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Ask a gran


(28 Posts)
Newquay Wed 12-Feb-20 11:22:44

I have a friend in her fifties, intelligent, well spoken, but the minute she starts to speak you know something “isn’t quite right”. She has no family in this country.
She holds down temporary bank work. Can’t seem to get full time work.
She keeps going to interviews all over the country. When she’s told she hasn’t got the job she rings for feedback and they always say she interviewed well but lacks experience ( which she knows she does in posts she’s applying for). So therefore thinks she will get a post-and, trust me, she’s most unsuitable.
Sigh! I say “enjoy your day out”. She’s so unrealistic.
So sad that noone’s ever pointed it out to her so she can make allowances but she genuinely thinks it’s everyone else!

Baggs Wed 12-Feb-20 11:49:22

Sounds as if she's applying for the wrong kind of job.

You say no-one's pointed out the problem to her. Could you?

Newquay Wed 12-Feb-20 12:58:34

I’ve very gently tried eg lent her Chris Packham’s book to provoke conversation. She said she’d been bullied at school. She can be quite obstinate and “digs her heels in” too. Oh well, I’ll just keep on “keeping on”!

Hithere Wed 12-Feb-20 13:21:31

Could she go to a consultant specialized in the job market and find out what the issue is?

quizqueen Wed 12-Feb-20 13:33:03

She can't be that unsuitable for the jobs she applies for otherwise she wouldn't be short listed for interviews in the first place. Maybe she doesn't interview well and the feedback is a lie. Is she flexible on moving area if she is applying for jobs all over the country?

Suggest she applies for different types of roles and looks on You Tube to see if there are any examples of good and bad interview videos. People always seem to be able to get work in the care industry.

M0nica Wed 12-Feb-20 13:49:59

Does she have a diagnosis of Aspergers or are you just assuming that is her problem?

Newquay Wed 12-Feb-20 16:41:04

You’re right Monica, no formal diagnosis, but, trust me, it’s pretty obvious.
She just keeps applying for jobs and-often in areas she would never be able to afford to live in. I just say have a nice day out.
She’s newly qualified which is one of the excuses/reasons given in post interview feedback.
Today’s was they needed a car owner-she doesn’t have one (thank goodness!) and doesn’t drive.

Hithere Wed 12-Feb-20 17:09:14

So the feedback from the interviews could be accurate.

Furthermore, your friend's decision skills : what can you say about them?
Has she made decisions in the past that didn't make sense, like applying for jobs in an area she cannot live in (unless she can commutr, of course)?

Fennel Wed 12-Feb-20 19:12:25

Newquay I'm also doubtful about your diagnosis of Aspergers.
For example, my adult son, in his 50s, has personality problems similar to Aspergers. Since early childhood.
Thank God he has never had difficulty in finding a job suitable to his other strengths.
Be careful how you use these terms.

Hetty58 Wed 12-Feb-20 19:21:35

It's not a good idea to label her with a condition. You say she 'isn’t quite right' but that could be so many things. Perhaps, at interview, it's also obvious that she 'isn’t quite right' but they can't give that as feedback!

BlueBelle Wed 12-Feb-20 19:22:18

Oh dear why are you writing this ‘friend’ off she’s at least applying for jobs and obviously getting shortlisted
Your post really doesn’t sound very kind ‘have a nice day out’ sounds almost sarcastic
You are in ask a gran what question are you actually asking ?You’re just stating your opinion of a ‘friend’
Hopefully she ll gat a good post and have the last laugh
I applied (pushed by a friend) to apply for a job which was well out of my league (achedemically but not experience wise) and was accepted and worked hard at it for 15 very happy years
If you’re a real friend you ll encourage not discourage her

Cerys Wed 12-Feb-20 19:22:21

I agree with Fennel - many people on the spectrum find the term offensive and there has been a campaign for people to stop using it. In fact the NHS no longer use it in Wales

Newquay Wed 12-Feb-20 20:13:17

Trust me I have been supporting this lady for years and am not in any way unhelpful or sarcastic. She does work in the care industry and has had a rough time in some places. I’m concerned she could end up living somewhere where she knows no one although that is extremely unlikely. She has to rent and isn’t realistic about where she could afford to live. I suppose I “asked a Gran” in the hope that someone would have some experience to offer.

Fennel Wed 12-Feb-20 20:14:52

That's good news from Wales, Cerys

M0nica Wed 12-Feb-20 20:26:21

The difficulty with removing 'Aspergers' from the acceptable language canon is what do you replace it with that is easy to say and understandable to the non-expert.

