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Found 20 results

  1. Reaching out to all the lovely people here to see if anyone else has felt this way. I'm struggling right now with employment and my anxiety/panic triggers. I've just finished 12 months employment (my first employment since 2008) in a bookstore. I loved it, it was quiet, easy, part time, stress free work -especially once I got used to my daily tasks and used to the software-. Sadly, the store closed down and now I'm back on the job hunt and back at Centerlink (Australian Welfare). Now that I am back looking for work, I have been offered some work at a local fast food place. (Years ago, worked at another of the fast food places in town and I found it to be a very triggering environment. I was unable to cope with the fast pace, the staff who expected you to know everything straight away, and the managers that would full on yell at you if you didn't work quickly enough.) I know that there's a chance that this place wouldn't be like that, but I find even the thought of working there sends me into panic mode even during the interview, I could feel a panic attack trying to get a foothold to start. I don't cope well with fast paced environments where you've got to learn and retain a lot of information right from the get go. I don't cope well with being 'flooded' with customers and having to process them on my own. I don't cope with having to deal with brusque staff and blunt managers. So in short, working at a fast food place is a really really bad idea for me. Yet I feel partially forced to accept the work; a) because I do want/need to get more work, b) because to keep my welfare payments, I'm required to 'accept any reasonable' work that comes my way and c) to help contribute financially to our family. It's gotten to the point that I am thinking of lying to my hubby and family and saying they've already got someone working there and don't need me. --I haven't felt able to express how I feel to my husband yet. He's so supportive and understanding, and doesn't judge me, but I feel like such a fool, and he's given up so much and works so hard in a job he hates to support me and our son, that right now, I feel unable to broach just how horrible (& mentally unwell) the idea of working there makes me feel.-- I don't have a PDoc atm -haven't in a while cause I can't afford one-, but I am thinking of seeing a decent psychologist to see if they can help me handle this sort of thing better than I am alone. I'm sorry for the novel! I just wish I didn't feel like such a failure Chiaroscuro
  2. I'm really hoping someone here will have some insight. I was diagnosed bipolar in January 2012 and ended up on disability leave from my call center job (which I had held for 3 years). So after winter/spring 2012, It was a rough year plus on the med go round. I was hospitalized twice. I applied for and received SSDI on the first try, I had my back pay within 7 months of the initial application. I found a med that worked for me for a while, and in fall 2013 my wife was laid off. I was feeling better. So I got a job in a call center. Full time, with benefits, decent pay. After I started in October 2013, I made it about 9 months before relapse. I took an 8 week leave of absence from work in July/August 2014. After going back to work, I applied for a promotion and interviewed 3 or 4 times for the job. I prepped extensively for interviews and slayed them. I got the job. Suddenly I worked in a bank, not a call center, and I had to wear business suits and high heels. Suddenly I had clients constantly badgering me for something (usually to waive their fees), I had to source my own call lists and screen numbers through the federal do not call list, I had to shake hands with people and smile constantly and it was just a lot for me to deal with. I made it about 4 months in a hypomanic whirl and then crashed spectacularly in January 2015. Got disability leave from work, unpaid. Had to get SSDI reinstated. Went back to therapy. Changed my meds. Getting better was my job. I spent most of April and May suicidal. Eventually my mood improved as we nailed down my cocktail. So then I asked about going back to work. My pdoc and I determined that I wasn't ready to work full time, but she encouraged me to try part time. So I submitted the documents for a reduced work schedule and my employer said nope, just stay on leave until you come back full time. Okay. So I can't do my job full time, but they won't let me do it part time, but I feel well enough to be able to work some, and I'm fucking broke. Enter my wife's employer, which is a competing financial institution. We'll call it "the co-op." They have a part time job opening doing marketing/telesales at a call center. They recruit me heavily. I interview for the position and blow it out of the water. They offer me the job. They increase the starting pay by $1.50 additional per hour due to my resume/experience. I accept the job. I started at the beginning of July. So I go to orientation at the co-op. It's a little embarrassing the fuss people are making about me. I already knew a lot of the employees from attending work functions with my wife. After orientation I show up at the "co-op" and start doing some training. During this first week, I talked to my supervisor, whom we'll call Misty. I sat down with her and explained that I have a disability and I'm on SSDI, and I can only work a certain number of hours each month to stay under the earnings limit for social security. Misty says it wouldn't be a problem. The next week we were working together to set my work schedule for August, and I email her again that I can only work 77 hours per calendar month. She responds to the email, again saying that it's no problem whatsoever. Yesterday was the 31st of August. On a hunch, at the end of my shift on Saturday, I went into the timekeeping system and pulled the report showing how many hours I'd worked in August. I was at 76. So on Monday I come in to work and show Misty the pertinent reports and I