So I've formed a theory - ok, more like an observation - and just bounced it off a friend; woman who counsels parents of special needs kids and thusly is well versed in issues such as Autism. The observation, with some polishing from my friend goes something like this:
The typical workplace for me, socially, starts out with a boss and perhaps co-worker or three who are impressed with my job skills, my reliability, my loyalty to the business and getting the task at hand done. A dream employee for any workplace, right? Yet before long, one or three people develop a burning, seething hatred/jealousy/obsession with making my life miserable. It's like a contagious virus that the boss quickly catches. And poof, no more job. Why? How?
That empathic, unconsciously-sizing-each-other-up communication that is the core of what we are missing, both giving off those 'vibes' and reading them from others, doesn't tend to trip up everyone. But some are astoundingly, obsessively tripped up by this.
Neitzsche refers to it with his masters and slaves models. Most don't think of it in terms quite that harsh, but in any case, two people meet and on that ID, caveman level, size each other up and categorize each other socially, emotionally. Unless of course one of those persons is Autistic. The Autistic neither does the sizing up, at least not nearly on the level that the Neurotypical does, nor does s/he put out the 'correct vibes' as it were to be easily sized up by the other party. A small percentage of people are wildly thrown off by this.
As my friend puts it, we disrupt that person's worldview. That person being someone who desperately needs to be on top of everyone around them, in control at least to the extent of knowing where everyone else fits in the social order. Everyone else around them fits neatly in their little emotional-social boxes, in their little categories, all lined up in a row and easy to read, predict, influence, manipulate, control. Everyone except us. And that triggers fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of someone who doesn't fit in or stay in their little box.
Before long, it's like some really bad movie plot where that person is obsessed with us, and largely with making our lives hell. For these people also tend to be the Alpha personalities of the office, and in good enough with the boss that whomever they say is just too weird to be allowed to stay on the team, doesn't tend to stay on the team.
Like my friend says, we can think of these coworkers as being the disabled ones. Yeah, great, but doesn't help me get my job back or keep the next one.
Anyone else here have this issue? How bad? I've had a couple of bosses who would not be bullied by the bullies and evaluated me on my job skill, not the fact that I happen to weird out Andy Alpha. I even had one such Alpha coworker demand the boss fire me (for no stated reason) or she'd quit. She quit.
But those good, non-puppet-mastered bosses are sadly few and far between. At least in my experience. It's been a lifetime of frustration for me: Being constantly pushed out of jobs I like, jobs I'm good at, because one or three people can't play nice with me in the sandbox. I bend over backwards to play nice with them but to no avail. Am I the only one?