They just dont understand

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by StephieBee, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    I get mad, anxious, upset and everyother bad emotion when I think about my job. I was recently given a written warning for excessive absenteeism. They also claim that I have been putting out poor work performance and that many calls are going abandoned, or straight to voicemail (BTW I am a receptionist).

    When I first started this job, I sat down with the HR manager and told her my situation and that I have to take days off from time to time for doctor's appointments etc. We came to an agreement that as long as I gave them ample notice that it was fine because "You have to do what you have to do"....well they suddenly seem to be going back on their word. I was previously on SSD prior to this job, which is full time, for about 4 years. I am damn proud that I have been able to hold on to this full time job for over a year now given the severity of my FM and CFS. I have vocalized this also to HR.

    To make a long story short, I am always at the desk...even during paid breaks, unless I have to go to the br or I need to stretch. Maybe my co-workers that are covering the phone for my lunch break leave the phone unattended (and I know for a fact that a few have in this past month). But management wouldnt believe me anyways. I am now afraid to even ask to go to the doctors in fear that I will be fired. I need this job for the money and the insurance. I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. They dont know the slightest bit about my conditions nor do I think they care to. I have no idea what to do anymore. I am doing everything in my power to keep a job as it is with the way my pain is going, and the stress they are adding is just making matters worse. I dont want to give up my job, I just want them to understand.

    Sorry to vent. I just wish people were less ignorant.
  2. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    Thank you prickles for giving me encouragement. I cry everyday in the bathroom at work because everything...the pain the stress, is so overwhelming. Most of my doctors office hours during my work hours so it is so hard.
  3. CockatooMom

    CockatooMom New Member

    I know this is horrible to go through. (Been there, done that, don't want a t-shirt!)

    But, you are doing what many of us cannot. And you should be SO proud of yourself!

    Continue to do your best, document everything: all conversations with management, situations or conversations that may arise with co-workers, keep every shred of evidence you can to support your case, and IF they would end up firing you...well you get the picture.

    Maybe you could look realistically at the following:

    How much do you REALLY like this job?
    Is it worth the stress?

    Is it possible for you to find another job?
    Can you stick it out until you do?

    Can you afford to pay the insurance until your new would kick in at the new job?

    Just some thoughts. I've been where you are. We spend most of our life at our jobs...it shouldn't cause you to cry in the bathroom everyday.

    I wish you the best! Please keep us informed.
  4. Cinlou

    Cinlou New Member

    Stephiebee,
    I am so sorry about people and their ignorance...
    You know I had a similar situation. Two years ago I had taken all my paid sick leave for my doc appts, my childrens appts.,etc..

    I work in Special Education, which is very stressful at times. My principal had the nerve to call me in and give me a letter saying I have a habit of taking all my sick leave in the past years.(gee, is it not what it is for?)

    His "suggestions" in the letter were for me to get plenty of rest, eat right, make doc appts before and after school and to make work a priority.

    Mind you this was the first week of the new school year.
    I had a doctor appt. with my PCP the next day.( I left early, from work to make the appt.)

    I had been in so much pain feeling awful (I had not been DX with FM, by him or anything yet.) I had never really complained to the doc about the "hit by a truck feeling" the tingling shooting in legs, all over pain, you know all that stuff.
    He touched the tender point on my elbow, and I sreamed!

    He took me off of work for 3 1/2 months, to get this under control.
    During that time off I got all of my records from previous doc's and found out I was DX years ago with FM! I just suffered in silence for years.

    I knew I was DX with Degenerative Disc Disease, but not FM.
    I called my jerk principal and told him I was going on school disabilty.
    I think he felt a little bad about the letter. I don't think he is stupid, he is ignorant to what these DD can do to a person. Being ignorant is excusable, stupid isn't. He just did not understand.

    Last Sept. my mom was DX with brain cancer, I had to take care of her and go to work, talk about stress. I went to my PCP and cried, he took me off another month of work.

    Sorry this is so long...what I did after that was have my doctor write a letter to put in my file at work.
    The letter said,

    "This patient is under my care for an on going condition that needs periodic days off of work for treatment and care."

    So far so good...at least this way it is documented, and I believe it might help with disability if I need to stop working someday.

    Sorry about writing a book! But, I do feel for you, I can relate, that is for sure...
    ((((HUGS))))
    Cindy
















  5. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    Cockatoo, I have debated all that you have mentioned. I am currently job searching but there isnt much out there. The HR manager is a little more understanding. My boss is not. When she asked me to explain the fibro to her she just looked at me with a blank stare on her face. She didnt need to say anything...her face did the talking for her.

    And prickles, I know that they dont know what FM is, but I just feel that it is horrible that they seem to not care to learn about it. I would love for them to have to live in my shoes for one day and try to get up 5 days a week stiff and sore and drag their a$$es to work.

