S3 E3 - 4:5:21, 2.47 PM
6:57PM Apr 5, 2021
Lee Skallerup Bessette
Hi, everyone, welcome back to Episode Three of all the things ADHD Episode Three, season three things we did it finally did it finally only took I don't know how many episodes is that like 40, or whatever it is we've recorded. I'm your co host, Lee Skallerup Bessette.
And I'm your co host, Amy Morrison.
All right, so today what we thought we would talk about as we are all getting, or if not all of us, some of us, depending on where you are in the world, some of us are getting good news around immunizations and back to works and back to schools. And really, it's an interesting space that we're in because we're not quite yet in the after times. And definitely not the before times I keep calling this that we're in the aftermath. Right? Like it's it's the it's the aftermath. And, and and
feel like we're still in the math in Ontario, because like you just have another lockdown that just Yes, started that. I'm sorry, that will start tonight at midnight. who ran the math still?
I know. Yeah. And so again, depending on where you are, and how but there's there, there seems to be a faint light at the end of the tunnel at this point. And like hopefully, it's not a train like we're really like the the train being some strange variant that none of the vaccines knock would protect against. But um, but there there is this, for those of us who have been fortunate enough to be able to work from home working in white collar jobs, where we have been able to work from home and still maintain full employment during this this period. There is the light at the end of the tunnel, which may be a train of it's going to be time to go back to work soon then our physical workplaces and and so we're going to talk a little bit about that today about what what do we want to carry forward with us when we go back to the workplace. And there's another reason why this is we're having this conversation today. Today is Friday, April seconds.
That's right. And Friday, April 2 is world Autism Awareness Day, in case you were not aware of autism. Now you are its world Autism Awareness Day, which is like a sort of global initiative, United Nations, kind of dealio since 2008. And the theme this year for World Autism Awareness Day is inclusion in the workplace. And and so that that felt like a good tie in for us today. Because many of the requirements that autistic people are not quite having met in the workplace are requirements that many neurodivergent people would benefit from as well. And that did seem to link as as least as to this moment of transition where, you know, people were talking about this last year, the disability community was talking about this last year, when we moved all of a sudden to shift on a dime to 100% remote work and disabled people were like, you know, I've been asking for remote work as an accommodation for a long time. And it has never been possible until all of a sudden, it was possible for everybody, right? So we've become aware, over a pandemic times that, in fact, the ways that we do business as usual doesn't have to be in the as usual way. And that, in fact, significant transformations of working conditions, working relationships, work tasks, platforms on which work happens, timing for work, that all of that can be, like completely transformed. And the world doesn't fall apart. In that way. I hear the stock market actually is doing quite well. So the economic machinery of the world has not fallen apart since people are working from home. So we have that knowledge now. That the things that we were all told as disabled people seeking accommodation were absolutely impossible to provide before or not impossible, right? As we transition maybe back into something that looks a little bit more like normal life. What are those things do we want to keep? Right? Yeah, and how can we keep them? Or how are we going to blend some of the better parts of working at home or by other means during a pandemic with some of the best things about working together in office spaces, right? How are we going to combine those two domains? I'm quite, I'm quite concerned about it as an autistic person. I'm aware. I need to think a little bit more carefully about inclusion in the workplace.
