View Full Version : Mentioning ADD / ADHD to an employer


BadHire
04-26-04, 09:26 PM
Has anyone out there mentioned their ADHD to an employer and if so, what was the reaction? Thanx

FightingBoredom
04-26-04, 09:41 PM
Where do you work or what is it that you do?
Why do you feel you should tell your employer?

OK, I was fired in 1998 for ADD related stuff. On the advice of my Psychiatrist I did not tell my employer. Biggest mistake I ever made! To the tune of probably 7 figures!

Another employer in 2000, actually I proved this one VP was an idiot (not a smart political move!), and I TOLD them I had ADD while the dust was flying. Of course, I got fired there too. But we had a nice little settlement after.

Now I tell HR at EVERY employer and they are legally bound to keep it confidential if I ask them to. There is a lot to it and the ADA details are pretty deep but I would formally notify your HR dept. if you feel your job may be in jeapordy. I would notify them either way actually. Any professional HR person will react with empathy and complete support.
Don't tell your manager because they have no idea what the law is regarding ADA and have no clue what ADD is unless THEY have it too.

BadHire
05-02-04, 03:03 AM
Originally posted by FightingBoredom
Where do you work or what is it that you do?
Why do you feel you should tell your employer?


I'm a computer programmer at an investment management firm.

I haven't been there long at all (< 6 months) and my troubles there actually led to getting dx'ed.

The reason I decided to tell them was to buy some time, as things were going into the crapper very quickly and I just didn't know what the heck else to do.


The work is dull, requires an incredible amount of multi-tasking, and is subject to an astoundingly wide range of distractions.

I've been programming though for ages and the troubles I've had at this job really, really threw me. But it's probably for the reasons outlined above which I've only recently recognized.

Oni Hebi
05-02-04, 08:49 AM
I told my manager so that I could get some leeway if I screw up. It's a plausible explination as to why you sometimes forget something simple. I also mentioned to him the anxiety because I notice my mood change inside sometimes. Always have the game face on though. I made it clear that it was between us and that if the disorders did cause problems I would take care of things.

Ken

apcpapergirl
05-02-04, 08:58 AM
I am a manager where I work & we definitely don't hold any form of illness against an employee. It is sometimes better to let a manager know, so they can take that into consideration.

citruscat2002
05-02-04, 06:14 PM
This is exactly what happened to me. I had screwed up on the same stupid minute detail to the point where I would have been fired except I had just begged a note from my MD to go on stress leave.
I decided to quit when my leave was over (with another dr's note saying my job was "too emotionally draining").
I did let my manager know a year prior to this, but this fact apparently didn't register or wasn't acceptable.
I'm now going to re-train. Hopefully work for myself - with a fool for a boss:confused:
Me - round peg
Them - square hole
So now I'm looking for ideas. What about of ADD thinktank where we get to charge big bucks for our originality and creative solutions to problems?
Maybe we could hire a couple of non-ADD types to do all the boring stuff.
Pauline

GOLDILOCKS
07-02-04, 06:11 PM
I wonder if there are police officers out there with ADULT ADHD....

NOW, I know why I was making such simple (and seemingly STUPID) mistakes, had a hard time with my reports, etc.

Anyone know any officers w/this?

Andi
07-02-04, 07:57 PM
Now, I didn't get "released" for ADHD but I was let go following my run in with Bipolar symptoms and medicine adjustments. Even though I let them know what was going on, it wasn't acceptable...and mind you folks, this was a Christian university. I understand that there were rights that were violated but trust me, it was time to go. I guess my response to this thread is that no matter who you tell it's your trust in the institution that will make the difference and please...PLEASE make sure you document everything. If all else fails remember to have documented proof.

ChaosTheory
07-02-04, 08:01 PM
Citrus,

How long were you able to stay out on sick leave??

I've been having problems to. It's causing stress that's causing horrible migraines that I just can't seem to get rid of.

irish guy
07-02-04, 08:06 PM
I told my last employer and then was put in position in which i had to quit. Recently I filled out an application that asked if i was disabled and i checked yes.

ChemicalMethod
07-31-04, 11:30 PM
I told my boss at work and i found out shes manic and that they knew i had ahdh before i came out with it.

fasttalkingmom
08-01-04, 08:06 AM
No way ! To many people have other ideas of what ADD is so I think I'd be asking for trouble if I said anything.......

mctavish23
08-01-04, 11:54 AM
I would think that the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA),as a federal civil rights law, would provide a measure of protection. However, your employer must know of the condition before hand.

Energizer_Bunny
08-05-04, 06:24 PM
My employeers know. My boss is rather ignorant on the topic, however, with my superivsor it has helped us both. If I do not understand something, with both of us working together, we have found ways to make sure that I understand what he is trying to get across. He knows that sometimes we need to draw out a picture, or I have to let him physically see what I am talking about or that I have to repeat back to him what he has said in my own words.

If I have problems in communicating to another employee concerning processes and procedures, there are occasions, I back down and don't speak up, so I use my supervisor as a sounding board. My points are usually clear and my idea of the processes are usually correct, so in order to get the point across a email goes out to all team members that may be involved.

When my tourettes gets bad.........and he understands this......If I need quiet time, I am allowed to close my door for a few minutes to regroup. All I do is pop him an email and let him know what is going on, and I stick a sign on the door stating that the door is closed for medical reasons.

In my case of an understanding supervisor, letting him know has been for the best.

Unbalanced
08-12-04, 05:02 AM
I told my boss the minute I found out myself, it explained so much. She had, from day one almost, to page me in the morning to find out why the heck I wasn't at work yet. She babied me to the extent I jokingly called her "Mom" on occasion. Also, unfortunately to the extent that co-workers became resentful of what they saw as special attention and tolerance of what was perceived by them as slacking. Fortunately, many of the aspects of my work cause me to hyper-focus on tasks which makes me seem like a juggernaut of determination. I was able to solve many problems which had been labled impossible, and my boss doesn't see the ADD as a drawback since therefrom springs my unique abilities. Of course, if given something to do that doesn't trigger the hyperfocus by being uniquely interesting I could easily forget the time and watch a faucet drip for thirty minutes with a slack-jaw.

It can be good to let an employer know what's up so that they can take advantage of the unique abilities our mental difference gives us. Then again, I got real lucky this time -- I have had employers in the past who would have considered the news of my disability an annoyance and a liability, or just a good excuse to take advantage of my uneducated intelligence without having to pay a proper wage for it.

Uh Oh, growing bored...eyes crossing.......gotta move on.

mctavish23
08-15-04, 11:17 PM
My boss ( and everyone I work with) definately knows...lol.Even the pediatric psychiatrist in Duluth's secretary can tell if Ive forgotten my afternoon meds when I call down there...lol.

Vero
08-16-04, 06:40 PM
I told my employer when I was diagnosed. Actually I went for the evaluation b/c I thought I would be fired for always being late to work. My manager was releived to find out there was a valid explaination for my behavior - other than my latenes and occasional air-heady little mistakes I am a good employee. She even said she was really confused at my tardiness since I am such a good worker. We are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It doesn't entitle us to additional paid sick leave unless you have some kind of program that you contribute a % of your paycheck to in case of emergencies. But it does require your employer to hold your job open for you if you need time off to deal. They cannot fire you and hire someone to take your place - basically you might not get paid but you legally can't lose your job either. But in order to envoke this law your condition has to be documented with your Human Resources department usually with a note from your doctor affirming your diagnosis and that your being treated for the condition. My employer was very understanding when I told them about my diagnosis. I also had to take some time off here and there when I was adjusting to medication. But if you are taking time off in order to be a more productive, better employee they can't hold that against you in any way. It is just the same as if you had a heart condition or some other medical problem.

Kelly
09-03-04, 09:37 PM
I'm trying to figure out HOW to tell my bosses that I have ADD. I've mentioned it to our Administrative Assistant (my supervisor), but she doesn't seem to get it (nor does she seem all that interested in learning what it is *grr* )

Should I go in a long drawn out schpiel saying this is what ADD is, there are the problems I'm having at work, this is how it relates to the ADD, this is what I need to do a better job?

charlie
09-03-04, 10:24 PM
Kelly,
Sorry I don't have any answers to your great questions.
I have more questions though.

When I mentioned 'I probably have ADD' my boss and co-worker BOTH said yes you probably DO.

I'm an extreme loner type and don't want the added paranoia that every time I do something different or make a mistake it's because of my diagnosis.

What is the probability that my insurance company would report any of my medical history to my employer? Are there any opinions out there?

Maybe in the future after counseling I'll open up and tell. But right now I cannot see any advantage to doing so..

healthwiz
09-04-04, 01:10 AM
Has anyone out there mentioned their ADHD to an employer and if so, what was the reaction? Thanx

Yes, as an independent contractor, pulling profitable sales for a large company, ie; holding my own quite well, i informed my sales manager VP that i was dealing with a couple illnesses, sleep apnea and add. I told him that what i read in barkley's book was that it would be helpful for me to inform my employer and get whatever assistance i may.

In the end, I ended up leaving the company for another position, which ultimately did not work out the way i expected. In retrospect, they did not try to retain me when i informed them of my other job offer. I think if i had not informed them of the add, they would have tried to retain someone who they had so much training into and had so many years of experience. My taking another position probably saved them from the discomfort I created by informing them of my condition. Legally, they were following the law, by being supportive on the surface, but I know how corp america often works. They do what they can to cover their butts, but when the opportunity arises to extricate themselves from a situation with minimal damage, they do so.

I don't think I received enough support to make it worth compromising my "identity" at work. My identity at work was as a high performer. Letting them know my problem when I as in transition, in retrospect, did not really fuel me with any growth or development. If I could do it again, I woud have gathered my support systems outside the work place, and used that support from outside to continue developing my professional "identity" at work.

Think carefully what "identity" you want to develop at work. That should be the guiding principle.

Sincerely,

Jonathan

healthwiz
09-04-04, 01:47 AM
I'm trying to figure out HOW to tell my bosses that I have ADD. I've mentioned it to our Administrative Assistant (my supervisor), but she doesn't seem to get it (nor does she seem all that interested in learning what it is *grr* )

Should I go in a long drawn out schpiel saying this is what ADD is, there are the problems I'm having at work, this is how it relates to the ADD, this is what I need to do a better job?

Kelly

I like analogies, today it is chess... lol. My opinion, in general, is to take less risk in the area of employers. Some of them, as you say, just don't get it, even if their HR or legal dept does, those you work dirctly with may not. Others may get lucky, as some here have attested to. Depends, are you in a business where people are accustomed to understanding illnesses? Do they tend to work within the disabilities act and support everyone at work through their issues? Are you the one taking the risk to find out how they react? Will it affect your work identity and future opportunities to be promoted?

Can you develop the support for yourself without changing your work identity into an "ADD" label? What do you need to be doing a better job? Can you get that without using your "Queen" as they say in chess. If you can use a bishop to get what you need, that is a much smaller sacrifice. To say, I am not organized enough, I need XXXBlankXXX to get more organized, sounds so proactive and productive. Many people without ADD also have disorganization or need a quiet space to work. If I were an employer, I would appreciate an employee seeking self improvement. Self improvement at work is the Bishop. ADD is the queen. Do you need all the maneuverability that you think the queen will give you, or do you just need some limited diagonal mobility as the bishop can offer? Why move the all powerful queen when not necessary? The queen is used if you need to trap the opponent or stop a loss of credibility at work. Will your credibility at work suffer or improve, if you move your "Queen". If your needs can equally well pertain to one's performance improvement, and improvements can be developed without moving the all powerful "Queen", which is not only "ADD" but is also your work "identity", by all means, use the Bishop! Be a smart chess player. Save your "Queen" for protecting against check mate, fighting a loss of work credibility. It may never be needed if your bishop works.

There also may be other motivations for letting employers know about our ADD, which should be considered in full awareness before we make our move. I think when we find out we have ADD, there is a catharsis, a final recognistion and understanding of ourselves, within ourselves, finally, an explainatin for those things we could not understand. There may follow a need for others to see us as we are now that w eknow who we are, to empathize with us, to support us as we go into exploring our ADD journey, our new identity. Unfortunatly, this identity may fit better for us on a personal level, but is possibly harmful as a work identity. This need to disclose and recieve unconditional acceptance, to atone for all the lack of acceptance from the past, may be strong for some, who may not have received recognition from prior authority figures in their lives, such as disapproving parents or siblings, or school teachers. The remaining emptiness from previous negative experiences with authority, and the new aliby, knowledge of our ADD, may drive us at a deep unconscious level, to inform new authority figures. A partial motivation in this may be to experience acceptance, as a replacement for former dissapproval, former pain, former lack of recognition, from authority figures. Bosses are authority figures. Unfortunately, this is a form of transference, and the players, the bosses, the employers, may not play by the rules we expect them to, may not be empotionally prepared or legally prepared, and therfore may not react as we hope or believe they should. I think disclosing to employers poses a new risk, it could be painful if employers, new authority figures, do not help heal old wounds, by being as supportive as we expect. It may be an unnecessary risk. It may be possible and recommended to meet our needs in other ways. Meet the work place needs with the Bishop, and meet the personal need for vindication, acceptance and approval, through self-reflection, mentors, friends, family, religious affiliations, support groups and therapy.

Sincerely,

Jonathan

WhatDistraction
09-04-04, 09:09 PM
What is the probability that my insurance company would report any of my medical history to my employer? Are there any opinions out there?
While IANAL, I don't think your insurance company wants to hand you the pile of money you would win in a lawsuit if they revealed any of your medical history to your employer. There may be condition and job combinations that would justify this kind of disclosure--maybe, bus driver and narcolepsy?-- but I don't think ADD is one of them...

Draga
09-04-04, 09:29 PM
ohhh i mentioned it....first bosses hayed me cause i waz too defiant but they did insist I take meds....one thing I noticed they made my Job harder than everyone elses..like having to do others jobs as well as my own...and no recognition or raise or promotion...It would be against the law to fire me cause of ADD so they tried to figure out how to get rid of me..(but that could be paranoia and thinking ppl out to get me.)

But next emplyers were understanding and tolerated me.....gawd I should have never screwed up and quit!

fasttalkingmom
09-05-04, 12:03 AM
I said something to my supervisor this past Frid.

I had to fill out some paper work and I was feeling confused over it. I felt my confusing was showing so I was embarrassed which make be feel flustered. I kept making stupid mistakes, putting my name in the wrong place and so on...

My supervisor was looking at me like "what's up with her" and said something in the way of a joke about what I was doing. I come out with " I'm ADD"
she looked at me, I couldn't read her face, which bothered me. I know her boyfriend has a son with ADHD. Then she just said "Oh"

I told her I didn't have a problem being teased about my silly behavors when it's all in fun and I know the person doesn't mean any harm. It's those who think I'm stupid and tease me or make fun that I get angry or hurt....

I gave her my paper work and she handed it back saying " I'm not making fun of you but again you missed this question" (after she told me twice to fill in it and I still misssed it )

Because she said nothing to me about what I said and I couldn't read her face I wish I didn't come out with that. I'm so worried, I wont be trusted any more.

mctavish23
09-05-04, 08:38 AM
Hi,
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to provide protection for all Americans with any type of disability;including ADHD. ADHD is a developmental disability in terms of delays and is the #1 time management disorder on earth.Rather than be anxious about the workplace knowing you have ADHD, please look into what protection the law affords you. Written notification from your physician to your employer of diagnosis and medication (if any) puts them on the spot to formally recognize your disability and therefore not discriminate. Each state has an advocacy program to provide the necessary protection needed against discrimination. Bigs site has a link to state advocates offices across the nation.Please check with yours to find out what you need to do to put your employer on notice and what safeguards are provided.

Last year at this time I was struggling with a severe allergic reaction to Straterra. My physician wrote my employer notifying them of my situation and attributed it to ADHD, which they've known about for years anyway. I was then able to access short term disability benefits for the amount of time I missed work.While it was only a % of my salary, it was certainly better then nothing.

I don't pretend to have a lot of experience in this but I do believe in focusing on the solution whenever possible and not getting bogged down in the problem if I can help it.I hope this helps you and I wish you luck.

Draga
09-05-04, 08:47 AM
I know these guys knows about disabilities act but the crafty buggers can make the job misreable to get rid of ya...so ya really can't prove discrimination. *sigh*

Kinda why I am glad I am Getting SSI and I can take this time to learn a trade(despite what the shmucks at Career Rehab service think) and work for a more understanding boss.....ME:D

Vero
09-12-04, 02:26 PM
I feel I am pretty lucky with my current job. I work in an large office and in my section there's 7 of us in cubicles (5 women/2 men). 3 of us are on meds for different things - me for ADHD, one for anxiety and one for depression (although it's totally obvious to me that she's bipolar). Those of us who are on meds all kind of joke about it. If I goof something up I just laugh and say, "ARG!! I'm having an ADHD moment!" If the woman with anxiety is having a bad day she will say, "Where are my freaking pills!" and then laugh it off. We are very open between our little group and I think it makes it less awkward for all of us. Maybe at first they were a little uncomfortable - sometimes I think maybe they just thought we were all crazy! But we are also very intelligent, strong women and very good at what we do. So, our coworkers respect us for who we are, regardless of the fact that we're all totally medicated out the whazoo. (Ha-ha!)

It helps to work with open-minded people. But I think you have a certain amount of power over how others perceive you. My meds have made me MUCH more confident in my abilities and it shows in everything I do. Some people may view a person on meds as less competant in the workplace. But I think it's only if you view yourself as less competant that affects how others perceive you.

I still have ADHD moments that make me feel foolish, but I am learning to laugh about it, shrug it off and move on. You're attitude towards your ADHD will define how your coworkers view you. Sure I make absent-minded, careless mistakes sometimes, but you know what? Everybody makes mistakes - not just us ADDers. My coworkers have seen me make some pretty silly errors at work. But they also see me roll up my sleeves and get the job done. I think that has more of an impact on their opinion of me than anything else.

Draga
09-12-04, 06:32 PM
I'm trying to figure out HOW to tell my bosses that I have ADD. I've mentioned it to our Administrative Assistant (my supervisor), but she doesn't seem to get it (nor does she seem all that interested in learning what it is *grr* )

Should I go in a long drawn out schpiel saying this is what ADD is, there are the problems I'm having at work, this is how it relates to the ADD, this is what I need to do a better job?


I think You can tell Boss that you are having problems at work and tell her what they are w/o revealing that you have ADD..or if you need the boss to understand that you have ADD then the direct approach is what ya need to do, me thinks. I personally feel it is better to have them know that I have a condition and certain things are going to be harder for me rather than have them think I am lazy or incompitant. Ya know?

An Understanding Boss will work with ya to help you do your job better(RARE)...otherwise..I mean really, who needs to work for a judgemental Boss who does not care about the co workers and only cares about the $$$ (FAR 2 Many...again my opinion....I am soooo defiant and have issues w/ authority so this is just my take on things).

healthwiz
09-13-04, 04:21 AM
I feel I am pretty lucky with my current job. I work in an large office and in my section there's 7 of us in cubicles (5 women/2 men). 3 of us are on meds for different things - me for ADHD, one for anxiety and one for depression (although it's totally obvious to me that she's bipolar). Those of us who are on meds all kind of joke about it. If I goof something up I just laugh and say, "ARG!! I'm having an ADHD moment!" If the woman with anxiety is having a bad day she will say, "Where are my freaking pills!" and then laugh it off. We are very open between our little group and I think it makes it less awkward for all of us. Maybe at first they were a little uncomfortable - sometimes I think maybe they just thought we were all crazy! But we are also very intelligent, strong women and very good at what we do. So, our coworkers respect us for who we are, regardless of the fact that we're all totally medicated out the whazoo. (Ha-ha!)

It helps to work with open-minded people. But I think you have a certain amount of power over how others perceive you. My meds have made me MUCH more confident in my abilities and it shows in everything I do. Some people may view a person on meds as less competant in the workplace. But I think it's only if you view yourself as less competant that affects how others perceive you.

I still have ADHD moments that make me feel foolish, but I am learning to laugh about it, shrug it off and move on. You're attitude towards your ADHD will define how your coworkers view you. Sure I make absent-minded, careless mistakes sometimes, but you know what? Everybody makes mistakes - not just us ADDers. My coworkers have seen me make some pretty silly errors at work. But they also see me roll up my sleeves and get the job done. I think that has more of an impact on their opinion of me than anything else.


Bravo for this post!!! Thank you.

Jonathan

Kelly
09-14-04, 12:55 PM
Told my boss yesterday *sigh*

Not a BAD reaction, granted, but not really the one I was looking for. I don't know. My boss isn't exactly a touchy-feely kind of person, so I don't know why I was expecting a supportive reaction. I can't even remember exactly what she said *arg* I guess the gist of it was that she can't offer me any special consideration (I told her that's not what I wanted) and that things are so busy that everyone is going to have to work their hardest.

I thought it would alleviate my anxiety, but so far, it's worse.

healthwiz
09-14-04, 09:01 PM
Told my boss yesterday *sigh*

Not a BAD reaction, granted, but not really the one I was looking for. I don't know. My boss isn't exactly a touchy-feely kind of person, so I don't know why I was expecting a supportive reaction. I can't even remember exactly what she said *arg* I guess the gist of it was that she can't offer me any special consideration (I told her that's not what I wanted) and that things are so busy that everyone is going to have to work their hardest.

I thought it would alleviate my anxiety, but so far, it's worse.

Bravo for having the courage to tell your employer. I'm sorry it feel short of your hopes. Hopefully it will turn out to be positive in the end.

I think this goes back to the post I wrote, my feeling that there may be other things we are expecting from employers that they might not provide, such as touchy feely support, acceptance, respect, recognition, etc, things other than simply meeting the minimum ADA criteria of keeping your job open for you or making reasaobable adjustments for you. I personally feel that when someone has not had a lot of approval from authority figures, especially the primary authority figures - mother and father, that the siutation with an employer, who easily fits the basic archtype for authority, can easily and inconsciously become confused with our basic instinctual desire from authority figures for the missing approval, the missing respect, the missing acknowledgment.

I have a gut instinct here that many of us walk away from those employer interractions feelings slightly shorted, in an indescribeable way, uncertain what we really wanted in the first place, not knowing what we really expected, and feeling like whtever it was we did not achieve it. I have a feeling we sought approval from an authority figure. Clearly, the ADA cannot demand that employers provide that emotional support to us.

Some people find the workplace to be very friendly and supportive, and its too bad more places aren't like that when faced with people dealing with ADD or other medical issues. Bravo to those that provide support!

Beware, however, not all employers are inclined to abide by the ADA let alone be emotinally supportive. Some may abide by the ADA to the letter of the law, in its most literal interpretation, but not come anywhere close to providing emotional support.

So the question is, what are we looking for when we go to an employer to spill out guts that we have ADD? I'm sure for each person the answer will be unique.

Jonathan

healthwiz
09-14-04, 09:09 PM
I also want to note that some employers may be more inclined to provide maximum understanding and support, because it is their business to be all of the above, while other employers may be far removed from providing any human services and therefore be less educated and less inclined to take the role of being supportive.

I don't know this for a fact, but I imagine institutions of education, counseling centers, human services agencies, and government jobs may provide the highest degree of support. I imagine private enterprises not involved in any of those areas may provide less support (on average).

Jon

Kelly
09-16-04, 07:34 PM
Thanks Jon :)

I went to see my therapist today and we talked about the situation. My boss's reaction shouldn't have been that unexpected. She's not exactly a touchy-feely kinda person. Going over it again - I remembered that she did say that she knows I'm capable of the job - otherwise, I wouldn't have lasted a whole year. That made me feel good - in her own little way, she believes in me :)

She also helped me realize today:
* I don't have to find an excuse now to get out of work for my appointments
* There's no reason to feel ashamed anymore - it's all out in the open
* I now have the opportunity to educate others on ADD and help remove the stigma of "therapy"

Woo! Almost makes me proud ;)

Draga
09-16-04, 08:15 PM
Awesome, Kelly! I'm glad it turned out more positive and it is a wonderful thing to teach others about ADD...there is so many falsehoods...Truth is somewhat lacking...I think obvious since the 1st reaction about special condsideration...etc....Good Luck

healthwiz
09-16-04, 11:24 PM
Thanks Jon :)

I went to see my therapist today and we talked about the situation. My boss's reaction shouldn't have been that unexpected. She's not exactly a touchy-feely kinda person. Going over it again - I remembered that she did say that she knows I'm capable of the job - otherwise, I wouldn't have lasted a whole year. That made me feel good - in her own little way, she believes in me :)

She also helped me realize today:
* I don't have to find an excuse now to get out of work for my appointments
* There's no reason to feel ashamed anymore - it's all out in the open
* I now have the opportunity to educate others on ADD and help remove the stigma of "therapy"

Woo! Almost makes me proud ;)


Kelly,

That is wonderful, and really, you came up with some positives that no one else mentioned. No more excuses, no more shame, opportunity to educate. I guess this discussion of the pros and cons of telling an employer is getting deeper and more complex; its not one way right, one way wrong. Thank you for opening my eyes a little more. :)

Jonathan

aforceforgood
09-18-04, 12:13 AM
I hate my job, not the work, but the people, I'm basically just taking orders over the phone, and recently lost a big order because I didn't read the customer's mind. I know you're thinking it probably was my fault since I'm ADD, but the recording showed I did repeat back to him what I thought he wanted to order, and he confirmed the wrong brand, (maybe he's ADD, or just wasn't paying attention) so at least that time, it wasn't my fault.

I do make silly mistakes over and over, which bothers me because I'm doing much better now that I'm diagnosed and taking meds, but still it's troubling to hear phone calls played back to me where I completely miss something the customer said.

The point is, the big lost order was I guess the final straw for them and I was written up, despite the fact that I was right, (this time) and the first sentence out of my boss's mouth was; "Maybe you're just not right for this job, maybe you should be doing something else." Which basically tells me they are greasing the skids to cut me loose. The form I had to sign stated I need to show improvment within 2 weeks or I could be subject to termination.

Which is fine, I've been expecting it, the turnover rate here is ridiculous, people come and go about every 3-6 months. But I don't have another job yet, so I'm thinking that giving them a letter from my Dr. would extend my time a bit, allow me to find something else while they comply with ADA regs.

Oh, and for the curious, why do I hate this job so much? Because my boss is a control freak, insists on my doing things her way even when they're less efficient- i.e., writing things down on a piece of paper instead of using outlook reminders which I can then easily set to remind me of things later, she deleted the file I made of all the things I've learned since I worked there off my computer, (and I learned at least one new thing each day for about three months, that pace has diminished somewhat now, thankfully. They trained us for a whopping 2 days before sending us out on the sales floor. Sheesh. Real smart, like making someone learn how to build the car while they drive it.) fortunately I was able to retrieve the file since I had archived it, lost a few days worth of knowledge, but not the whole thing.

Everyone there is aware they could be fired at any moment, so they're all like a bunch of kilkenny cats, looking to stab each other in the back, and will ding you on the slightest errors in a report like the wrong date, etc.

The written reprimand I got was full of blatant untruths and trumped-up offenses, which shows how petty they are, and in my judgement, that they have basically already made the decision to fire me once they can document two more major offenses or the lack of improvement they've stipulated.

It's simply one of those unpleasant working environments that no one misses when they leave it.

From what I've read here, sounds like I'm in the ideal situation to disclose my ADD to get a temporary reprieve.

Your thoughts?

healthwiz
09-18-04, 12:41 AM
I hate my job.....

Everyone there is aware they could be fired at any moment, so they're all like a bunch of kilkenny cats, looking to stab each other in the back, and will ding you on the slightest errors in a report like the wrong date, etc.

The written reprimand I got was full of blatant untruths and trumped-up offenses, which shows how petty they are, and in my judgement, that they have basically already made the decision to fire me once they can document two more major offenses or the lack of improvement they've stipulated.

It's simply one of those unpleasant working environments that no one misses when they leave it.

From what I've read here, sounds like I'm in the ideal situation to disclose my ADD to get a temporary reprieve.

Your thoughts?

Sounds like your job sucks, to be honest. Of course your boss could make it better, but then your boss's boss could make your boss better.... From what your describing, the conditions are deplorable. I wouldn't want to work there unless it meant the difference between putting food on the table. So it depends how bad the financial situation is. Then its a question of which one is causing you the most emotional damage, the ugly job you hate or the loss of that ugly job and thus paycheck? Who could work well in such an environment? Don't judge yoruself basedon performance in that sweat shop. You know people had unions and riots to bust those sweatshops!

IF me, and I didnt need the $$$ badly, I would start hunting now for another job, and consider quitting this one. Who needs that kinda of uknowwhat, you only live once.

The ADA might protect you a little, as much as is possibl with UNETHICAL people, not much more though. They can trump up some other accusations that have nothing to do with ADD, and bypass the ADA. But on the other hand, if they did that, you might have a good court case, civil suit, and not have to work so much in the future. :) That would serve them right, if they did that.

Hope that helps! You gotta do whats right for you! Good luck!

Jonathan

aforceforgood
09-18-04, 02:25 AM
heh, yeah, I am documenting like crazy, I expect they'll want to settle...

sosninity
03-12-05, 01:51 PM
When I told my boss, it was a moment of last resort, and, miraculously, things have improved a bit since then. So, in terms of healthwiz's chess analogy above, it was checkmate for my king in just a few moves anyway. And I am a single parent with a negligible amount of child support.

The day I told her, I had just started a new med, which caused me to cry, resulting in a true sob story, which is what I always thought she'd been trying to get me to do for the last 3 years. So that was like moving a pawn (which she had forgotten existed) into a strategic place, but only enough to make it a probable stalemate, so she could concede magnanimously.

The main issue has always been that she micromanages in an effort to 'do her job,' which doesn't allow me the freedom to fill all my glasses with water (metaphor for assigned tasks) in the order which seems most appropriate to me. Then I panic and overfill one, while another sits there 7/8ths full (i.e., project nearly finished) forever,:( which cause more anxiety.
I overheard her say the other day to someone about me outside my office (I have pretty much bionic hearing) "she's working on something," which, if I really did hear correctly, could be a positive sign. Or, they may not renew my contract next month. It's hard to say.

healthwiz
03-12-05, 09:26 PM
wow, great job, well done. I am always fearful of saying anything to an employer, but now i am self employed, by choice. Let us know how this turns out.

Jon

KnittingJunkie
03-13-05, 03:34 AM
Ah, but therein lies the trick. They find out something, and then...well, they can't fire you, but they can make you want to quit really, really, really badly. (Might have happened to me. Maybe. There's a chance.);)

Chrys
ohhh i mentioned it....first bosses hayed me cause i waz too defiant but they did insist I take meds....one thing I noticed they made my Job harder than everyone elses..like having to do others jobs as well as my own...and no recognition or raise or promotion...It would be against the law to fire me cause of ADD so they tried to figure out how to get rid of me..(but that could be paranoia and thinking ppl out to get me.)

But next emplyers were understanding and tolerated me.....gawd I should have never screwed up and quit!

sosninity
03-13-05, 05:01 AM
Ah, but therein lies the trick. They find out something, and then...well, they can't fire you, but they can make you want to quit really, really, really badly....I'm glad you brought that point up again. I had meant to cover it too.

My boss had been trying to get me to quit for 3 years when I finally found out that there was a reason I annoyed her by just being me and trying to do a good job, and that the reason had a name: ADD.

And things had gotten really bad right before I told her -- she had taken me before the Director for a 2-against-1 chewing out because I had taken the initiative to implement a temporary policy when I arrived at work on a Sunday afternoon to widespread-if-fixable vandelism. No matter that 2 weeks later she had put my ad hoc policy firmly in place. When I had 'impulsively' implemented it, and acted 'crazy' by running around cleaning up to prevent a total slide into trashland, I was being "unprofessional." And if it "happens again," I'm out.

So if they do turn on me for telling about my ADD, things won't be any different than the way they had been without my telling them.

Which is where your point comes in: I would generally advise against telling if it's not your last card to play, so to speak. :)

ADDitives
03-15-05, 09:05 AM
i think my direct boss/supervisor suspects it, just the way she's understanding if i forget stuff, and she uses positive reinforcement on me when i do remember stuff etc, and she just treats me with seriousness,

but that job is only important for money,.


and im thinking... ok, i go on teaching prac for 10 weeks (6 weeks until it begins).
do i tell them? do i tell the teacher who has me?
i sort of think... it's better for me for myself, and also a little obligation in a way.
i know you shoudl never be OBLIGATED to tell anyone about stuff like this.. but i have a lot of responsibility etc, and if they know, they they might understand abit btter.

the worry of this is that if they dont udnerstand adhd, the might just treat me like one of theyre "anoying, interruptive, always out of his seat" adhd kids who they dont understand.

so i'll see how it goes in the first week perhapos, to see how they respond to the adhd kids in the class?

mctavish23
03-15-05, 10:08 AM
Good luck with whatever decision you make. In the process, try and remember to be true to yourself and your goals in life, as well as to "be good to yourself".We often forget that.:)

T-Bass
03-15-05, 10:52 AM
I don't think any employer should know, I tell my employer about certain problems I have, distractions, and Hyper, I leave the term ADHD out.

Too bad I didn't know about this before I quit my last job cause it was too easy & boring, but little did I know, that easy & boring job was the best job with really good pay, been over 5 years and still trying to get back where I was 10 years ago. Life is great isn't it? Thank god for meds & weed.

T-Bass

Grapet
06-02-05, 02:42 AM
He all, newbie here.
I have a busy systems support role in an call centre office. Lots of computer work and especially heaps of emails to process each day as well as paper based stuff.
I would like a software add-in for MS outlook that helps this workflow. Trouble is, my boss (who is a supportive and helpful person) is going to ask why I need this...
Do I just come out and tell her? Can I expect this from her just as a person in a wheelchair could reasonably expect easy access into the office etc?
Over to my learned ADDers :o

Flash
06-05-05, 12:30 PM
Grapet -

Perhaps you can present a case for the additional software from a business sense. Illustrate one or more examples where the software will make an aspect of your job easier/quicker. Estimate how much time would be saved and how much additional productivity would result. Put that in monetary terms and compare it against the price of the software. I'll bet that the monetary value to the company will be much more than the cost of the software.

