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MrGrey

What I have learned as an Aspie after visiting 4,500 houses.

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MrGrey

I visit about 7 places per day, 5 days a week, 49-50 weeks a year (cuz vacation).  Go in, fix what's broken, get out.  Recently reached the 4,500 houses/businesses mark and here are a few of the interesting things I've learned:

 

1) People need somebody to blame.

  People can't accept that stuff breaks.  Even when you show them a corroded piece of copper cable... I mean, come'on ppl, copper? pennies? corroded pennies? copper oxide?  Nope, ppl won't accept it.  It must have been that whoever installed it, "did it wrong".  Because "how come copper reacts with the oxygen in the air?".  No no no... Either the installer did it wrong, or the equipment was defective or the cabling used was sub-par because somebody must have messed up something somewhere.  

 

2) People hate to acknowledge their mistakes.

  I lost count how many times I arrive to find that the power cable was not plugged in.  But people still swear "it was plugged in before and it wasn't working, I'm sure".  I'm better off not pointing out that the power cable was unplugged... I'm better off opening the equipment, touching components in a geeky way, closing everything back up, quietly plug the power cable back in, say some geeky techno-babble and calling it a day.

 

3) Many parents of Aspie kids have lost all hope that their kids will ever amount to something.

  This one came as a surprise to me.  When I meet parents of aspie kids, most praise their accomplishments and say they do have high hopes.  They can't stop going on and on about famous aspies.  But the moment I tell them I'm an Aspie myself, they loose all confidence in my ability to fix what's broken... because I'm an aspie.  :\  They wait about 10 minutes and come back with some excuse: "something came up, we have to leave soon, we need you to stop working and we'll call later to re-schedule for another person to return and fix the issue at a later time".

 

4) Most parents of Aspie kids think very highly of themselves

  Not as surprising as #3 but,  sometimes I remain silent about my own aspiness and instead just mention that I'm also a parent of an Aspie kid.  Their conversation immediately switches  "how difficult it is..." and "all the work that we do..."  and "all the sacrifices that we make...".  They give me their phone numbers and tell me to call them up if I ever need moral support in dealing "with this".  With the "this" being the parenting of an Aspie.  As if it was an unspeakable burden or something.  

 

5) Everybody thinks they can do my job.

  It doesn't matter what it is that broke.  The very first sentence people say is always:  "I think the <insert equipment here> broke because <insert their opinion here> and can be fixed by <insert how they think I should do my job here>".  Forget about the fact that if they knew how to fix it, they wouldn't have called for help in the first place.  But this usually means I have to do my job twice.  One to fix what's really broken, and a second "make believe" fix acting as if I'm following their advice, tinkering with what they want me to tinker with, even tho it has nothing to do with what's actually broken.  Because if I don't check what they "think" it's the issue, they will call again and have another guy come in to check what they think it's broken... even after it's fixed.  And I can't tell them they are wrong (see #2).

 

6) Many people think you know them and know about their lives and the people in it.

  This doesn't happen "a lot", but it happens often.  Someone starts talking to you it goes like this:  "Timmy was visiting aunt Lucy.  I know he used the <insert equipment here> before he left.  That's how long ago it's been broken".  And I'm like... who's Timmy? Who's Aunt Lucy? and most importantly, when did he left?  And how you know it broke when he left?  Did somebody try to use the equipment after Timmy left? If so, when was that?  Did Timmy came back?   

 

7) People's mood swing tend to be global, reacting to external things.

  There are periods, sometimes weeks long, where most people are extremely happy, or extremely cranky.  Like right after Christmas where most people are recovering financially from over-expending the month prior on gifts.. and they are cranky as hell.   More often than not, I can't pinpoint what's the global trigger.  But it seems to be a known issue on consumer retail as well.  Some days everybody is just cranky. 

 

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HalfFull

It seems as if in the States there could be more of a stigma around Autism. That can be the case in the UK, but not as much I feel. Here, there does seem to be more focus on solutions and abilities than focusing more on the negatives that some of your customers seem to do when learning that you are Aspie. I think over here, you could truly show someone up as prejudiced for changing their tune due to a professional claiming to have AS. I'm sorry that you've had that experience.

Also I know exactly what you mean about people not accepting that something is their fault. I'm experiencing that right now with an extremely awkward person who won't take responsibility for their own actions. Many people are all "No, no, no, I'm not being arrogant at all, I'm right, you're wrong, end of!".