Yeah. And I think that we're starting to see it too. I know I've seen on disability Twitter that there has been this push that we are going to go back to normal and therefore all of these accommodations will no longer be available to to people with disabilities. And I think that this this weird, you know, underlying This is this weird sense of fairness. Right? where like, it's not fair that you get these accommodations and we don't and so it's okay now because everybody gets them. So it's fair. But for you to get them, you know, it's this really strange, a Western mentality
was the tyranny of the normal. Right. So firstly, you like, I think it's meaningful that you said, what's going to go back to normal, right. But, you know, our podcast listenership and we ourselves have never been normal, normal. Yeah, right. And normal is a statistical designator. It is not an aspirational identity category until we made it one, right, the etymology and history of the word normal, and its its use in the ways that we use it now as kind of normative, or norming. Right, conforming, to arbitrary standards that are designated as norms to which normal people should it here, I mean, is artificial. And it is Western, it is an enlightenment concept that kind of gains force in the sort of era of standardization. And this idea of going back to normal means that the people who felt normal in the old way of doing things will feel normal again, right. And then they sort of have this, this kind of arrogance, or let's say, I'm gonna make a joke as an autistic person, like a very poor theory of mind and lack of empathy, because they imagine that the things that work for them actually should work for everybody. And if they don't, there's something wrong with that person. Right? So do we want to go back to quote unquote, normal when we're not normal? and normal was not working for us? Like, no. So yeah, and then this idea that, that when everything is exactly the same for people, that's what makes it fair. Right? Is is really deeply deeply ingrained. It's like, we're going to try to split a cookie and half with a sibling, right? Like, you want to absolutely make sure you get absolutely the same, but that's not fairness. Really? No.
It's not even equity.
it's certainly not inclusion, right? Like, I, I have two kids. So that kid of one resonates really very much, because I have one kid who's very concerned, try and guess which one very concerned with fairness, right. And that's not fair. And it's sort of like you, you, you and your brother, are very different people. And so you know, you both need have very different needs, and very different things work with, with either of you, right? Like, you just this is, this is, this is how, you know, because what works with you doesn't work with him, and what works with him doesn't work with you. And so we have to kind of, you know, mediate for that. And chef gets really upset about that at swim team as well. It's rare that you don't sound fair. And I'm like, you should, you should. She's also a budding coach, and she's very good at it. She's excellent with the kids. But like, when she sees me doing things differentially with other swimmers, she's like, Well, why do they? Why are you telling them that? Like, what do you do? Because this is how this is what's working with them, right? Like, if I were to do it this way with them, it wouldn't work. And so I have to do it this way. And the whole goal, and I think that that's the kind of like, what's our What's our goal in all of this? Right? is our goal fairness? Or is our goal, the ultimate outcome of trying to create an environment where everyone the most people can thrive? Right? Is it is it that like, we just want to create a level playing field, but then that's not outcomes oriented, that's, you know, more process oriented, where it's, yeah, you're, you're
trying to say exactly the same, that the inputs are the same. And therefore, if the outcomes diverged, then it's something wrong with the person who failed to meet the same outcome, right, like so I work I work with, like a lot of PhD students as a as a supervisor and committee member and the supports that I offer them are all different, like they need different things in order to be able to write like some of the need, gentle, cajoling, right, some of them need to email me an arbitrary but set number of pages every week that I don't read because they just need me to scare them enough that they write something some of them need to write like one crystalline paragraph that I go over with a fine tooth comb because then it gives them the confidence to more freely write the rest of the thing, right. So you might say like, Is it fair because I actually treat all of my graduate students differently, but they're different people, right? Like they they get the same amount of my my care and attention but the things that I asked for them as deliverables, or the frequency with which I meet with them are the tasks that we do with one another are different, because I'm not concerned with making sure everybody gets absolutely the same input. I want them to have access to the capacity to produce, you know, the same output, right? I want them all to succeed. And it requires different things. And like that, I think I want our workplaces to be a little bit more like the way that I supervise my graduate students that kind of negotiation of like, you know, within my role and within your role, what are the things that I can provide to you that are going to help you succeed that are within my capacity to provide for you, right? So I can't like go to your house and sit on your lap every day. So you don't get off of your chair? Right. Like, I just don't have that kind of energy. And that's probably illegal. Right. But
yeah, like good to say, right, like, and I think HR might have an issue and HR might
have an issue with that. Right. Yeah. But like, I think we need to continue to move away from this idea that everybody has to do with the same way with the same resources in order for it to be fair, right? Because that's not that's not right. So let's just lay that aside. That's not fair. That's not what fairness looks like. fairness looks like people having a an equal opportunity to succeed, right, and the things that they will need in order to achieve that success are going to be different. And as long as it doesn't produce barriers for other people. In their work, we should strive to make workplaces inclusive in the sense that people feel able to do the work that they have been assigned to do without suffering unduly from stuff like an environment that's too noisy, that only bothers them, but doesn't bother other people, or from an inability to print things that they need to see on paper, but they're in a paperless office or for some reason, right. Like those kinds of things.
