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Coworker with 'special needs' (Read 795 times)

Offline Bob

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Coworker with 'special needs'
« on: December 22, 2014, 01:47:02 AM »
I'm going braindead today, but I'll get something posted here.

Coworker.  I have to interact with this person occasionally.  (Same one as before if I already posted this.  I've got more info now.)

Senior/superior coworker too.  Above me in pecking order.  In a role that supervises some of what I do.  Essentially think "boss" though.


I'm really wondering how to deal with this person. 

From what I can tell this person has some form of ADHD and I learned recently they also have some type of short-term memory impairment.  (At last, maybe there's a reason this guy will occasionally ask a question about something you literally just answered/told him a moment before.)


Multiple concerns I suppose.  I'm just wondering how to deal with him. 
ex.  Whatever he hears first about a situation becomes the situation, whether it's true or not.  Later info won't change his mind.    Solution?  Strike first and present the correct info to him right away, if possible.
ex.  Tends not to take blame.  Will find an excuse why someone else messed up (me) instead of him. 
ex.  This is really a heart of things -- Whatever his first impression of something -- like reading a sentence -- is becomes "the truth."  And he won't change his mind.  Ever.  You know how you misread a sentence sometimes?  He'll do that, but that becomes what that sentence means to him forever.  He doesn't see it any other way. 

Any thoughts are appreciated.  It's just a royal pain.  But I'm stuck working with this guy. 


This is literally the kid in class who had ADHD, etc.  and now he's in a role above me....

My goal is just to be able to work him.  Or control him I suppose.  Whatever at this point.


I need reminders from college courses.....  Special needs...  Teaching is one thing.  They don't get the lesson... oh well.  (My stuff is a little one dimensional, so if someone misses something, we're on to the next topic anyway, no huge loss.) 



I suppose the ultimate alternative... Switch jobs.  That's always an idea too.

Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline bernadette60614

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Re: Coworker with 'special needs'
«Reply #1 on: January 04, 2015, 07:40:26 PM »
I'm in a client service business, and what I do:

After every conversation I send a recap via e-mail.

I find, not that my clients have ADHD (or at least I don't think they do!), but that they have so many things going on that they barely absorb what I tell them.

Offline Bob

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Re: Coworker with 'special needs'
«Reply #2 on: January 04, 2015, 09:31:54 PM »
Thanks.  That's definitely one on my list.  Easier listed than done though.  It still floors me sometimes.

Even with the email, this person said I hadn't done something.  I pulled up the email (while they watched and didn't grasp that I was pulling up the email for this point), and shown them we discussed it and it was already done.  There's a tact needed for that too -- "Can you show me where I didn't do what you asked so I can improve on it for the next time?"  Instead of an, "F you. It's right here.  Done.  Why can't you remember that?"

So in writing, yes.  But very brief.  Concrete, simple language.


There is something off with this person's short term memory.  I had a suspicion before, but I'm pretty sure.  Past history I've heard goes along with that -- accidents, drug use, drinking, that type of thing.  But they still got this job and are staying in that job.  I'm on the losing end.


Another idea I had recently was something along the emotion or passion.  This person I've noticed is sometimes easily sold on ideas.  Probably because the salesperson was slick.  If I present them with a task or information that's routine and dry (because it is, nothing to worry about, but something they have to approve/decide or be aware of), it doesn't stick in their memory.  If I present it with more expression... I think it might stick more. 



The latest development -- I think I was able to head off one of these "you didn't do x" scenarios.  How?  A "strike first" plan -- strike first as in the person who presents something first and makes that first impression has more control over shaping the listeners opinion.  In this I realized another situation might happen, so I reminded them of what happened in the past.  Hopefully that one will work.

Just bizarre situations sometimes.  ex.  They were just at the same event, same conversation, etc. but what sticks is however their brain first interpreted things. 

And they don't like to be corrected or told they're wrong.  That's the tact part. 

I think they're vaguely aware of it too.  Probably self-conscious about it.  It still just freaking annoying though.


Another nice trick I found.  (Works with students, etc., too.)  Just for the purpose of avoiding any blame in a situation, instead of making a decision and going with that, I present two options them.  I'm fine with either, but it becomes their choice.  So instead of me just telling them, "I went with blue," and they don't remember it later, they get to pick blue vs. red.  It also makes it really obvious that they didn't ok something -- If I gave them a 'choice' and they didn't decide, it makes it harder for this person to blame me for not doing anything.  "Why didn't I do the blue option?  You didn't give me the ok for that... That's what I was for."


Another idea -- Use an email template or a speaking template.  Just plug in new text.  Anything written to them has to be gone over once or twice (This kind of writing here would piss them off.), so it makes sense to reuse text I've thought through more.

And then the general one -- Avoid them.  It's not a great strategy, but it becomes too much work to process everything I'm going to say or write to them. 
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."