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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Disabilities In the Workplace?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the getting-a-handle-on-things dept.

Businesses 292

mpol writes "The job market can be hard right now, depending on your background and location. Having a disability makes things even more interesting. Seven years ago I suffered from a psychosis, and I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I have been recovering quite well, and last year I started searching for a paying job. I found one, but it didn't turn out to be the right place, so I'm back at my volunteer job as web developer. My current workplace is quite unique, as there are several people who have had a psychosis in the past, or have been diagnosed with autism. When I look at myself I know that I have some things that will always play a role: I'm very sensitive to the atmosphere in the workplace for example. I also need clear communication, more so than other people. Furthermore, a workweek of maybe 20-25 hours is the max for me. I tried self-employment, but motivation and discipline are a bit hard to come by, and it's not something that will work for me long-term. In theory it's perfect, in practice not so much. I'm not sure what my short-term future will look like, and for this year I'm quite happy where I am, but next year I might go searching for a salaried job again. I'm wondering if there are more people on Slashdot who have a job in ICT, or are seeking one, and also have disabilities. How did you land at your job, and what issues do you run into in daily practice?"

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Holy Shit! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41223893)

I suffered from a psychosis, and I was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

So did the Colorado shooter. Stay the hell away from my workplace.

Re:Holy Shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41223917)

You sir are a fucking WANKER and need sensitivity training. Mod parent flamebait!

Re:Holy Shit! (4, Informative)

CrudPuppy (33870) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224209)

I work in IT, and am profoundly Deaf. Working with a disability is definitely a challenge. You have to set expectations and remind people constantly--I work in a company of only 35 people and I have to remind people I can't hear for shit. You have to advocate for yourself, and let people know what YOU need to be successful in the job. That being said, all of these things are difficult to do.

Re:Holy Shit! (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#41223929)

Sigh. I guess this troll makes a valid point that the average idiot might think something like this. Most educated people would know better of course. I hope you find a job that you enjoy!

Re:Holy Shit! (1)

virgnarus (1949790) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224281)

Don't you see that the OP is just disgruntled because his workplace doesn't properly consider his disability?

Re:Holy Shit! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#41223933)

Congratulation, you've just won the Inappropriate Generalization of the Month Award. We'll contact you shortly.

Re:Holy Shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224033)

This subject explains a lot about the people (mentally ill) who post on this site and who by far are democrat and liberal.

Re:Holy Shit! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224299)

You're behavior suggests you are a sociopath, so you stay away from MY workplace.

SEO - White or Blackhat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41223911)

You're already a webdev...be your own boss and don't mess with anyone else.

I think the OP mentioned self-employment (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224079)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

You're already a webdev...be your own boss and don't mess with anyone else.

I think the OP mentioned that:

I tried self-employment, but motivation and discipline are a bit hard to come by, and it's not something that will work for me long-term. In theory it's perfect, in practice not so much.

Re:I think the OP mentioned self-employment (3, Funny)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224119)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

You're already a webdev...be your own boss and don't mess with anyone else.

I think the OP mentioned that:

I tried self-employment, but motivation and discipline are a bit hard to come by, and it's not something that will work for me long-term. In theory it's perfect, in practice not so much.

That's going to be a problem when he seeks a salaried job -- few employers want an unmotivated, undisciplined employee. If I wanted to hover over the employee and make sure he's doing the work he's supposed to be doing, I'd hire my son.

Re:I think the OP mentioned self-employment (4, Informative)

mpol (719243) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224241)

> That's going to be a problem when he seeks a salaried job -- few employers want an unmotivated, undisciplined employee. If I wanted to hover over the employee and make sure he's doing the work he's supposed to be doing, I'd hire my son.

I can clarify that.
When I'm at the workplace this is different. I am motivated and disciplined. I'm at the place where it is expected to work, and that's what I do. Also there's a clear border, when I'm home my workday is over and I don't have to worry about it.
Working from home is a lot harder, to me at least, and I heard other people mention it. When I'm home I am usually relaxing a bit, so the place has a complete different association with me. Also there's no clear border, I can work for 7 hours straigt and still feel the rest of the day that I should be doing stuff. Or take a day off, like any normal person, and feel that way the whole day. That gets tired very soon.
So I figured out I need a real work environment, and I can't work from home.

Re:I think the OP mentioned self-employment (5, Informative)

gagol (583737) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224365)

There are collectives such as the renocollective.com that offers very affordable workspace to freelancers and start-ups. This way you can be self-employed, not working from your home and meet other creative people during the day. You can pay by the day if you plan to work few days a week. I think this can be the next best thing for you if you cannot land a job. Look around your area. Best luck to you.

