Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

Getting a job with Autism: Jimmy’s Story


Hello! You’re probably
wondering who I am and rightfully so! My name is Jimmy Rae-Brown and I’m a guy
with Asperger’s Syndrome. How do I describe my life? My interests include:
video games also movies and making movies. “Hot Fuzz”? Great movie! ‘The Thing’ – a classic! But, what I’m really
interested in is a job. [Alarm clock beeps] I guess I wake up… and there isn’t anything
urgent in my life. And the bed I’ve got
is really comfy I just don’t want
to get out of it! I just wish that I was doing
something a little bit more Like actually going out there
and doing some work. Frozen solid! [Bread clinks against plate] I really need to just
take the challenge head on. It’s the only way I’m ever
going to move forward in my life. It’s like growing up. Just walking into the real world
and accepting it’s and taking in just
how…scary it really is. This is my family. My mom, Fiona My dad, Russell… …and my brother, Leo And he has Asperger’s too! But we’re quite different. No-one Aspie is the same! [They laugh] We are a close family. We’re all inside the tent, basically. And the boys don’t have that many
friends in the outside world. Occasionally, people ask me
about… you know: “Have you
got children?” and “What do they do?” They’ll say: “How old
are they?” And I’ll say, “Oh they’re 22
and 18.” They say: “Oh, they must be
out at work?” And then maybe you have to
toss up whether you’re going to explain to
them what your family situation is or “can I be bothered”, you know? Really. So that’s always
part of our world. Just living on planet
Asperger, really. Asperger’s syndrome
is a form of autism that affects social interactions. I can have a kind of hard time
trying to talk to people. So now you know
what Asperger’s syndrome is what’s it like having it? Well, here’s my question to you What’s it like being able
to think straight? The way I think about it is if you can imagine a computer
that doesn’t have a graphics card so it’s doing all the
graphics on the CPU And that means that things
really slow down when there’s a lot
to process. [Makes annoyed grunt] Oh, suddenly I can’t see! If you’ve got the hardware,
like most of us you’re flying along. But if you’re having to do it
all on your main processor then that is really going to
bring things to a halt. And that’s what happens
to Jimmy sometimes. He does just lock up. My impression is that you feel
like you don’t just want to be at home
all the time. You want to actually get out
into the world and do something for yourself. That is exactly the reason. Because, like we said earlier,
last year was a quiet year for me. Yeah, and I don’t want it
to be like that for 5 years until I get a job
by pure chance. He wants to be independent
and he’s really working at that. And he’s really thinking
about that. You know, he really is. And this is part of the reason
he wants to get a job. You want to go out there
and find a job Yes! I want to actually try! – Yes
– Yeah Hmm, I think that’s admirable. [Makes popping sound] [They laugh] So, how do you feel
about the progress you’re making so far this year? Ah…been kind of slow But I do feel
like I’m close now. I regret not checking-in sooner
because a lot has happened. First I went to Work and Income and they actually informed me
of another agency called ‘Elevator’ who might be able to help. Jimmy! Are you prepared
for the workforce? Sure, why not? [Russell laughs] And now I’m working
with a nice woman called Belinda who might possibly have
some work for me. Jimmy, have you thought
about volunteering at the New Zealand Film Festival,
which is coming up? Yes. Yeah? Ok. Well I will contact them
and see what we can do whether we can get you in. Maybe see if you can get
an interview or something. Let me put it this way:
YES! Just finally it feels
like something is happening! This is my good shirt. And these are my good pants. I’m about to go in
for an interview. I’ve had interviews about
what kind of jobs I’d like to have but never one that’s actually
going to get me a job. I will admit
I’m a little nervous. There’s a feeling in my chest
that just scrunches up. I go into this overthinking state where I’m wondering if I should
or shouldn’t do this. But I try and do everything I can
to overcome it. There’s this button here,
but there’s no thing I’ll just unbutton this. Yeah, I look ok. Actually I look good! You know what?
I look really good! Let’s do this! This is actually going to be
a really huge step forward for me. I’m actually going to get
some work! Brrr! I’ve actually already put on
deodorant and brushed my teeth So… I can’t really think
of anything else. Well, wish me luck! – Hi
– Hi, Jimmy! – Nice to meet you!
– Nice to meet you! I’m Felicity. Hi Felicity. So, welcome to the office! This is where
all the hard work happens! Nice! Ok. This is Lynn,
she’s our Auckland manager. – Hi
– Hi [Felicity] And Anders over here…
he does publicity. – What’s his name?
– Anders. Ok, so I’ll give you a bit
of information about what we do what the volunteers do
at the festival. We look for people
that are friendly and energetic. People who like films, of course! Yes! And who enjoy dealing
with the public. Have you had any experience
in the past that might help with this job? Ah, there’s a chore I do
at my house where I empty the dishwasher. [Felicity] Mmmhmm All that happens is
my parents call me. say “Empty the dishwasher”
and I do it. And I’m sure I’ve made
other achievements Oh… not off the top of my head!
Dammit! That actually
went really well. There actually wasn’t
a lot of tension there and I wasn’t feeling as nervous
as I usually do. So, it was lovely to meet you. Good to meet you too! – Great to have you on board!
