Wednesday, July 27, 2016

"I don't Know What That Means?" Said the Aspie in an Angry Tone


There are times my tone of voice may sound a bit angry, or downright rude and yesterday had one of these events. The thing about these events is that I’m not intending on coming across as rude or angry, but the level of frustration I feel inside brings it about so here’s what happened…

I walked into my bank to make a deposit as I had several checks from the races I’ve worked the past month that needed deposited. I approached the teller and gave here the deposit slip and the checks. She started doing the inputting and then she asked a question I didn’t understand, “Sir, have you deposited these checks before?” I stared at here blankly as I couldn’t understand what it was, exactly, she was wanting because surely she wasn’t thinking I was trying to double deposit checks.

A few awkward seconds passed and she asked again, “Have you deposited these checks before?” The panic of processing was setting in as I was trying to come up with a reason as to why I was being asked this. Was I under suspicion? What for? Check fraud? Identity theft? I tried to muster up a great question and all I could ask was, “What?” After I asked that I thought to myself, “really, Aaron, that’s all you could come up with?”

For a third time she asked, and this time in a much slower tone, “Have you deposited these… checks… before?” My level of frustration grew to a level that internally I was raging at myself and I exclaimed in what sounded to be the rudest of tones, “I don’t know what that means!”

As soon as I said it I realized my tone was nasty but I wasn’t trying to be nasty towards her but I was so angry at myself. I didn’t know what she wanted and I figured she knew I was confused because since I knew it she surely knew it. The “I think therefore you should know” system was running wild but again, I didn’t know what she wanted. She then replied, “Have you ever deposited checks from these companies before?” Now it made much more sense. Perhaps the initial question she asked hinted towards that and maybe some would pick up on that but I have a hard time filling in the blanks. I couldn’t simply understand the first question and being able to ask, “What does that mean?” right off the bat isn’t my strong suit. It probably should be because the ire I felt towards myself wouldn’t have occurred and I probably wouldn’t have come off as a complete jerk, but processing is something I try and hide. I don’t want others to know that I don’t understand something. It’s okay to, though, isn’t it? Everyone needs some clarification at some point in time, but asking for that help is, at the time, more difficult than trying to figure out what is going on, but in the end it often leaves with two people that are frustrated and angry and both are angry at the same person.

10 comments:

  1. I would't of understood that question either! She didn't ask the question properly!

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  2. I wouldn't have understood either and I'm English, an English teacher and a language and literacy specialist. What a badly worded question. How can you have deposited them before if you were just handing them over now? 'These checks' implies 'these particular checks in front of us right now' so you were right to query it. Don't be annoyed at yourself - she didn't make herself clear at all.

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    1. agreed, she was very unclear and more than likely i would have asked the same. and or said your question makes no sense and given the same reasons as you just gave. her english as teller very bad.

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  3. Avoid cheques in future, use mobile card payment devices and online banking only. My bank always asks me questions such as "Had a good day Sir?" I now say.."No!" I hate bank tellers.

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  4. This is a time you gaslit yourself. You actually have a right to be annoyed when someone asks a meanignless question abd when asked "What?" repeats it slowly instead of rephrasing it.

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    1. Hi Erynn:

      thank you for reminding us why rephrasing is so important.

      I do not tend to change my pace. I might re-emphasise some of the key words.

      Gaslighting is still gaslighting when we do it to ourselves. Denying feelings in this instance? And reactions?

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  5. I am bad, i would have asked something similar but more than likely i would have said "i have deposited other checks from these employers", and asked, "what makes these odd to you?"
    trying to reverse it for clarity. i might ask too how the hell could i have deposited before since i just got?

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  6. We all may respond differently. fun is Aspie responses often get other aspies smiling which would have thrown the clerk more. Too often we end up with another employee that understands us instantly making the first one upset for failing to be clear and most often we do say we rephrased. How many times have many of us rephrased a whole bunch till the person we were talking to understand or show not capable of understanding us. Most often leaving us frustrated, upset and myself crying sometimes

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  7. I get what you mean Aaron. The point isn't that the teller should have used different words, but the frustration at yourself for not understanding something that you think you should understand. I appreciate your insight.

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