Monday, October 31, 2011

I had my work review today.

It was fine... I expected my boss to be a little tough since it's an internship, and a learning experience. So that's okay.

The thing I've noticed is that in every work related situation I've been told I need to improve my listening abilities. That was their main comment. If I'm working under a team of supervisors I need to be able to retain what is told to me or else it is frustrating to the person I am working with, and a waste of their time if I have to constantly ask questions. When we move into crunch time i have a feeling that someone is going to snap at me because of my inability to process what they are telling me.

My boss commented that I often get distracted when people are giving me directions, or I'll look around, or even look away. I don't do this intentionally, I just have trouble absorbing auditory information. I've been this way my entire life, and while people take it offensively, I simply explain that this is how my brain works and it is not meant to be rude. I've often thought that I wouldn't mind being deaf, as I can communicate visually far better than verbally. Unfortunately, this isn't the way the world works, so I must adapt.

I've found taking notes and drawing pictures to be helpful, but I sometimes forget to do this, and I often wonder if I am taking notes correctly, or if my notes are even reliable. I need to make this note-taking a habit. I feel like simply taking notes isn't enough though- and while yes, I am here to learn, I worry that this shortcoming will prevent me from holding down a job in the future. If I plan on financially supporting myself and living a stable life I must work through this. I just don't know how.

I would really like to work for this company once my internship is over, but I hope I don't alienate myself from every company like this in my area. I hope I am not making myself appear inept. I have skills, and I am working on learning more, but I feel like I am not taken seriously because I ask so many questions, because I want to do things correctly. While it's good that I have another year to learn these things, I worry I am working myself into a hole. I worry these experiences will simply make me realize I am unemployable. I don't want to be a hassle to anyone.

I know it will be okay if I really buckle down, but I have enough to worry about- I just want to progress from here. I don't know if I can handle too much stress right now. I just want things to go smoothly.

Other Aspies and visual types, what are some tricks to help you absorb and process information?


Olivia said...

I find something to make it (the information) memorable. Paint each of your nails a different color, and when given a task, pick at the polish. It helps me keep from destroying my skin for my dermatillomania and it helps me associate auditory things with visual things. Sometimes it doesn't work, but it's a 50/50 shot that might be worth trying. [:

pink said...

Olivia, that's a good idea. When I have time I usually color-code my notes so that I know what to access when.. I just have a little notepad at work now, so I may buy a bigger one that I can highlight and stuff.

I do similar stuff, like visualize what I am going to do, mime it out while it is being described to me, make a tiny sample of it, etc. Visual textbooks are perfect (I'm in a creative field which involves building 3D things, I just can't process the information when it is merely verbal). That's a really good idea though, I may put my own spin on it! Thanks :)

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Steve Florman said...

I find that playing solitaire on my cell phone helps me listen and retain better. Apparently it ties up the part of my brain that would otherwise fidget and daydream. It is tough to explain, however.

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live, blog, and prosper said...

Being deaf or hard of hearing wouldn't make a difference I am afraid. I have an auditory processing disorder, I can hear fine I just have a hard time processing what people are saying. No matter how many times I remind people, they still call for me or talk to me from three offices away! Or they walk away from me and talk! If they can't see the disability, it doesn't exist. You appear to be very dilligent in your efforts to overcome your shortcomings, I think you will find a way to improve your "listening" skills :)

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