Who has the communication problem?
If only NTs would answer a simple question with a straight answer. Oh, and it would help if they communicated with each other a bit as well. Here is a paraphrasing of a recent exchange between me and the DASS (disability services office) at the university where I am a PhD student.
- We need these three bits of paper for your assessment.:
- Document A (form from doctor)
- Document B (letter from funding body)
- Document C (complex form), filled in as much as you can.
- I don't have Document A because I gave it to you!
- Oh right. We have that here. We need Document B and Document C.
- I am disabled (surprise!) Producing bits of paper is exceedingly difficult. Which bits is it that you really actually must have and by when?
- Please send us Document A, Document B, and Document C ASAP.
- I already talked to someone else about this and they said you have Document A on file.
- We can access Document A if you say we can. We need you to send Document B and Document C, filled in as much as you can, before the appointment. We can help you do Document C in the appointment. [So I don't actually have to have it filled in as much as possible and in their possession beforehand?]
- (By voicemail AND email AND text, in rapid succession.) We absolutely must have Document B by [specific time] or we will cancel your appointment!!
[Precisely what I asked for in step 4 (which was really step 37, as I'd already been back and forth with them roughly 33 times about getting registered with DASS, getting another assessment, and booking this one).]
- As I have tried to explain many times to many different people at DASS the main noticeable effect of my disability at university is that I find administrative tasks extremely difficult. I have a support worker who helps with these things, but I am currently under-supported because I haven’t had my DSA assessment yet. [The very assessment this inane exchange is to arrange.]
- I asked a few days ago which of the many bits of paper I’d been asked for were absolutely essential for the assessment and when was the latest they could be received by [...] If I had been told then that what you really must have is Document B by [specific time] then I could have told you then that I have a support worker coming an hour before that so I should be able to get it to you in time. Then there would have been less stress all around because I wouldn’t be pressured and you wouldn’t be wondering if or when I was going to do what is required.
- [...] Getting three messages in as many minutes asking me to do the same very difficult task makes it even harder due to the stress of being pressured.
I eagerly await their reply. I expect it to say 'We need you to send Document A, Document B and Document C prior to your appointment.'
What is it about NTs and simple questions? If they had just told me what they really needed and when they really needed it by, I'd probably have done it by now instead of getting overwhelmed by the enormity of the task (Document A is no longer in my possession, Document B is filed somewhere, and Document C is basically asking me to answer everything the assessment is supposed to be finding out, on my own, in advance) and worn out by the excessive frustrating repetitive communication.
Yet I'm the one with the 'communication problem'.