Yeah. And I think that there's so I'm coming at this as well, from the kind of educator standpoint, because we've had a lot of these conversations, of course, when we've talked about student accommodations, right in, in, during the pandemic, and we've gotten a lot more expansive. We we've always been expensive, but I think faculty have finally internalized to be more expansive in terms of what they they what we are. Yeah, well, okay. Um, some of them have, but there's always this idea of lowering of standards, right, like that somehow accommodations. And then this is the unfairness, I think, in some cases,
a standard, just a norm by another name. Right. Exactly. Yeah. Put that in the bucket of words that mean, like, oh, accommodations are not going to happen. Excellence, merit, fairness, standard. Norm. There we go. Those are my that's my bucket.
Yeah, there's probably a couple other ones in there. But like, yeah, I mean, those are, and and, and, you know, I always said that none of this is fair, right, especially during pandemic, none of this is fair. So we can finally sort of accept that and sort of rethink that idea of fair. Um, but again, this idea of like, I can do. So you and I've known as people with with high functioning neurodiversity mode, quote, unquote, yeah, you know, we've always done excellent work. Right? Well, but the toll that had that when we've spoken about this before the toll that that takes on us, Mm hmm. Right, mentally, sometimes physically, is, is is not is not negligible. Right? It has an impact on us. Our therapy bills show that right. Um, and so I think that even even like the, you know, they were, you want to think of that the excellent are the models, right? Like, what, you're so smart, we had that episode, but you're so smart. We're sort of held up or could be held up as people it's like, yes, but you're so successful. But yes, you've managed to do all this. So why can't? Or why now? Are you asking for this? or Why are you advocating for these things for others? Like, if they can't cut it? And you did? Why is that? Why is that a bad thing? Right? Like you, you got yours. I think that's a very unAmerican sort of thing to let you see it in Canada, I mean, this is, I guess, North American to a certain extent. And so like it is sitting down and having this conversation of, we can create conditions where all of us can be successful and thrive. And be open about it too, because I think that that's, that's the masking as well, like, I tend to be neurotypical in order to, to maintain a level of professionalism to a certain extent or be
accepted, or to be perceived as professional right. So so that people get sort of hung up on, on what you look like or what your behavior seems to indicate to them regardless of sort of the semantics of an interaction, right, like so you Can, you know like, say have a faculty member in your office and the before times and you know, they're asking for advice on stuff and they'll see your desk is covered over with like, everything. And you know, Star Wars. Yep. Google's and you know, yeah,
baby Yoda sit here right behind my baby is right there I
did right. And like maybe you're wearing a sassy t shirt from the internet or whatever. And it doesn't really matter what you say to them or how much expertise you have is that they look at you and they see something that doesn't match what their idea of professional is, and therefore they can't hear what you're saying. Yeah, right. Yeah.
And so, so let's so let's dig into it a little bit. Right? What What are those? The What would you like to see continue? And what what challenges or obstacles? Do you see to that those kinds of things continuing.
I like, and I've been doing this for for some time, I like to have a digital infrastructure for my classes, in the hybrid model where all the handouts can be right so that people don't have to rely on me to be emailing them handouts that they miss, like, I really like having a kind of digital sort of class by class repository access point where people can go and help themselves to things so like, so that people can be more sort of self efficacious and not rely so much on contacting me to do kind of clerical work for them. Like, that's something I want, I want to have sort of the continued flexibility to choose the times at which I do my tasks like synchronous teaching I like, and that's three hours a week per class where I have to be in a particular place at a particular time and my office hours, but other than that, right, my time is at my own disposal. I do like that for meetings. Now, I tend to be getting much more notice about when they're coming. And I mean, getting digital invitations for meetings, which I really like, because when I get a digital invitation is properly formatted, I can click on it, and it goes into my calendar without me having to retype it somewhere. So I really like that kind of meeting planning, infrastructure now where things goes, whoop, immediately into my calendar, and all my calendars are synchronized, it saves me a tremendous amount of labor of trying to remember when this is and when that is and when the other thing is. So digital invites for everything is, is really great. So flexibility around my time of work, a capacity to have a digital storage space where my students can fend for themselves, when it's appropriate for them to fend for themselves. Those sorts of things are important to me. What about you?