Re:I think the OP mentioned self-employment (4, Interesting)

kwerle (39371) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224487)

In addition to collectives, there are other public places that you might do well in. I sometimes work at the public library. It's generally quiet, and it's not home. There's a cafe' I often work at (I make a point to spend money there, so I don't feel bad using one of the several open tables).

But if you need a routine, then an office might be the place for you.

I might look for government employment. City/County. Very large organizations tend to be better equipped to handle and understand unusual worker needs.

Good luck.

Re:I think the OP mentioned self-employment (1)

Roogna (9643) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224519)

As I said in a post down below, the key may be starting a business with someone you already like working with. Then you can keep each other motivated. Plus find a location (others in this thread have linked it) besides home to call your "office".

And note: Starting businesses is the advice I give to -everyone- asking a question about employment right now. The current IT job market is simply broken in a number of ways.

Re:I think the OP mentioned self-employment (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224795)

Just make sure it is the right person all around. A business venture is a good way to take a person you like and who likes you, and turn them into someone you hate with every fiber of your being. For instance, some people work really well with their spouses, some divorce over it and still others divorce but still work together on the business.

In short, if you are creative and smart, but perhaps a little on the less structured side about things, you need someone who can give you the needed structure, but at the same time has the patience to deal with you and recognize your critical abilities. Even as a part owner, you might want to go as far as to voluntarily subordinate yourself to their oversight somewhat.

To drag in an Apple example, if you're a Woz type, you probably want a Steve Jobs there. Your Jobs will tend to get richer, more famous and may even be a complete asshole, but if he can take care of making you both money so you can do what you like to do, you're probably making out pretty well.

Re:I think the OP mentioned self-employment (2)

hilltaker7 (2718495) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224539)

I had similar issues (working from home focus issues), and I found that I was able to work from home iff I set aside a work area (an office) that I only used for work (no-multitasking allowed). This gave me enough of a psychological barrier that I changed from work to play mode just by entering the space. I no longer work at home, but maintain the space as my project room, and it still serves it's purpose. Give it a try.

Re:I think the OP mentioned self-employment (3, Interesting)

azadrozny (576352) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224607)

So I figured out I need a real work environment, and I can't work from home.

FWIW, I have a friend who started working from home, and expressed the same concerns as you. To compensate, he did a few things. First he has a general daily schedule that he follows as strictly as he can. This schedule includes two hours in the middle of his work morning, part of which he uses to cook breakfast for his family before they leave for the day. He logs off email, and lets work calls go to voice mail outside these times. He also has a home office. He only uses the office when he is working. Personal time spent using the computer is done outside of his office. Finally, he hangs his company ID around his neck, just like when he is in a company office. It is a visual indicator to let his family know when he is is working. The point of all of this was to create mental and visual barriers between home and work.

Re:I think the OP mentioned self-employment (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224269)

being the type that needs micromanagement and being the type that doesn't care to run their own business are not the same thing. thanks for coming out.

Re:I think the OP mentioned self-employment (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224403)

Government hires retards, clinically lazy, and psychotic. When I worked at a government agency it was pretty insane.

Re:I think the OP mentioned self-employment (2)

ah.clem (147626) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224449)

>>> "If I wanted to hover over the employee and make sure he's doing the work he's supposed to be doing, I'd hire my son."

Priceless.

Re:SEO - White or Blackhat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224327)

That's not nice, suggesting that he con people out of their money. He already has issues. Do you want him to become a sociopath also? In that case he should run for political office!

I work from home... (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#41223925)

So your story of a workplace with "several people who have had a psychosis in the past" while yourself being a schizophrenic made me laugh when I imagined you working alone at home as I do while being surrounded by other "people" with mental problems.

Sorry... I'm a bad person it seems.

Re:I work from home... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224367)

Schizophrenia is NOT multiple personablity disorder.

Sorry to ruin a good joke but it's one of those wildly misquoted "truths".

Re:I work from home... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224401)

No, but a schizophrenic may very well hear other people talking to him. Often it's God.

Re:I work from home... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224453)

And multiple personality disorder has jack all to do with the joke, since the disparate personalities do not interact with one another. Hallucinations including peers working together at one's fictional place of employment, on the other hand, would fit nicely into the constraints of schizophrenic symptoms.

Motivation (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41223931)

Motivation to work is indeed hard to come by if you are receiving disability checks.

Re:Motivation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41223981)

Just like your fat mammy never got a job since she used her welfare and food stamps to buy fried chicken for your fatass.

Re:Motivation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224025)

Oh yeah, because it pays sooo well. Sorry you hate your life. Maybe you should
chop off a few fingers and jump on that sweet sweet gravy train.

