Rob is continuing to do pretty well. He is still at the same job, still a shift leader; that job has had some bumps in it, though. He has an immediate supervisor that tends to say catastrophic things when she is angry, and leave catastrophic phone mail (as in, “call me in the next 10 minutes or you’re fired”). At first he (and we) would panic when he would get one of these messages. But since the situation seems to always get worked out, I am beginning to conclude that that is just her management style. It stresses Rob out, though. And I don’t like what it is doing to his morals, because he has started to say whatever he has to in order to get through the immediate crisis. He is not a particularly good liar, but he is getting practice in this job. I suppose you could call it a life skill, but I really dislike it. He says he wants to look for another job; but in this economy another job will be hard to find.
Autistic people are not supposed to be good liars; some are even incapable of lying. Rob is smart and his theory of mind has developed to where he can (and does) lie on occasion. When he was a child he was a terrible liar because he just had no idea what would sound plausible to other people. He mainly tried to lie to get out of trouble. He soon learned that he was not very good at it. He actually went through a phase a few years ago where he was lying constantly at work (telling tall tales about his life) just to see if he could get away with it. He thought he was pulling the wool over his coworkers’ eyes, until his sister stopped by to see him one day at work. He wasn’t there, but one of his coworkers asked her, “What is with your brother? He tells all these stories and thinks we believe him. He’s just full of BS.” She passed this on to Rob, which enlightened him that he wasn’t as good a liar as he thought. This was good feedback for him to hear. He is not particularly good at gauging other people’s thoughts and reactions, of course; but he is getting better.
There tends to be all sorts of discussion about social lying on websites run by Aspies; most don’t see the point of social lying. I dislike it myself; and we have had many, many discussions about the difference between being “polite” and lying. Rob also tends to not understand the difference between an unintentionally broken promise and a lie; the idea of intention has been a hard distinction for him to grasp.