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The UKFibromyalgia Forums • View topic - Work And The Stress It Is Causing



Work And The Stress It Is Causing

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Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby Rodders » Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:13 pm

Hello, I'm new to the forum. I was diagnosed over a year ago with FM and have been learning to cope with it since, although I have probably had the symptoms over 10 years now. (Late diagnosis).

I think I have been coping with my symptoms really well with excercise, pacing and time management etc and in this respect I feel in control.

However, I want to throw a question out there because I don't know where else to look for answers at the moment and I feel at my wits end as it involves the one element I can't control. Work and the stress it is causing!

When I was finally diagnosed last year, I immediatey advised my team leader and boss, the latter of whom was also supposed to advise my director as well. I wanted to be as open about it as possible and they were quite accomodating.

Move on nine months, add a change in management, a slumping construction market and various other comapny decisions including redundancies and the position we find ourselves in now is one of immense pressure and from what I have been led to believe, it's not going to get any better.

I feel now with the amount of work they expect us to output under the pressure situation we are in and the stressful way the company is run at the moment - I can't cope. Even though I sit at a desk designing all day, I leave the office exhausted after 8.5 hours.

This week they have been trying to enforce mandatary overtime on us. We work a 48 hour week and they wanted us to do 55 hours.
I explained to my boss that due to my condition I was not willing to do it on medical grounds and explained my condition. He said he would take this under advisement. However I know he is being pushed from the top.

On Friday when I was packing up to leave, he wanted me to stay but I was so tired I refused. As my other colleagues are 'falling into line' I feel I am now being looked upon unfavourably.

I would leave this company as I don't agree with the way it is being run (another stress factor) but the job market is such at the moment that, as well as being difficult to find another job, it may be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

Where do I stand if the workload and pressure keeps being put on me like this? It can't carry on.
Does anyone have any advice? :(
Thanks,
Martin.
Last edited by FluppyPuffy on Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Made paragraphs clearer
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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby FluppyPuffy » Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:47 pm

:welcome: to the forum Rodders :wave: :wave:

I've moved your post into here as you should get more hits with it being your intro post. I've also made your paragraphs a bit clearer as a lot of us on here struggle with reading large blocks of text.

Do you have a supportive GP?? If so, they may be able to write to your employer with an explanation as to why working these extra hours is not suitable for you, they could even suggest what hours might be suitable for you to work.

If the GP approach isn't an option, you could contact your local Disability Employment Advisor, based in job centres. They can work with you and your employers to make your work place as suitable for you and you condition as possible. If your employers have an Occy Health type person, they should be able to provide help with this as well.

If you're still being pressurised and, maybe victimised, into doing these mandatory overtime hours, you could try contacting someone like CAB, DIAL, Welfare Rights or other similar local organisations, as, due to FM, you are protected by the Equalities Act 2010, and these people will be able to either advise you on the situation, or possibly provide you with info about people who deal with such matters who may be able to help you.

There is a lot of info and advice on the forum, so have a look around and see what there is. And if there's anything you wnt to know, just ask and we'll try to help you with it :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby Rodders » Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:37 pm

That's great advice ,tahnks for the quick reply.
I do have a supportive GP, although she is hard to get hold of.
Dr Frances Cole seems to have studied and written everything there is about pain management and it is her rules and management that I live by.
I'd been suffering for 10 years and she diagnosed me within minutes after a lucky encounter.
I'll try that route first I think, then the DLA after that.
Thanks again.
The site is great - I've already read many stories and found them both useful and inspiring.
:lol:
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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby shazq » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:03 pm

:welcome: to the forum Rodders :wave:

Flup has given some good advice there so cant really add to what she has already said, there is lots of info in the works and benefits thread that you should find helpful. :wave:
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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby tonydin » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:39 am

hi rodders im in a posstion similer to you but with out the corperate structure behind it , iv been there but managed to escape.
to a single boss /owner and thats bad enough ,dx this year after years of wondering and worrying what was wrong with me

i am only going to say one thing you cant do those hours

maybe not wahat you want to hear but you know its true , and they will just have to take the ball in thire court , take advice from the powers thst be and stick with it

take care
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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby FluppyPuffy » Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:09 pm

Glad you're finding things on here useful. Hope you don't have too much trouble and too long a wait to see your GP :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed:

I'm always a little in awe of FMers who continue working. With how it makes me feel, I don't know how you manage it. Hope you can get somethings sorted to help make work that little bit better for you :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed:


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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby lainie » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:41 pm

hi rodders

totally understand where you are coming from. i have a similar situation and my employer is a government dept!

have you thought of reducing your hours and see if you would qualify for the disabled element of working tax credit? i work 30 hrs a week and at times i struggle with that. does your employer have an hr department that support something like right core care etc.

we at work get sent for atos health referrals if we have a medical conditon and work need to make reasonable adjustments if your illness is covered by the dda or the equality act as it is now called.
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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby animalhouse » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:07 am

i was going to suggest the same with wok.

i know ther are financial implications but have you looked at reducing your hours at at least you get some work satisfaction/social interactoion.


as you work so many hours anyway, could you not job share adn do say 20/25 each. there are probaly alot out there who would jump at the chance and might save your sanity and keep you in work. you could get a fit note from yoru doctor to support this.

i don;t work and my oh went down to 3 days to care/support round the house and although he is not ill, it is very stressful juggling all the balls and trying to maintain a work/life ballance so he still has something.

i hope you sort something out before you crash and burn.

and welcome nice to meet you.

