COVID-19 Series

Concentrating On COVID: When Things Don’t Work

Yesterday was one of those days when what could go wrong would go wrong. In a world when autistics such as myself just want the things we need to work perform it function without any issues, especially in a pandemic internet dependent world where we rely on the power of a fiber optic line to convey our technological needs and to be also in an environment where the noise is minimal and we can perform what we feel is normal functions with ease, but when these functions get hampered, they can cause a lot of frustration among autistics and others such as myself because we are narrow minded.

The city in which I reside is undergoing a major overhaul of its sixty-year wastewater treatment plant. The treatment plant is not too far from my home and a force main from a large neighborhood intersects and runs along the backyard of my apartment building. As a result, the last several weeks, we have had excessive construction noise Monday-Thursday for 10 or so hours a day, thus putting me at edge at times, Yes, I can use my coping techniques, however they were not working as well yesterday as the construction crew was directly behind my apartment building so the day was already challenging to say the least.

Then when I went to do some of the normal things like order groceries, I could not link to the portal to do so. I had to call the store to realize that they were doing the orders by hand and this too caught me off guard because I need to see the things in my saved grocery list to know exactly what I need and if it is specifically the right size or brand so on and so forth. To order at the spur of the moment and over the phone was a huge challenge.

As the morning went on the work that I had to do was becoming challenging as I had to host a meeting. Shortly after the meeting I lost my internet connection so I had to call the cable company and sit in a holding pattern for fifteen minutes while getting message about system outages in other towns hours away and encouraging me to call back, regardless, I stuck though it. I was polite to the technician, a challenge but I mustered the challenge to troubleshoot with no luck to the point where a technician with an unknown time would have to remedy the problem.

At this point I was extremely frustrated to the point that I needed to express my frustrations that I was experiencing. What I saw as the end of the world was a common occurrence in the pandemic world and maybe, just maybe the work outside of my residence may have had a factor of my Internet not working. I took my frustrations while they were silly to my mother who is my constant sounding board and puts up with my silly crap although I think it’s the end of the world.

In reality, it wasn’t the end of the world. I have unlimited data and used that as a backup until the Internet was fixed. As I took my trash to the receptacle, a repairman was on the property talking to the construction workers, so likely it had something to do with their work that knocked out the cable for some time. But the fact of the matter is, it wasn’t life threatening or the ultimate end of the world and there were ways I could conduct my work and while it too had its issues, it was better than the alternative of not being able to access meetings or material.

Later on, that afternoon, the internet issue resolved itself and groceries will likely arrive without incident later on this week. We as autistics sometimes look at the whole picture rather than be so narrow minded focusing on what we really need and why it has to be our way. Sometimes we have to look at the alternatives of things rather than being hyper focused on things that have to work our way.

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