Re:Motivation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224203)

Many years ago, I worked in an abusive work environment (sweatshop-style consisting entirely of 1st-generation Gook and Beaner immigrants who barely knew English) in which I was systematically harassed. Fortunately, thanks to my insurance provider's rubber-stamp shrink and a "nervous breakdown," my employer had to pay me just a little under what I was making at work to hang out at the beach and sip Margaritas all day, for over a year straight. Moral of the story - don't fuck with your employees, or justice will be done.

Also, when the employer gravy train runs out, SSI (aka the "retard pension") is only a little over $900 a month.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Motivation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224645)

Many years ago, I worked in an abusive work environment (sweatshop-style consisting entirely of 1st-generation Gook and Beaner immigrants who barely knew English) in which I was systematically harassed. Fortunately, thanks to my insurance provider's rubber-stamp shrink and a "nervous breakdown," my employer had to pay me just a little under what I was making at work to hang out at the beach and sip Margaritas all day, for over a year straight. Moral of the story - don't fuck with your employees, or justice will be done.

Also, when the employer gravy train runs out, SSI (aka the "retard pension") is only a little over $900 a month.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Wait, so 900 dollars a month is a lot now? Wow, just wow, in most cities for that you could afford to have about 4 room-mates in a pest filled apartment that is inconveniently far from both any real work and any place to buy things (except for some over priced convenience stores). At that income ordering a pizza is a disastrous financial decision.

I have no idea what your disability was, but in the US short term disability often caps out as a maximum weekly allowance or 60% of your max income (whichever is lower), the average weekly max cap is around $250 when I checked a few years back, an extremely good policy (typically that only professionals will have) will weekly max between 500 and 1000 per week (remember these are people who normally make that kind of money in a day or two).

Actually it sounds like you were on workman's comp, which pays a lot better, since your "injury" was job related.

As for people on SSI, none of them have a good life unless they have family to care for them.

Finally, "retard" (as is "short bus") is insulting, my daughter is disabled, and it's downright fucking insensitive. If you already know that and don't care, good enough, in the case you might just unwittingly have been a dick, I thought I'd mention.

Re:Motivation (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224277)

Oh yeah, because it pays sooo well. Sorry you hate your life. Maybe you should chop off a few fingers and jump on that sweet sweet gravy train.

Granted, OP was probably being a fascist dick in making the comment, considering the assholish phrasing, but whether they meant to or not, they actually made an excellent point - too much income from a job will substantially decrease the amount of disability assistance this individual receives, likely to the detriment of their livelihood.

It's not a 1:1 ratio; getting a higher-paying job (or even a raise) can totally fuck the impoverished over financially. [nationalreview.com]

Re:Motivation (1)

Mindscrew (1861410) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224389)

You guys are all Anonymous Cowards.

Just sayin'...

Worry Not Lord Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41223975)

Shall Set You Free. /don't count on it. The weak and the disabled will be the first to have their expensive treatments cut.

Re:Worry Not Lord Obama (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224351)

Shall Set You Free. /don't count on it.

I don't think he does, given that he lives in the Netherlands.

I deal with disabilities right here on Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41223987)

I'm being downmodded by people who don't speak English.

Re:I deal with disabilities right here on Slashdot (1)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224201)

I speak English and I've down modded morons before.

From experience... (5, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#41223999)

My last job included an employee with well controlled schizophrenia and another with moderate autism. The employer did all the right things as far as I'm aware, shorter hours and short-notice time off were available, and all of the management were made aware of the issues. There were plenty of staff meaning that unsuitable or particularly stressful jobs (eg dealing with large crowds at busy periods) could be avoided and the members of staff in question would pick up on the jobs more suited to them instead.

By far the most useful thing, however, were the pub trips after work. Both employees were quite happy to talk openly about their respective conditions, which took it from being a confidential, management-only issue to being an open one where people were encouraged to ask questions and understand how they could help the employees adapt. The chats over a beer/coffee were far more useful than any management policy could have been.

to the PUB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224289)

I don't drink, you insensitive clod.

Why are you advocating that the only way to "help the employees adapt" is to get them drunk? how absurd!

Re:to the PUB? (3, Insightful)

Mindscrew (1861410) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224517)

Just because you are at a PUB doesnt mean you are forced to get drunk. Get a Ginger Ale on the rocks and have a good time instead of ruining it for everyone else that does want to have a beer or something.

Re:to the PUB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224637)

Ah yes. Going to the local pub. Where the instant someone sees me drinking water, having an insult thrown such as "when did you start your period" and "How's the wagon ride."