– Yeah! – Good to be here!
– Cool! I did get the job
and it actually felt quite good like I’d actually succeeded
at something. I can add this to my resumé
and get a job that actually will pay. I’ve finally got a job! This is a really big step
for me! YES! Of course, that was just the easy part. The hard part is going to be
the job itself. [Yawns] Excuse me. Brrr! I am, of course,
feeling a little nervous. But at the same time, kind of excited
because… …uhhh…. …I just don’t know
what’s really going to…happen. [Toothbrush whirrs] Every time I do
something real-worldish chances are there’s going
to be something I won’t know
what to do. Yeah, the most challenging thing
is that I’m going to be interacting with a lot of people at once. Mmmm. [Sighs] Hmm, yeah, and I’m not
so sure how I’m going to handle that but I’ll never gonna know
unless I try. – Hey Jimmy!
– Hi! – It’s good to see you!
– Good. – This is Amethyst!
– How are you doing? She is your senior usher. I’ll leave you guys to it! So, welcome
to The Academy Theater. It’s one of our interesting theaters
at the festival. I’ve been here plenty of times! Yeah. So the numbering’s a bit
different to our other cinemas. Well I got there and I met
Amethyst. And she had this crazy hairdo
and piercings in very unusual parts of her face. And yet she was actually
still a nice, good woman. I meet a lot of those. So, in this cinema so, we’re here Yep There’s your usher seats… And then you see, row A
is at the back here 1 and 2 And then it goes to 12, 13, 14,
which are those ones there It’s just the funniness [Jimmy grunts in annoyance] I actually hadn’t noticed how twisted the numbering system
for The Academy Cinema is. It’s like, number 1 actually starts off
in the middle on the right side And then it continues
on the other side. Just….what!? On row C, you have
to go in row D that’s the quirky nature
of this cinema. And you’re in D3 Do you want to show
this gentleman to D3? All right… [Russell] The work experience
he does may involve interacting
with the public. It’ll be really good for his
confidence for his self-esteem It’ll widen his social network And ideally it’ll give him
a start in an industry that he already has
a connection with. [Amethyst] That’s seat 12 and 11 Do you want to show these guys
to 11 and 12? – All right.
– On the left. Yeah, 11 and 12 C… Uhh, what should I do with these? Oh, they keep them! Oh right There are your tickets. So, L8 and 9. Ok. One thing, we were trying to tell
whether it was this person’s first time
at The Academy cinema or if they could find
their seat by themselves And C’s over there. Actually, it did feel generally
good helping them out and pointing the seat out
with my torch. Yeah, I got a torch! [Rock guitar music] Here I am behind the information desk! Here’s a small version of this! Hmm. After the meeting with Amethyst
and after my first ushering job we went to The Civic. And then I met a guy named Eric
who’s the guy behind the information booth. People come and ask us things. Then you’ve got to explain to them
why the building is built like this in 1929, there was no
television or radio, so it was like a magic carpet
when they came in. Yeah, he was actually this
great movie eccentric. I remember Fellini, the famous
Italian director he used to eat cheese
late at night because it made him dream. He’d have these fantastic dreams
and remember them in the morning and he’d turn them into
some of his wonderful films. Woah! Cheese gives you dreams? It does, it does. And chocolate’s another one. Remind me to eat more cheese! [Chatter from the crowd] Yeah, Asperger’s syndrome
is hard to explain. I think the thing that makes
me most nervous is straight-up, not knowing what
to say or what to do. I know that there’s an answer there. It feels like my brain is screaming
at me to answer it. Yeah, I guess the thing you’re
supposed to do is don’t panic try to think of the closest
thing you have to what they’re trying
to ask you for. Um, I kind of want some help
from you, as well. – All right, what do you need?
– I want to see a film. – Ok, what movie?
– What’s on? Ah, what is on? The schedule’s over here. Actually, to tell you the truth
over the years I have gotten a lot better at talking with people. Oh, fantastic! Are we able to buy tickets here?
No? No. Yeah, it’s near the front. I was just telling the
other words about it – Yeah.
– Sweet! I’m good at getting
into conversations about movies. Del Toro himself actually admits
that this was going to be this big, dumb action blockbuster. – Yeah
– Yeah I’m not so good at listening. Especially when the subject
doesn’t really concern me. Yeah, I’ve been giving legitimate
advice to everybody who’s come up here so far. And yeah, it’s been really good. I haven’t been on this job
for very long but I am liking it. [Sighs] Alright. Back to work. So, day 3 of the job
I have some more ushering to do. This time, I’m working in
a different cinema with Felicity. So, the movie that we
are watching now is “A Band Called Death”. And then I might also
get you doing a bit of showing people to their seats. The only notes that I’d give you
from the last time you worked I think you were concentrating
on the job you were doing which was good, so I’m just
going to add one more challenge Do a good job and smile, enjoy it! Because it’s fun for people
to come to the movies. And you should project that fun. – 11 and 12
– All right, go right in! ell, I didn’t know
I wasn’t smiling. I think they’re fine. Cool. I’m pretty sure I have
ever since that day. L10! Fantastic. You’re in
the middle of row L But it might just be best to go
the other side of the cinema. Hey! G5, G6 and G7, go right in
but please take…ah, never mind. If someone was to judge him
