Talking to employer

I think I need to talk with my supervisor, and just wanted a little support and maybe some suggestions. I read in a diabetes mag that we have the right to inform employers confidentially of health issues like this and expect some accomodation. I do not want special accomodations, I just want a normal workload. The company ethic seems to be that everyone works till they drop to get the work done. I work from home so don’t have daily contact except with my supervisor and/or the person who assigned me the current project when needed by email or phone if necessary (I’m a copyeditor), but over the past year since I switched from freelance to full-time I have had very complex and sometimes very difficult assignments dumped on me with very short deadlines, which require working very long hours. This is very stressful and for me, and stress is the major thing that messes with my sugars, and it also makes it harder to keep my exercise and diet routines. So I need to talk to my supervisor and tell her that I just cannot keep going at this pace. I’m 61, not a 30-year-old willing to do anything to climb the corporate ladder, at this point I just want to earn enough to live on and at the same time, you know, survive to enjoy a little retirement.

I really think that you best option is to talk to your supervisor and let him/her know that you are diabetic and explain how stress and long hours effects it and your health. I would also tell him / her that they check with you before piling extra workload on you to make sure this is not going to be too much for you to be able to handle.

I know that is a tough situation. I hope that your company is understanding and will be able to accommodate you . Good luck.

Thanks, Chris. It’s a scary situation for me. I’m starting to think my there is something wrong with my productivity, but I know that’s not it. The local company is understanding as possible, given they are all stressed and overworked as well, but the parent company in another state is like everyone else…profit is the bottom line, and they get that by taking jobs with messy manuscripts and short deadlines. But it was interesting to learn that diabetes is one of those protected “disabilities” that I can in fact legally (not only morally) invoke.

I’m so sorry that is happening to you Cathy. I don’t think that will happen here, the actual local people I work with including my supervisor are folks I worked with back in the previous company, before it got sold to the parent company and downsized, and they are, personally, people I trust. And frankly, if they won’t accomodate my issues I have decided that I will then just quit. I can’t live like this, and no, I’m not going to go on yet another med for stress just because I’m being overworked. I’ve had enormous med-juggling issues the past year anyway. That’s not the issue, something I can fix with a med, I’m not going to work myself to death at this point. But I appreciate your viewpoint and feedback and hope things go well with you.

I totally agree with you. The last thing we need is another medication to take (no offense Cathy.) Unfortunately, there are a lot of states that are at-will state and can fire you just because they feel like it (or at least that is what it feels like) if you do live in an at-will state, just be a little more careful on how you approach this. Luckily, like you said, diabetes is one of those chronic illnesses that you can be accommodated for in the workplace. I think you best option is to lay the cards on the table and see how it plays.

I totally back you up on this Ellie. Come out to your supervisor. The last thing you need is the stress of covering it up and more meds to help with the stress. You will feel much better once it is out. And you know that it is an illness that legally is accommodated. GOOD LUCK!

Cathy, no, I was not offended. And it’s not really a good option to quit, as I need the income, but sometimes I have to just trust the universe that if I do what I have to do it will be ok, and for me, rather than work myself to an early death, it would be better to quit and take my chances. I do understand your viewpoint, given your situation.

I have received great help and understanding by speaking with my supervisor and boss about my current issues i am having personally. In fact my work is willing to help pay for a portion of a service dog i am trying to get right now. They have made accommodations as far as my doctors appointments and getting extra sick leave. I work in a very high stress place but they are still quite understanding. I wish you the best of luck.

Just to update. I had a really good conversation with my supervisor a week ago. I even had a note from my doctor to take in with me, because I had happened to see her 2 days before; it said that, in order to properly manage a medical condition I needed to not work more than 40 hours a week. The doctor said to me that in addition to everything else you need “thinking time” in order to properly manage things…she’s so right. (Like the time I spend on this forum each day.) :slight_smile:

Anyway, the conversation went very well. We talked about the company culture that has developed since it was bought by the larger company in another state, which I call the “Walmart method”–get more work out of fewer people for less pay. But she accepted readily that I could simply not do that, and in fact wished no one had to. We brainstormed together how to resolve some issues, and cut my workload so that I can complete my current deadline in a 40-hour week, and with the agreement that when this happens again I can come to her and figure out how to keep it to 40 hours. The down side is that means, with the work that is to be done, somebody else will have to take on the extra, which makes me feel bad, but not so bad that I am going to sabotage my health for it. I left feeling very good about things, and have enjoyed putting in just a normal work life this past week.

Thanks for all your support on this issue.

Thanks Deb. Yes, I enjoy the work, I just didn’t enjoy 50+ hours a week of it!