Motivational Speaker Louis Scarantino Describes Working in Customer Service as a Person With Autism
While he makes his living working full-time as a grocery clerk, Louis Scarantino also has a second career as a sought-after motivational speaker, promoting autism and mental health awareness. He has even shared his dating experiences in a published book, “Love Is Too Hard: The Dating (Mis)adventures Of A Man With Autism.”
“I feel that there is a need to encourage greater acceptability of autism in the greater society,” Scarantino writes on his website, Louis Scarantino.com. “Given my experiences with autism, there’s a lot of room for improvement in the research and parenting/education for autistic children. To that end, I work with various pro-autism organizations that work towards normalizing Autism and promoting research on the condition to make Autistic lives easier.”
In an article this month for Yahoo Life, Scarantino described the challenges of working in customer service as a person on the autism spectrum. As Scarantino explains, the social and communication difficulties that come with autism can make interacting with customers an incredibly stressful and frustrating experience for him.
“As a person with autism, I have trouble processing language,” he writes. “If they talk too fast, I can’t process what they’re saying. At times I need them to explain what exactly they’re saying to me so I can understand how to help them. At times I also need them to repeat themselves. At times I repeat myself so I understand what I’m doing for the customer. A lot of times I get awkward and don’t want to be social with the customer. A lot of times I need to get my supervisor to help me with them and what all parties don’t understand is that I’m trying.”
Scarantino also shared advice for others on the autism spectrum also working in customer service.
“Don’t overthink things,” he writes. “Ask your supervisor about what you can do to improve your job. Be patient. You should not get fired for the majority of things you struggle with. Don’t be rude to the customer or yell. Make sure you’re doing things right. And most of all, try to enjoy your job and go to work.”