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A Challenge At Work Today


Messenger

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I thought I would give you guys a little background before I dive into the fun stuff that’s going to happen today at work.

As many of you know, I have ADHD, its protected union the Americans with Disabilities act. When I have severe ADHD symptoms, I can’t work. The worst symptom is hyper focus, or what I call a thought seizure. Doctors and professionals say the only way to get over this is to remove yourself from the environment until it passes. I have been authorized for up to 36 hours a month. When it happens, I leave work, and I don’t get paid for that time I miss. Everyone at work knows that I have ADHD and have been very accommodating.

I work in customer service. People place orders with me over the phone and also change their monthly service. Over the last two months, there has been extensive work with our computer mainframe software for order processing. About 75% of the orders we process end up erroring out. Sometimes the orders are so complex, it can take an hour on the phone to go through it with the customer. When they error out, we usually go to our supervisor who has ways to override the error with his/her clearance. But at the same time, we are under pressure to help customers with an average handle time of 6 minutes.

Also, be aware that I am a union member. Our union has done a very good job at forcing the company I work at to obey the current employment laws - and for me, disability laws.

Yesterday, when working on an order for an hour our system errored the order out. I couldn’t progress with the order. My supervisor was not at his desk, so procedure demands that I search for another. I found one, and asked if she could help. She came over and suggested that I start over. I knew that my customer wasn’t going to wait another hour on the phone to put the order in all over again. So I suggested there must be another way to get around this error. Her response was, "Really? If you can’t do your job, then perhaps you should find another one!" I turned around, knowing my ADHD was now full on and starred at my computer screen. My boss, who now returned to his desk said, "are you ok?". I said, "Can you give me a hand with my order please?." The other manager, who I originally asked for help said, "No! I am helping him, you stay there" I said, "No, you aren’t helping me, and you need to leave now", Her response, "I’m not leaving". I looked at my boss and said, "I could really use your help; otherwise Im going to have to leave in the middle of this order” My boss knew what that meant. It meant that I was signaling to him I was having an ADHD attack. My boss immediately got up, asked the other supervisor to leave, sat down and finished my order. I had to leave work for the rest of the day. I had Hyper-focus all night last night and didn’t get very much sleep. I will probably miss most of the day today.

When I return, I will either ask for the management to work with the supervisor on getting some disability training, or go directly to the Union, who will no doubt have her fired. I prefer the first method, but to be honest, this manager has had issues in the past.

I’m really not seeking any specific advice. But I'm not hindering it. If you are a friend of mine whom I've thanked for advice in the past, please reply.

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I don't meet either of the criteria you've set down for replying, so take my view for what it's worth: you know more about the way things operate where you work than I do; I've never been a member of a union. That said, perhaps you could go to your employer first and then to the union, if you "can't get no satisfaction." :) I wish you well. Good luck.

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I don't meet either of the criteria you've set down for replying, so take my view for what it's worth: you know more about the way things operate where you work than I do; I've never been a member of a union. That said, perhaps you could go to your employer first and then to the union, if you "can't get no satisfaction." :) I wish you well. Good luck.

Ken, what I have planned to do is what you said. I wrote a short letter about what happened and will give it to the the manager of the facility and just say that I would like this incident looked at without the Union involved. I think that would be a good thing as they are always under union pressure. Further, the company has been quite accomidating in general, but some of the supervisors are pretty bad, so I really dont want to punish the company, just would have them consider the individuals where the problem is coming from.

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Good morning, Messenger...

Seems to me your company has been very accommodating to your needs... I don't know much about ADHD and am thankful you have been able to find a job where supervisors are sensitive to your plight. Sometimes when a person "looks" normal it is hard to understand how deeply a person can be affected mentally/emotionally, and that disabilities are not limited to just physical.

I have no advice to give per se... so will just send you prayers and good wishes that this situation can be resolved to the benefit of all concerned.

from the beach on a cold, crisp but sunny morning... GG

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Ken, what I have planned to do is what you said. I wrote a short letter about what happened and will give it to the the manager of the facility and just say that I would like this incident looked at without the Union involved. I think that would be a good thing as they are always under union pressure. Further, the company has been quite accomidating in general, but some of the supervisors are pretty bad, so I really dont want to punish the company, just would have them consider the individuals where the problem is coming from.

It seems to me that your thinking on the issue is sound. :) It would seem to me (while I am not a lawyer) that it would be difficult for an employer (or a single rogue supervisor) to deny an accommodation which they have a history of previously granting you. It would seem to me that they would have to prove that their circumstances have changed such that continuing to grant you the accommodation would impose more than a minimal burden on them. Generally, I believe litigation should be a last resort, but you could always point these things out to them (while assuring them that you do not want to litigate).

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It seems to me that escalating an issue to a supervisor is a good policy no matter what the cause of the difficulty is. For all she knew you had the stomach flu and couldn't sit in your chair.

For what its worth you handled the situation as well as you could. Kudos to your own supervisor who handled it with tact and protected his/her own people. A small hand written thank you for taking care of me note might have a nice impact.

