Buddy Limited Head of Customer Experience Jeremy Mifsud has highlighted his struggle with small talk and other social rules that hinder direct communication.
In a social media post on Monday, he recalled an experience where one customer said they are fine before Mr Mifsud even got the chance to ask.
“It makes me wonder how robotic conversation can often be, to the fact that we are responding to questions before they are asked,” he said.
“Especially as an autistic individual, I struggle with the concept of small talk,” he explained, before adding that he prefers to go “straight to the point”, something that is sometimes seen as “rude” by neurotypicals.
Last November, Mr Mifsud opened up about being autistic, hoping to challenge the stereotypes surrounding neurodivergent individuals, especially what they can look like or do.
Given his role at Buddy involves a great deal of direct contact with others, he has since learnt how certain clients prefer to “communicate and adapt to their style, even when it is not natural”.
“The struggle is bigger when it is outside of professional situations, as I still have to apply a mask and communicate in ways that are deemed more acceptable by society. Cutting out small talk would save me so much time and social energy,” he remarked.
Mr Mifsud has served as Head of Customer Experience at payroll software provider Buddy for almost three years, and he is primarily tasked with customer relationship management and communication. He holds a Master of Science in Cognitive Science and a Higher Diploma in Psychology, both from University of Malta.
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