I really dig the zoom meeting, my go live. You know, I like the convenience of it. Yeah, right. And we've been doing zoom meetings, we've been doing zoom meetings with some people in person on campus and other people.
for a little while, at least not everyone in the office did. But our unit in particular, online learning did it in part, because for online classes, a lot of them were in the School of Continuing Studies. And so that weren't faculty, they were subject matter experts, great work in the field. Right? And, you know, even if they lived in DC, right? Let me if you've never been to DC before, it's not a very big place, but it is a pain in the ass to get around.
Oh, sure. Yeah. Yeah.
Right. Like, yeah, if you've ever tried to drive anywhere, or take public transit in DC, it is just a pain in the ass. And so like a one hour meeting, or a 45 minute meeting, turns into a three hour ordeal, right? Because I got to get from my side of DC to your side of DC because Georgetown is also the most inaccessible area of DC. The Metro doesn't go there. You know, there's like zero parking anywhere. You know, so it's, so if you want to get from one side of DC to the other, that's at least a half an hour to 45 minutes, at least on a good day, you know, then you have to find, and then you have to walk from parking to the place in the meeting. And then there's a huge number of fail points there.
Yeah, exactly. Because you have to remember when the meeting is, and you have to like be good enough at like time calculation, which I'm not because you know, I'm an ADHD time now and not now. To know like, what time I have to start getting dressed, what time I have to start putting the things that I need into the bag that I'm going to bring to campus with me. And then I have to think about how long it's gonna take me to get to campus. I have to pick a modality. Am I going to walk? Am I gonna ride my bike? Am I going to drive Am I going to take the bus or the train, but I've fought for different modalities I can take and like I'm just burning executive function spoons all over the place. Just trying to figure out when do I leave my house? I haven't even left the house yet. Right and I'm already tired. And then there's like, whatever time as you say, and panic. Yeah, there's gonna be like, we're gonna be late. And I am always going to be late. Right like, and. And then to be like, now I have to waste a bunch of time actually getting to campus right. So I've just frittered away some time in my day, and like, inevitably, people come late, and then the meeting goes longer than you want. And then you're like, No, I'm just going to go back. So sometimes it's like, it feels like three hours of fussing for a 45 minute meeting. Yeah, required that everybody be there in person. And they're like, well, you're only 15 minutes from campus, like, maybe, but that's not actually an appropriate calculation of the amount of time it's going to take. So I do like the convenience of being like, you know, I will tell you, I was folding laundry. And the big being in my calendar went off. It was like your podcast recording 15 minutes. And I was like, Oh, yeah, forgot about that. Right. And so I finished folding my laundry, and I came upstairs and I put it away, right. And then I got the computer out. And I sat down, and I was still here in plenty of time. I didn't even have to put shoes on. Right. So I like that it offers fewer opportunities for me to fail at any number of small decisions related to how long this is going to take. And now I have to do a different task. All of that's gone with digital meeting.