agree to stay for an hour to return calls from voicemail and deal with various situations under my purview, and then leave for the day. Misty says this is totally fine by her. Today I come in to work and handle my stuff, eventually we have a meeting scheduled. It is uneventful. Misty asks me to stay afterwards to talk to her. She tells me that I can't have days off at the end of the month. I say okay, we will plan better next time. She starts telling me about how she doesn't think she can accommodate my hours and that the VP of marketing is going to be mad at her if she continues to allow me to work a reduced schedule. I was quiet and listened to what she had to say. I told her that I had been totally transparent about my disability from day one, and she agreed. I told her that I thought it sounded like a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I told her that if she needed me to work more hours then the only way I could keep my job is if they cut my pay. She said that they're not allowed to cut my pay because of HR. She told me that since I'm part time they don't need to accommodate me, and told me about how they just let go two part time employees for getting pregnant. I told her I didn't understand how that was applicable to my situation, because I'm not asking for maternity leave. Misty skirted around my question about accommodations and reiterated that she hired me to work the hours that they need and I didn't tell her during my interview that I needed accommodation. She really made it sound like she felt that I'd lied to her. I asked her if this had anything to do with performance, and she said no. I'm well ahead of the goals for how many calls I need to make and how many sales referrals I need to make. Other supervisors and managers had complimented Misty on my work when I had to escalate situations to member relations. She said that she was going to have to talk to the VP of Marketing and HR and get back to me. She made it quite clear that she thought the coop would be willing/able to let me go. I spent an hour plus tonight reading over the ADA page on the EEOC website.(http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html#general ) I didn't go to law school, but I'm reasonably intelligent and from my reading all of this bullshit is completely illegal. I do not have any obligation to inform a prospective employer about accommodations I may need. They chose not to ask me during the interview process. I am clearly capable of performing the essential functions of the job. I am meeting all performance parameters despite the fact that I work fewer hours than others do. I have done nothing remotely inappropriate. I requested accommodations immediately, both verbally and in writing. I feel that I am liked and respected at the office, and given all of the energy that all of these people put into recruiting me, you'd think it would be small potatoes to just give me 2 or 3 extra days off per month. I am mostly certain that there is no legal way for them to terminate my employment without getting sued for wrongful termination. Nevertheless, I am nervous. Has anyone else dealt with anything like this before? The coop is a smaller company than those I've worked for in the past, but they are large enough to be subject to FMLA and the ADA. How do I handle this? Do I need to have legal counsel write me a letter (one of my college pals might do it as a favor), or do I just plead my case to HR and hope I come out on top? I don't know what comes next. I don't know what I'm doing. Up until this afternoon I felt like the luckiest person alive to be able to find a job that is something that I'm good at for few enough hours to keep me sane. I love my job. I love going to work. I love feeling productive. Today I made a SICK excel spreadsheet and it was so fucking rewarding. I really don't want to lose my job. Thoughts, suggestions, ideas, all welcome.
  3. I have a dilemma: My boyfriend wants me to work, but I'm in school full time, schizophrenic, and my psychiatrist thinks working is a really bad idea. In fact, she said she was upset with me that I was considering working again, because every time I do, it triggers psychotic symptoms. I need to work. I need the money, even though I have disability. Or at least that's what my boyfriend insists. I don't know if I should resent him for pushing me (when I've explained what my doctor said), or push myself harder to succeed in employment. Any suggestions? Experiences? -utherwerldgerl
  4. Hi I don't really know if I am posting in the right place. So modificators, feel free to move, thanks. Hmm so I have a big problem with identity. It's like, I don't have any hopes and dreams, or knowledge of what I like or whatever. Even if I did, I don't know how it'd relate to getting a job or what job field to go in. So my question is, is there any advice service that can help with this? Or something? I feel like recruitment agencies are only a big parade leading to them doing what I could do anyway for free. I hate my current job with a passion, I hear people laugh uncomfortably when I tell them I spent 50 hours a week wishing I were dead (at least), but it's not a joke (travelling time is ideation time, if I'm not asleep). Don't tell anyone, but my current job makes me dissociate (maybe), and I cry a lot (it's dumb), and have nosebleeds (it never happened before, and I'm pretty sure I haven't been near any radioactive waste recently). I'm good at being sober in general, but the only way I feel like I can face work is being high off my ass or drunk as hell. All my good qualities are neglected. I'm losing my integrity. I'm really, really overqualified. I make people laugh so much. There's a good relationship with other workers because it sucks, but really all their lives are about is, how shitfaced they got on Saturday/Sunday/Wednesday night. I take a razor to work a lot. I don't use it because that would be unhygienic but sometimes I just contemplate it. I want to move. I mean, I'll take a decent job in any country in the world.
