Learning Experience and Mixed Messages...

Michael has worked at his job for a few weeks now...and it is a definite learning experience for him. 

It has been weird to hear him talk about work...he has said a couple things that are so typical of this type of experience...like the time he was talking about people coming in right at closing time and how everyone who is working is just waiting for them to go home...the time we went to the store and he proudly showed me something he put on display...how he discussed that the Trump masks are played with at the store...but no one buys them...

He is on his first "long" shift today.  He has money to have his lunch there.  How he got this shift--the manager called me and asked if Michael would like to take this shift--and I said yeah, sure (he hadn't had a shift this week yet...).  Well--then we hit the corner of Teenager and Aspergers.  Michael was not pleased that I volunteered him.  Part of that, in retrospect, should have been obvious to me--I mean, how many times as a teenager did I duck out of taking extra shifts?!  But, there was another aspect.  As he blamed me (a little more than he should have, which is pure Asperger issue), he also showed his ASD anxiety--he worried that he has only had small shifts...and he wasn't sure if he was ready for a longer shift...it really bothered him that he could not have controlled when he got that shift.  I told him I could totally call back and have him bail.  He eventually decided (even with a cold starting to bother him) to take the shift.  I am proud that he is willing to push himself.

Then comes the mixed messages part.  Part of his personality, which is a good and bad aspect, is that he is very literal, very precise.  If you, say, want him to start a shift at 9:30...um, you better have the store open at 9:30. 

I just finished with this scenario:  I dropped him off.  Part way home, I got a call.  No one was there to let him in and his shift started in 2 minutes  (You could hear the anxiety in his voice).  I told him to just relax and wait 10-16 minutes and then call me back if no one showed.  I got home.  Within 10 minutes he called, obviously exasperated, saying no one is here (key point is that while he was upset, he seemed to be keeping his frustration level in check).  Okay, I said, well, let me call your manager...I will call you back.  I call the manager--he is a kid (probably like 25 years old) and he says "oh, yeah, I am pulling into the parking lot right now..."  I call Michael back and tell him this, and tell him to calm down, don't worry, you will get all your time for the day....END. 

Unfortunately, this shop, since it is only seasonal, seems to be a bit disorganized--you know why he did not have any shifts this week?  They forgot to call us and tell us he was supposed to be working on Monday and Tuesday night this week... (found this out on Thursday).  So, yeah...they are also showing Michael the worst of habits in some respects. 

But, you know what?  It is all good....its a learning experience, especially each time he has to deal with something a bit different than expected. 



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