Fired because co-workers didn't like me - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-02-2006, 04:10 AM
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My boss at the place where I used to work told me that he always liked me, and that everybody at the place liked my work, but that many people there didn't like me, and didn't like working with me, and that was why I was fired. But he was not able to really explain why they didn't like me or didn't like working with me.



I got the impression was that the dislike was instantaneous. They just didn't like the way I was, or something. I only worked there a few days before I was fired. This was more than a year ago.
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#2 Old 02-02-2006, 04:52 AM
 
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It's sad when we come across situations like yours, where you are judged before anyone really gets a chance to know you. I think it happens a lot. If someone is very shy, or their appearance doesn't fit the "acceptable mode", some people have a problem accepting you. Of course, I don't know you at all, so I can't really offer any explanation except to say, sorry that happened to you.

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#3 Old 02-02-2006, 05:00 AM
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This often happens to me. I went to a social worker to try and find out how I could improve the situation. She didn't want to continue working with me - appartnly for the same reason -- because she didn't want to have me as a client any more. Same thing with the psychologist..
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#4 Old 02-02-2006, 05:03 AM
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I had in the past been told that this kind of problem could be worked around by developing a skill that no-one else has, so that people would be forced to work with you. But I've learned over the years, that this rarely works out in reality. People will even go without things they want, if it means having to work with someone they simply don't like working with. In most cases, there is Always someone else who can do what you do, even if they charge more money, do it slower, and don't do it quite as well. They will always get the job in preference to someone whom "I just don't really like an awful lot."



What seems to be the case, is, they don't have to hate you, to not want to work with you; it is enough if they simply feel a bit uncomfortable around you.



also I noticed that the psyches kept on telling me that I needed to get more education and more skills -- and now I know this is not the case at all.
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#5 Old 02-02-2006, 05:12 AM
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Also, it seems you have to walk a fine line between not harassing the pretty girls, and not making both them, and the ugly girls, feel like they are not pretty.
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#6 Old 02-02-2006, 05:14 AM
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I see all kinds of people whose "appearance does not fit the acceptable mode," working in supermarket check-out lines. Women with uncombed un brushed hair, just flying around in no particular direction, around their bald spots.



I don't think it my dress, grooming, or physical form. I think it is what neurologists call "affect." See http://www.abess.com/glossary.html
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#7 Old 02-02-2006, 05:18 AM
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Should I try to influence people to overlook my affect, by telling them, if they don't already know, that I had a brain injury?



There is also the issue of my facial paralysis that influences my facial expressions.
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#8 Old 02-02-2006, 05:36 AM
 
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This is a very difficult situation, I understand how hard and frustrating this must be. I've always had trouble getting along, though I'm much better at it now after going on anti-anxiety medication. Terrible anxiety made me behave in weird ways that put people off. Now I'm not as scared of people so I don't act as weird.
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#9 Old 02-02-2006, 05:58 AM
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Uh huh. I am already medicated by my neurologist. I did feel anxious, before being treated.



I no longer feel anxious. In fact, I don't perceive any problem in getting along. To me, it feels like I am getting along just fine, and that everyone likes me.
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#10 Old 02-02-2006, 06:13 AM
 
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Ugh, that sounds very confusing, and it sounds like people aren't willing to be strictly honest with you. Would you possibly benefit from going to a psychologist who specializes in behavioral therapy? There may be some specific behaviors you can learn or unlearn which would be helpful.
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#11 Old 02-02-2006, 06:20 AM
 
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Huh?: why do you make any references to the females appearances? Why would you?
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#12 Old 02-02-2006, 06:26 AM
 
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Mybe he's talking about harmless flirting and the way he flirts just doesn't get perceived by girls in the way it was intended.
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#13 Old 02-02-2006, 09:08 AM
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"Mybe he's talking about harmless flirting and the way he flirts just doesn't get perceived by girls in the way it was intended."



No. I am not. I am not convinced there is any such thing as "harmless flirting."



At work. I don't initiate "flirting" at all. I try to interact with men exactly the same way I interact to women. If someone tries to flirt with me I try to avoid it. Sometimes, some people persist, and try harder and harder. When that happens, I try to continue to treat them respectfully, but I still avoid flirting.



Sometimes I find that it is a very very attractive woman, that wants to flirt with me, but I try to avoid becoming involved in flirting at the workplace, anyway. Sometimes they stop flirting, but then seem angry at me for refusing to flirt. It is usually females that do this but sometimes males do also. Males rarely get angry if I refuse to flirt with them. They seem to accept it gracefully.



Sometimes it is a woman whom I don't find at all attractive, that wants to flirt with me. I try to avoid becoming involved in flirting at the workplace, and try to treat them exactly the same as I treat the women whom I find attractive.
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#14 Old 02-02-2006, 09:28 AM
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Just yesterday, my female boss, a work, offerred to drive me to the bus stop, and I accepted. This is a business run by a husband and wife team, so if I sometimes refer to my boss as he, and sometimes as she, it is because I am referring to one, or the other. I try to treat them both the same.