Re:to the PUB? (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224699)

Hence the mention of beer/coffee. I used to regularly go to the pub with an Islamic colleague, nowt wrong with ordering a glass of coke.

Re:to the PUB? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224739)

Why does going to the pub mean getting drunk?
I am pretty sure he meant have a couple beers, funnel rotgut until you can't stand.

Good for you not drinking, no one cares nor asked about it.

Re:to the PUB? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224765)

Sorry I left out the not.

Should have been:

I am pretty sure he meant have a couple beers, not funnel rotgut until you can't stand.

Re:to the PUB? (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224799)

Well...not every week.

Re:From experience... (0)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224583)

Tell the colleagues? Most of my friends don't even know I'm a mental headcase. They think I'm someone who's moody one day, comical genius the next. Fucked if I'm telling them about really dark days, the fantasies, and the repetitive thoughts. They'll lock their pets away when I visit!

Re:From experience... (5, Interesting)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224669)

That's kind of the point - if they don't know then the days off, unusual behaviour etc will simply mark you out as an awkward colleague, but if they know the reason behind you "not being normal" then they'll have a much better understanding of what's going on. Granted, some people will react with fear, suspicion or derision, but I think you'd probably be surprised at how few. The worst reaction I saw to my colleagues "coming out" was awkward embarrassment.

...from another insensitive clod... (1)

KendyForTheState (686496) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224019)

If only you had multiple personality disorder you could sell yourself as an entire development team! They say I have megalomania... once I'm emperor of the world I'll show them a thing or two!

Can't work for 40 hours? (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224023)

Sitting in an office for 8 hours a day is not a big deal? I have whole weeks where I go without talking to a single person (except email updates). Even during meetings I often just sit there without talking.

And when I get bored (or stressed) I stop the work and just zone out or listen to music until I feel better. Maybe you should try to find a job like mine (designer/programmer).

Re:Can't work for 40 hours? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224085)

"Hey, I don't have your condition nor do I know anything about you but I can for sure make broad statements about what you can and cannot do. Hurr hurr."

Eat shit you stupid little twit.

Re:Can't work for 40 hours? (2)

s0nicfreak (615390) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224211)

I don't even have his condition and sitting in an office for 8 hours a day would be unbearable to me.

Some people are designed to be desk jockeys, some aren't.

Re:Can't work for 40 hours? (3, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224759)

>>> sitting in an office for 8 hours a day would be unbearable

Which is why I bring-in a USB drive filled with music, college lectures, and movies. Or listen to newsradio or RT.com. It makes the boredom of the office less-bearable.
And the guy below is correct:
I tried to find a parttime engineering job and it didn't exist. So I just take the fulltime job, with 6 hours of actual productivity, and 2 hours zoning-out when the stress becomes too much (like now).

Re:Can't work for 40 hours? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224631)

I think the part time hours are the biggest stumbling block. Most of IT expects a 40 hour work week, part time is difficult to find. You can see if you can find a place that allows flex play were you can make up some time during the weekend.

Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224027)

News for nerds, stuff that matters to the people using your fillings to monitor your conversations

Well, for starters... (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224081)

but motivation and discipline are a bit hard to come by,

For starters, If you get an interview, leave this part out.

Honestly, it seems like you're going to have to settle for what you have now, change your expectations a bit, or get motivated to work on your own. Everything you wrote will scream "Undependable and Hard to Work With!" to an employer. We hire people who are disabled at my job, and make accomodations. But typically, the accomodations are more in line with giving them what they need (a first floor work space near conference rooms, specialized equipment, etc) to succeed, because these things typically don't cost all that much compared to recruiting / hiring cost, plus it's the law. Employers will often do what's necessary to elevate you to be able to perform on par with employees of a typical ability. But they're far less likely to lower their standards.

Re:Well, for starters... (2)

mpol (719243) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224469)

Ah, yes. I should have elaborated in the startpost, but it was too long already.
At my workplace I'm really motivated, and do a lot of work. It's not a problem there.
It's only a problem working from home, because of many different factors.

Greece or France (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224091)

I hear the 20-hour work week for those with little motivation and discipline flies over there.

Man up... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224095)

I suggest you man up and become insensitive to passé things. The rest of us do it. Life is hard, work is hard, but FFS... Its not like you're scrapping for food and shelter and being shot at on a regular basis. Man up, stop whining, and do the work. That's how you get a job.

Re:Man up... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224617)

You do realize he has a neurochemical disorder, right? That's like telling a guy with no legs that he just needs an attitude adjustment.

You have to make up for your short comings (1, Flamebait)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224097)

If you have a disability, you're at a disadvantage to the thousands of other job seekers out there. You have to make up for it in other areas, but if you lack motivation, then forget it. Without ambition and motivation, you're just another slug feeding off others.