really quickly I think that they might
think he’s been a bit brisk with them. But that’s just his way
of really concentrating on doing the job to the best
of his ability. So, with the smiling it’s…
we’re trying to get him to show what’s on the inside. Hey, wait a minute,
wait a minute… Yeah, you need to show
your tickets first! – She’s got my ticket.
– Oh right, oh I see… You’re holding them upside down. Yeah, that’s good. Wait a minute. Let me look
at that… Oh, all right. All the way over there. [Sighs] Am I being too pushy? Don’t forget the smile, Jimmy. Yeah, right. There are times
where I do feel when I’m thinking to myself
and that’s when I realise I’m actually really smart
but I forget what I’ve taught myself. Yeah, that’s the funny thing
about lessons. Learning them is one thing actually building them into you
is another thing entirely. You can see the way his brain works. He’ll come out of a film,
and you’ll say “What did you think of it?” And he’ll say: “I don’t know.” And then the next day, he will have
the perfect elevated summary of it. Again we get to this thing of
he’s not stupid, but he takes longer to process things. Ok, uh, I think someone
is sitting in your seat. Hmm. Well, I think that’s a job well done. It’s been a week
since I started this job And Felicity has given me
a new task. This week I have to
hand out these flyers to these internet cafes. This is a good time to mention
I’m not very good at reading maps! That day was…
HELL for me. Still further down. When I was given that map
it felt like the places that were marked,
were situated kind of to the side. Ok, still further up. Ok, I think it’s down here I walked around
an entire building thinking I’d find an
internet cafe behind it when in reality, it was
in front of it, street side. Yeah, here it is! [Sighs] Net City, Wakefield Street. All right! Let’s get on with it! I think this one should
be easy to find Hopefully. Ok, so yeah. I look at all of the
details I’m given and if one’s off, that
can really confuse me. Well, we’ve found an internet cafe
but it’s not the one named here. Huh. Maybe this is wrong
or something? Anyway… Hmm. Why don’t we look around
for a little bit? Yeah, I actually do have it wrong. This thing here says 76,
East Wakefield Street… …this here’s 82. Little off. My worst fears are that he
was put in situations where he’d lock up,
which doesn’t happen often. But it’s entirely possible. [Jimmy sighs] Now I have no idea
where I am. I have no idea where I am now. [Sighs] [Camerawoman] Hey Jimmy,
are you all right? [Grunts] I don’t know! Actually, can we turn that off
for a moment? We were in the right place after all. I failed to notice that!
76, up there! And, oh my god, there’s It says here the name of the cafe
I was supposed to be looking for was called “Mid City” But the one standing before me
is called “Big World”. And that one tiny little detail
really confused the hell out of me! Having this camera feeling like it was constantly
looming over me expecting me to do something,
added to the frustration. It made me feel stupid. I think Jimmy himself will
have learned a few things about what his needs are
in terms of information. Strategies are a big thing
in general for people on the spectrum because this is a world
that doesn’t quite conform to the way they perceive things.
Or the way they act. Yeah, I’m handing out flyers for…
oh, wrong number I believe I did legitimately
suffer that day. But I don’t think it changed
my confidence and what I’m doing. It just made me realize
that I can sometimes get confused by details and it’s best if I have
clear instructions. Well, that went well! Brrr! Hmmm. It’s been a pretty good journey
so far, don’t you think? – Yeah, it has.
– Yep. I was really impressed
with the way that you thought about
all the things that needed to be done and you concentrated really hard
on making sure that everything was right on somebody’s ticket. And that you were really good
at showing people to their seats But I think that the one thing
you can improve on is just to maybe relax a bit more
and that’s going to come with time. Two lots of 3D glasses. How much is it
going to be, Jimmy? Two dollars. Well, I think the fact that he’s
done this in the first place shows a great intention
to get some experience and to get a job. And anyone that can see that
should feel very proud of him. Does everyone have their 3D glasses? Yes! Enjoy the murder! You know, he’s really intelligent. He knows lots of things about
films that I don’t know! Um, so I think he’d be
a great asset to any cinema. Oh, that’s a lot of people at once! – Yeah
– Yeah My last shift was really fun… because I got to spend
more time with Amethyst who is a very fun woman. There’s not that many people
in there yet. I’ve heard you’re not allowed
to do this! You’re not allowed to do this? – No.
– Why not? I don’t know. You just can’t. Having this job has meant
that I’ve been able to socialize with more people. That’s definitely something good
that’s come out of this. He had more confidence
in his ability to do this stuff than we did. And that’s great! And he actually enjoyed it too.
he made friends. Coffee in a glass? Yeah, sometimes lattes,
they do them in a glass. Or they do it in a bowl. – Oh!
– Crazy concept! I think it has actually
given me some real good work experience. Next thing that’s going to happen is… I’m going to be finding
an actual job. Something that actually pays. I mean, there was a long time
when we thought that Jimmy was going to have
to be in some form of sheltered
environment or care that’s clearly not
the case any more. He can make his own life. It might take him a little longer,
but he’ll do it. Hmm. Well, that’s enough for now. Signing out!

