2020 has been a unique and unfortunately challenging year for much of the world. I know we are all dealing with different aspects of the unique events and especially COVID as it seems to be flaring up globally. I have had a little extra challenge from something many would consider the holy grail.
The company I was working for was acquired by Google and I am now a Google employee (AKA: Googler). Yes amazing opportunity and a culture of doing not talking. The challenge came from COVID-19. The day we moved to the Google payroll and became Googlers is the same day Google began their proactive efforts and canceled all none essential business travel, off-sites and other steps. Due to the size of the acquisition a lot of upper management effort was needed to fit an entire company into the organization and merge us into the Google processes and culture. Unfortunately this same people were suddenly busy on a huge range of efforts to keep the world connected and functioning as lockdowns increased demand unexpectedly and rapidly. For much of this year we ran like the same old company until attention could return to the integration. It is moving ahead now.
I didn't realize the how much all the COVID changes both at and outside of work were affecting me. Not the issues of the neurotypicals that who think they need in person contact or they will die, but the whole dynamics of unexpected and never experienced change. For a number of months it seemed every time I went to a store the proper protocol had changed since the week before. On the work side the changes are happening and more than anything we know everything will be different, but only a super fuzzy view of what that different might look like. All the change, shifting sand, and loss of clear direction have not been good for me due to my poor ability at unplanned change.
As with many things autistic this drain from causes my other traits to become more apparent. Combine with the large drain my job makes on my people time quota I have been hiding from the public side of my world.
This isn't to say I haven't been active as a self-advocate in the autism/neurodiversity at work space or in creating concepts and infographics to better relate the autistic experience I and many live. I have done presentations for the C3EB Summit, Bayaud Enterprises, Cornell University, multiple at Google including what is in the below podcast, General Assembly, Different Brains, Uptimize, and I don't remember who all else. Making an attempt to get the media and appearances page updated with these events.
I want to share my most recent podcast. Very different as I am the only one on it. There is a more extensive update on me and my year and then a very special presentation made from repurposed video which was my presentation for Google's Mental Health virtual conference in October. Hope you enjoy and expecting to add more podcast episodes by the end of the year.