Yeah, exactly. And so and I mean, for us, it was less than accommodation and more a reality that these were working professionals who couldn't take three hours out of their day job to come and do basically a favor for the program that they're working in. Right. They were getting paid for it like supplemental that is not much right. We know it's not a lot. So we were already doing kinds of virtual meetings with subject matter experts, and as well with people in our office who happened to move and so they were working remotely. So I had two team members actually living in California, who were doing it who were still on the online programming team, and we're excellent. And, you know, we we accommodated it to a certain extent to like, there were no, you know, meetings before sort of 10am
Yeah, that's a timezone issue. But it is an accommodation, right? Like, there is this kind of thing where it's like, we weren't, we're not gonna have meetings before. You know, 10am and even 10am was pushing it, right. Yes. Um, yeah. And even in the office today, I was pushing it, right. But again, it was that all of this around, getting to campus right getting to and from campus, there's no, you can't even pay for parking anymore. on our campus. There's not even a waitlist for parking. Now, that might change after this. But like, so basically, you couldn't, you couldn't drive to campus. And so you were taking public transit to campus, which was always and then it's like, like you said, timing, and all that kind of stuff. So we just basically said, the first meeting of the day, even if you're in person on the ground was only going to be at 10am. Because everyone could make it for 10am. Right? And because also people have kids and drop offs, and all that kind of stuff. Everybody could make it for time. So that was I usually showed up at 730. But um,
we need the traffic that way, right? Yeah, exactly.
I beat the traffic that way. And I could get well in Europe, I could get the parking like losers, like you didn't know, like five different spots where you could park for free. But like, you had to know where the spots were. And yet, they're really early because everyone knew where those spots were, that is so on brand for you to have
found that. Yeah, like I think that that like ties in with flex time, as well, too, right. Because like if you've ever driven on a highway, it's true that there are certain times of day when you know, like to drive from Waterloo to Toronto, which many people do is like 55 minute drive. And then if you leave the house 10 minutes later, like it's 120 minute drive, right. But that's the tyranny of the norm, right, we have decreed, you know, that work starts at 830 or eight, and that everybody in a given office needs to be there, at that time, why you can't get an elevator because they're too full, right? You know, you're going to have accidents in the parking lot. Because everybody's arriving in the parking lot at the same time. Everybody, like has lost an hour of sleep, because since everybody's on the highway, at the same time and like to what end right? To what end? It's like a function of control, to sort of say like, we are a professional operation and ADM, everyone is at their desks.
Why? Yeah. Why? Also like post pandemic, right? So that's if you're driving, there's the traffic, but then if you're taking public transit, that's when public transit is like you're, like, just packed in there like sardines,
And now, I mean, now that everybody is much more conscious about these things, like how many people want to be on the metro with that over literally overflowing where you have to like wedge people. I remember those days where it's like, the door opens and you're just sort of like, Okay, I gotta get it for you like what I got, I can't wait for the next Metro because I gotta get to work to
be there on time. So squish that you like arrive at work, smell Like someone else's perfume? Right?
Yeah, it's like, but you do it because it's like I have to be here at a certain time. Yeah. And so I think that, I think that that's going to change for a lot of people for the traffic reasons. But also, you know, health and safety reasons for a lot of people to wear. Yeah. Are are, are tough tolerance for what we considered Okay, previously, I think will have shifted, and that will push as well as shift in terms of what the work hours are.
Well see that we're back to like fairness, the idea of fairness, right, fairness, being everything has to be the same. And like, somehow we think it's fair, that everybody has to show up for a day. Right, even though like the roads are brutal. Some people have insomnia. And some people actually want to start at 6am. Right?
Because only three and take care of my kids.