While we were going there, she asked me "arentl you afraid being alone at night?" My response was, "no, not really, no." She persisted with the same question, and mentioned that she might be afraid. So I said, "well yea, I'm male, it's quite a different situation." Culturally.
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#15 Old 02-02-2006, 10:05 AM
 
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You were fired over a year ago. Why are you still worried about it?

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: 1001...one to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
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#16 Old 02-02-2006, 11:18 AM
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"You were fired over a year ago. Why are you still worried about it?"



It seems the same thing happens over and over. Most people discover they don't like me, before they even hire me. I am looking for more work. I don't want the same thing to happen at my current job which I just got (if it hasn't already), and any job I may find in the future.
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#17 Old 02-02-2006, 12:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soilman View Post

Also, it seems you have to walk a fine line between not harassing the pretty girls, and not making both them, and the ugly girls, feel like they are not pretty.



i'm sorry but women don't go to work every morning expecting their male coworkers to flail around complimenting them and treating them differently than their male counterparts because of their looks. have you tried, oh i dunno, treating them like humans? coworkers? NOT like "pretty girls" or "ugly girls"? they're just coworkers who happen to be female. if you got over your sexual discrimination perhaps they'd like you better.



also are you sure they're flirting with you and not just being nice? or trying to be social ie making smalltalk to get to know you better as a coworker?

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#18 Old 02-02-2006, 01:05 PM
 
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Soilman,



I think you've got to tell future employers something like, "I need to let you know that I have a brain injury, and that seems to affect my perception of social interactions. I try really hard to get along with people and fit in, but sometimes I seem to say or do the wrong thing. I don't mean to, and I hope that people can cut me a little slack and be honest with me if I've stepped out of line. I really want to work here and I really want to get along with people here." I think if you're up-front with people about the problem you're having, they will be much more likely to be understanding. I know I would be...I can think of a recent situation in which someone was very cruel to me (not saying that your issue is cruelty), and if they had said, "I'm sorry, I'm trying really hard to watch my social behavior, but sometimes I don't know how things are perceived..." or if he had been approachable, it would have been o.k. So, you don't need to be perfect, you just need to be approachable, and let people know what's going on with you.

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#19 Old 02-02-2006, 02:08 PM
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I already responded to your comments Lady Faile. Please go back and read them. It is 6 messages up, I think.



Thank you for the suggestion Irizary.



I should add tho, that perhaps you are right about the injury affecting my perception of interactions, because although I hear later that I made the person uncomfortable, I did not at any time during the interaction, perceive them becoming uncomfortable.
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#20 Old 02-02-2006, 02:18 PM
 
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I'm glad you're open to that suggestion, Soilman. Given what you've described, I think honesty about what's going on will serve you, rather than keeping to yourself and hoping you can manage it, because it doesn't seem like that's been working.

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#21 Old 02-02-2006, 06:13 PM
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Irizary "I'm glad you're open to that suggestion, Soilman. Given what you've described, I think honesty about what's going on will serve you, rather than keeping to yourself and hoping you can manage it, because it doesn't seem like that's been working."



I feel that going into a story as long as the one you told, would put some people off. I think sometimes they need short, sweet, simple explanations of things, even if sometimes the explanations are "the whole truth." I could use help on making the remarks shorter.
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#22 Old 02-02-2006, 06:43 PM
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I could use some advice on the following. I've noticed that after my supervisor explains what they want done, I realize that their explanation was somewhat ambiguous, and I need further clarification. I always ask for further clarification in a non-accusatory manner. I never say, like I do on a message board -- "man that was ambiguous" -- I know that kind of challenge is suitable for a message board, but not suitable for talking to your employer. I try to keep the further clarifications as breif as possible, and make good judgements as to where I should ask for further instructions to prevent my doing something wrong, and where I should use my own judgement without asking them. However I do notice that sometimes they start getting irritable, after I've asked them a few questions. Should I take a chance on doing the job wrong, rather than irritate them? Probably not. But what else can I do to make it seem like they aren't stupid and incapable of giving directions, while at the same time not making me look incompetant at understanding directions.



I mean, just "file these" doesn't tell me if they want things filed by date order, or alphabetical order, or invoice number. If it is obvious which it must be, I don't ask. But sometimes you have to ask, and ask again.



I sometimes preface my question with, I'm sorry to bother you again, but I want to make sure I do this in a matter you are satisfied with. They usually say, no problem, but sometimes I can see that they are very busy doing something else, and they look annoyed at the interruption, and I know they have hired me to take the load off of them, not give them more things to do. I would appreciate any further suggestions for smoothing out this sort of thing.
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#23 Old 02-02-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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I have a student with a brain injury. Before the first class he took with me he came to my office to introduce himself. He explained that not only is his speech affected by the injury (which is obvious right away), but that his social interactions are somewhat affected (he talks a lot, he stands too close sometimes while talking to someone). He told me that I shouldn't hesitate to say something if he was acting inappropriately and that it wouldn't hurt his feelings. That first discussion helped immensely, because I knew what to expect from him and I knew I could be open and honest with him about his behavior. He's currently taking his third class with me, so I can tell he has no problems with how I treat him, and I consider him one of my best students.



