Diabetes at Work

Are you the only one at work with diabetes, or are there a couple of you? Do you feel you have to hide your diabetes? Do your colleagues REALLY understand, or do you find yourself repeating the same info. over and over?

I work with someone else who has diabetes, in a staff of 35. I must say, however, that educating the greater number is not an easy task.

I work for a company that has been contracted to provide security to a much larger company. I have not had any difficulty with anyone at either organization. Of course the fact that I am pretty much working alone probably helps.

I can recall one situation where I was working at a call center that had about 400 people working in it on my shift. In call centers you are required to take breaks and lunches at scheduled times to allow for there to be sufficient people on the phones to handle incomming calls. I started feeling a low comming on and tested myself at my work station. I was around 76. I went to the person who monitors complience with the schedule and asked to take my lunch about ten minutes early, as I was going low. She asked me how I knew I was low. I told her I had just tested myself at my work station. Well she went off about how I shouldn’t test myself there, that I should place myself as unavailable, ( something highly discouraged, you can be disciplined for excessive unavailability) and go to the bathroom to test myself. I would no longer be allowed to test myself at my work station.

I took my lunch early.

The next day I was fuming. I went to the HR department and started asking uncomfortable questions. What is the policy of the company regarding testing for a life threatening disease? What is the company policy about compliance with the americans with disabilities act? What is the company’s policy about reasonable accomidation? Why am I being subjected to requirements that can have me subject to discipline up to and including termination for trying to take care of my health?

Let’s just say that the supervisor in question was corrected by HR as to when and where I could and could not test and when and where I could take my shots. In short, I could do both as required without interference anywhere I needed to.

Some times you have to know a few legal rights to prevent your being stepped on.

Education, we can do it the easy way, or the hard way, but everybody learns eventually.

A case of displaced power tripping!..It’s good that you went back and nipped it in the bud!