76 Replies to “Getting a job with Autism: Jimmy’s Story”

  • Just know Jimmy no one is the same your uniqueness is what makes you. It is very great quality to have in the line of work you wish to go into. In fact I can say I would rather like your perspective in films. Love your attitude, Keep it up!

  • This is such a fantastic video that had me cheering for Jimmy! Having a child on the spectrum myself and conducting my doctoral research on autism and employment, this challenge is so much greater than those who are nuerotypcial can imagine. Hopefully those watching this can gain an appreciation for the struggles our loved ones face when trying to enter the workforce.

  • After two seconds listening to him i would hire him right away such a presence such a character very interesting and bright, this guy needs a job wich would allowed him to express himself , i like this family dynamic

  • Video was great but seems you don't like drinking coffee too much. LOL! You are an inspiration to a mom with an Autistic son just beginning his journey into adulthood.

  • I love this Video. I have Aspergers myself and got a job in Arts in Mental Health and doing Arts and crafts. My friend also has Aspergers. He just completed Medicine and training to be a GP.

  • Finding a job was tough though, and I remember a place I worked at not wanting to renew my contract because I wasn't interested in the office banter 🙄

  • KEEPING a job has been a struggle for me my whole working life. I seems I can get jobs, but the problem is keeping them. Right now I'm in a determined effort to find a field in which I can STAY and grow and have meaningful work at the same time. I've found that I do best working with as few people as possible, or even better One-on-One work. So that is where I am putting my efforts right now.

  • This vid had me in tears. His wanting to grow up and his struggle and the way he thinks it’s like watching myself. It’s hard to find a job and make a life for yourself when you’re on the spectrum.

  • thank you guys for m aking videos about people living with disabliities, I would love to see a day in the life if you had one.
    Yes me and three friends also have a disability

  • At least he didn't get bullied by co-workers, get interrupted times, have nice people and can hold the job over three months. Good for him and happy for him.

  • I felt bad for him, I have a real bad sense of orientation, sometimes it makes me so frustrated and angry that seems impossible to deal with. Having autism must make it even worse. Good that he is such a positive and cheerful guy!

