Skip to main content

It's an Aspie on the phone...




'Madam, your deadline was the 5th of this month...'

A pause so that I can insert the stupendously important reason why I didn't send my forms back in time. The call centre person is waiting, his tone has been efficient and officious since I was put through and he obviously expects a really good answer for my complete lack of organisation. What can I say?

I flash through the options in that super-quick way you develop after so very many years of having to think of on-the-spot excuses. Oh well, none of them will sound good.

I reply with a simple, 'Yes,' agreeing with him. I know the deadline was the 5th.

There is another pause. Call centre people aren't used to this. They can deal with lateness but only if you offer reasons and they are trained to filter the excuses from the reasons too. It's something like quality control but without much quality by the end.

There is a slight sigh, then I'm told, 'The deadline has passed so you will need to re-submit the form and the date will be from when we receive it.'

I sigh too, but I hide it as sighing from the end of the customer implies sorrowful acceptance of my fate or, worse, criticism of the call centre. When you miss as many deadlines as I do, you learn to make the call centre person your ally, if possible.

'I know, I realise that,' I say sadly, falling back on my stalwart approach of sounding sad and as if I have a very good but hidden reason for being foolish, one I am unable to share with them. This sad air of mystery has dragged me out of many troublesome holes.

There is another pause and I hear clicking from his end as he types something onto my file.

'Madam, if you can return the form within four days, we should be able to keep the break to a week at most. Can you return it within that time?'

'Yes, thank you!' I sigh audibly this time, with glad relief. 'I will definitely get it back to you in four days!'

I now sound absurdly grateful, as if I am on the verge of being offered his daughter's kidney. I let my voice waver a little, to show I am moved by the kindness and his voice changes to one of concern as well as helpfulness. He is my ally now.

The rest of the call is spent in the usual organising noises, slotted in to make sure your telephonic visit is as turgid as possible. I ring off, finally, eventually, totally free of the call and make myself find the stupid form and fill in the stupid boxes and replace the stupid envelope I lost, which was the reason I dilly-dallied and never sent it back on time.There, it goes in my bag so he can receive it in four days and mitigate my latest disaster.

Sometimes, though, I think how easy it would be if, in the pause they leave for my reason, I could slot in, 'I am an Aspie, I do these things.' Life is never that simple though, and if I was to use my Aspergers as a reason for missing a deadline, then it would become awkward, one of those moments when you have to explain yourself and you hear the other person's tone of voice change as they decide how to handle this strange and rather alarming piece of information.

I always end up leaving it just so, letting them think I am a flake instead, a woman with problems, a sad-voiced individual who somehow manages to stretch the deadline and enact that little-used policy they have in their power.

Readers, if  only people in my real life were as easily handled, then things would be much simpler. How ironic that I can use this people-reading skill so adeptly in moments of call centre crisis but not when my nearest and dearest are bearing down on me with my latest sin.

That's how it goes, I suppose. If my super power must be Deadline Stretching, then I guess I can still make the world a better place, one missed form at a time.

Amanda
  

My books and writing blog, with free stuff.
Find me on Facebook.and Twitter!

Popular posts from this blog

Spotting an aspie adult

Have you ever wondered how to spot an aspie adult, at a distance, without having to get too close? It would be so convenient, wouldn't it? To be able to detect the aspieness before you are drawn in, before there is any danger of becoming part of their mad world and waking up one morning, trying to work out where it all went wrong and what happened to all your socks.

Bearing in mind there are always exceptions that prove the rule, here is what you should look for.

In the supermarket I often wonder if I have spotted a fellow aspie. Walking along the aisles, it's easier to people watch than shop, usually because I've forgotten what I need. The supermarket is a good open space where you can spot aspies as they grapple with the complex practicalities of staying alive by food shopping.

The walk: Yes, from a distance or as they pass by, the walk is a dead giveaway. It seems to veer towards extremes, either a fast paced booster effect from A to B, or a meandering wander with no vi…

A Guide to your Aspie

So, you have your new aspie and are wondering what to do with him/her. Depending on size and gender, some of these instructions may need to be followed with caution but we are confident that you will be able to get the best out of your aspie for many trouble-free years to come!

(Disclaimer: we are not responsible for any physical, emotional or financial harm that may come to you when following these instructions. Once unboxed, your aspie is not eligible for our guaranteed swappage and refurbishment policy. Please have a good look at the aspie through the window provided before unboxing).

1. Unbox carefully and without making physical contact with the aspie. Pull down the box using the flaps provided and allow them to step free by themselves.

2. Allow your aspie free rein, to explore their surroundings. For ease of capture, we recommend not unboxing in an area that is too large or too small. Open fields would not be suitable, unless you are a long distance runner. Small rooms are to b…

Your life, on screen...required viewing for aspies and friends

I come to you today a wiser woman. Aren't we always saying, how good it would be to see ourselves as the world sees us? Well, thanks to a new Japanese anime show, I did just that. For the first time in my life, I saw what I look like from the outside.

Readers, this is not a paid review or anything officially linked to the Watamote, the anime. This is purely my response to something which, hum, how can I put it? Well, if I tell you that I sat through the whole show, with an expression of horror and recognition on my face, would that tell you how it was?

IT Teen had told me to watch it. He bought the manga first, the Japanese version. He waved it in my face and said, 'This is about yoooo!' I remember scowling at the book cover, to find a edgily-drawn girl scowling back at me. Yes, already it was accurate.

IT told me that it's a 'slice of life' story, all about this socially awkward girl called Tomoko. I thought, well, yes, I am socially awkward but that doesn…