That's right. And like some people just think like, it's more fair. It's more fair for everybody. Like has to come at some arbitrary time, that's not ideal for anyone, because then we're all suffering equally. But why do we have to suffer Lee at all right? Like, like, why do we have to do that like that? I know, there's like some businesses there, where they're like, there are core hours. And the core hours are between like 10, and three, so everybody needs to be there between 10 and three, but on the edges, like you could come in at 955 and leave at six, or you could come in like at 6am and take a two hour lunch, but leave at three, right like that, that people get to to sort of choose like we sort of say we we have a lot of collaborative activities, these are the times we're going to schedule meetings. So we insist that people like be here for the core hours, or if you are, you know, the person in charge of answering the phones. And obviously that's like, time linked, but for the most part. Like there's a person who does the undergraduate scheduling in my unit doesn't make me teach before 10:30am because I have chronic insomnia, right. And sometimes I'm ready to go at eight in the morning. But sometimes I sleep until line. And one of the things that helps me with my insomnia in the middle of the night is knowing that I can sleep in, right? It makes the insomnia less miserable while I'm suffering it, and it makes my day more productive because I am able to sleep in and in, you know, in any large enough institution, I don't know if I've told you this before, do you know about like the law of large numbers? Maybe a mathematician is going to correct me about this. But the law of large numbers says that like, basically, this is like above the normal curve that in a large enough group, things will sort into a curve. Right? Yeah. So at my institution, they got real hairy about, they needed to make sure all the classrooms were being used during the full schedule, right. And they were going to make everybody be available have to be available between 8am and 6pm, five days a week for scheduling. And the only reason like you could you weren't allowed to express a preference in Laredo was like, Nope, that's the thing, unless you get like a note from the doctor or like, you know, you need some kind of special accommodation to not be constantly on call for this. But but some people are morning people. And some people like to teach the night classes. And the law of large numbers would say that if you let people sort themselves according to their preferences within reach reasonable boundaries, the schedule problem solves itself, right. But we have this sort of managerial need for control, or any employee, right? to sort of say, like, you don't get to decide what your preferences are. And I need to be fair to everybody. So I am going to drop this rule on everyone, and it doesn't work for anybody. And I think like, that's one of the reasons that sort of workplace accommodations are so difficult to secure because it flies in the face. Like it's not just about being able to just but of course it is, it's also about it undermines the entire idea of fairness for everybody. And this whole managerial system we have set up based on the employer has total control. And whenever an employee is allowed to express a preference around the modality or timing of work, they are pulling one over on the employer and everybody else, right. But why does it have to be like that? I mean, that's a decision. Because that's just a value. There's no practical gain from that. Like, you could just look at the highways in the morning and say like, obviously, it is a ridiculous thing to make everybody come into work at the same time. It is a tremendous environmental waste. It is a time waste. It is terrible for people's mental health and your employees are exhausted and not working very well because they're so tired from having to get up an extra hour earlier. Like it has no practical justification. The justification is entirely cultural and ideological.
Yeah. And I think that that's one of the other things that I want to save from the pandemic. Is that not that I was heavily micromanaged anyways, like, I have been in the past and I do not react well that Um, but, but that I think I talked about this in the in the first episodes, but The freedom to be able to get the work done the way that works best for me. And if that's taking an hour randomly at two o'clock in the afternoon to catch up on one division on Fridays, you know, or you know, it whatever it is write whatever you need to do, to be able to get the work done in a way that gets it done in the best way possible. Now, I'm doing my own always doing my best work, but like, I feel like I have been able to do some of my best work, because the conditions have been entirely, almost entirely under my own control. Right? Like, yes, I still have to meet deadlines. Yes, there is still a standard and a level that I have to meet. It's, you know, I'm working with other people, I have to take that all into consideration. But when it comes down to my portion of what it is that I need to do, I'm nobody is, nobody is judging me right now for how I'm doing it. And that's sort of really freeing to be able to say, Okay, now, how does this work best for me? And how am I going to do this, and this is this is my writing process, and I'm gonna write this way. And this is my way that I create and research and that's the way and so like, no one cares, that I have my papers strewn everywhere. Yeah, no one, no one cares. Um, you know, and you talk about this with your writing, right? You need that large space. And there's a certain amount of flexibility that faculty have in a way that staff in a lot of ways don't have Absalom in that. And so as a staff member who's sort of come up being used to being treated like faculty in a certain regard, I'm there, it's I found it really liberating to be able to end and your endeavor is to be able to sort of do things in my own ADHD way, and not have to apologize for it, because nobody sees it. Right. Nobody sees it. All they say is like, it has to be done by this, but that by this date, can you get it done? Yes. Great. And it's done by that date. Right. And that, and there's no more questions asked?