  5. I'm stuck in a relatively provincial psychiatry practice. I've tried several physicians within the same practice. I'm slated to try a new one at the beginning of next month. I tried transferring out to a different practice entirely but was told they're not taking new patients. My current treatment regimen is not working. I just lost my job because of illness-related attendance. I am racking up thousands of dollars in medical debt that I cannot pay. I sat across from my physician and told her that I was going to lose my job if something didn't change, but she offered no solutions, indeed she did something counterproductive. She cut my eleven-year benzodiazepine dose suddenly and without explanation, cutting it by a third, rather than tapering it incrementally. My anxiety is already heightened by the flux in which I find my life right now. I don't feel like I have a healthcare team. They feel like dead weight, or worse, like an adversarial force. It's as though I've been treating myself for over a decade, employing their signatures, and only recently did they begin to balk at my suggestions for treatment. I would welcome actually having a person with medical expertise at the helm, but the treatment regimen the putative experts have produced isn't working, and I need to hear alternative solutions. I'm hearing nothing, and I feel like my life is unraveling, piece by piece. What do I do when I'm stuck in a relatively small community where it seems like there's no healthcare professional able and willing to help me fight for my life?
  6. I'm supposed to be starting a new job with the Ambulance Service monday, and I just had to fill in a bunch of forms about my health for health screening, and had to include the fact that I've been off sick twice for prolonged amount time before due to my MI. Can they terminate my offer of employment because of this? I just said it was down to stress at work and home. Will they scrutinize me?? Plus, I quit the job before last because I was signed off sick because I was getting bullied by colleagues but then I have had to put the company as a reference because I had to put 5 years worth of employment references. If this comes up, will they ask me about it, or will they just terminate my employment?? I'm freaking out so much, my anxiety is fucking my life right now I want this job so much so I'm so worried about it!!!!!
  7. Last month I wrote a post about losing my job from panic attacks. After a month of searching and preparing, I managed to secure a new job as a website developer for another small company. There are not many options in this city for this type of work, so I really need to make this one last! The deal is that I will be working on a three month contract as a front-end coder to pick up the slack for backed-up projects. I'm confident in my abilities as a developer and I feel like being away from the designing end of things will give me a chance to do something more structured and less stressful than having to squeeze out creativity during a high-anxiety period. If in the next three months I prove myself a worthy investment for the company, my contract will end and I will gain a full time permanent position. The office holds about eight employees, all young women with the exception of one who will be the lead I work under. This will be a first working in a female-dominated environment. I get along fine with people, male or female, so I am not afraid, I just don't know what to expect on that front. I don't know if there is a difference working with mostly women compared to working with men. I am more comfortable working in a semi-private location that is still close to the action of the office. This particular office has no such arrangement. I will be working in a completely open (and small) space so it will be difficult to find a quiet place if I need a break from the noise. My coworkers have been descried as 'close-knit' so it is imperative I fit in and mesh well with the personalities of each person. I need to blend in to the dynamic of the workplace, there is no room to be disconnected or quiet. In order to help combat my fears, I have been to the local mental health clinic for assessment. I was told I was being given 'urgent status' on a waiting list for two group therapies. I was told to expect up to two months to be contacted for one, and a few weeks for the other. I have not heard anything since then. I was not given any further information about the groups or their location, nor was I given contact information. I saw a new doctor recently and he has put in a referral for a psychiatric assessment of my mental state and my current medications (which I know are not working for me right now). Although progress is in the works, I still do not have any form of therapy and my medication is not under control. I am basically floating without any help whatsoever. What I would like to know is how others cope with work. What type of interim solutions are there for people who have no choice but to carry on with a normal life without any aids? Although there may be a little more flexibility at this company because it is small, I will still need to show up every single day (historically a difficult point with me), I will need to be calm in the face of my coworkers, and I will need to be fit to complete my work within given deadlines. I would really like to have anti-anxiety medication to help me while I wait for my psychiatric assessment, but the most recent doctor I have seen did not want to touch my medication himself, and a previous doctor I saw wanted to have my previous health records first (but my previous doctor has a policy against releasing her notes and will not do so). Is there a way to get a prescription, from these doctors or elsewhere, to help me? Any comments are valuable and appreciated!