I am a non-expert, but I have niece and a friend who both have been diagnosed by reputable medical authorities as having Aspergers, and I would be very loathe to attach that description to this lady. yes, she has problems, but not the one you attribute to her.

If she did have the condition whose name I must not mention, there are many places she can go for help in both preparing and being helped into work. Google 'helping autistic people find work'. So many sites come up there are too many to link in this post, but they include the National Autistic Society, and several others whose main aim is to help people on the spectrum find work.

They will help your friend get a proper diagnosis of what problem, if any, that she does have and point her in the right direction to seek help and work.

ExperiencedNotOld Wed 12-Feb-20 20:45:39

I’ll try and help Newquay. I too know someone like this, in fact I used to work with them. Little by little she shared information about what had happened in her life beforehand. Over time I learnt that she had virtually no self-awareness in the present. Her past was full of sadness and alone-ness, with uncaring remote parents who place her in boarding school at an early age, failing in education, a series of random jobs, little companionship, poor social skills. By the time I knew her she would readily acknowledge that she wasn’t ‘like others’ and could adjust her behaviours to avoid upsetting others. But she took refuge in a world of her own imagination particularly when under stress, telling mistruths as they were often easier than reality. I still see her, she’s well and seems happy, but in her mid50s she’s still ‘apart’ from the rest of the world. Perhaps your friend has a similar back story.

Elegran Wed 12-Feb-20 20:49:50

It sems that all terms for mental health problems go through a similar cycle. At first they are used only by the medical profession to describe a specific condition, then they gradually move into the acceptable general vocabulary of the public. After a while some people start to use them for those who don't have that precise condition, but are a bit "different", or in a derogatory way for someone they are scornful of. At that point a new term comes into use - and follows the same course.

Newquay Wed 12-Feb-20 21:13:25

Oh Experienced how true-she has no self awareness but is harsh in her judgment of others. She was privately educated so speaks well; is brilliant at history (to the point of tedium!). Has had succession of random poorly paid jobs. No friends, poor social skills except courteous phrases obviously drummed into her. She’s in her mid fifties too. Trust me, I’m in no way scornful of her and do my best to support her without in any way “treading on her toes”

ExperiencedNotOld Wed 12-Feb-20 21:21:02

Sometimes you have to let people be what they are. You can accommodate their quirks (we all learnt to recognise when she was feeling stressed and taking refuge in her imagination) and learn when and, mostly, when not to intervene or question. The important thing is to consider that many people will not be kind and give their time to them. Just doing that is usually much appreciated. Trying to change them will not be.

Newquay Wed 12-Feb-20 21:36:59

I’m in no way trying to change her at all-it would be hopeless. I just want to support her as best I can while not interfering or trying to remotely impose anything on her. Just gentle suggestions and help

Fennel Thu 13-Feb-20 11:09:58

Sorry Newquay but you touched on a raw nerve with me.
You're being a kind and supportive friend, which she will need at the moment. The job market is difficult, from what I've heard. Another of our children, also in her 50s, is worried about being pushed out of her job. She's too expensive.
@ Elegran your post last night -
I agree about that. A good example is Dyslexia.
When I first started to work as an E.P. the L.A. I worked for had a 'Dyslexia Register'. That was in the early 70s.
In 1978 statementing was introduced. This put responsibility on LA.s to provide appropriate provision for children with special educational needs. Which is costly.
So the Dyslexia register disappeared, and there were stringent rules before a child was diagnosed dyslexic.
From what I hear the term is now used more widely, but parents still have to struggle to get help for their child with a reading/writing problem.

Cerys Thu 13-Feb-20 11:37:29

Fennel- I have recently retired from education but spent 20 years working as a specialist teacher and have seen how young people with SpLD have little to no provision.

Budgets are always given as an excuse but ignorance of need and suitable provision is rife.

Can I also point out that Autism is not a mental illness although people on the spectrum can of course have mental health concerns.

Education is so badly needed to combat the mis conceptions of people on the Spectrum.

Doodle Thu 13-Feb-20 21:32:24

I too was going to point out that autism is not a mental illness. Newquay could you possibly explain the traits you see in your friend that make you think she has Asperger?

welbeck Fri 14-Feb-20 03:53:38

i find it tricky to know how much i should put up with from someone whom i help. she is disabled now, but it's more her behaviour and attitude that pre-dated the disability, that causes problems. i do feel taken for granted. she is sharp, rude, demanding with me; other people have noticed it. i do protest sometimes but it continues. i wonder if she is aspergic, but is that an excuse to trample on me. sounds ridiculous as i write it; why don't i just stand up for myself.

BlueBelle Fri 14-Feb-20 04:51:18

Halve you posted in the wrong thread wellbeck