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RiRi

I don't know what it is that you fix, seems like internet routers/modems/whatever they're called. I couldn't really relate to anything you said. Maybe it's because I'm an aspie, but from the customer point of view, the dude who comes in is the one who's always wanting to talk to me. I just let them do their job because that's what they're here for. Otherwise, I would have done it myself if I was allowed or if I could. Sometimes the dude even explains I'm going to blah blah blah because blah blah blah. I did this blah blah blah because it's blah blah blah. And I just acknowledge them and thank them multiple times throughout. I feel like they want to even know more about my personal life sometimes. It's quite annoying. Once, I was going to test my internet with my phone and then he's like do you have a computer instead? Afterward, I realized he just wanted to know more about me. It didn't matter if I checked with the phone. Then by me checking my computer, he found out my name and then he even gave me his number. :wacko: 

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MrGrey
8 minutes ago, RiRi said:

I don't know what it is that you fix, seems like internet routers/modems/whatever they're called. I couldn't really relate to anything you said. Maybe it's because I'm an aspie, but from the customer point of view, the dude who comes in is the one who's always wanting to talk to me. I just let them do their job because that's what they're here for. Otherwise, I would have done it myself if I was allowed or if I could. Sometimes the dude even explains I'm going to blah blah blah because blah blah blah. I did this blah blah blah because it's blah blah blah. And I just acknowledge them and thank them multiple times throughout. I feel like they want to even know more about my personal life sometimes. It's quite annoying. Once, I was going to test my internet with my phone and then he's like do you have a computer instead? Afterward, I realized he just wanted to know more about me. It didn't matter if I checked with the phone. Then by me checking my computer, he found out my name and then he even gave me his number. :wacko: 

A ha ha ha ha... That is so on the spot with house techies.  Cable techie, Phone techie, Audio techie, the AC repair guy, The electrician, the Plumber, all of us techies.  We are alone all day driving the van around, we like to talk.  So so true.  I tried not to tho, unless people ask.  

The phone thing is a different issue.  I'm guessing that was the internet techie... he will tell you to test on the computer because on the phone, through wifi, you might not see the full speed.  And he was trying to avoid having to explain that wifi is slower because bla bla bla bla... 

Trying to hook up tho, IDK.  I'm a married techie and I make sure my clients know.  Sometimes clients keep getting flirty... I just ignore it, do my job and get out.  Giving out a personal phone number is a big no no.  Even giving out the work phone number is a big no no.  

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Nesf
On 2/16/2018 at 11:39 AM, MrGrey said:

3) Many parents of Aspie kids have lost all hope that their kids will ever amount to something.

  This one came as a surprise to me.  When I meet parents of aspie kids, most praise their accomplishments and say they do have high hopes.  They can't stop going on and on about famous aspies.  But the moment I tell them I'm an Aspie myself, they loose all confidence in my ability to fix what's broken... because I'm an aspie.  :\  They wait about 10 minutes and come back with some excuse: "something came up, we have to leave soon, we need you to stop working and we'll call later to re-schedule for another person to return and fix the issue at a later time".

This is why I don't talk to people about having Asperger's. I don't like to be prejudged.

7 hours ago, RiRi said:

Sometimes the dude even explains I'm going to blah blah blah because blah blah blah. I did this blah blah blah because it's blah blah blah. And I just acknowledge them and thank them multiple times throughout.

Actually, I like to know what's going on when someone comes to fix something in my house. I want to learn and to understand. I'm likely to ask loads of questions in this situation. It frustrates me when a techie only gives me miminal details, or assumes that I don't need to know something, or doesn't want/can't be bothered to explain... I want to know!

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Sanctuary
5 hours ago, Nesf said:

This is why I don't talk to people about having Asperger's. I don't like to be prejudged.

Actually, I like to know what's going on when someone comes to fix something in my house. I want to learn and to understand. I'm likely to ask loads of questions in this situation. It frustrates me when a techie only gives me miminal details, or assumes that I don't need to know something, or doesn't want/can't be bothered to explain... I want to know!

I would also like to know - as much as anything as I might be able to fix the same thing in the future rather than call them out, although of course some jobs are not safe or too complex for the ordinary resident. I suppose some workers doing maintenance or repairs may feel it distracts them or slows them down if they are having to show or explain exactly how they are doing a job. There may also be cases where they might be concerned that if the resident knows how to do the job themselves they won't get called out again and will miss out on work! Generally in these situations I'm interested in watching but would avoid asking a lot of questions because of the distraction issue; also if it's a long job the worker might feel uncomfortable being watched all the time. I suppose the best thing is to play it by ear - some workers will be happy to work and chat throughout while others give the impression they need more "space". What I certainly don't like are personal questions - just ones related to the job being done. 

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RiRi
23 hours ago, Nesf said:

Actually, I like to know what's going on when someone comes to fix something in my house. I want to learn and to understand. I'm likely to ask loads of questions in this situation. It frustrates me when a techie only gives me miminal details, or assumes that I don't need to know something, or doesn't want/can't be bothered to explain... I want to know!

I try to fix things myself if I can or if it's not like an emergency thing, so I haven't had many people come in to fix things.  Just internet modem installation. I've had that happen a couple of times but that's because the internet company that I have doesn't allow to do self installation. I don't really see the point in finding out what they're doing. Like going outside the pole where the cables are, I probably wouldn't be able to do that anyway. The reason why I don't like when they over explain things is because I have to interact with them. I just want to let them be and me to be out of sight and only talk to me to tell me things that are necessary or essential like how long the procedure's going to take, whether I need to do anything else afterward, etc.

Otherwise, I'm like that too. I want to know everything and full explanation about things. Some people get bugged by this even because I'm always asking questions.

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