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Her response was, "Really? If you can’t do your job, then perhaps you should find another one!" I turned around, knowing my ADHD was now full on and starred at my computer screen. My boss, who now returned to his desk said, "are you ok?". I said, "Can you give me a hand with my order please?." The other manager, who I originally asked for help said, "No! I am helping him, you stay there" I said, "No, you aren’t helping me, and you need to leave now", Her response, "I’m not leaving". I looked at my boss and said, "I could really use your help; otherwise Im going to have to leave in the middle of this order” My boss knew what that meant. It meant that I was signaling to him I was having an ADHD attack. My boss immediately got up, asked the other supervisor to leave, sat down and finished my order. I had to leave work for the rest of the day. I had Hyper-focus all night last night and didn’t get very much sleep. I will probably miss most of the day today.

When I return, I will either ask for the management to work with the supervisor on getting some disability training, or go directly to the Union, who will no doubt have her fired. I prefer the first method, but to be honest, this manager has had issues in the past.

I’m really not seeking any specific advice. But I'm not hindering it. If you are a friend of mine whom I've thanked for advice in the past, please reply.

If you have a Union, utilize your Union.

Otherwise, it is just your word (you being a lowly easily replaceable gog, that "claims" an illness but is really just lazy, who refused to follow a direct order from a Supervisor - she is a supervisor and it is unnecessary that she be your direct Supervisor **Please note my words in parenthesis are as example not my personal thoughts about you) against the Supervisor - a person who management will back unless the Supervisor commits an act so terrible that there is no wiggle room for non-liability.

Use your Union, so you can focus on your work.

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Ken, what I have planned to do is what you said. I wrote a short letter about what happened and will give it to the the manager of the facility and just say that I would like this incident looked at without the Union involved. I think that would be a good thing as they are always under union pressure. Further, the company has been quite accomidating in general, but some of the supervisors are pretty bad, so I really dont want to punish the company, just would have them consider the individuals where the problem is coming from.

That the company retains or hires "some supervisors [that are] pretty bad" would indicate to the me that there is a issue with the Company, said issue, is an issue that not only affects you but all of your co-workers. If the supervisors are violating your rights then mostly like they are violating others rights too.

Secondly, the Union putting pressure on a company to correct problems with management is a good thing.

Good luck in your endevour, document everything, absolutely everything i.e. communicate via company email with return receipt request and/or read acknowledgment request, if you speak in person with management, keep note and then send a copy of those notes via company email to the person you spoke too, otherwise, by not involving the Union, when push comes to shove, the Company will side with management and not in your favor.

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You work in a union shop and the union and company have a grievance procedure set up. IMNSHO your best option is to utilize those procedures. It will protect you.

Advice from one who has spent very little time working under a union contract and didn't have good experiences when I did.

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For what its worth you handled the situation as well as you could. Kudos to your own supervisor who handled it with tact and protected his/her own people. A small hand written thank you for taking care of me note might have a nice impact.

I was thinking this as well, you might also want to mention to his bosses how he is an effective manager, etc. It may be necessary to push for change, but it will more likely result in positive change and you not getting a reputation as a someone looking for the negative if you emphasize the good stuff as much or even more than the negative. Plus complimenting one authority figure will demonstrate that you don't have issues with authority in general, that it is strictly personal attributes of the other supervisor that is creating the problem.
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Thanks all for your imput. I was of clear mind this morning. I did pray about it and I did take it first to my manager and requested a meeting with her to discuss the rogue supervisor. My supervisor looked concerned, so I told him face to face which I have told him before and do continue to tell him, that I thank him for his support, and that the request to talk to the manager was not at all about him, except to give him praise for how he stepped in and helped. He saw the tear in my eye. He is a member by the way, and later I found out he has a child with ADHD. So, its a miracle to have him as a supervisor.

So, I did have the meeting, but I ended up talking to the VP of operations - the head of our division. I just walked into her office and asked if she had 10 minutes. She said yes. I told her the story. I told her that I didnt think that the company shared the same values that were displayed the day before. She agreed. I asked the VP that this rogue supervisor to enroll in Disability Sensitvity Training, and perhaps take a week off without pay to know what its like. She told me that she will definately send her away for a weeks worth of training. Then she asked me If I would be willing to sit with her at a table in her office and tell her how that made me feel when she threatened me with loosing my job. I agreed to that. Then she said this, would you like me to relocate her to the other side of the building or in another building? I was floored. I told her no, but I wouldnt be asking her for help for a few months until the trust level was restored. She was fine with that.

My personal feeling on the Union is that its a good union as unions go. They tend to make a mountain out of a mole hill however, and I honestly dont think the rogue supervisor was their hire, but its who they have currently. Other people have had issues with her, as well as myself 5 months ago on another more miner issue. Also, the older employees heard what happened, and have rallied behind me as well. So, there is a lot of pressure from them as well. There is no doubt, that if I would have gone to the Union, that would have resulted in her termination. Personally, my view is that they are working with me on my ADHD and have been very accomidating. It would seem to me that I need to reciprocate to her a bit as well. Right now she's probably th loneliest employee at the company. The did have an emergency meeting with all the supervisors for 2 hours today - I know it was about this subject. We have over 30 supervisors!

