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Catnapper

I'm so upset - just been put on 60 day probation at work - bipolar depression sucks!

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Posted (edited)

I'm sitting here crying my eyes out - I just had a voice-only meeting with my boss and the HR rep (thank god it wasn't in person) about all the time I missed last year, and how my work wasn't getting done. I am now most of the way out of the worst depressive episode I've ever had thanks to ECT, but last year at work was terrible. In hindsight I should have started the medical leave that I just finished a lot sooner. 

I work for a great company because most places would have fired me a long time ago, but it turns out my boss has been keeping a written record on me since maybe March of last year, without mentioning it to me until today. So I have 60 days to get my shit together.

ECT has been postponed due to coronavirus, but luckily I was only one treatment short of my index series. For those who don't know, in the beginning of ECT you have two to three treatments a week for a total of 12 or so treatments, and perhaps maintenance monthly or so after that. I feel I'm slipping, I see my pdoc every week and he is contacting the ECT program to see if I can get started back. Right now it's only through admission to the ER, and then they might give you ECT.

I'm just so upset. I live alone, and the only money I'll ever have is what I bring in myself. Goddamn how I hate this stupid fucking disease!!!

Edited by Catnapper
{edited for typos}

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I’m sorry you have that to deal with. I’ve been through bipolar depression and it’s not like you can just stop it at will. I hope you can keep your job. Don’t know where you live, are there disability protections maybe?  I agree, bipolar sucks. 

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Are you sure they're not trying to fire you for taking too much medical leave?  A place I worked really loved to do that until they got sued too much because they were too large.  I assume you're under US law if you're in the Baptist South; I'm pretty sure that firing you for taking medical leave is super illegal...  I'm not sure if they're firing you for just the leave, but it kind of sounds like they're really getting into all kinds of legal liability territory that I know very little about, just that this sounds super iffy, but unfortunately common.  

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41 minutes ago, Banana Smurf said:

Are you sure they're not trying to fire you for taking too much medical leave?  A place I worked really loved to do that until they got sued too much because they were too large.  I assume you're under US law if you're in the Baptist South; I'm pretty sure that firing you for taking medical leave is super illegal...  I'm not sure if they're firing you for just the leave, but it kind of sounds like they're really getting into all kinds of legal liability territory that I know very little about, just that this sounds super iffy, but unfortunately common.  

 Yes, I'm sure they're trying to fire me. But since it's a huge multi-national corporation, I assume they have an HR manual with 1,000 pages of procedures they have to follow first before they give me the boot. 

It's freaking me out more than it normally would because I'll be 61 in June, and I don't have a college degree, and I have a job that usually requires an advanced degree. But it sounds like I have a job for the next 60 days, which considering the coronavirus economic crisis, is something to be thankful for. 

 

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I'm sorry you're going through this, it sounds incredibly stressful. The situation doesn't sound right to me either - especially if your job performance is fine when you're not sick.

Any good labor attorney will give you a free consultation; it might not be a bad idea to get in touch with one and explain your situation, see what they have to say.

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I’ve also heard of people getting their pdoc involved as a way to “certify” that this was a necessary response to a chronic illness 

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I'm so sorry you're dealing with this with everything going on right now! I have lived exactly what you're going through (except I was 51 at the time), and can relay from experience that the very next thing you need to look into is federal job protection through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If you qualify, it has the weight of federal law in protecting your job (tho not your wages). Please take a look at https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/benefits-leave/fmla , and I wish the very best for you.

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I'm sorry Catnapper.  That's so upsetting, and I was in a similar situation at my last job.  It makes me nervous for my new one.  I hope I won't get to that point.  I felt numb and like a fuck up all at once.  I hope you can get through this.

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you are very brave

trying to work and having ECT, that is just a lot to handle and on your own

sending you hugs and support

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Thank you all for your replies. After a few more meetings at work (remotely), I feel better about my situation. Since I was off on medical leave at the end of last year, I didn't complete the employee part of my performance evaluation, so I got the worst possible rating, which resulted in zero bonus for me. My boss and I met last week (without HR) to do our belated end-of-year review, and set goals for this year. Our meeting went a lot better than I expected, and he said (and I believe him, he's a good guy), that if he'd known a bad rating would have resulted in zero bonus, he would have spoken up for me.

Since I got a good mid-year evaluation last year, I said I didn't think it was right that I should get no bonus at all, and my boss agreed, and agreed to bring it up with HR. That left me feeling a lot better about things, because I assume if they were going through all this just to check off all the procedural boxes before  they fire me, the meetings would be as short as possible and my boss would have no interest in pursuing my bonus.

They may still fire me, or course, and if they decide to do furloughs or layoffs, I'm sure I'll be at the top of the list, but whatever, I can't worry about it anymore. It just stresses me out, and as the old saying goes, those who worry suffer twice.

As far as FMLA, I used up last year's (it's good for 12 weeks), and have already used up this year's allotment as well. I spoke with an employment lawyer last year and her take on things was that because it's "employment at will", I don't stand much of a chance if they cut me loose, and the best I could hope for would be an enhanced severance package. So for now, that also falls under things that I'm going to try like hell not to worry about. 

I just finished week three of work after returning from my medical leave, and I'm doing okay, and managing to keep up. Hopefully I can resume maintenance ECT in the near future, and in the meantime my pdoc, who I also see weekly for therapy, has added Viibryd to my cocktail. I'm very thankful I have a job at all at this point, both because of the current economic situation and my past (lack of) performance.

And I'm really glad I have this board to come and sort things out to prevent me from getting trapped only in my head.

Edited by Catnapper
{edited to update FMLA info}
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