Yeah, I mean, you're sort of describing, again, a little bit the social model of disability, right? That like you don't have to be apologizing to anybody, because they don't even see it, you're just doing the thing, right? You don't have to ask for permission, because you're not being micromanaged. You don't have to ask for an exception to the rule. Because the rules are minimized. And they are related to task outcomes, not task inputs, right. It's not like, I need you to log a timesheet, I want to make sure that you know, this writing project you have, you're doing at least one hour on it every day. Like maybe that's not how I write, or like, you know, you need to, I want to see an annotated bibliography of at least 25 resources from five different types of sources, it'd be like, that's just a Make Work Project for me. And that's like, not going to make the writing any better. But it's going to assert a kind of command and control a kind of micromanagement. And so, you know, the social model model of disability says, like, I don't need accommodations, if the environment produces less arbitrary and unnecessary barriers, right? Because like, accommodations in the workplace are not meant to allow you to somehow evade the essential tasks of a job. Like I could not be a professor who can't teach, right? I can't because like, that's a core function of my job,
although, shockingly, if you were an old way to do it. Well, yeah. Or if you're an old white guy, like there's like,
right, yeah, I'll just, like behave poorly enough until they sort of like, take me out of the classroom for everybody's protection, but I don't get Yeah, that'll be Yeah, yeah. So like, accommodations are not meant to sort of remove the essential duties from a job. But it shows when people ask for accommodations, how many of the rules in the workplace are just arbitrary, yeah, right, and have nothing to do with the actual work. Like, it's about having you know, your bum in a seat, you know, at a certain time of day, or you're going to get written up, it's about only being able to go to the bathroom so many times in a day, like as if that's going to be, like, indicative of whatever. You know, it's all these little things, like you have to, you know, login by this amount of time or you have to send this many emails a week or like whatever it is, that is just proxy measures, again, for the quality of the work that put barriers in front of people who would otherwise be excellent employees. Right. And that's all people are asking for in accommodations is the ability to do excellent work without this kind of like nonsense for all
the way in the the one that not that makes me think of this other occurrence. And again, I'm sorry, how my staff lens versus factory solution, but you can sort of see in the same sorts of ways that when so when they they introduced the new overtime rules, this is way before right so that there was no wage theft. And so there were overtime rules, and all that kind of stuff on the institution I was working at for hourly staff, right i was i was exempt that or of nonsense. or something like that, right? Like I, I had my annual salary as opposed to the hourly wage, right. But the hourly wage who were usually the lowest paid on campus, right, and these were talking to admin assistants, and all the people who make the departments and everything run, they had to clock in and out every day, 100 an hour. And they'd be clocked in by a certain time and the app had, like, geo locating on it. And so like, it wouldn't let you log in if you weren't on campus. And it could tell if you were on campus or not. And like, Oh, yeah, well, and and of course, it just it negated the nature even of staff work in higher education. So like, if you're a department admin assistant, right, sometimes you stay late. Yeah. And sometimes that means that you know, what, on a Friday, because nobody's on campus on Friday, you come in a little late, because you stayed late on Thursday, to help out with the department dinner, or whatever it was like, or the the social, our, the, the, you know, the
invited toward ceremony or what,
whatever, whatever it was, and I remember just how much stress it caused one of one of our colleagues, like, she was just, she had a kid and and especially, like, it was just, it was just awful. And, and but what it was, though, and how they framed it was, it was for the employer, it was for the employees protection, so that the university didn't steal their wages. And
no, it was for the university's protection. So it was not subject to law sensible wage.
Well, that's but it's when it's framed like I then what I'm getting to is the framing of it. Oh, yeah, I can't do this thing. Because because we don't want people to take advantage of it. Or we don't want an undue burden on other people or like there's like, again, it goes back to this idea of fairness. But yeah, like the the that's the particularly galling when it's like accommodations, or refuse or these sort of draconian measures are implemented and enforced for our own good, right, right, like that whole paternalistic, It's for your own good, we're doing this for you, not to you,
when it's just like if you work unpaid overtime. Now, that's on you, because there's an app that lets you clock in and clock out, right, so we're not gonna pay you for it. So don't do it. Right. So now, if you work overtime, that is like I think people would find, I mean, the reason these questions of wage theft come up is because people are being asked to do two jobs at the same time, right? Or like, you get task creep in a job where like, at my university, it seems like every five or six years, people get their job descriptions rewritten, right? And like in recognition of like, now, you're also the website administrator. And it turns out, this is a 12 and a half, right? So we need to hire like a half an extra person for this. But generally, they're just like, no, you're only allowed to work this number of hours. And even though we've added a bunch more tasks to you, just do them faster. Right?