I have hopes of getting into managment myself there, and my actions today reflect that I just want the company to do better and they cant do that unless they have a chance to change. Afterall, isnt that what we expect too? Simply a chance to change? How many times do companies fire someone without giving them that chance?

By the way, while in the meeting with the VP, I did praise my manager for his actions, and his continued support with his accomidations. He came out looking like a hero. And he is.

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Good morning, Messenger...

Seems to me your company has been very accommodating to your needs... I don't know much about ADHD and am thankful you have been able to find a job where supervisors are sensitive to your plight. Sometimes when a person "looks" normal it is hard to understand how deeply a person can be affected mentally/emotionally, and that disabilities are not limited to just physical.

I have no advice to give per se... so will just send you prayers and good wishes that this situation can be resolved to the benefit of all concerned.

from the beach on a cold, crisp but sunny morning... GG

GG,

Thanks. You are correct of course. My bishop and I had a discussion last Sunday and he said, "I dont notice your ADHD" I told him he was lucky! LOL. I told him that my HP Group Leader has, and he was shocked! Luckily, in my off time, it doesnt happen very much, and since I live alone, nobody sees it when I am at home.

You know I didnt even want to tell my current boss when I discovered it 8 months ago. But, I also didnt want to just leave without him knowing what was up. I prayed about it, and was pretty much told to tell him. So I did. Later, he told me that his daughter has ADHD - Can you imagine? He knows all my triggers, and the look I get. He knows I am working hard to reduce the downtime as much as possible. I tell him quite a bit how thankful I am, and lucky I am to have him. The company hasnt ever asked me to switch to another supervisor, because they know I would have to train another one all over again!

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Well, Messenger, I have only one thing to say:

Huzzah! (Both to you, and to your employer!) :D

:yahoo:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update on the offending supervisor ..... She was layed off yesterday along with 5 others in a management restructuring change. It is not known if my current supervisor, who has been working with me so well, will be layed off as part of that change. Im fighting to keep him as my supervisor, but my hopes are that it ends up giving him staying power as well.

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I thought I would give you guys a little background before I dive into the fun stuff that’s going to happen today at work.

As many of you know, I have ADHD, its protected union the Americans with Disabilities act. When I have severe ADHD symptoms, I can’t work. The worst symptom is hyper focus, or what I call a thought seizure. Doctors and professionals say the only way to get over this is to remove yourself from the environment until it passes. I have been authorized for up to 36 hours a month. When it happens, I leave work, and I don’t get paid for that time I miss. Everyone at work knows that I have ADHD and have been very accommodating.

I work in customer service. People place orders with me over the phone and also change their monthly service. Over the last two months, there has been extensive work with our computer mainframe software for order processing. About 75% of the orders we process end up erroring out. Sometimes the orders are so complex, it can take an hour on the phone to go through it with the customer. When they error out, we usually go to our supervisor who has ways to override the error with his/her clearance. But at the same time, we are under pressure to help customers with an average handle time of 6 minutes.

Also, be aware that I am a union member. Our union has done a very good job at forcing the company I work at to obey the current employment laws - and for me, disability laws.

Yesterday, when working on an order for an hour our system errored the order out. I couldn’t progress with the order. My supervisor was not at his desk, so procedure demands that I search for another. I found one, and asked if she could help. She came over and suggested that I start over. I knew that my customer wasn’t going to wait another hour on the phone to put the order in all over again. So I suggested there must be another way to get around this error. Her response was, "Really? If you can’t do your job, then perhaps you should find another one!" I turned around, knowing my ADHD was now full on and starred at my computer screen. My boss, who now returned to his desk said, "are you ok?". I said, "Can you give me a hand with my order please?." The other manager, who I originally asked for help said, "No! I am helping him, you stay there" I said, "No, you aren’t helping me, and you need to leave now", Her response, "I’m not leaving". I looked at my boss and said, "I could really use your help; otherwise Im going to have to leave in the middle of this order” My boss knew what that meant. It meant that I was signaling to him I was having an ADHD attack. My boss immediately got up, asked the other supervisor to leave, sat down and finished my order. I had to leave work for the rest of the day. I had Hyper-focus all night last night and didn’t get very much sleep. I will probably miss most of the day today.

When I return, I will either ask for the management to work with the supervisor on getting some disability training, or go directly to the Union, who will no doubt have her fired. I prefer the first method, but to be honest, this manager has had issues in the past.

I’m really not seeking any specific advice. But I'm not hindering it. If you are a friend of mine whom I've thanked for advice in the past, please reply.

Hmmmm I am just glad that your supervisor (the one who couldn't help you) isn't my supervisor. :clapping:

However, the friendly, approachable, helpful supervisor you have is definitely for keeps. Let's pray that she's not gonna be laid off. :)

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