bachelor of Arts are the only qualifications I have though and I have had a very tough time. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, anxiety disorder and severe depression, and have social difficulties that are exacerbated in job searching interview situations. For example I have trouble with eye contact and finding gaps in conversation for when it’s my turn to speak. These issues along with my lack of experience has made finding work almost impossible. This has caused me to spiral into severe depression and I have attempted suicide on numerous occasions.
I applied for a Disability Support Pension with Centrelink however I was rejected due to not meeting their 20 points of impairment (The changes implemented under the Abbott/Turnbull government has made it focused on physical disabilities, autism isn’t even mentioned in the list at all). Instead of providing me with another employment agency specialising with disabled clients, they have put me under a temporary job incapacitation status and will not provide me with any help until June 21st. I was unemployed between October 2014 and September 2015 and in that time I only did a few freelance translations, an internship for a start up company that fizzled out and got into a retail job as a Christmas casual. I was made redundant from the casual job in January (not enough shifts and they treated me pretty poorly, I only got one shift a week and they expected me to learn the complicated lay-buy system on my own).
I had a careers advisor through a friend of mine (It’s his Dad). But he said some inappropriate things to me. Firstly we were discussing employers or technical writing contacts that wouldn’t get back to me. He then said “it’s because they’re autistic”. I was a bit offended and said that us aspies actually get things done, then he said “if that were the case you’d have a job by now.” I was completely dumbfounded. We were looking through my LinkedIn page, and we saw that we had a mutual contact, my careers advisor said that this contact was naive and was taken advantage of in a footy tipping incident (the contact in question has Asperger’s and works for the AFL and is therefore not allowed to take part in tipping). I mentioned that it was terrible that people take advantage of people on the spectrum. He simple said “well it’s just so easy” with a smile on his face. After one or so of these statements he said it was a joke. I don’t know if he actually meant that or he was saying it to cover his obvious mistakes.
Also I got kicked out of an autism volunteer organisation called I CAN Network. Firstly I was placed in a school to mentor without any training. They all said I had done a great job etc. except a week later, the organiser, Chris Varney called me up and said he had to withdraw me from the school. I asked why and he felt that because I said to one of the teachers or other mentors, “I don’t want to patronise the kids” (This was in regards to games for primary kids over about 9 or 10 or so, and I didn’t say it front of the kids.) that I was being too “negative” and could be insinuating that the other mentors’ games were indeed patronising. He said that because the schools paid for this service we had to embody the I CAN “values” but he also admitted it was his fault as well for not training me first. I was rather confused so he had Jeffrey Segal (A somewhat manager in I CAN) who called to reiterate his points to me. To compensate I was paid for my time. (The position is semi-volunteer semi-paid.)
A couple of weeks later I was invited to commence the mentor training on both days of the weekend. I attended both days and all seemed to be going well. But on the Monday Chris called me up can said that I “didn’t fit with I CAN” and he was basically letting me go. Of course I had no clue why, but he then explained that because of some jokes I made, that I was a “work in progress” and in other words not positive enough. I was shocked, Chris wasn’t even at the weekend sessions, if they were so upset by my jokes they could have just told me in person and given me a warning. I told the jokes because I thought it would be okay to express and be myself among other people with Asperger’s, but obviously not, and the jokes weren’t NSFW (not safe for work) or anything. I was dobbed in. I was confused because I thought the training and all these reiterations of values were to be applied at the workplace I didn’t even know I nor was I told I was being assessed at the training sessions. Jeffrey called afterwards and explained in detail that even at training and at meetings I was supposed to embody the values at “every molecule of [my] being”. Sometimes when I was asking questions Jeffrey had a slight aggressive tone in his voice as if he was telling off a naughty child. He is indeed a primary school teacher but he should stop talking to people on the spectrum like they are children. He also accused me of talking over the top of people in the group. Yes I have trouble finding gaps in group conversations, but they are a common aspie trait. It’s ironic and sad I was kicked out for being too autistic for them. I actually feel they were looking for excuses to get rid of me as I wasn’t easy to control nor blindly obedient or willing to behave in a fake and unrealistic manner. They were rather cult-like.
I’m just sick and tired of coming across horrible manipulative and control freak people. It’s like all the bullies gravitate towards me. But I have support one girl was kicked out for refusing to be unrealistic as well. She is encouraging me to report them to a union or legal organisation since the position was partially paid. I’m just scared of ruining my potential reputation out in the job world.
The employment providers I have been placed with (Matchworks Greensborough and Whittlesea) only had a list of about 15 jobs they could place me in, and they were things like packing boxes at a factory that was inaccessible by public transport. I have a co-morbid condition which makes it so I have poor gross motor coordination and may never be able to drive a car.