I have CFS&FMS--How do I deter coworker visits?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by SweetT, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. SweetT

    SweetT New Member


    I am currently still working full-time, which may change to part-time or none soon. However, my highest energy level comes around mid-morning. Or sometimes, I can *make myself* do work from early morning to early afternoon.

    Trouble is, my coworkers like to visit me around mid-morning, which is usually when my energy levels are at their highest. I don't want to seem rude and say, "GO AWAY!", but no subtle hints work.

    I tried moving my chair to face the wall (we have to have a chair for walk-in clients to sit in), but coworkers will simply turn the chair around and sit in it.

    I really want to take the chair out of my cubicle, but then management might say, "where will your clients sit?"

    Even my coworkers that have chronic illness, like fibromyalgia or lupus, still assume that my highest energy times match theirs. I'm barely making it on my job. I *have* to do high-concentration stuff early in the day. Just because I've been at work since 7am doesn't mean that I want visitors at 10:30am or 11:30am, because as quiet as it's kept, my brain may have just started working!

    The only thing that I can think of is to tell my supervisor that I need my chair moved out of my cubicle, and explain why. Management refuses to move me to a private office or private area, even with my ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)and FMLA papers in place. I would have to replace the chair with a piece of heavy furniture, because in times past, when I've tried to pile the chair up with extra files or paperwork, my coworkers will just move them.

    No, that plan wouldn't stop the visitors, but it would limit the visits to a few minutes, instead of 15-30 minutes, because people aren't going to stand and talk for 30 minutes.

    Does anyone have anymore ideas? My job is stressful enough----management is constantly nitpicking, etc., plus we have a certain amount of cases to work each month, in addition to taking calls and seeing people, which does not count as points. It's a very hostile, stressful environment and I don't want to lose the few friends that I have.

    If I send them an email saying please don't visit me, they'll probably get offended. But I literally need my mornings to work cases and my afternoons to take and return calls.

    What should I do?[This Message was Edited on 07/07/2008]
  2. SweetT

    SweetT New Member

    I have tried telling them that I'm busy and I'll stop by later, but then they come again the next day.

    Also, afternoons are bad also, because that's the time that I dump my voicemail box and return calls.

    Really, I just need people to take breaks with me if they want to chat-----but even then, I need to attend to symptom management.

    It's rough....
  3. findmind

    findmind New Member

    When someone comes in, can you ask them to meet you at...(give a time when you think you could take a 5 min. break) and where?

    I'd definitely say something; you are there to earn a living and do a job, and being sick does not make it any easier: tell them, they do not understand Fm and ME/CFS...even lupus and cancer are not as debilitating unless in terminal stages.

    Or....file for disability and let the chips fall where they may....

  4. cookie1960

    cookie1960 New Member


    If you have nicely asked your co-workers to "visit" during a different time (or not at all), and they are not complying - then it's time to speak with your supervisor.

    Let your boss know that due to your condition - visiting co-workers take away from your energy level that should be spent on your work.

    If this doesn't work - tell them all that FM & CFS is contagious. Bet they won't visit anymore! (just joking)

  5. Kryssie

    Kryssie New Member

    I had the same thing happening to me.. I explained to the plant manager that it was distracting to me and let him handle it. He handled it, politely asked the girl that was visiting in my office to remain in her office except on break times, then take a break at the break area.

    :) Good luck!
  6. bikrgrl

    bikrgrl New Member

    I'm really busy right now, i'd like to talk to you but don't have the time. Can you come back later?
  7. msbsgblue

    msbsgblue Member

    Tell them of your illness and that these times of day are your most productive and that you would really like to get the most out of these times.
  8. frosty77

    frosty77 New Member

    I agree, I'd give honesty a shot.

    Personally, I simply keep working whenever someone pops in - usually they get the hint.
  9. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    Hi, SweetT,

    I see you've already gotten a lot of good advice. I'll add one more idea. Maybe it would seem less personal to your unwanted visitors if you put up a do not disturb sign at those times you want to concentrate. That way it would be clear you are rejecting everybody, not just one person.


    LISALOO New Member

    I was just going to also say put out a sign, saying please do not disturb, in the middle of a project, etc..

    I also put headphones on, even if I wasn't listening to anything people would leave me alone.
  11. SweetT

    SweetT New Member

    Thanks for all the great ideas everyone!

    Yes, a client might have this or a similar DD and need the chair.

    Also, I do use headphones, even for talking to clients, but my coworkes still sit in my chair, distracting me from a conversation.

    This may not be an issue. I am currently on my school campus, on a two-week leave, which was approved by my supervisor. I got a call yesterday from my boss' boss, rejecting the leave afterall and stating that I must report back to work immediately. I'm out of state and my flight does not leave for a few more days!

    Oh well, if after 9 years, my job does not think that I am worth a two-week vacation (my first one ever), all I can do is realize what dirt that I am to them.