Monday, 1 July 2013

My Lists {And A Rant About Conversational Skills/Things}

Every day, at the start of or during the day, I write myself a To-Do list of things I want to get done after work. But before I write today’s To-Do list, I go through and cross out everything on yesterday’s To-Do list. A tick for everything I did do, a cross for everything I didn’t do.
More often than not, there are more crosses than ticks. And everything that’s crossed gets either carried on to the next day’s list, or (eventually) wiped off completely. And then, forgotten about until it becomes urgent.
That’s just the way my mind goes.
And it seems that today’s post is going to involve general ranting rather than just focusing on one topic {for now… we’ll see how this goes. Sometimes a general rant grows into something more deep that needs its own post}. That is, after all, the joy of being me. Things that need writing get written and one topic bleeds into the next until we’re taking over the world!!!
There’s a girl away today. Her desk (which is in the central ‘hub’ area of our section in the cube farm, where the main group of socialising people) is empty. I was tempted to ask if I could sit there today. Just to have a bit of human interaction.
I didn’t ask in the end though {not that one hour into the working day is too late to ask… or is it?}. I might like the socialising, actually having people to talk to, or I might hate it. Too many people talking when I’m trying to work. Or the other problem, the usual problem. They’d ignore me, or talk over me, or invalidate me.
That always happens.
I don’t know what it is about me but… People are always talking over top of me (I hate that), interrupting me (I hate that too), just acting like I never said anything (yup, hate that too) or  making my words wrong so it sounds like I’m being a bitch or insensitive or… There are so many aspects of verbal communication that I hate. Mostly because of the way I’m treated when I talk.
I had a great – granted, not earth-shattering, but viable at the very least – idea at work that would have saved time and helped increase initial accuracy thus decreasing the time spent doing what my team is doing right now. However it took me too long to iron out the details in my mind, so I presented it a day too late and didn’t verbalise myself well enough, and I possibly didn’t tell the right person. So it was shot down as being a waste of time before it could even get past lower management.
 {I can, however, still use this as an example in future job interviews, I think, if I give it the right spin. After all, it is still an example of “When did you see a way that things could be changed at work, did you tell anyone and what was the reaction?” which is a fairly commonly asked interview question. This is something (preparing myself for the necessity of future job interviews, and refining myself) that I need to seriously think about, as my contract nears its end. And with this being my first office role, it’s doubly important… I might have to add “prepare job interview answers” to my To-Do list this week.}
Yeah, I got distracted. Majorly distracted. But that’s my flow. From why I hate talking to people, to prepping for a job interview in two easy paragraphs.
Now back to why I hate talking to people:
Well, there are really many reasons. The aforementioned are the main ones though. People misunderstand my intentions. I speak to fast or too quietly and people don’t understand what I’m saying. I use the wrong words and again I get misunderstood.
I learnt early on that to get my words heard I needed to speak louder, but my fear of not being heard (coupled with my trouble regulating the volume of my words) means that I often end up shouting. I get accused of trying to intimidate people, or ‘stand over’ them. I get told that I’m not listening to what people say which is wrong, I’m just trying to also get my words heard. When I get frustrated, I swear, which also isn’t looked favourably upon, but if I consciously try not to swear then I can’t get any words out, I stammer more, and I eventually end up crying.
Since getting this job (and maybe it’s just coincidental that this coincided with me getting my official diagnosis) I have been noticing my problems with speech more and more. At times, rather than say something that I know I’m going to have to repeat, I write down the main points and just hand that over to my team leader. It is, after all, all about knowing your weak points and having ways to overcome them… Actually I don’t know if that’s the best idea or not {is doing things like that just invalidating me as a person in the end? Stressing me out by making me try to function on an NT level when I’m not NT? Or is it a good thing, finding alternate ways of communicating when my way is inefficient? I really do not know…}
Conversational timing is a bit of an issue for me. Not just knowing when to speak, but the fact that I am polite and I will let people finish what they’re saying before I take my turn (because I had it, not literally, hammered into me at a young age that it’s incredibly rude to interrupt people). This is a problem mostly because by the time they’ve finished blathering on about whatever annoying thing they’re saying, they’ve either taken our conversation away from the direction where my statement would be appropriate, made it so my opinion wouldn’t contribute anything (thus invalidating my statement), or I’ve clear forgotten what it was I wanted to say.
The forgetting happens more and more frequently. At the moment, I’m thinking about blaming this on the build-up of pressure caused by trying to function on an NT level socially. Either that or just an increased level of social interaction which means that there’s an increased incidence but statistically it would remain the same (one forgetting in ten conversations is ten forgettings in a hundred conversations and a hundred in one thousand conversations, but they all have the same incidence of occurring).
{And Wow! I keep remembering something that’s totally relevant to this train of thought, but by the time I’ve finished what I’m writing, even if it’s only seven words, I forget what it was that I wanted to add, only remembering the fact that it’s something I’ve thought about adding before and forgotten. I think that is a hint that this blog post at the very least, has reached its finishing point.}

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