Sorry to bother you on vacation, but could you take a look at the email you just got from Soandso and send her a quick reply? Thx! Have fun!
I stared at the screen on my Blackberry (or, as I like to call it, The Leash) for a full ten seconds. It’s pissing rain and 40 degrees outside the car. Rage is simmering somewhere just beneath the surface.
First of all, I already made arrangements to deal with Soandso before I left. The person I delegated to is not on the email chain where they are busily trying to deal with this PWINAP (problem which is not a problem) in the background, since I have been driving for the last four hours and not checking my texts. I have to send another email on the teeny tiny keypad in the middle of a store to fix things.
This is inefficient, and it annoys me.
I resist the urge to type the phrase, “Fuck you” because everybody at work knows I’m on vacation and they are bugging me anyway. I have several texts from different people varying on this theme: I know you’re on vacation, but … have fun/hope you’re having fun.
Now, I haven’t told anybody at work why I am on vacation for three days, for all they know I’m taking the time to bury my dog, so a cheery “Have Fun!” could be in very poor taste on their part. Unless you enjoy that sort of thing.
Secondly, if you wanted me to enjoy myself away from the office, then you wouldn’t be texting me for work stuff, would you? You’d leave me the hell alone.
This is the sort of neurotypical nonsense that drives me mental. “Have fun” is a throwaway platitude, not an actual statement of anything. It’s something you’re just supposed to say, but it’s semantically null. I hate that. You’re wasting my limited social capacity. Also, if you take a look at the sentiment behind it, it’s completely superficial. You may have hoped I was having fun up until the exact moment you knowingly interrupted it, in which case you don’t actually want me to have fun, you want me to do some work. Just say you’re sorry to be disturbing me, but it’s important. That’s honest.
The other thing I hate about it is that it’s trying to impose an emotion on me. I don’t know how other Aspies feel about this, but trying to tell me how I do feel or should feel about something really, really offends me. Deeply.
In point of fact, I rarely have “fun”. The things I enjoy doing, that make me happy, are not “fun” in the truest sense of the word. Nobody ever says, “Let’s go play triathlon!” “Yeah, a Half Ironman, that’ll be fun!” and means it. The closest I get to “fun” is “happy” or “very satisfied”. The word “fun” is derived from an old English word meaning “foolish”. As in undignified or silly. Ugh. There’s nothing enjoyable about that for me.
Yes, I realize that this post is making seem like a cold-hearted bitch or a complete tightass. I’m OK with that, as long as you consider what I’m saying with an open mind.
This is an important point for people to understand: you cannot assume that an autistic person experiences anything in the same way a neurotypical does. We don’t, and trying to force us to, or expressing disapproval of us when we don’t, is petty and intolerant.
Everyone should be allowed their preference for how they want to be treated, as long as it’s not unreasonable. That’s the meaning of diversity.