  • I have Asperger too. Can anybody explain to me how he was hired after talking about emptying dishwasher as his job experience? A job for energetic people that are good with the public, no less? It makes no sense. And that kind of things actually prevent me from sending CVs because I read they require this and that (a bunch of requirements and I fit about 80% of them at most – I only fit the hard requirements – education and abilities) and I don't have that kind of abilities/experience so I don't apply. Well, probably that's just because it was a volunteer job, meaning free. They don't have to pay so they can "hire" anyone. But it was still risky – what if he made the cinema look bad in the eyes of the customers? I would be panicking about that if I were in his skin even though I can imagine myself in that kind of job too and i would perhaps like it (but I wouldn't be able to stand the noisy crowd and I wouldn't hear questions in that kind of environment due to auditory processing disorder). The girl in the end told him he should relax so Asperger was a big issue after all. It's problem with body language and information processing damn it. It won't go away just because you "relax". BTW. I have great sense of direction (family calls me a living gps because I always know where I am and I can understand and remember any map – I have visual memory for them and my mind is creating a mental maps wherever I go) but kill me and I won't find a place if I can't see what I am looking for and i never been there before (on the other hand I will always find any place I was in before even if there are major changes and I have to take a different route). Just like with the number and a wrong name. Another reason I am so afraid of job hunting. They will tell me to come to some place at a set time and I will find the location but won't know which door to open so I will be stuck! Even worse if there is an intercom – what do I say if i am not even sure I am ringing the right place and I can't show them the printout to ask? I tried to get a job once. I went there 30 minutes ahead of time and ended up a hour late. I was walking around for a damn 1,5h because Google Maps was showing a wrong location and the place was hidden between some other buildings 300 meters away from it, inside a restricted area belonging to some other company. How was I supposed to know?

  • The fringe on that woman in the theatre iiissssss………………….interesting?
    It's sad that anyone not knowing in advance that he has aspergers would think he had a bad attitude and was impolite and wasn't enjoying his job.

  • hmm…honestly…should I say I've been lucky. I've always gotten jobs..not because Im talented…heck I think I am worst than normal..

    Usually I apply to places..and they are ALWAYS very busy…so basically they will hire ANYTHING anyone that walks by..as long as they aren't physically impaired.

    I feel like when I get jobs..the managers hate me..coworkers hate me..but Im just there existing to get their cash..

    im lucky…

  • i think this guy can talk better than me, more funny than me, can engage in conversations more than me. Like he seems like the ppl that other ppl would want to talk to for hours…

    usually I just get a Hi and thats it.

    the dishwasher idea…wasn't that good though…

    before when I went to my 5th interview…I was holding my resume..and I was shaking uncontrollably.. the ppl think I was lying..I obviously didn't get the job.

  • when I got my job…as a dealer in a casino..I was called out on counting using my fingers..This guy literally was screaming at me, " look this dealer, she can't even count…look at her fingers moving, look at her stupid face, even my 2 year old son can count better than her."

    then asks me,

    " can you speak chinese" He WAS SPEAKING IN CHINESE!

    I was like, " no" just to see what else he has in for me

    "these people can't speak english, can't speak chinese, can't give service, can't do math, whats the purpose of her in life. She must as well go die. "

    After another hand,

    " Just go die already, hang yourself"

    then was silent…cause he won big money and didn't meddle in me anymore.

    I was like…laughing, inside..because someone can be so disrespectful.

    Now 1 year in dealing…I stopped counting using my fingers, cause no one told me how to do the mental way, but now I know..

    9+5 is like, add one take away one..so with be 4, then add 10. = 14.

    peh..

  • Oh my goodness. I would love to meet Jimmy! He seems like such a nice and quirky guy who would be fun to talk to/hang out with. I can tell he is a genuinely cool dude.

  • i get so jealous when i see structured and good parents like this who understand their children’s emotions and struggles.

  • Thats great but i hope people with low or medium functioning autism could also be able to get job and live their lives peacefully

  • I look autistic, maybe I'm just fat. My grandma was signing some papers about me and when it came to if I have any disorders, autism and etc. She was talking to herself and said I had none. Idk, people talk to me like a 10 year old say I'm handsome when clearly I'm not, the tone and their body language gives it away

  • I really enjoyed it. Jimmy reminds me of myself when I was his age. Am 51 and recently diagnosed Aspie. As for the part where Jimmy gets lost and unable to find the place he is looking for despite having a map,I can totally understand his frustration as this happens to me so often. It drives me mad…

  • Oh hell…why the obsession with all the smiling bullshit, the fake/phony American disease of smiling is starting to spread around the world…like herpes it spreads…can't we just except people as they our !

  • I really wanted to iron his best shirt and pants before he went for the job interview 😆…keep up the great work the perfect job is out there for you 😊

  • i ddidn't even know what street i lived on for a long time, it pissed some of my family off a lot but now im slowly realizing why.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *