Thursday, November 17, 2011

Welcome to My Office

I wish everyone who has even seen me in an awkward social state could see me in my office. Which office am I referring to? Take a look at this picture:

Yes, this is my office at the 2011 SKUSA Supernationals. I serve as the chief starter for the event and even though I may be on the autism spectrum there is no overload at all. What I mean by that is I have constant radio chatter in my ear, I'm keeping track of time, and displaying all flags that need to be displayed to all 40 karts on track at a time.

Now, let's contrast this. Several times here at the Rio I have had awkward elevator experiences. I don't know where the sign is, but somewhere on me I have a big sign that says, "Hello, my name is Aaron, what's your story?" Honestly, and this has never happened in my life, people have tried to strike up conversations in the elevator. I may not know social rules, but isn't talking in the elevator one of the biggest social sins possible? Anyway, each time I stumble about trying to think of something to say while in the back of my mind I'm processing, "okay, why is this person talking to me? Are they a stalker? Do I know them?"

In my office I am firm. My voice is clear and it is like giving a presentation. In an open-ended environment when I see something and I want to discuss it, I will wait several minutes until I can talk to a person one-on-one about it, but while in the office I have to be abrupt and instant on all discussions. I'm sure every person on the spectrum wishes this, but I truly wish each person I went to school with, and everyone else that has ever thought I was slow or incapable could see me in my office.

As night descended on the first night (last night) of the 2011 SKUSA Supernats, I smiled during a break as I realized that, to all the drivers, there is no label, no talk or thought of the autism spectrum, in fact I'm sure maybe only 10 of the drivers even know who I am or what I do, but that's great. It shouldn't be a story as I'm simply me doing what I love. When I am in my Kansas (new to my blog? Check out my glossary page on the upper right) I may appear perfectly normal. It is, for example, when I enter the elevator, that it may show up. It is on that point that I think a lot of people with Asperger Syndrome may struggle because to the outsider it could be hard to understand that I am able to function without any issues at the world's largest kart race (we have over 500 drivers from 30 or so countries!) and yet something as simple as an irrelevant social situation can derail us.

Well, the sun is coming up and day two of five of the 2011 SKUSA Supernats is about to begin. In just an hour or so I will be back at my office and in command of my position. It won't be long before I go back to having confidence and walking tall, but until then I may appear uneasy, on edge, and not all that talkative. If you see me like that and think I am ill at ease, I say, "just wait" as you're about to witness a transformation, as I described it on my Facebook page yesterday, head towards my office, playground, and canvas. It's going to be another great day!

1 comment:

  1. I told my jobcoach once I'd like him to see me at my favorite anime/manga convention once, so he would be able to see my true potential. (for people who don't know: me being a volunteer there is my Kansas) He smiled and said 'yea, but it's your hobby, that's got nothing to do with your job'...
    How does that not relate? He needs to utilise my full potential right?
    Anyone? Any thoughts? 'Cause I'm lost here.