  8. I work full-time, the same job for the past ten years. I like my job, I want to keep it, and I have to support myself. My daughter in her early twenties lives with me, while she works and goes to college. i've been in inpatient psych 3 times, the last time being in Feb--last month. I am covered under the Family and Medical leave Act, so my job is protected for up to 12 weeks--60 days. The lady in HR tells me I won't lose my job. But, my boss, although supportive about my 3 week long absence for in patient and then PHP, is getting very angry if anything interferes with me working 40 hours a week, now that I am back to work. I had to leave early Friday because of a medicine side-effect and she was angry and said, "It's always something with you." That bothered me a lot. I'm worried about losing my job, in spite of the reassurance from the HR lady. My production is down and I'm just not doing good. I wonder if I went back to work too soon. I don't know what to do. I do have short term disability, but i don't know if I should try to take some time off or not. I always try to white-knuckle it and just force myself to do what I have to do and not let anyone know what is really going on with me, but it seems like, as the years go by, I'm not able to do that when my PTSD and everything else flares up. Are any other people struggling with this? I would love to hear from others who are dealing with these issues too. Thanks!
  9. Seeking advice and suggestions... Background: I haven't worked as a LCSW in over 4 years and was approved for SSDI not long ago. I couldn't work due to my mood instability, PTSD symptoms and anxiety difficulties. I've lead a very sedentary and tranquil lifestyle primarily relaxing, staying a home and going to my tdoc and pdoc on monthly basis. And I would visit my parents 2-3 times a week, go grocery shopping and run a few errands. My stress and anxiety level was at a minimal and, though felt stagnant at times, I was glad I had symptom free days. Unfortunately, my lifestyle has dramatically changed as my dad has decided to retire soon and have me take over my parents' rental property investments. I'm now an only child and no one else is available to do the job. My dad didn't directly ask me if I wanted to take over the business; he just assumed, though warily, I would do so. In the beginning he did make a few comments about being concerned over my mental health. I reluctantly responded that I was capable. As my tdoc suggested, I felt both defensive and obligated. My tdoc also initially suggested I tell my parents I might not be able to do it. This therapist has been with me for almost two years and I value his counsel. A part of me wants to agree with my tdoc but another part of me feels like I could do it. It would be a highly stressful and angst-filled life change; a job that entails many responsibilities and duties. I have had endless sleepless night arguing with myself about whether I could actually handle such a job. My parents are depending on me to carry on their investments. I want to have them proud of me. I know they were heartbroken when I quit my career and went on disability. For the past 6 weeks, I've been shadowing my dad and learning about property management. I wrecked my car back in December and was dependent on him for transportation. Everyday he picked me up and I'd spend the day with him as he went about the duties and taught me the basics. Afterwards, I'd spend a few more hours with him and my mom at their home. My car is almost repaired and eventually I'll have transportation again. In the meantime and afterwards, I am expected to continue to work with my dad and learn more about the job. Even typing the word 'job' is stressful for me at this point. I couldn't do the job I went to graduate school to learn and now I'm expected to do, for me, an extremely difficult one. Lastly, despite the stressors of these lifestyle changes, I'm still symptom free, feeling and coping well and primarily thinking positively. My question to the readers: What would you do? I'm 49yo, divorced with empty nest with elderly parents who have 20 rental properties and want me to continue their investments upon retirement. Thanks in advance for your comments; I appreciate them. ~angel
  10. Probably a stupid question. I've never had any direction career-wise. Other people look at their skills and interests to figure out what jobs/careers are right for them, but I've never been able to come up with a single idea. As far as I am concerned, I have no skills... And, strangely, I don't have any real interests. I have racked my brains for years but no job seems right for me at all. The only thing I know is mental illness.... I've had severe social phobia (possibly bordering on agoraphobia) for years, plus depression, generalized anxiety, and a little OCD. Actually I started out with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which I'm fairly sure I still have. My self-esteem is non-existent; minus zero. I'm in a constant battle with myself. I know how all of it feels, because I've been there. So, I was wondering if maybe my career is staring me in the face? Maybe I should help other girls with poor body image and social anxiety? Could I even do that? I mean, I've got a hell of a long way to go. I'm in CBT, and I still struggle leaving my home. Could I ever be well enough to help others? I know there are lots of different ways someone can work in mental health, so I'm not sure what would be "right" for me, if anything. I live in the UK.