:welcome:
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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby denys » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:00 pm

Hi Rodders and :welcome: to the forum :wave: :wave: :wave:
Denys

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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby Rodders » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:20 pm

Hi,
Thanks to everyone who's responded and given some advice.
You've all given me something useful to think about. Here's a situation update.
I have taken the first step and approached my boss with a full explanation in writing and tried to back it up with some education and literature to try to get him to understand where I'm coming from. I then tried to approach him for a one to one discussion but he was more interested in the workload rather than talking to me. 1 week later, he e-mailed me (whilst sat one desk away) thanking me for bringing it to his attention and he would talk to me sometime next week. In the meantime, I have visited my GP and she has written a fantastic letter to support my situation which I handed to him yesterday. He put it in his folder and said he would get it put into my personnel file, didn't even look at it. I am keen to discuss it so we can come to an understanding and a solution that works for everyone.
I feel he is just not interested and I'm still no wiser as to where I stand with work. I still want to work and I didn't want to lose my job but this is mainly for financial reasons.
If I'm honest with myself, I either need a career change or new job but that's no easy feat as many people are aware.
The stress of the whole situation is making me feel worse and I'm pretty low at the moment - but I refuse to give in. My stubborness may be my worst enemy!!!
:facepalm:
I'll just have to see how the next week or two works out, I'll keep you posted.
I'd be interested to know how other people may have dealt with this situation.
Cheers for now, Martin.
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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby shazq » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:07 am

Hi Rodders

Sorry to hear you are still no further down the line with your boss :evil: Is there another another higher person above this boss who you could go to see? If not just keep on at this boss of yours and make him listen, it sounds like this boss is scared of losing you. :hugs:
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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby denys » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:14 am

Hi Martin, sorry to hear your boss is not as sympathetic as he should be :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: for next week, is there any way you could take illhealth retirement????? :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed:
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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby FluppyPuffy » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:23 pm

I think you're doing the right thing in waiting Martin, at least until you've had the 1-to-1 with your boss. Altho your boss just said about the letter going into your file and just putting it into his folder, rather than reading it there and then, it doesn't mean he hasn't read it at all. He could well be under pressure from those above him on the food chain, and wasn't in a position to read it straight away, so he put it into his folder to read at a more suitable time.

Hopefully you'll start getting the necessary help and support soon :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: I mentioned it in my earlier post, but there is help available to try and keep you in your job. The Disability Employment Advisor, based in job centres, can work with yourself and your employer to try and make your working conditions as suitable for you as possible. And if there is an Occupational Health type person where you work, they can help with things. If you have fears, worries about how you could be treated now you have an illness, you should be protected under the Equalities Act.

Definitely keep us updated :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed:


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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby Rodders » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:28 pm

Hi Everyone,
Thought I'd drop an update because the latest news is absolutely, amazingly fantastic (sense the sarcasm?).
After waiting and waiting for a one to one with the boss, he seems to have managed everything within his power to keep avoiding it.
Either by not coming to our ofice or when he does come, he will say to me just as he is leaving "i will talk to you next week". I think I've been waiting a month now.
In the meantime, my condition has been gradually going downhill to the point that I am now on anti-depressants and more recently the doctor has signed me off for a week as unfit to work to allow me to rest and get myself back up to speed. I don't think I've ever been this low. I have been referred to a counsellor though, so hopefully that will help.
Amazingly, this is the first time I have been off work with fibro being the reason. :cry:
But here's the good part - as I'm off work, one of my colleagues got in touch to say everyone had been e-mailed a letter and wanted to know if I'd got one at home. Turns out we are all on consultation with the possibilty of redundancies - happy times!! (More sarcasm) :swear1:
This could be a blessing or a curse as on one hand I could leave the job causing me the grief or maybe on the other hand I could negotiate shorter hours as that would save them money and work better for me (although would I still want to be there??).
Either way, I feel more vulnerable than ever as I feel what has happened recently may count against me in a redundancy situation.
Not even sure how this effects me as I am officially off sick at the moment?? :?
Anyway, wish me luck as I have my first consultation meeting with them on Friday (even though I'm still signed off).
If anyone has any hints, tips or advice on how to cope with this it or has been in a similar situation, it would be a great comfort to hear from you.
Thanks All.
Rodders. :snowgrumpy:
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Re: Work And The Stress It Is Causing

Postby fibro-lu » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:59 pm

hi rodders,
quick shake out of my sleeve (, might come back with more)

don't go into the meeting on your own :nono:
take a union rep with you (join the union if you are not in already)

you can postpone the meeting
a) you are still off sick and if you go in, it might look like you are not as sick (if you know what I mean)
b) gives you more time to get union rep on your side

you might be covered by the DDA (disability something act), worth checking that out for
a) more grounds on your wish to reduce hours
b) less oportunity to sack you regards being ill

this for now, sure others have much more to say
relax and rest
:wave:
lu
all the best :cow-wave: Lu
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