Struggling with Work

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Struggling with Work

Postby Loopy_Lina » Thu May 03, 2012 12:15 pm

I just feel so scared at the moment, I feel as if I have no hope for my future.

I have a P/T job at the moment and my boss is certainly not understanding at all. Last year I was signed off with depression for several weeks ( a recurrent issue for me) and she was really, really nasty to me about it.

For several years I have had problems with my feet, back, neck (lower and upper), shoulders, arms and hands. I am signed off this week with my hands and again my boss is being really horrible to me about it.

I work really hard and am a diligent employee, but due to my awful employment history (because of my health) my job choices are very limited so of course end up working in jobs that aren't good. The workplace environment is making me worse, both physically and mentally.

I don't know what to do, I feel as if I cannot carry on much longer, I am in constant pain, sleep badly and suffer severe (really, really severe) depression.

I live alone, have no savings, rent my home and don't know how I can support myself.

Please, what hope is there for my future? I just don't think I can carry on like this any longer.
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Re: Struggling with Work

Postby animalhouse » Thu May 03, 2012 12:51 pm

see your dr to update on your depression or ways of improving that such as meds/counselling etc.

when you are feeling a bit stronger ring the citizens advice bureau and they may be able to advise you on what benefits you are/would be entitled to then you can think how working is affecting your health or if it helps to give you a purpose in life.

at least if you know your options money wise you can decide or even just give yourself a break - nothing is foreer.

i am not working now but am trying to look into studying at the open univ, i have sent off my qualifications to get credits towards a degree then i can apply but this act of just physically getting paperwork together is like a mountain for me, the thought of finding stuff, bednding and having the concentration to understand/fill stuff in.

so just baby steps if it doens;t happen this year then i can always try in the new year but won;t stress myself abuot it.

take care and hope you start to feel bettter about your life soon.

:-) :-)
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Re: Struggling with Work

Postby pmc » Thu May 03, 2012 12:56 pm

Hi hun, sorry that you are having to go thru all this. You don't have to let your boss treat you like this, especially if you are off work with a doctors note, she is bullying you, and very possibly making you feel a whole lot worse when you are at work. If she is really bad keep a diary of things. Is there a friend at work who you can talk to about it or one who would support you if you made a complaint about her. If you are frequently off with your condition and the depression on top of it all I think you need to make some enquiries as to what benefits you would get if you need to give up work. it is hard to give up your job these days, I have just done it for the same reasons, but I have a husband to support me, you are having to go it alone. Maybe go back and see your Dr and explain what is going on at work, he/she may then support you in leaving for when you need to get your benefits. Take care x
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Re: Struggling with Work

Postby Loopy_Lina » Thu May 03, 2012 3:07 pm

Aw thanks for your understanding replies, it is so comforting to know that you know what I feel! F&F just don't get it.

I have seen the doc this week and she can only seem to deal with one part of my body at a time, lol, and is trying to help and has been fantastic. I have just finished a great course of counselling which helped a lot, but I think I need more support on that front.

After your great advice, I think I have some ideas to put a plan into action and move forward from this, my boss is a bully and I have a hair-raising year-long diary to prove it. It is a whole complicated issue and a v small organisation run by her and her cronies, so nowhere to complain to. She won't change, the organisation won't change, so there is nothing for it but for me to change (or leave).

So plan of action:

Dr for support
Mental health support
Local Fibro group
CAB for benefit advice

I feel much better just writing this all out.

Oops, too much typing for one achey lady - off to rest them hands now!

Thanks so, so much xxx
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Re: Struggling with Work

Postby Ldyalb » Thu May 03, 2012 5:12 pm

Your boss is a bully, I've worked for several such people over the years - I feel your pain.

You've had great advice so far so I'll focus away from the medical stuff, and more on to the work issues stuff.

- You can speak to a Disability Employment Advisor (DEA) at your local Job Centre. They can help advise you on issues at work surrounding your ill health/disability and can also mediate between yourself and work if necessary.

- There's The Shaw Trust. I've not dealt with them but believe they do similar to a DEA. I do know they help disabled people find, and keep, suitable work. So they could help with the current job, or help you leave.

- Remploy are similar to the above. I've dealt with Remploy Waterloo in the past and found them generally excellent. When I had a bad job (albeit 'cash in hand') they helped me with my job search. They also got me work experience in April 2011 which helped me get a job about 5 weeks later.

- You could also try a company called ACAS - I believe they have a helpline you can ring if you're having issues at work so they may be able to help advise you what to do with work.
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Re: Struggling with Work

Postby Loopy_Lina » Thu May 03, 2012 9:10 pm

Thanks Ldyalb, you have given me some more ideas. After the horrors of last year, I got referred to counselling through the NHS who wrote to my boss to say I was having the counselling (and suggesting she contact them) but she just threw the letter on my desk and said "I will not be speaking to them", so somehow I don't think any mediation will work, lol!

