I Got a Job!

Finally! After 10 months of trying to get one, I have finally got my first ever job at a supermarket which I’ve had for a month now. It’s probably not wise for someone with ADD, ASD, and Dyscalculia to get a job at a supermarket, there is constantly something happening and it can be very overwhelming. I hear, see, and smell everything. I sit down and open my till and I hear the beeping from every other till, I hear every single receipt being printed, I see every item in every isle in sight, and I smell every onion and piece of hot food from the deli counter that I scan. So this makes it difficult to interact with customers because I’m trying to make my ASD background noise so I can act like a neurotypical person – it’s like I have two brains, but I will talk about this in a separate post.

I’ve taught myself over my time of being undiagnosed with ASD how to behave like neurotypical people so people don’t find me to be different. It’s called shapeshifting, a term used by the girl with the curly hair that means that someone with ASD observes a neurotypical person, and then copies exactly what they do to get by in the neurotypical world. It’s very exhausting and very annoying when I can’t be myself, but I think of it as an on and off switch. Most of the time, I am off. This means that I don’t have to act like a neurotypical person and can daydream, fidget, stim, talk how I usually talk (which is more childlike), and keep to myself. But when I go in for work I am on. This means that I can’t be obviously daydreaming, can only fidget with my legs, can’t stim, talk in a “grown up” voice (one that I am putting on), and interact with people.

I work 3 days in a row which can be tiring, but it’s suited to my schedule – two evenings and one afternoon, since I am not a morning person and will probably never be. I also didn’t initially tell anyone that I was going to be working with that I have any learning disabilities, because although people usually are quick to accept that I have ADD because it comes clear when people try to hold conversation with me, people don’t realise and are quite shocked to learn that I have ASD, because of my shapeshifting abilities. But the worst learning disability for this job would probably be the Dyscalculia because a. no one knows what it is, and b. I work on a checkout with numbers and money and I am not good at handling numbers and money. I knew going into the job that I wasn’t particularly good at adding up money fast, but I didn’t realise how bad my Maths would affect me. It’s difficult to explain, so I will also explain what exactly Dyscalculia does and what it’s like to have it in another post, but I basically just tell people the wrong totals because my eyes will switch the numbers around or replace one number for a different one, or my mouth will say them in the wrong order. I also get the money mixed up sometimes, and there’s been incidents where I’ve given people the wrong amount of change (I’ve only gotten one complaint from a girl who came back to my till… to say I’d given her too much).

All in all I’m just happy that I have a job and that my first pay day is this week. I try to only think about work when I’m at work, and when I’m at home I can relax, because otherwise I get too stressed that at the end of the week I have to turn the switch on for 3 days straight. But I am disappointed that I don’t work at the book shop where it’s quiet and the people who go in there are always nice because you share the same interest.

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2 Responses to I Got a Job!

  1. Well done on your new job. I can’t imagine how distracting it must be around all those SMELLS in the supermarket (as you know, I would not be able to cope with the ban**** and general fru** :P).

    I like what you’ve said about shapeshifting, I can relate to how you are and how tiring it is.

    Take care!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you 🙂 the smells are only distracting and make me want to chop off my nose when it’s food from the deli counter, but other than that I can cope. It’s the lighting and all the noise that is the main problem, whenever I go to sleep after a shift from that day, all I can hear is tills being opened and receipts being printed! It’s very tiring but I’m happy to be out and about independently in the world, even if it does mean shapeshifting.


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