In the last several years I have listened to a few talks online about employment. The two I have had the opportunity to listen to that I do really agree with and think have the right idea are Temple Grandin and Jeanette Purkis. I can relate to Temple when she mentions starting work with small jobs like mowing lawns. I might have it wrong, but I get the gist of both talks. I should read their books though as I am waiting for Jeanette’s to come out as I do hope it gives inspiration to people. Looking at what I have done in the past I will provide my own examples of working in vastly different areas even though there are some that people would think of as being strange. I do believe I subscribe to what they have been saying all my life.
I used to live in a caravan park where I had my own job washing cars for $5 each as a general wash. Vacuuming was extra depending on the car. I did have cars I washed every week, once a month and when certain tourists came up during winter from Victoria. $5 did go a long way actually and I finished washing cars when we moved out of the caravan park. The other areas I worked in though I admit that I didn’t like everything and found it to be very hard work. I got stuck on Hamilton Island washing dishes and fired after 3 weeks for being too slow and too clean. Housekeeper for nearly 3 months before I was told I was no longer needed at the end of my probation, though I think part of the reason was dropping a bag of sheets onto the boss’ head from a balcony when I did call watchout below. Picked pears down south in Shepparton for two seasons. I can say that was hard work up and down ladders all day while living on the farm. In the second season I was asked to stay on to pick apples several weeks later. I did pick coffee beans locally for two seasons too before I started working at Coles for the last 8 years. I have volunteered with the marine rescue for the last 10 years as boat crew and radio operator.
When I was looking for work I never thought about having Aspergers to stop me from anything though I never thought about it at all. I had always thought everything was in regards to say my interview skills or even how my resume was sorted out. I was not always very sure about my skills, but I did want a job in retail. There were some job agencies that were not doing their jobs though like jumping the gun when being told by myself not to put all the eggs into one basket, another laughing at an interview answer I had given without explaining why or one who tried to discourage me from entering his territory to job search on my own as I was the client of another person within the job agency. I did get stuck with a dodgy computer repair shop and was ‘volunteering’ with them on the promise that I would get a job after 3 months. The job never happened and I learnt the dark side to the computer industry, but I learnt how to build a computer.
One conference I did attend was by Tony Attwood and he had many good points in regards to employment, but I don’t think it is a wise idea to discourage team work or group activities as it is something that is the basic fundamentals of any job especially if you work in a supermarket as you have to interact with customers and other staff members as the work is always shift work. Teamwork teaches people many skills that they do not get from working alone, though there would be others who do work on their own, but a supermarket can make you feel like you are working on your own. Don’t get me wrong there are people with different abilities who are out there and they will have need for a case officer to watch out for them. I had one, but never needed their help and after two years they let me go free as they seen me as a success story.
Politics, protest and advocacy groups
My opinion about advocacy groups and politics is that they should be adaptive and not take a political stance showing they are leaning to one group or the other. I think it could be a matter of receiving funding if needed from the government. Sure I get that we should be teaching them about advocacy, which is a good way of becoming known. I am not sure it is wise to say you are pro Labor or even pro Liberal as it concerns me that doing so might bite the hand that feeds you as I do believe no matter the government in power is that we all have to work together no matter what our personal preference is. Another thought is that using advocacy groups to protest certain things like the Retarde shirts that were out a while ago. I was asked to post the petition about this, but I refused as I felt using a group to protest something might cause more harm than anything else. In these forms I think we should stick to being impartial. If we post one thing about protesting a government or business then we should end up doing so for everyone.