Bix Frankonis is seeking some mediocre work.
In late 2016, I received a midlife diagnosis of autism, anxiety, and OCD, which helped me to understand aspects of my employment history. Since I am being denied Social Security Disability Insurance somehow on the basis of having worked both too little and too much at the same time, this site is about using transparency to attempt part-time employment, to avoid an inevitable post-midlife poverty even if it means a degraded post-midlife psychological well-being, preferably without abandoning my current responsibilities to The Belmont Goats.
"Clinical evaluation and tests indicate that aspects of his functioning are impaired by his autism spectrum disorder, and related anxiety, cognitive and behavioral rigidity, deficits in social reciprocity, poor understanding and management of his own emotional and behavioral responses and his inability to tolerate distress, ambiguity and to engage in goal-directed behavior when he does not clearly see and agree with the method and purpose of the tasks and general direction of the activities."
More About Me
I am a twenty-one-year resident of the Portland of Oregon born forty-eight years ago in rural upstate New York, and project manager for The Belmont Goats, Portland's nonprofit resident herd, offering an oasis of rural community amidst the built, urban environment.
I once worked at Powell's northwest warehouse. Mornings were spent unpacking boxes of books sent in to their online book buying program. Afternoons were spent pulling online orders. No surprises. No deviations in tasks. Nothing to consider or prioritize. Nearly everyone with these duties came in, slipped in their earbuds, put their heads down, did the work, and then went home.
It remains the nearest thing to my Platonic ideal of employment, and the workplace most reflective of what I need to overcome the particular challenges I've had to maintaining consistent, long-term employment. Before you ask: no, the job no longer exists in this form.
(I was not diagnosed until midlife. Despite my entire work history being impacted by being unknowingly autistic, Social Security has decided that I both worked too little to be eligible for SSDI on my own, and yet also too much to be eligible as a "disabled adult child". As such, stable, part-time work is my only option to avoid a post-midlife poverty, even if it means a degraded post-midlife psychological well-being.)
This isn't to say I can only do that job. It's to say that the closer on a continuum a job is toward those sorts of duties, the better. I once worked for a company called Quando collecting data from event calendars across the early web. It was similar in that you were left alone to do the work, but also not replicable because the presence of two friends already on staff mitigated some of what I only later, with my diagnosis, learned are struggles with social and performance distress. My twice-yearly position at Multnomah County Elections also is similar in being left alone to do one's work, but only amounts to maybe one week of employment out of an entire year.
I do not do well with variety or unpredictability. Workplaces of consistency and structure are where I have most thrived. Let me focus on and finish my work. I need a job with few moving parts; few variables, and few personalities. I perform better not having to make judgment calls. I do not do well with "open plan" offices; I feel like I am on display and I cannot focus.
Oddly, I am good in a larger crisis but sometimes need to walk away for a minute to catch my breath when encountering smaller glitches or problems.
I have many skills that in the end are inapplicable to a work environment because they only surface for things I personally care about, in situations where I have the time to meander my way to a solution or a conclusion and the space not to be beholden to anyone but myself. I can write, but I cannot do it for you. I can handle the bookkeeping for my nonprofit, but I cannot do it for you. I can do basic graphic design work for my own projects, but I cannot do it for you.
The skill that's important to you as an employer should be this: I care about doing the work and doing it well. I can focus on a task until it's done if you leave me to it. I don't have to care personally about what the work is, or what your business is, to do that. I'm not looking for a career track, and likely am not capable of one. I'm looking for steady work that won't psychologically defeat me.
I can be perfectly pleasant and personable with coworkers, as long as they respect my boundaries, but do not do well with customer-facing work, where things shift too frequently (see "consistency and structure"). Behind-the-scenes only, please. I should be responsible for myself and my own work, not other people or theirs.
Your company culture and workplace should be free of abuse, disparagement, disrespect, and casual (let alone overt) racism. I won't again work where this isn't true.
I am not looking for a social scene, or office parties. I am looking for part-time work (I can't handle more than that) that won't require abandoning my nonprofit and the fifteen animals for which it is responsible. I live in the Portland of Oregon. Your business should, too.
More About Being #ActuallyAutistic
So Apparently Autism Comes With Fatigue?: That Would Explain So Very, Very Much
(April 30, 2018)
A Series Of Unfortunate Events: This Life Is Like A Rollcoaster Baby Baby
(May 12, 2018)
Today I Learned About Autistic Burnout: In Which My Pre-Diagnosis Life Haunts Me Post-Diagnosis
(May 15, 2018)
When The Helpers Don't Believe You: Self-Advocacy In The Face Of Doubt
(June 15, 2018)
Hyperfocus Versus Task Switching: Thinking About Autistic Inertia In The Workplace
(July 10, 2018)
Communications Breakdown: How To Not Talk To Me
(July 15, 2018)
Misadventures In Conformity And Burnout: More On The Psychic Plaque Of Autistic Masking
(July 31, 2018)
The Catch-22 Of Being #ActuallyAutistic But Late-Diagnosed: Some Misadventures In Social Insecurity
(August 30, 2018)
"He was referred to the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for support and exploration of his ability to sustain employment in a structured, predictable part-time job with minimal social demands. Over the past several months of employment, his functional capacities have deteriorated due to the constant stress he has experienced in his job placement. Bix has made an adaptive decision to terminate his employment and allow some time for restoration of his depleted psychological/emotional resources."