    Thank you both for your kind words. Even though I have been on this board for such a short time, I have had the very best support. We can all truthfully say that we understand each other because we are all going through the same thing.
  6. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    Thank you for sharing your experineces with me. I am truely sorry from the bottom of my heart for everything you have been through. I just wish that more people knew about these conditions or atleast understood that they are real problems with real consequences. I wish you all the best in the world and I hope that you and your mother find relief from your hardships.

    Stephanie
  7. JLH

    JLH New Member

    stephiebee, I've been where you are at.

    I worked for 30 years for top executives. I have been told the same speech you were given and I have heard them give the same speech to many others.

    What I have been told is that the company hires and pays you to do a job. They are "sorry" that you have health problems, but that is something that "you" have to manage. They can't afford to pay you to be home sick all of the time. They would not have hired you if they did not need you to be at work every day.

    I had one boss who told me there was no use for me to stay home sick unless I was puking all day, but if I "just didn't feel good", I would feel the same at my desk as I would home on the couch!!!! He really had a heart!!!

    We were given 44 sick days a year, but they were "intended" for times when you had surgery, etc. If we used more than 5 sick days for "normal" sickness per year, we were called in and told that that was excessive and would not be given a merit raise for that year due to excessive absenteeism.

    We were never permitted to use a sick day for anything relating to our children. We had to take a vacation day to take our sick children to the doctor, or to stay home with them.

    Employers don't really care what all medical conditions that all of their employees have, they just want to to do what they pay you for .... to come to work daily and give them a good 8 hours of work. Managements can not become personally involved in the problems, medical or personal, of each employee, so other employees do not charge them with playing favorites, etc.

    My boss used to tell everyone that it's a tough old world out there, it's really competitive, and if you can't handle your job, hit the highway, because there will be 100 or more people lined up tomorrow to apply for your job and the majority of them can do it just a good as you do!! Boy, he did not have a heart at all..... and he said it was "just business!"

    I really don't know what to tell you, I just hope you can keep your job. But I don't think they will ever understand. I know, mine didn't!

    Hugs,
    Janet
  8. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Do you work for a large or small company?

    A smaller company does not have to comply with FMLA.
  9. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    I work for a larger company I believe. There are about 100 workers.

    Could someone be so kind as to explain quick details about FMLA, how I go about applying or doing what I have to do in order for my employer to have to abide by the conditions. Can my employer fire me under the FLMA? Im not sure if Im wording this right because I am not sure what FLMA is. I briefly looked it up on the comp but I am a little confused. Im not sure it is something that you apply for...for example, you need to apply for STD in order to get it.

    Thanks everyone for your help, you are wonderful and I just want to be able to try to keep a job despite this DD. I really dont know how I do it with such a severe case of FM. Everyone here has been a great encouragement. I WILL NOT GIVE UP NOR WILL I GO QUITELY!

    Stephanie
  10. CrymznWych

    CrymznWych New Member

    I believe it stands for "Family Medical Leave Act", and no they cannot fire you while it is in affect. It is a federal thing, and unless I'm mistaken the size of the company doesn't matter. It is a way for you to protect the job position you worked so hard to get, and give you an opportunity to step away from the stress. We all know what stress can do to us with this DD.
    On a side note, I was going through the Discovery Health site, and was pleased to find a number of articles on fibro. Anything that can get the word out there that this DD is real is awesome!
    Maybe provide your HR rep and manager with documentation explaining the illness? I think the previous suggestion of having your doc give you a letter stating what you are being treated for, and that it requires visits to him, is an excellent one.
  11. CrymznWych

    CrymznWych New Member

    I forgot to mention, your employer should have the necessary form for using FMLA, just ask your HR rep.
  12. lymechick

    lymechick New Member

    Stephiebee, I know how you feel! Have you applied for disability. You can still work and be on disability. Some jobs get a tax break for giving us a job. Many companies that are looking for a tax break hire only the disabled. It's worth looking into. Many are disabled, yet few people understand the great effort it takes to get through the day, until they themselves become ill. Best of luck and my prayers go with you. Mary
    [This Message was Edited on 07/04/2006]
  13. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    How would I go abouts finding a job like this? Atleast those people will understand.

    Are you saying to get SSD along with a job? Im sorry my darn fibro fog is in full effect this morning. Could you please elaborate for me a little...LOL!

    Thanks a bunch!
  14. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    stephiebee:

    Have you tried putting your situation in writing and point out that you informed then in the beginning you might have to take days off for the doctor or whatever?

    And, coming off of SSD, I believe you may have some legal rights. And you could claim they have hired a 'handicapped' person and that is equal rights.

    Luck with it.

    Nyrofan
  15. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    Is family medical leave act.

    You neen to get the forms from HR.Fill out your portion and have your doctor fill out his/hers.Than management has to sign it.

    Make sure you do it for the year as intemitent .That way they can do nothing if you need a day off for rest or appointments.

    I was on it for one year.You need to renue the form every 3 months.Do Not let them tell you they do not have it.ITS THE LAW.You can do a searchg by putting FMLA it explains everything you need to know.

    They can not fire you while your on it.

    Good luck.

    For Every Day A New Dawn Will Come
    Sue