Monday, June 01, 2015

I’ve been going through a situation at work.  I asked for a few days off the end of this week and the beginning of next week as my sister who lives in the US is coming for a visit.  On Friday, she and my other sister are planning on meeting with and visiting my son, daughter-in-law and grandson.  I want to be there so bad to be the proud preening grandma.  But I was told I couldn’t get the time off.  I was told there were too many people already off but that is not the truth.  We have 10 full time people all doing the same job and we can have 1 off for every 3.  There were two people off on Friday.  Doing the math, that allows for one more person but no, I was told I couldn’t get it off.  I found out today that they are bringing in another person on Friday so I was optimistic that now we are only short one person instead of the allotted 3 people, I could get it off.  But nope – I was told that didn’t change things.  The person they are bringing in is casual, so even though she will be doing the exact same job as the rest of us, has done it in the past, she doesn’t count and I was denied the day again today.  And now the reason is strictly punitive.  I haven’t let this go since I was first told no since the numbers don’t add up.  I had a one on one meeting with my manager that went nowhere.  I tried to explain that we weren’t really short staffed it I took the days off and she refused to listen and didn’t even consider it for one moment.  I went to the union and they said I had to give my manager a chance to explain (which I already did).  We had an entire team meeting with a representative from HR there as, while this is effecting me at the moment, if they do this once and get away with changing rules, they can change them anytime for any reason.  And now I’m back dealing with the union again.  They are trying to get a one on one meeting with the HR rep, a union rep and my manager, but I don’t have any hopes such a meeting will happen before Friday.  My emotions have exploded.  I’m angrier that I can remember being, I’m sitting here trying to work almost in tears – and I DON’T cry at work.  But I haven’t let it drop and now I’m being denied the time off as punishment, I know I am.

I have been a loyal, positive, hard-working employee.  I was branded by a previous Case Manager as a trouble maker and that has stuck with me through two other Case Managers.  I was told by one that “she hopes I couldn’t sleep at night thinking about the amount of work I had” (at the time my work load was double what anyone else’s was).  I was told that when she walks down the row, she only “wanted to see the back of my head” (meaning I wasn’t talking to anyone but concentrating on nothing but work).  I’ve been called into the office twice and gotten into trouble for putting pictures into team emails – pictures it takes me – truly – one minute to find but it does make my emails fun and I usually get a few people replying “lol”  And anyone who is a frequent visitor here knows I just can’t do a post without pictures.  I try sending work emails without them but I just can’t so I figure I’ll just have to take whatever they dish out to remain true to me.

A few years ago now I broke my leg and came back a month earlier than I had to because I was feeling better and I felt that I was needed.  I was on the Supportive Care team then, the team that deals with people in their final stages of life.

Throughout this past year and a half now, despite going through the deep depression, I rarely called in sick.  I felt like it many a day and there were a few days when I simply couldn’t make myself get up and go in, but those were few and far between.

Many of the people I speak to on the phone comment on how nice and friendly I sound on the phone and despite the fact that making outgoing calls is very difficult for me, I am doing it and doing the best I can.

This has been going on since May 18 and I’m not sleeping that well and I’m getting nervous it might set off another bout of depression.   It will set me back, recovery wise, from the depression I’ve been trying so hard to stay on top of.  I’m so angry they are doing this to me but I don’t want them doing it to others so I’m falling on the sword so to speak.

There was a strike in February, though the union I’m in didn’t go out on strike though we fully supported the union that did.  It was during that time I lost total respect for the management of the place where I work.  Everyone has.

But I shake that off.  I care about the people I try to help and I see daily how the team I work on all care too.  I didn’t really plan on retiring.  Up until lately I loved what I did and the people I work with and the whole atmosphere.  I woke up looking forward to coming to work.  And while I still enjoy my co-workers and parts of the job, I don’t know if I can risk my mental and emotional health at a place that has become so toxic and whose focus is changing to punishing employees.

I don’t want to go back to that dark place.


azteclady said...

Oh Kristie!!! *hug*

If I may? Please, please, schedule an appointment with your therapist (or health professional you see) as soon as you can and talk about this situation and how it's affecting your emotions and your sleep patterns.

I am very proud of you, for doing this for the other people who may face this later, and who will benefit from your taking the bull by the horns, but you also need to take care of yourself.

I'm thinking of you and sending you good vibes, always.


Phyl said...

Big hugs, Kristie. And I second what Azteclady said. Don't let this set you back. I'm pulling for you and I hope things work out the way they should.

Kristie (J) said...

AL - I'm not seeing anyone at the moment. I was but I didn't really get much out of it. It was through work and only for a limited time. I think I need deeper therapy some days - others I think I'm doing just smashingly well - until I go into one of my hoarder-like bedrooms. Then maybe not smashingly well.

Phyl - Thanks. Just being able to vent is a big help. I tend not to want to dwell on the not so happy-go-lucky side of things, but life is all about the good AND the bad isn't it? In a way, if I hadn't been so deep in depression, I wouldn't have appreciated coming out of it so much.

azteclady said...

Kristie, I know you don't want to focus on the negativity, so I'm asking your forgiveness in advance.

If you can find a way, seek continued help. Sometimes we can trudge along by ourselves. Sometimes, we could use a hand up. Sometimes we need that hand.

Sending you good thoughts, and hoping things get better in all areas.

nath said...

Hi Kristie! I'm so sorry to hear this about your work situation. It really sucks :( i was wondering how it was going because I remembered you had problems there and was hoping it was better. It sucks to be labeled :( Especially when it's not true.

I do think you're being denied vacation as punishment :( Good for you to stand up for everyone! Takes courage! I hope it works out in the end!

Wendy said...

Much like AL, forgive my intrusion - but if you're not regularly seeing a therapist, it might be worth investigating. It sounds like your meds have gotten squared away, and things are working well on that front - but I think there's a lot to be said for having that impartial sounding board at your disposal. Especially when you have those times when you're feeling overwhelmed - be it from work, or confronting those horder-like bedrooms at home.

farmwifetwo said...

Part of me would like to go back to work. I don't need to, but I'd like to. But the crap that goes on... and Facebook/Twitter wasn't around then either... Makes me think it isn't worth the effort. I don't know if you need to work or not, but if not, maybe somewhere volunteers do the same kind of work and are appreciated??