  11. How do you deal with job hunting when you know you're not well enough to deal with making and keeping appointments, dealing with people, etc. - in other words, you know you'll do a crappy job if you even get it? I was kinda muscled out of leaving my old job because of health issues in April and had a healthy freelance career, then I planned to take a few months off to focus on my health and it all went to crap. I'd saved enough for a few months, but then I slept September and October away. Until 2 weeks ago I still thought it was summer. I'm getting toward the end of what I'd saved, and I'm just not well. I have a plan to get there - thankfully I spent so much on healthcare this year I have $225 till I meet my out of pocket insurance expenses, so tomorrow I start 5 day a week partial hospitalization then will transition to a 3 day a week half day outpatient program. But I know I either need to search for a job or clients for my freelancing. But I don't have the will in me to work right now. And I love my work. There's a good amount of it out there, even. I just can't focus/concentrate/stay awake. I feel like a rock attached to my bed. Even if I got a job right now I know it'd be a week before I'd need to call in sick or schedule an emergency doctor appointment with my psychiatrist. How do you push through this?
  12. This is an education-related post technically, but I'm posting it in the employment forums for a reason. One being that I did my BS degree in 2004, and a combination of physical and mental illnesses rendered me... get this... "unemployable" by 2009. Not kidding; I basically got kicked out of a scientific recruiting office back in 2009 due to not having worked since 2007. Lesson learned from that? Don't get sick, mentally or physically, especially in a labor market depression like we're having now. Well okay, that's not practical for any of us, is it now? So I did what any rational guy would do. I applied to a Master's degree program at the local university town, got in, and am about to complete it (3 weeks left!). My Master's degree is going to be in Information Sciences, which is roughly where Computer Science, Sociology, English Literature, and Mathematics meet. Yes, they do meet. As a nod to my Biology major in my BS degree, I am doing the "chemical information" specialization offered within my Master's degree. But then, I went through lots and lots of job interviews. One would think that after having proved oneself by going through the work involved in a Master's degree (and the one I did is known for being particularly time-consuming, work-intensive, and difficult), that it would prove one's employability. Not the case, apparently, as I just wasn't employable enough compared to my peers, all of whom had no "job gap". Many of these peers also had less job experience than I did. It's just that companies will rather hire someone with no background rather than someone with an existing but slightly risky background. If by risky, I mean "has gotten ill once". </rant> So again, I did what any rational guy would do. I applied to... get this, the ultimate measure of despair... PhD programs. And got into one. With a paycheck (!). (This invalidates an informal rule I made up a few months ago, mainly that I am not allowed to receive money... obviously I was wrong!). It barely pays a living wage and requires me to spend 80+ hours a week either in class or working, though. However, it's in a field that I (and probably a lot of us here on CB) are passionate about: Health Informatics. Which, for those who don't know, is roughly a cross between biomedical studies, computer science, sociology, and mathematics. Almost the same as Information Sciences, but oriented towards medicine. Appropriate for me since I once wanted to be a physician myself, but that didn't work out due to physical and mental issues. I'm expecting to finish the PhD coursework by 2016 (when I will be the tender young age of 32). Official graduation (which requires thesis and some things comparable more to a complicated hazing ritual) would be later. But the real endpoint of this is -- will it result in eventual financial solvency for me? The master's degree I did obviously did not achieve this endpoint as I had expected it to. Maybe the PhD will, as I will be doing it at a reasonably esteemed program that has network connections to several big players in health care and pharmaceuticals (the very entities that deliver our psychiatry consultancies and meds!). Anyways, bleh. Sorry for the rant. I would like to hear others' stories about taking advanced education when employment wasn't an option, and what the outcome was... and any advice for someone entering a graduate health sciences program.
  13. The American way of life is to work 40+ hours and to do so for many years in order to have a descent retirement/health care plan. So what about someone like me? I havent been able to stay at a job longer than 3 years, and that was over 10 years ago! I am a single mother who has to pay childcare during breaks from school, and with no degree I am paying out about half my earnings to childcare. Recently diagnosed with bipolar about 4 years ago, Ive had the most manic episodes over the past 5 years than I ever had. I have great trouble keeping a job due to stressors. My most recent job, working as a deli clerk in a health food store started out wonderful, and ended up with me putting in my one months notice due to a need for surgery, and them telling me not to come in anymore because I am a liability.I should mention that I also have numerous herniated discs throughout my neck and back, mild scoliosis and cervical kyphosis (straight-neck). So I am dealing with mental disability as well as physical disability. The problem for me is Ive applied numerous times for ssdi and been denied. I applied again at the urging of my counselor, but I cant get over feeling like I should be able to achieve The American Way of life. My bf is non-supportive of my diagnosis, and I have no one else to support me. When I say no one, I mean NO ONE. I dont speak to my mentally ill adoptive family, rarely speak to my birth-mom who thinks I need to pray to solve my problems, and just recently lost a 23 year friendship over religious differences (her Christain decision, Not mine) So here I am once again, unemployed, applied for ssdi and wondering what to do next????