Re:You have to make up for your short comings (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224355)

With schizophrenia, the lack of motivation is the disability. You can control the positive symptoms(hallucinations) with medication, but we have no treatment for the deficits in executive function caused by schizophrenia. Shrugging your shoulders and saying "try harder you slug" should not be acceptable in a modern society.

Re:You have to make up for your short comings (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224445)

A modern society should recognize that the almighty designer has a plan for everyone. There is no 'survival of the fittest' and nobody is going to just 'not make it'.

Re:You have to make up for your short comings (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224481)

Hunger is a pretty good motivator in most countries.

Re:You have to make up for your short comings (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224727)

The problem is we live in a competitive world. We have limited resources, the best of the best get picked up first, then Above average, then the below average and well below average get the short end of the stick.

If live gives you something that gives you a disadvantage, you will need to find a way to work around it, it will probably cost you. You may be the worlds best programmer but if you can't output as much as the second best programmer, you are at a disadvantage, and you may just need to work as an average programmer, where you World Best Skills, can compensate for you lack luster output, but it will bring you down.

It is not that you have to be a burden on society, it is just a fact that you know your abilities and skills in life.

No Joke (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224113)

You're unemployed, have no personal motivation, need to be handled with kid gloves from environment right up to management, cannot work a full-time schedule, and are pretty much untouchable as far as a clearance goes. Good luck finding a job that can cater to all of your needs in such a depressed market... and make a note to count your blessings (thank your sugar-mama?) that you are able to survive by working in a volunteer capacity for months or years at a time.

It's going to be a tough road ahead for you..... (1)

fatboy (6851) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224125)

To be quite honest, it's going to be a tough road ahead for you. Companies usually are not very accommodating of the types of requirements you have laid out. I would suggest looking for work with your municipal or state government. They are more open to special needs employees. That's going to be you best bet.

Something that did strike me as interesting is the requirement for a workweek of maybe 20-25 hours. Is this due to your mental disability or do you have other obligations in your life that would limit your ability to work? I would try to rectify that issue if possible, because even government jobs require that you work 37.5 hours a week. (Around here at least)

Best of luck.

Re:It's going to be a tough road ahead for you.... (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224193)

Getting a job as a Politician should be easy for someone of his condition.

Re:It's going to be a tough road ahead for you.... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224391)

Something that did strike me as interesting is the requirement for a workweek of maybe 20-25 hours. Is this due to your mental disability or do you have other obligations in your life that would limit your ability to work? I would try to rectify that issue if possible, because even government jobs require that you work 37.5 hours a week. (Around here at least)

That's for full-time employment. If you can only do 20-25 hours, don't look for a full time job because they'd want 35+ hours/week. Instead, look for part-time employment, where 20-25 hours is more typical (and usually the maximum because after that you'll be counted as a FTE).

The only down side is that benefits to part timers are practicaly non-existent, and many tax benefits also only apply to FTEs.

Instead of looking for full time employment on part time hours, narrow your search down to part time employment. This way the hours you work can be discussed (and they will be in the range of 20-25 hours a week tops normally).

Plus, because the wages and benefits are a lot lower, many employers are more willing to hire part-timers (as more people are looking for full time positions).

That's probably the best place to start.

Re:It's going to be a tough road ahead for you.... (1)

mpol (719243) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224683)

A requirement for 20-25 hours a week is because I really need to have my restdays. I can work a week for 5 days, and maybe 2 weeks. But it does wear me out. I get tired, can't get out of bed anymore, and I'm just generally unhappy. And that's just not the right path to take.
Right now I work 2 days, have a day off, and then work another day. There are jobs available that suit this rythm, but ofcourse not very much of them. I live in Europe, and the lifestyle is somewhat better. And I should take care not to get hired by an American company :).

And about other obligations. I have a girlfriend who needs time with me, and I have a healthy social life. So yes, you can call those obligations.

autistic adult sysadmin (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224139)

Hello. I have autism, and I'm 36 years old. I'm a sysadmin at a well-respected university in the United States. No one at work knows I'm autistic.

Unfortunately autism is not a legally protected disability in the United States, so "coming out" to my coworkers, boss, HR, et al is much too big of a risk.

No doubt my coworkers must think I'm one of the strangest people they've ever met.

so, it can be as simple as not telling people.

Re:autistic adult sysadmin (5, Insightful)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224237)

I've got good news, most people in I.T. seem like they have autism to non I.T. people. You'll get by just fine.

Re:autistic adult sysadmin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224315)

That's not funny. Fuck you.

