View Full Version : ADHD & a workplace situation

07-22-16, 03:33 AM
Yesterday I had my worst day at work so far. I am doing this new project.. my first project at this new company, which is the first serious job I have. So, lot's to learn. My colleague, who was very happy with me last week, he even called my boss to tell him that, so my boss told me again and it was all very nice. However, yesterday morning he suddenly started to act very negative towards me. He seemed to be afraid that my progress was not accelerating enough after seeing my work from Friday afternoon 14.30 -17.00. He said that first thing in the morning, and I said "ok, I thought I was perfectly on schedule, but sure, I can accelerate it. Thanks for letting me know". I didn't like the way he said it, but I I thought it was great that he let me know.

So, after hearing that I greatly increased my work speed, focussing totally on my work and getting a lot done, despite the fact that I found it especially hard that day to keep focus, I still did manage to do an exceptional amount of work. However, he kept making snarky comments towards me, kept pressurizing me, and this made me feel quite bad. Despite of that, because there were customers there and because I got emotional (inside), I found it hard to tell him (I tend to shut down). But still I kept working. In the late afternoon I had enough, and when he went to the coffee machine I followed him, so I could have a talk with him. I told him that I was extremely productive that day, that he can check my work for myself, and that I did not like the way he was treating me. He asked me why I had trouble with some simple things. I said that I found it hard to concentrate. Well, I tried to avoid it, but he kept asking, so I told him I had ADHD. He was the first one I told and I had not decided that I wanted to tell at all, especially not in a situation like that. But anyways, he suddenly changed his attitude, and said "why did you not tell this before?". I said that there are plenty of reasons for that, that in an ideal world it may be very nice if you could just say it, but that it can be bad for your position in some places and you never know how someone will respond. I also said that I did not want to play the victim and that I wanted to me judged by the same standards as others, and that I saw it as my responsibility to deal with it and that it was going fine. He told me that his brother also had ADHD, so that he understood that some things work differently for people with ADHD, like taking instructions. He said that I should ask any questions if I wanted. I like that of course, but I also remember that he responded very negative to a lot of my genuine questions, that he said things like "come on, don't you know how that works?!".

I am going to work now and I hope that this day is better, that I am able to work as good as yesterday but now get a bit of respect from him.

And I hope that telling him won't lead to negative consequences, that I can trust him with that. He is not such a bad guy, I actually respect him a lot and he can be very nice and supportive, he has good work ethics, a lot of knowledge. But I definitely didn't like him yesterday. His communication methods yesterday were far from ideal; a good colleague (especially in a supervisor role) doesn't bully his colleague all the time to accomplish his goals, he mainly does this by giving positive encouragement.

A bigger question that I have is how I will deal with later. I am doubting whether I should tell my boss now that he knows. Fortunately, I am quite sure that my boss will take it well, but still it's risky.

Please let me know what you think. How can I deal with this?

07-22-16, 05:57 AM
Have you told him to.keep it to himself?

I think it's seriously ****ty that essentially he forced you to divulge a piece of information that you didn't want to share.

Also if you were being productive then the reason for your problems yesterday was not adhd but this guy being unreasonable.

I don't know to be honest what to do now. I'd consider speaking to your boss just so that you don't need to feel that because this other guy now knows he has some kind of power over you.

07-22-16, 06:17 AM
First of all you handled this beautifully;

You might want to say something to your boss now (briefly and without blaming the other guy for being so unpleasant :eyebrow: ) because if this guy jumps in and for example makes a remark in front of your boss it could be really undermining.

07-27-16, 02:26 PM
Thanks stef and Fuzzy!

@Fuzzy - Well, it was a combination of us both not communicating very well. I was not having a hard time focussing, but I also got emotional inside because of everything that they and I found it hard to express myself. I was focussing all my energies on being productive. But yeah, he also made some mistakes in his communication, he was just throwing his frustration on me all day, and not in a respectful way.

I will talk with my boss when he is back from his vacation (coming Monday). I have already told my colleague that I will do this. I don't think it's a good idea to bring up this situation, or anything about this colleague. I will focus on communicating what it means that I have ADHD well. I will present it as it is; that it does not limit me in my functioning in my work, but that I want him to know it, because it is good to take this into account, because there may be some specific situations where it may be necessary to know it so problems can be avoided, for example when giving instructions. I will tell him that I will never use it as an excuse, but that it is my responsibility to make sure that I function well. And I will stress the benefits, that I have had many situations during which it was useful to have it, and that it could be a useful for him to know so he has more information on where and how I could do the best job.

What do you think of this? Is this the right way to say it? Am I missing anything?

07-27-16, 03:00 PM
Sounds good to me Jacksper.

I agree with others too. You've told one coworker already and so may be better off telling your boss.

I think you may end up better off this way anyway. I know most people say not to disclose ever but I don't think it's really true for everyone and you may just be one of the minority who benefits from disclosure.

You're someone that's probably going to do an exceptional job if they communication properly and give you any accommodations you need. I didn't get the impression your ADHD symptoms makes you less likeable to others and in general, you seem an easy to like person. Plus your skills seem to be in very high demand so if this job doesn't work out, you can find another.

My only concern would be if this info got out to other companies as well and if you ever needed a job, they wouldn't even consider you cause of your adhd. But you did seem in high demand so perhaps, that's not an issue.

08-14-16, 02:12 PM
Thanks acdc01! Great advice, and thanks for your positive words/compliments! :)

I told my boss about my adhd and I just explained it a bit (not in too much detail), I mentioned some things that I found challenging, but that he should not expect a lot of problems, because I see it as my responsibility to do a good job and also to take my personal development seriously. I said that I just wanted him to know it, and that I will never use it as an excuse and that he does not have to do anything.

So, I am not sure if it was useful, because basically nothing changes :P. But it gives me some peace of mind that he knows. He is the one who guides me in this work and arranges projects for me to work on, and so it can be useful to have more conversations about this in the future. It's easier to do this together than completely by myself, although in practice it still means that I do almost everything, but his advice can be useful.

His son also has ADHD, I think that was helpful in the conversation. He already understood what it is.

08-31-16, 02:32 PM
Great story!! Good job! Do you take anything?