  14. If the quote unquote normal are having difficulty in today's sped up, uncaring workplace ... what about we with psychiatric disabilities? The idea that there is somehow the "right" job just waiting for us out there borders on being a sick joke. Sadly our insulated would be advocates simply don't get it. Our elected representatives really don't get it. The relentless drive for efficiency at U.S. companies has created a new harshness in the workplace. In their zeal to make sure that not a minute of time is wasted, companies are imposing rigorous performance quotas, forcing many people to put in extra hours, paid or not. Video cameras and software keep tabs on worker performance, tracking their computer keystrokes and the time spent on each customer service call. Employers once wanted long-term relationships with their workers. At many companies, that's no longer the case. Businesses are asking employees to work harder without providing the kinds of rewards, financial and psychological, that were once routine. Employers figure that if some people quit, there are plenty of others looking for jobs. “Wages are stagnant, jobs are less secure, work is more intense — it's a much tougher world,” said Paul Osterman, co-director of the MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research. “Employers have become much more aggressive about restructuring work in ways that push for higher levels of productivity.” As employers push efficiency, the daily grind wears down workers
  15. Hi there. I am a clinical social worker by training but unemployed at present due to recent work situation in which I was the whistleblower (on client abuse by a supervisor, which was in turn covered up). The incidents, the whistleblowing itself, and the backlash it created triggered my PTSD so severely, that I had to quit (without proper notice) for my own sanity and self-preservation. (You can read that thread here.) I did the "right" thing by my clients by reporting the behavior, and the "right" thing for myself by protecting my mental health and quitting. However, it feels like the WRONG thing because a.) he got away with it, b.) I am not allowed to tell the truth, c.) my self-esteem and mental health has suffered in other ways due to this, and d.) I do believe this has ruined my career and my job prospects. I desperately need money (literally living on credit cards and paying the minimums with withdrawals from my Roth IRA, on food stamps, no family support) and cannot wait any longer for OVR (office of voc rehab) to finish their bureaucratic process and fund their services for me. I am capable of doing some kind of social work positions (especially if I know it is a stop-gap while I prepare to go back to school), in certain settings that have no risk of contact with this former agency, so I have been applying for those on a case-by-case basis. I have just recently decided to go ahead and start applying for administrative assistant/ receptionist type jobs (which is what my OVR service plan states will be my "goal" or targeted job-type.) Thus far, I have been leaving the "whistleblown" job off my resume and applications. I was only there for 9 weeks, so it's not like it's creating such a huge additional gap on my resume. What's the difference between being unemployed since July or unemployed since May? Either way, I have to explain the employment gap. However, I'm not sure if it's legal to do that on a job application (resumes are considering marketing tools, can leave off stuff, but employment apps are legal documents.) Reasons for leaving it off: -I cannot discuss that job without getting upset -I cannot discuss why I left that job because you aren't supposed to bad mouth former employers in interviews, and anything else less than the truth makes me like a total flake (i.e. I can't say I left for a better job) -I fear retaliation from the past employer when they are called for employment verification. The director got to "punish" the other whistleblower by forcing him to write an apology letter to the abuser to prevent himself from getting fired, but he never got to "punish" me. He can "punish" me now by saying whatever he wants about me, and I wouldn't put it past him. It's such a small place that there is no HR person or HR department-- his secretary handles HR matters. -No one wants to hire a whisteblower, a "rumor starter," or an "unstable person." Even if I don't mention whistleblowing, or anything like that, the past employer could mention it-- that I "started a terrible rumor about a respected employee and left abruptly without notice." -If I did mention, or even suggest, that I left because of concern about unethical behavior (or anything along those lines.... without mentioning whistleblowing), I'm afraid it could get back to the past employer and I could be sued for slander. (This is a bigger fear with a social work job, especially within my niche, than an admin job because people know people who know people in the field. I live in a big city, but the SW/treatment community is fairly small.) Reasons for putting it on: -I'm afraid that someone will somehow find out about it and that I omitted it from my application, and I'll get fired. -That is my main reason, but secondary to that is guilt/shame about lying (which is not because I feel it is inherently morally wrong to omit this information in this circumstance, but because 1. my mother, due to her Christian values, is trying to make me feel bad about it, and 2. I fear getting caught. Note: I actually feel guilty and ashamed going with either option because being "punished" for being the whistleblower, whether through me sticking around to "get what was coming to me" like my coworker did, through it being difficult to find a job after the fact, or through retaliation and job-search sabotage after the fact-- it makes you feel like you did something wrong even though you know you did what you were ethically bound to do by your profession's code of ethics (and possibly even legally bound to do by virtue of your licensure.) Guys, I know I don't post on here very much. I'm not sure if you even remember my original post on the topic. But, I am really really struggling with what to do on this. Disclose the job? Or pretend it never happened? Some thoughts, opinions, input, words of encouragement, etc would be greatly welcome. Thanks!
  16. I have worked for a restaurant for a good while now, after taking a few year hiatus to solve up a substance abuse problem. I was diagnosed bipolar type II with borderline personality disorder (amongst other things). I take medication, and have not truly had outbursts at work, (just small 'spazzes' as my coworkers say, but everyone tends to have those) however I know if i push my limit it's very probable. The limit got pushed after the hurricane here in NJ, and our job was one of the only places with power. I worked into overtime of non-stop stressful work, and had a panic attack on a sunday, I kept working though, even if I couldn't wait on the tables, I still stayed and helped out until it passed. I had been out of medicine for two days because the doctors office had no power for me to call in a refill. Then on the following friday, I cracked. I had an emotional outburst that came out on the managers, however did not effect the customers, in fact I got compliments from guests that night. I am currently suspended, and now possible termination? I have always been extremely reliable, a very hard worker, and go to regular 12 step meetings in order to keep some sense of peace in my life (after years of therapy and inpatients/outpatients)… I couldn't even get to my meetings because some of the places were destroyed and others didn't have power, and I explained to them that that is a crucial part to my mental health. The managers on my case are new to the company, and have no idea of my past or these conditions or my dedication to the company, yet are seeking possible termination. Is this completely legal? What if I was to ever have another outburst again, because I can't promise that it won't happen I can't control them once they start, they just have to pass. I think that what hurts the most is they know we were all overworked and overstressed and given the circumstances, I can't believe they're giving me such a hard time, even if I was carrying on like a baby that night lol. When they open that big fat bonus check for our record-breaking sales week, I hope they realize I was there every day for them when they asked me to be. Basically, long story short, I was just wondering if there's any action I can take or did me letting my emotions get the better of me really jeapordize my job?
  17. I have to be as minimally descriptive as possible, but I highly doubt the person in question knows the least bit about CB. I am a therapist at an OP substance abuse treatment program. I learned information yesterday from a client about a supervisor (not my supervisor but in a higher position than me) engaging in a number of unethical behaviors, including sexual abuse/coercion of female clients (this one being my client). This client is trustworthy and has no ax to grind with the man. I had already found it to be a potential conflict of interest (and a violation of corporate compliance) that this guy owns a series of "sober living houses" in the community, and that some of his residents are clients of the program. He is also the intake coordinator, so he has complete control over whether these individuals get admitted into services, and he oversees the supervision of about half the therapists (so essentially oversees the treatment of 5 caseloads of people, which amounts to about 200 clients). I thought this was highly questionable, and I mentioned it in passing to a colleague that I trust. He said, "You don't know the half of it" and left it at that. Well, the info I found out yesterday was the "half of it". I consulted with my colleague in private, who is licensed in the same field as me so is bound by the same ethical guidelines, and he told me that several of his female clients have come forward, separately and at different points of time, to him and disclosed similar situations with the promise that their name not be revealed to anyone. Basically, when female clients can't afford their rent (and he takes them in right off the street, before they have welfare benefits, employment, or anything), he demands payment through sexual favors or threatens them with eviction. (Males in that situation are required to do work at one of the many private rental properties he owns, which is again a conflict of interest if these are male clients of our agency). My colleague has tried over the past 2 years (during the course of his employment) to bring this to the attention of the clinical coordinator (who is our boss) and the agency director (our boss's boss), both of whom have said they believe this is going on but without any of the women (or men) being willing to come forward there is little they can do because they are afraid this guy will sue him. The women this has happened to tend to have a hx of prostitution and sexual victimization and fear this history will be exposed, he has made threats, and even without that many people with addiction histories struggle with the concept of being "snitches." This man apparently has a litiginous history, he definitely has a criminal history and gang history (my work is big on hiring people in recovery which often means people with recordes), and implied to me during my orientation (not sure if joking or not) that he was one of the "higher ups" in the gang and had ordered people killed. So, anyhoo, my boss was out yesterday and today, and I was very afraid of this being swept under the rug and concerned about the ongoing welfare of these clients and any other vulnerable people he interacts with. After work yesterday, I called the corporate compliance