Re:autistic adult sysadmin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224429)

Yeah, you seem autistic! Get a job as a sysadmin, you'll go far...

Re:autistic adult sysadmin (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224303)

so, it can be as simple as not telling people. Sure, until someone drops the toothpicks.

Re:autistic adult sysadmin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224393)

That's also not funny. Fuck you too.

Re:autistic adult sysadmin (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224717)

Unfortunately autism is not a legally protected disability in the United States

You need to do more research... or you're playing word games with "what is the meaning of the word is" or trolling for sympathy

so "coming out" to my coworkers, boss, HR, et al is much too big of a risk.

As a sysadmin you have to realize that a law is not like having a root password. Unless you have enough money to enforce the law, volunteer lawyer or friend lawyer or whatever, the law may as well not exist.

No doubt my coworkers must think I'm one of the strangest people they've ever met.

I've met some pretty strange people on the job, so I find this extremely unlikely. Or you're got really boring coworkers, this does happen. I've experienced that as a class the hard core drug addicts are pretty much all weirder than all of the disabled people I've ever met, so unless you're also an alkie or coke fiend or meth head there's a whole entire class of weirdos who will seem weirder than you. I've worked with autistic people and they're unusual (which is OK/cool) but the real weirdos have all been alkies and coke fiends and so on, a whole class of weirdness above the disabled people.

Independent Contractor (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224151)

I'd suggest being an independent contractor for a company that performs IT work. You already mentioned that you are a web developer, if you have any other skills like systems administration or engineering then use those skills as well. Companies do not mind a independent contractor because frankly, they only have to pay you when there is work and there are no associated benefits (sorry).

Being an independent contractor will give you the ability to work at your own pace. If you need a break, just don't take the job when they call you. Without more information about your skill set, I cannot recommend any specific companies. Web design is a pretty saturated field these days, however more back-end tasks are still in high demand, like database admin.

About success ... (3, Insightful)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224167)

Sorry to hear about your conditions.

> but motivation and discipline are a bit hard to come by
While that may be true, success like anything else is learned. It starts the first thing you wake up, and ends when you go to sleep. In order to get good at it you have to keep practicing. They say a person becomes proficient at a skill when they have done it for at 1,000 hours. In order to have discipline you must reprogram your mind. With time + effort you can achieve it.

WRT motivation no one can give you motivation. The trouble with companies that often times they should of focus on NOT DEMOTIVATING people. Being self-employed you need to find your own motivation. i.e. There has to be at least _one_ thing you enjoy doing, what is it? You say you are a web developer. Do any programming languages interest you? Any kind of computer science problems? The reason I ask is because:

There are 2 hard things in life
- finding your passion
- finding how to make money at it

Take care of the first one, and the second one will follow.

You say you require clear communication. That's true in all relationships. Your relationship with your computer (i.e the compiler / interpretor requires clear syntax), relationships with your co-workers (miscommunication is the cause of many problems), relationships with friends and family. The point of all this is that there are courses you can take to help with this. Dale Carnegie is a popular one. Shelf-Help books are another.

One of the secrets to happiness is to remove false expectations. You have to match you ideal world with the reality of your situation. Let's play a game for a moment. I have a magic wand; with it you can do anything you want. What would it be? Forget about all the impracticalities for a moment. If you could do anything in the world what would it be? The secret recipe is to now make a game plan on how you could achieve that big goal, but one small sub-goal at a time.

Good luck!

Re:About success ... (1)

mpol (719243) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224373)

Thank you for your kind and insightfull response.
Maybe I am too quick at judging that self-employment is not my thing. I don't think I had too high expectations. Some of my goals were to have this year a turn-around of 3000 Euro's, which I might make. And also to have fun at what I do. But during the first 8 months of this year I started to slowly have less fun. And that's not right. So I need that to turn around first, and then consider picking up my company again.

And if I could do anything I wanted, haha. I would want the job I have now, but then being paid for it :).
I thought I found that last year, but it turned out differently. So I'll need to search again :).

I'll get modded down for saying this... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224169)

But the reality is in this economy there are dozens of other people who are equally as skilled as you are, but are willing to work 40+ hour work weeks and aren't "sensitive" to the work environment. Your best option in the long run is to try to cope the best you can with your condition.

Talk to Michael Crawford (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224183)

And then ignore his advice. He's smelly, homeless, and unemployed, you see.

I THINK YOU CAN SEE WHERE I'M GOING WITH THIS!

You're a real catch (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224197)

motivation and discipline are a bit hard to come by

Make sure you put that on your resume. Employers -- you know, the people that stand to profit or lose money on you, depending on whether you have sufficient motivation and discipline -- will want to know about that.

Unless you're willing to work for yourself, you're not in much of a position to demand this workschedule and that type of communication and the other environment. Either pay yourself and set your own working conditions, or take somebody else's paycheck and whatever working conditions they decide to offer.

Americans with Disabilities Act (2)

Aglassis (10161) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224205)

Your diagnosis fits under the requirements of the ADA (if you are looking for a job in the US). Any employer (of sufficient size) must make reasonable accommodations and cannot discriminate against you in the hiring process or during employment if they are aware of your disability. That is not to say that discrimination does not occur. In order for you to be protected by the ADA, the employer must be aware of the disability which will then allow them to discriminate if they are assholes. Considering the level of discrimination against people with mental illnesses, I would keep a record. You are also not required (ethically or legally) to disclose your diagnosis at any time unless you want ADA protections.

Try going through a community college or church... (2)

realsilly (186931) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224213)

When I was just starting out, I originally found work in my field because I showed an aptitude to learn and to help, and was constantly searching for more to learn, but I was unemployed student. I spoke with my professor and expressed my difficulty in looking for a job that suited me. Now granted, it was sheer luck for me, my professor came back to me a week later stating that he knew of a place I could / should apply to. He wrote a letter of recommendation and I submitted my resume / application. It took a month before I was offered an interview, but it happened. It started out as part-time work, and once I proved my eagerness to exceed, and I showed that I was responsible and truly cared about my work ethic, it was a word-of-mouth lead that landed me some additional work to get full-time.

I didn't have a disability other than needing glasses, but I had to prove myself, that I was more than just some college kid. I think that is what you're in need of, is a little help from friends and a lot of proving yourself. Performing volunteer work is a good start, and I think you're on the right track. If you are a solid member in your community you might look to community associations to try to garner some work, or through your local congregation if you attend church. A good Samaritan is a great place to start, but remember, you have to prove that that Samaritan is right about you and show that you're worthy of that praise. Once you've established yourself again then you'll probably see a lot more open doors of opportunity.

This is only my 2 cents, I hope it helps. Good luck.

Similar issues here (1)

gagol (583737) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224219)

I burned myself after working like hell for 15 years. After my first breakdown, I decided to move to country where it cost me much less money to live, and access to nature really help. I took some online classes and now im looking for venture capital to fund my patent and startup. I hope I can be successful enough to not HAVE to work unless I feel like it...

This is my experience with deep depression... I hope it will help.

Sounds like you already have your solution (1)

Roogna (9643) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224235)

You say you don't want to be self employed, but from what you say that's simply because of "motivation and discipline". That can usually be helped by having people to work with. You seem to already be working with people who you get along with, so perhaps your solution isn't going self employment alone but starting a business with others.

More detail... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224301)

I'm very sensitive to the atmosphere in the workplace for example.

So work at home X percent of the time? Do you mean physical airborne atmosphere or emotional level?

Furthermore, a workweek of maybe 20-25 hours is the max for me.

For most of my "full time" coworkers that would be a heroic non-crunch time achievement. Do you mean 20 hours of "being in the building" with the usual ratio of 50% watercooler conversations about sports and TV / smoke breaks and 20% formal/informal meetings leaving about 6 hours of actual nose the the grindstone work, or 20 hours of actual nose to the grindstone work which would be pretty fabulous if anyone can actually do it?

I tried self-employment, but motivation and discipline are a bit hard to come by, and it's not something that will work for me long-term. In theory it's perfect, in practice not so much.

Partnership or small group is the way to go. Not 100000+ person megacorporation and not going it alone. Are people motivated to play MMORPGs because 1E6 other people they don't care about also play? No. Because the storyline (kill 15 bears and bring NPC the pelts!) is so amazing? No. Because their "friends" raid with them. Thats why.

Re:More detail... (1)

gagol (583737) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224491)

If your employer lets you spend half you time chatting around the water cooler and schedule you for a full day of meetings a week, start looking for another job cause the business cannot make a profit in any legitimate way.

Re:More detail... (1)

mpol (719243) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224587)

I'm somewhat sensitive to emotional atmosphere. People haveing an argument at the workplace which turns sour, that sort of thing. I can handle something, but too much wears me out.

Ah, haha. I'm not a slacker, I do my job. Last year I started at a paying job, which I decided to not continue with. The employer offered me the same job again half a year later. He was really happy with me.

Thank you for the rest, some others already pointed that out. I'm now with nice people at a volunteer setting. Setting up a commercial company might be a good idea.
Actually, when I got at this volunteer job, there were some other people making that step. So maybe it's time for me to find people to make that step with.

This is going to sound harsh, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224383)

Most people I've met with issues such as these tend to use them as a crutch.
Think about it from an employer's standpoint. At the end of the day, they want results, not excuses.
I don't care one lick about your problems, if you're able to work and do the job properly, great. If not, get out.
You know what your issues are, work to overcome them, and get back into a "normal" environment/work schedule.
The world isn't going to morph to fit your needs, you have to morph to fit the needs of the world.

Re:This is going to sound harsh, but... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224657)

Not every employer is a selfish miserable cunt.

Attitude (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224415)

Furthermore, a workweek of maybe 20-25 hours is the max for me. I tried self-employment, but motivation and discipline are a bit hard to come by, and it's not something that will work for me long-term. In theory it's perfect, in practice not so much.

I don't want to be self-employed either, but it's because I'm not a good salesman, not a good negotiator, hate the administrative parts of contracts and schedules and billing and I don't want my entire paycheck to depend on finding work. If you don't have the motivation and discipline for the work itself you're not going to be much of an employee either, on top of your other issues. If you want to find a job I wouldn't let that shine through, because I saw big red blinking "do not hire" signs that had nothing to do with your schizophrenia.

Similar boat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224471)

I'm in a similar boat where, after some sever issues I'm putting my life back together and looking at the job market. Requiring short hours, low contact with people and hoping to make a decent wage are difficult things to balance. In this economy most employers aren't looking to take on people with special requirements. Luckily, for me, I work fairly well unsupervised and I'm self-motivated (most days). So working for myself from home has worked out pretty well.

The OP said he had trouble self motivating and worked with a few other people in a volunteer position. Maybe he should get one or two other people from his volunteer job and work out a buddy system. If each of them is checking in with the other and encouraging each person to stay on target, then self-employment may become an option again.

Sit filler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224507)

If you can get a security clearance, there are thousands of seat filler jobs in DoD, where nobody really cares what you do. It can make for a nice living, but don't expect it to advance your skills/career much.

Telephone Based Businesses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224571)

OP is Dutch from what I can tell, but there are phone based businesses worldwide. I do work with "Liveops" and process calls in the US.

Shameful Mistake (1)

hilltaker7 (2718495) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224673)

I am new to Slashdot and for the first time I played with the display settings because nearly half the comments were hidden. That was a mistake. I now know why the default is to hide the down modded. Most of those comments were shameful and indecent. The writer asked for help. There are only two choices that one can decently make at that juncture. Help, or get out of the way of those who will try and say nothing. Teasing someone like this was not accepted in elementary school. Grow-up.

pssst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41224679)

hey op, it's me the voice in your head...do it man...show them all...do it!!! DO! IT!

I am highly sensitive to distractions and use foam (1)

gatesstillborg (2633899) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224763)

...ear plugs almost continuously. I have found the "Quite, Please!" brand of white foam to be the best (~only effective) ones.

Though I am not formally diagnosed, based on their receptions I suspect that many former employees would consider this a technicality. :) (Which is fine, because I generally thought the same of them. Note: my main work place challenges include some level of ADD, largely inhibiting my verbal cognitive and speaking skills, though this does seem to have improved somewhat over time.) I have found discipline the key element to both coding and interpersonal success. I have found the need to pretty much stone-wall (feign either obliviousness or complete unwillingness to enter into) any standard workplace provocations or psychological games or intrigue. I seem to have a history of inheriting the most perversely ill- conceived and implemented projects. I allow myself all the time such monstrosities should conceivably merit, including ample mental decompression and recuperation (eg. reading slashdot).

Though your condition might gain you some consideration, if you get to feeling overwhelmed, they can instinctively, unconsciously come swarming after you. In the end the onus is always on you to control your response and maintain your mental equilibrium. I have come to view many "normal" people as actually deranged along highly standardized lines. Time will tell...

After working for a number of "dud" companies, finally joining an extremely ambitious, motivated one highly prioritizing technical excellence, and being given meaty, challenging projects seemed to fundamentally improve my over-all productivity and general state of mind.

Basic Problem (5, Insightful)

asmkm22 (1902712) | more than 2 years ago | (#41224773)

Why hire you when there are probably hundreds of alternative applicants without your baggage? Either you have some crazy unique skill to bring to the table, or they have a financial incentive to hire you (pay less money than someone "normal", or maybe there's some weird tax writeoff).

I don't mean this as an insult or anything, just as a shot of reality. You say you are happy doing volunteer work right now, which sort of implies that you are able to pay bills and stuff. If that's the case, stick with it. You can do that and some self-employment on the side as your motivation allows. You aren't going to find that kind of happiness with a salary job.

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