It was about 5.50am when I realised I had forgotten to tell someone at work something extremely important the day before. Luckily, because this is 2019 and I am never more than about a foot from my mobile phone, I was able to send a quick email with an even quicker apology. Hopefully this reached her in time and mitigated what would be (in my view) disaster. I’m actually talking about a typo in a marketing email.
So, how did this happen?
I gave my feedback to her verbally.
How, after so many years practicing talking to people, do I still suck so much at this? I talked her through a few other things that needed to change, was happy that I’d finished, and walked quickly back to my desk.
Ordinarily for proofreading tasks, I’d mark up a Word or Google doc, secure in the knowledge that my typed communications are so much better than when my brain tries to come out through my mouth.
It occurred to me that having Asperger’s means I use more mental faculties to communicate verbally and face-to-face, which effectively sucks up valuable resource from the rest of my brain. I may have planned a conversation before I start it, but when it actually happens my brain is effectively put on a rollercoaster with no seatbelts and asked to hold on. I could also liken it to having static interrupting your radio station – making you miss valuable bits of information, or making you forget which questions you needed to ask.
I’ve had several work conversations where I’ve needed to go back later for more information. Sometimes as soon as I walked away I’d realise I meant to ask something else. So, another day, another face palm. And it doesn’t even help to know this – because how do I know what I’m going to miss next? I won’t know until I realise I’ve missed it.
I feel a strange urge to bang my head on the desk, but perhaps a decaff coffee would be kinder.
I hope you’re all having better days.