hotline, anonymously, on my agency and on this supervisor. My colleague did the same. The report goes to the corporate compliance office, who is the admin assistant to the director. It takes 24 hours for the report to be received. Well, I think mine was received today (and the other one tomorrow), things are highly tense, and the director is assuming its my coworker who called and he's being extremely passive aggressive toward him. I still have to talk about some of this stuff, at least at a clinical level, with my supervisor, and of course, I legally and ethically have to document what was told to me, so it would be damn easy to figure out that I also made a call. This is also coming a week after I "accidentally" (impulsively, emotionally-driven) disclosed my PTSD hx (but not the nature of my traumas) to my supervisor, during supervision. So needless to say, even though there "whistleblower protection" laws, and they aren't legally allowed to ask, with a staff of 34 and only 10 therapists, they could very likely figure out who did this. I have never done anything like this (I am usually timid and passive), and I am freaking out. I felt I had to do what I did, that acted in good faith, that I followed my code of ethics, and that I got good advice in doing what I did. (It was also a little PTSD driven, as an abuse survivor myself who is repulsed by that behavior, but I had good reality testing.) I am still on my probationary period, so I can be let go for any reason. If let go, this would be the 3rd job within a year that I had to leave due to a combination of shady work shit and my PTSD. My PTSD is already triggered by a number of things, but now it is SO MUCH WORSE. I need a job to survive-- I am still recovering financially from having to take an unpaid LOA for PTSD/MI reasons from my last job from Jan to May (from which I was terminated). However, I don't know if I can handle being around this individual and not freaking out, wanting to die, wanting to purge, having a panic attack, bursting into tears, etc. It's hard enough to listen to others' trauma, which I can generally manage and freak out later if I have to. But being exposed to a perpetrator who is being protected by an agency that is working hard to portray itself as "trauma-informed" is repugnant. I don't know what to do or how to cope. I don't even know if I did the right thing, but I guess it's too late for that. Help?
  18. Last Friday after a staff meeting, I asked one of my supervisors, K, if we could speak in private. She agreed, we went outside, and I told her that I have bipolar disorder, I've been feeling a bit unstable, and I needed to take a couple of days off to possibly be evaluated at the hospital. I let her know that I would be back on Tuesday unless I told her otherwise and she said that was fine. On Sunday, I found out from my lead staff that after K talked to me, she first went to the lead staff, M, and asked, "Did you know about this?" M, who I am friends with, said she was aware I'd been having some personal issues and may need to take some time off. The two of them walked into the office where K's supervisor, L, was, and K told her, "[My name] is going to be gone for the next few days." L asked why and K replied, in front of M, "She is bipolar and needs to go to the hospital." I am livid. Clearly this is a breach of my confidentiality - I gave K personal medical information and she immediately passed that information along to M and L without my knowledge or permission. I took this case to HR, and requested that I get a written apology from K, as well as a meeting with the interested parties to discuss the situation and corrective action taken towards K. The HR person, C, said corrective action would be taken, I would get a verbal apology, and I could have my meeting - although he requested that M not be there for fear of "perpetuating the situation". We have gone back and forth several times through e-mail with me asking for the written apology, even agreeing to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and him refusing. Finally I told him I have a written statement from M about what happened, would prefer for all correspondence between us take place through e-mail to ensure documentation of what is being said, and that I would be calling a lawyer. My question is, what are my rights regarding this situation? Who can I go to for further information about what action to take next? I feel extremely violated and I know that what K broke at least one law. Does anyone have information regarding the laws and who to contact? I live in Arizona. Thank you!
  19. A year and a half ago I was at a low point in my life and turned to one of the oldest professions there is. I know at the time I justified it to myself saying I had no other options, I felt I had noone to turn to for support. The money was great but I couldn't deal with all the deception in my life and had to stop. Although it was hard to explain the gap in my CV I have managed to get a job and I am trying to sort my life out. Sometimes I can banish the thoughts but I get bad mood swings and at night I can't sleep and I imagine if anyone found out what I had done. Also I dragged a friend into it with me and she became a drug addict. She has never been the same and I feel responsible for her getting into it in the first place. I so badly want to move on with my life and get to a better place. I never want to go back to using my body like that to make a living. It does feel good to write it down.
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