I think she is in some form of denial as she is so very dependent on me. I am the only one she can rely on as everyone else are volunteers (who don't stay very long) apart from someone else who is out on fieldwork. I had just 9 days holiday last year. Mind you, she had less :(

But I will make enquiries with all those organisations and see what improvements I can make. Even a small difference will help!
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Re: Struggling with Work

Postby Loopy_Lina » Thu May 10, 2012 8:20 pm

Update

I am working through my list of things to change re work/finances and thought I would let you know how I am getting on.

A chance encounter has miraculously resulted in me finding a lovely new (small) cheaper flat to rent. As well as being cheaper to rent, it will be much cheaper to heat, which will be a considerable help to my health, I know. Also, if the worst comes to the worst and I end up out of a job I know I would be able to manage.

Work-wise, things are still very difficult. Myself and my colleague will be having a meeting with one of the trustees of the board as the committee has a duty of care to us as employees. Her bullying has affected my health and my colleague's wellbeing. Effectively, this means I will be going over my boss's head which is quite scary, but the only course of action I have left.

Mental/Physical healt-wise, haven't been to see the dr as I have been busy (and probably will be for a few weeks now), but am feeling much happier at the moment.

Thanks everyone for your help - will report more later!
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Re: Struggling with Work

Postby busy mummy » Thu May 10, 2012 9:22 pm

Hey Lina,

Glad you have a backup plan, at least you know going in to that meeting that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I would advise you to take as much proof as possible and tell the board everything. Chances are they will have no clue about how this person operates, or, they are just waiting for someone with big enough kahones to make a formal complaint so they can deal with it properly.

Either way, you and your health are the most important things in this situation. If you have the strength to fight, go for it!!! If not, let it go and move on. I know thats easy to say and hard to deliver, but you are in control now, keep it that way.

Sarah x
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Re: Struggling with Work

Postby Loopy_Lina » Fri May 11, 2012 11:45 am

Thanks Sarah,

I have the feeling that everyone is looking to me to do something about it, but I feel it is not my place to as I am an employee and not a member of the Board, so am putting the monkey on their backs to deal with, it has been weighing heavily on mine for long enough!

Will report back after Monday's meeting (if I survive, lol)!
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Re: Struggling with Work

Postby Loopy_Lina » Mon May 14, 2012 7:25 pm

UPDATE

The meeting went very well and myself and my colleague got the chance to speak about all the issues. The trustee we spoke to wasn't really surprised and agrees how difficult the whole situation is.

It was a relief to let someone on the board know so that if we have to take it further, we can.

Although a course of action isn't entirely worked out, we each have some small steps to take and I feel a lot more positive.

One thing that I am pleased about is how well my colleague, a young man much younger than I, seems to have grown up over the last couple of years and has begun to take charge a little more rather than looking to me for all the answers. I think by speaking out and saying I cannot cope has finally got through to everyone!

Still a way to go yet and I see some further conflict in my future, but it really must be dealt with so I am just going to forge ahead while I am feeling OK(ish).

Thanks again everyone for your very helpful replies, you really have given me the confidence and courage to battle on!

Lina x
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Re: Struggling with Work

Postby FluppyPuffy » Mon May 14, 2012 9:09 pm

Baby steps in the right direction are always good Lina :grouphug: :grouphug: Hope it's not too long before things are sorted properly for you :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed:

It sounds like your colleague could be a decent, supportive ally. If you need any help with any of your future conflicts, you can always send in Arnie :shooting: He's always locked and loaded, ready for action :police: :police: :police: :police: :police:
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Re: Struggling with Work

Postby Loopy_Lina » Tue May 15, 2012 3:13 pm

LOL at Arnie - now that would be most useful, perhaps he could join our committee?
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Re: Struggling with Work

Postby Loopy_Lina » Fri May 25, 2012 11:18 am

FURTHER UPDATE

Nothing is happening, grrr!

She still isn't coping, is still bullying everyone around her (including our volunteers), is very dependent on me to help her with the smallest of tasks and tries to control/micromanage everything.

The committee are now accepting her reassurances that she wants to carry on - with more help from the committee, yet they don't do anything to help.

This makes me feel that absolutely nothing will change (well, I know it won't), so in order to cope, it is myself that has to change.

As I said earlier, I am moving to a smaller, cheaper flat which means that even if I was off sick for a while, I would be able to cope financially (I get no sick pay), so, if I do get signed off, I am not going to let her bully me into going back to work before I am well enough to.

I shall not give her my new address (she actually comes to my house if I am off on holiday or sick, so this is necessary) - nor my new telephone number. She has my mobile tel no and my email address, that is enough.

I will remind myself to take time off more frequently, both holiday and sick days, despite the aggro it causes. Where I have gone wrong before is by battling on, trying harder and harder and ending up really, really sick.

I may even raise official grievances if my boss becomes too impossible.

When less busy, I will have another chat with my GP for further support.

If my health deteriorates where I feel I may lose my job, talk with the DEA at the Jobcentre. Possibly go off long term sick (which will probably result in being laid off, which seriously won't be such a bad thing).

There are many other factors I wish I could change, but can't, but having this plan really is a help.

Thanks so much for the support and advice here, it has been wonderful to get your unique views as you know what I am going through much better than so many other people, even people who know me well like family and friends.

Thanks!
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