My point is that maybe it would help you to give those you work with (or prospective employers) permission to call you on the behavior they see as disturbing or inappropriate. If you lack the ability to recognize it yourself, someone needs to point it out to you. Your employer and coworkers would probably be a lot more tolerant if you let them know that you welcome their honesty. Otherwise, fearing confrontation, they'd probably rather not be around you than say something.
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#24 Old 02-02-2006, 06:55 PM
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Thank you very much for that anecdotal report eggplant, and the consequent advice.



What do you mean by fearing confrontation? What could they think I might do if someone said to me, "could you not talk so much" or something.



Actually, I had told my employer, the one that fired me, that I have facial pain and paralysis and I find that although most people can understand what people are saying, better, if they look at them, I find that looking at people distracts me from what they are saying, very much like loud music in another room may make it hard for someone to concentrate on reading, and I often find that I understand better if I look straight ahead and listen very intently, when people are talking to me. Nevertheless, on several occasions he has snapped "please look at me." That is, he doesn't say "please look at me when I am talking to you." He just says "please look at me" instead. Then asks me to please repeat back to him what he said. Which I almost always do flawlessly.



It is possible that he neglected to tell the other employess about my abnormality. I also need a shorter name for it, rather than the whole explanation I gave above. I hesitate to say I have a stroke, as there is no radiological evidence for stroke. I usually say "nerve damage to my facial muscles."
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#25 Old 02-02-2006, 06:57 PM
 
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o.k., this is a slight modification of what I wrote before...



Quote:
I need to let you know that I have a brain injury that affects my perception of social interactions. I try really hard to get along with people and fit in, but sometimes I say or do the wrong thing. I don't mean to, and I hope that people will be honest with me if I step out of line. I really want to work here and I really want to get along with people here.



it doesn't seem too wordy to me; in fact, if it's a conversaton, you can say more...

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#26 Old 02-02-2006, 07:05 PM
 
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I think there is a balance between giving people the information that they need to understand and accommodate you better, and going on about an illness that they can't treat and don't know what to do with. So generally, yes, I think it's best to keep it brief and don't go on about these things, but a simple explanation like above isn't too much, I think.



Re. not looking at someone, same thing. "I have a problem that makes looking at people when they talk to me difficult. It works better for me if I can look ahead. I hope you will understand that." Something like that. I'm not the best at these things either, but trying to be clear and honest about your needs seems good.

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#27 Old 02-02-2006, 07:07 PM
 
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I

I mean, just "file these" doesn't tell me if they want things filed by date order, or alphabetical order, or invoice number. If it is obvious which it must be, I don't ask. But sometimes you have to ask, and ask again.

.

If they are asking you to file something then I'd assume they already have other things filed which means there is a system in place and you just need to figure it out by looking at the already filed files. no?
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#28 Old 02-02-2006, 07:29 PM
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I don't know how to do, all at the same time, assure people that I love them and care about them and certainly wouldn't hurt them without making it seem that I just have to be their best buddy and hang with them all the time -- esp if they don't want to hang with me. I don't know whether I am being too warm or too cold. I don't want to be too warm to males, and have them think I am am a homo who wants to be with them, without at the same time making them feel like I am too distant and disinterested. I am not interested in the usual "male-bonding" stuff, like sports or whatever. It isn't merely that I'm not interest, but the thought of discussing football would make me feel like I was falling down a well.
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#29 Old 02-02-2006, 07:31 PM
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gaya "If they are asking you to file something then I'd assume they already have other things filed which means there is a system in place and you just need to figure it out by looking at the already filed files. no?"



Yes. Perhaps I did not give a good example. Let's assume it just isn't obvious and I just can't figure it out. I've given it about 10 minutes by myself, and I'm still not getting anywhere. It is then either do it wrong, ask someone, or sit around pretending to be busy -- which I absolute hate doing -- even tho on occasion a supervisor has told me to do just that -- esp if the big boss happens to wander into the work room.
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#30 Old 02-02-2006, 07:42 PM
 
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If you don't understand something, and it seems to be important that you do, you should get clear on exactly what you need help with, and say something like, "I still need some more help understanding what to do with this. Is this filed alphabetically or by date?"



I think a lot of the problem is your stress in not knowing how to deal with these situations - not knowing what to say, and fearing that you will be received badly. But if you need help understanding something, you need help. Your anxiety about it is probably hurting the situation. It seems to me that you need to get clear that it's o.k. for you to ask for clarification when you don't understand something (even if people are annoyed by it).

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