Yeah. Oh, yeah. And can we talk about a big part of inclusion too, like this is all we were talking about this inclusion, but this came up on came up on the internet, and this came up in terms of diversity and inclusion. But and I think it's like, it just set off a light in my head, of course, and I'm just like, duh, this idea of salary, like we're talking about getting paid in overtime, this idea of salary. We know that the inherited wealth, the wealth that people have differs greatly. And I'm sure there's I'm I haven't looked it up and we know it along racial lines. Sure. Right. I would imagine that around disability lines, it's probably very similar. And so far is that people with a someone with a disability has less wealth than somebody without one. Yeah,
yeah. Like that would,
you know, I'd love to see that in numbers. But like, just intuitively, if you looked at it, it's like you have less opportunity to work, your expenses are higher most of the time because you have to pay for more an extra health care, sometimes out of pocket if you do not actually have insurance, because you can't get the job that gives you the insurance. And then so even just being able to secure a job, if that job doesn't pay you enough to be able to afford to live in the place. Yeah, right. Like, it's, it's this idea of like, Oh, well, disability benefits, they're just like, mooching off the state. And you're like, Well, you know, if workplace accommodations were such that they could work they would and if the salary were enough that like they could actually pay for their medications or pay for their equipment that they need or pay for the counseling that they require whatever it else that he needs to have, that those that needs to be taken into consideration is just how much are we paying these? How much are we paying everyone, but how much you're going to be able to be able to recruit and retain people with disabilities. Well, you
have to think about like means tested benefits to write so many People, many disabled people rely on state or national level disability support programs like to pay for their medications, right? You know, they're on a certain kind of stipend that will pay for some extra services. But their means tested, right, which like, if you get a job, yeah, then you don't qualify for those benefits anymore. If you get married. Yeah, if you get married, right, like if you married own a car, that's an asset that counts against your eligibility for benefits. So like, it used to be the welfare system work like this. But the disability system also seems to work like this too, is like if you have one red cent to your name, you need to spend it first before you are entitled to benefits. So among disabled people, the sort of accrual of a nest egg is impossible for all the reasons you identify like the extra burdens it takes to get anything done. But it is also impossible in terms of continuing to have access to benefits, right. So you know, as a, as a person who's not receiving any disability benefits myself, and I'm in full time employment, I am able to save for my retirement or to put money away, you know, for my child's education or to like purchase a car, I am allowed to do those things like grownups are allowed to do in ways I would not be allowed to do, even if I had the money, if I was on state benefits for disability support, right. So either like, the job doesn't pay enough that you can afford to pay for your physiotherapy with the job, or you will get cut from your benefits. If you have anything more than $10 in your bank account. Like if a parent gives you a $500 gift for Christmas, and you don't report it, they will cut your benefits off. And if you do report it,
they will cut your benefits like $500
it's impossible to get ahead, right? Because it sort of says like unless you can, you know, wean yourself from benefits at all. You don't deserve to live anything other than hand to mouth with your hand extended in front of you all the time, begging for help that we decide whether or not you deserve. It's humiliating.
Yeah. So is often the case with these conversations area and I get into this one went on a little bit longer than our anticipated hour slots. And so I have separated this into two parts. So join us next week on all the things ADHD where we continue this conversation around inclusivity disability accommodations around physical disabilities and neuro divergence. Thank you so much again, for listening. Please feel free to email us at all the things email@example.com I'm already writing on Twitter and Amy is did you want on Twitter. And I think this is where I'm supposed to say try to stay focused and we will see you again next week. Thank you so much for listening.