View Full Version : what do you tell your bosses about good days and bad?
I just got scolded for taking off 2 half days in the last 2 weeks (I'd not taken a sick day in over a year, but that's another issue :mad: ). I'm impressed with myself that I dragged myself out of bed to go to meetings, but apparently I've "concerned" my manager with my being "tired".
It's unusual to have 2 half days off in 2 weeks, but it begs the bigger issue of how much to share with employers. What are some suggestions about how to talk to bosses? (By the way, I received a superior eval. a few months ago, so this "concern" is a new thing.)
06-26-2006, 03:52 AM
Well, I am probably not the person to give you advice here. I had 20+ years on my job with evaluations that all "Exceeded" standards. Even when I was at my sickest, I continued to get excellent evaluations.
That did not stop my employer from trying to fire me when my Lupus started causing me to take sick days off (even though I had over 600 hours of sick leave on the books!). They pulled this stunt while I was off work on a doctor's order!!
I've mentioned this in previous posts - I sued my employer and won, primarily because I told them about my Lupus prior to being hired. So, they knew of my limitations when they gave me the job!
My opinion is to tell them the truth and educate them about your illness. However, there are others who have done that and fared horribly because of it.
Maybe someone will have some relevant advice for you :(
Best of Luck
06-26-2006, 08:51 AM
I think a lot depends on your relationship with your manager, and how comfortable you feel sharing the situation with them. And if it's a big company and she/he takes it to the HR department thats much different than manybe a small company that can make arrangements to help you...?
Also it wasn't clear in your post, if you just told the manager that you were "tired" or if you said "sick." If one of my employees had to go home because they were too tired to work, I would be really concerned that they had a medical condition, not concerned like going to fire them, concerned like I hope nothing's seriously wrong.
I see two approaches for you - try to go along with minimal sick time, and tell them something vague, like "I've been feeling bad for a while, I'm getting some tests done to try and see what's going on" or - tell the full story and take your chances with hoping for understanding and accommodation. If you do go the route of telling all, I'd also sugget being prepared with a "proposal." Something to mitigate the "concern." Proposing that you make up time at home? work part time? I guess it depends on your specific situation.
I'm sort of on the other side of the fence, since I am a boss, as well as a person with lupus. Our company is very small - 15 people, so things are probably different than if you work in a megacorp. I know if one of our employees had a serious illness, we would do whatever we could to make things work for them. But we also have to run a business without going broke.
Those are sort of rambling thoughts, I hope it helps a little.
for the feedback.
I'm going to downplay the "sick" part and soldier on for a time. I work for a large corporate medical center that doesn't tolerate sick staff very well. I'd like to keep the job for the next few months at least... have heard my director make unfortunate references to "what to do if X tanked".... I don't sense I'd get too much accomodation in the very corporate environment I work in now.
However, my work is valued and even praised, so if I can hang on through whatever this is, I should be ok. But I don't think disclosure is a good idea.
06-28-2006, 06:46 AM
I've actually have had great outcomes with telling my employer after being hired about my lupus. I had just been hired by them last September (while being in a flare but not yet fully dx as a flare) and by Janurary I had to let them know that I was having a kidney biopsy and having to take a month of work off. Then after the biopsy I had to be started on cytoxan and that I could come back but I'd have to take a day or 2 off here or there if my white count would drop too low. I'm an infusion nurse and because I am also around sick patients they didn't feel comfortable me coming back into patient care while being treated with chemo. So my department (surgical services) arranged for me to do work with the pre-op interview nurses. They even took care of my medical insurance for the month I was away. They continue to ask me how I am and I couldn't ask for a better employer. Now my last employer when I was in the middle of my worst joint pain- I couldn't walk or even drive home at the end of my shift (I was a floor nurse at that time), we're more worried about me being at work to cover a shift then me getting better so they would even have a nurse for in the future. So I guess what I'd say is you just have to gauge your employer and see how comfortable you are yourself with telling them about your disease. I'm not afraid to share with anyone about my disease because it is apart of my life and affects me everyday- good and bad :lol:
06-28-2006, 10:13 AM
Oy is right Jude!
I'm sorry to hear your employer is not very supportive, but I understand your decision to 'soldier on.'
One thing I've learned in my 3 months of lupus so far is that I'm much more functional and alert in the mornings, and dragging my @$$ by afternoon, so I save the mindless tasks like paperwork and e-mails for the part of the day when I'm brain dead and try to take on the challenges when I'm alert.
Don't know if you have that freedom, in your position.
I wish you the best and hope that things work out ok!
06-28-2006, 11:40 AM
Reading your post, I'm "concerned" about your boss' concern. And that remark about tanking, *whew.* I went through stuff like that, and was perfectly healthy when I started working for the clowns who were my last employer (bitter and proud of it ;o). So I knew nothing about disability law and the protection they (purportedly) grant. Ultimately the company fired me, even though I could easily have worked at home (some did, but they were healthy) and I could have easily worked part-time (some did, but they were healthy). They immediately transferred another employee into my old position. Within a year I'd found a good lawyer and filed. The company is telling one lie on top of another, but their own documents are proving their dishonesty.
As someone who optimistically tends to assume almost all people are decent, some just need a bit of friendly enlightenment, here's what I've concluded: Many people are simply not educable. Especially those who place their self-interest above all others'.
If I were working now for an employer who made these snide remarks and expressed concern, (my opinion having been shaped by my experiences), I would document each remark, who said it to whom, and the time and place it was said. I would take the log I have right now to a very, very good employment / disability discrimination plaintiff's lawyer. And I would sit down and pay that lawyer for a few hours' time to begin documenting this nonsense. And do whatever the lawyer said I needed to do, be it lodge a complaint w/human resources, or let the lawyer right a letter to the boss, or whatever.
Seriously. I avoided confrontation the entire time I worked there, dragging myself around working much harder than I should have, and in the end my reward for soldiering on was my health and career both "tanking".
Having said all that, only you know your situation and you must listen to your own instincts. I wish you well! :)
I think I will take both of ya'lls advice. I definately have an "up" part of the day, and can take advantage of that. In the mean time, the lawyer sounds like a good idea.
The "concerned" boss just might have actually been concerned in a ham-handed way. I seem to be in her good graces again, since I didn't take off any time after my infamous afternoon. However, I've heard enough hear and other boards that I don't want to take risks.
Isn't it ironic that healthcare corporations as such PITAs when their own employees get sick?