On the bright side… (part 2)

Continued from part 1

In this post, I’m going to look at part B Attwood and Gray’s aspie criteria, listed below. The full criteria can be found in their article,  The Discovery of “Aspie” Criteria.

B. Fluent in “Aspergerese”, a social language characterized by at least three of the following:

  1. a determination to seek the truth
  2. conversation free of hidden meaning or agenda
  3. advanced vocabulary and interest in words
  4. fascination with word-based humour, such as puns
  5. advanced use of pictorial metaphor

I’ve seen all of these in my aspie friends, and I value all of  them in my friends and in myself, but I’d like to focus on the first two, because I believe they are at the core of aspie communication. Let’s see what these look like…

Recently, I received a request at work to manually add a professor to a course. I could have done that in a few minutes, but I developed a system that does it automatically shortly after I took this job. I immediately wondered why it didn’t happen automatically. I wondered if my system was somehow broken. Did I find out? Yep. I followed the trail to its end and I found out that someone had not entered that information into the system. Part of the reason I’m good at what I do is that I will chase a problem until I find the truth behind it or it gives up from sheer exhaustion. I will then fix it until it’s fixed, or if I can’t, I will make the problem known. I can’t help myself. I HAVE to know what really happened, and it will bother me until I understand it and get it fixed. That said, there are things that don’t matter. If Justin Bieber’s hair is out of place, I’m not your guy. Read my previous post to see why.

In an earlier post, I said “you don’t have to read between the lines because I don’t write there.” This is true of all my communication. What I say can be taken at face value, and if there is ever any confusion, I’m happy to define my terms or restate something I have said. In my work example above, I responded to the request saying what needed to be done and that I would be happy to look at it again if the professor did not get added to the course automatically after the information was entered into the system. I had no intention of blaming anyone. I hope it wasn’t interpreted that way, but I’ve seen it happen. I don’t really care who did or didn’t do what as long as my system isn’t broken and we get the problem solved. I only bring up the past to show where the problem exists. I hope this makes sense. If not, please comment and ask questions.

To be continued

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5 Comments

Filed under About Asperger's Syndrome, Aspie strengths, Communication

5 responses to “On the bright side… (part 2)

  1. I agree with you on the Justin Beiber portion (and others). Gossip, fashion, and other celebrity and regular “social” topics are of no concern to me.
    One thing I do that annoys many people, is the fact I tend to analyze everything, including what others said to me. It may seem as though I am going on about what was said but what they fail to realize is that I am not–I am trying to make sense of what the person said to me. I also correct others when they are wrong. I suppose that could be due to an OCD though. Both of the portions of your blog topic were wonderfully written and expressed. Thank you.

  2. My friend I truely love your blog. It helps me to understand you better and that is something I greatly love. I appreciate that you are so willing to open your heart to all of us. Just so that we can understand and I hope connect with you as a friend better. I wish more employers saw the Aspie need to trace a problem till it was solved as a good thing. I think it would help all businesses succeede.

    • Mike

      You are absolutely correct about the desire/ability to focus on a problem being a positive that businesses need to value.
      From a supervisor’s standpoint in relation to the incident you mention, is the immediacy of the need for the correction to be made. For example, if the professor was teaching a class that afternoon and had to have that access to teach the class, at that point in time the need of the supervisor is not to know the reason the professor wasn’t added (though that will be important later to make sure it doesn’t happen again) but to get the professor added in as soon as possible, regardless of the reason. If it takes an extended amount of time to determine the cause of the problem, and then fix the root of the problem, the supervisor is not going to be happty because their need was not met. And that then leads to conflict with the supervisor. Which is exactly the point of your blog – aspies don’t always recognize there are social cues even in tasks that are given. Then if tracking down the root of the problem takes longer than it would have to just address the issue, the supervisor is upset. This is where the two “needs” run headlong into each other. Neither is wrong in their needs – the needs are just different.
      And just so you know, if I want a problem tracked down in our Angel system, you are the one I want on the job!

      • In this particular case, there wasn’t a tremendous time pressure, but that brings up another point. We have rules governing who has access to our system and when. Usually, by the time the rules are satisfied, my automation has it handled in less than three hours, so it’s very rare that I’m asked to do it by hand. If that situation were to come up, though, I’d at least verify that the rules were satisfied before manually granting access. I won’t break the rules.

  3. Kristin

    I recognize my son, that is just incredible! I used to say, when he was about 14 month old, that he “played with words as other kids with a balloon”, and that was – and is – soooo true. Today it has become the word-based humour and love of pictural metaphores you mention – and he does it in three languages, playing with the different senses of words in all three (we are both bilingual german/french and he’s learning english). He loves to confuse me in using the different meanings of one and the same word, the sound of it in another language and so on.
    And I’m soooo glad I can follow you on this blog! I understand so much better!

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