If there are others at your company that have similar jobs, see if this might help them also. If so, then that's even more benefit to the company. Who knows? Maybe they'll even reward you for showing initiative.

aforceforgood
07-13-05, 02:24 AM
Maybe I've just worked for the wrong companies, but you need to be careful when "showing initiative".

Unless you're VERY tactful and diplomatic, advice or suggestions can easily be interpreted as "You're stupid for doing it this way or not having thought of a better way to do this by now..." if not phrased JUST right...

sosninity
07-13-05, 09:32 PM
aforceforgood, that's exactly how my father explained it to me (after the fact) and he's pretty knowledgable. He also had to explain to me (and we're talking when I was already middleaged) that being a "team player" did not mean, as unathletic me supposed, working hard and doing creative things for the good of all. He explained it meant that figuratively, everyone was lined up with their toes on the same line, and a team player does not step out of line, especially not in front of everyone.

This is so hard for me because exploiting my natural creativity and curiosity was how I got A's in school. Basically, the educational system re-inforced behavior that would make me a failure.


****************

its like somebody choking to death, and you asking them "will you please die a little more quietly, im trying to read".That really nails it.


****************

Okay, I'll go back to lurk mode now and get back in line.

Imnapl
07-13-05, 10:13 PM
On the other hand, a creative ADDer can often step over the line in ways that impress the rest of the team. :D

mctavish23
07-13-05, 11:31 PM
I'm glad you've brought this up. The subject comes up periodically and always generates interesting responses.


Right now, I'm going thru the biggest professional challenge of my life.

My meds (Ritalin LA) have quit working (not all of a sudden but gradually). The point is that on Friday, I realized for the first time ever that I (cognitively) cannot do my job.

By that I mean the "paperwork" part, which is overwhelming. I literally mean I can't do it.

The obvious irony is that I specialize in ADHD and I'm at the point where I know that the upcoming med change has to work, or I'm looking at short term disability. I already have the paperwork handy just in case.

My practice is with kids ages 6-19 or so, with between 90-95% being ADHD. My workplace has always known that I have ADHD and have been exteremly helpful.

My wife also works there and does a great job of helping me with orgainization. Both she and our mutual friend the medical records supervisor came to me recently and asked if I was feeling ok.

The truth is I've only had one day in the last 3 weeks where I actually felt "good" at work, in the sense that the day went smoothly and I got things done.

When other people see me becoming more scattered and off task, that's always been the indicator that things aren't going well.

So tomorrow, we'll see if the med change helps. I start Adderall tomorrow and I'm optimistic.

The point is that my workplace knows about the impact of ADHD on my ability to do my job.

BTW, that's what makes it a "disorder."

Good luck.:)

sosninity
07-14-05, 11:43 PM
As a single parent, I just have to keep putting the possibility of going on disability out of my mind.

Hopeful46
12-06-05, 07:26 PM
I have had issues with employment and losing jobs. I tell all of my employers now and I too have received a small settlement for ADD related termination. I am in IT also and I think most of the people in IT have ADD. I think it unconsciencely while we choose the field. It is by far the one where I have been able to stay employed the longest.

Nesslee
12-17-05, 01:39 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm new here, found this by accident, and I'm glad I did. My reply to this thread is...yes, I think any employer should be told.
I only wished I had known about my having ADD before I lost my job. I worked for nearly 13yrs with Walmart, and I started having financial difficulties (a symptom of ADD). I always had issues with temper, boldness, opinionatedness, argumentiveness, well the list goes on and you all know.
The problem was, my husband tried having me handle the bills incl. the checking account, and I screwed it up, not once, but a number of times. Well, I wrote checks for groceries at Walmart, and of course the bounced.
They never said anything at first cause I always paid right away, I immediately made good on them right away.
I never did it on purpose, but to them, it was an integrity issue. I got a verbal warning about it, then some time passed, and it happened again, and I got a written warning (they call them coachings), then I got what they call a D-Day for an entirely different matter, (making a mistake at the register. Big flippin' deal. A D-Day is a decision making day, they send you home with pay, and they make you make out a note (of course mine was like a flippin' essay lol) why you would like to keep your job, if not, they'll assume you don't want the job and say goodbye.
But anyway, I wrote that maybe, just maybe after 12 yrs running register, I was plain "burned out". I noticed I was very easily distracted, and frustrated, I just needed to do something different for a change. So I went to a different department which I liked. Well, the fateful day came, I was called to the office. Seemed I had another returned check.
Terminated...Even though they said I was rehireable after 90 days, the Bozo who now runs the store will NOT hire anyone back who quit or got fired, regardless of the reason.

It was only after my termination, my husband had seen a commercial for Strattera, and it mentioned some symptoms, and matched me up with what he saw in me. He had the guts to mention it to me. I laughed it off at first, then he went to work. The commercial came on again, I had seen it before, but really never paid attention to it. This time I did. I got on line, and looked it up, and answered a big questionnaire, out of 28 questions, I answered yes to 23 of them.
I procrastinated callin' a doctor.....they actually called me up after a couple of weeks looking for a payment on an over due bill....I said I'll bring it in, then bit the bullet and made an appointment for a consultation about this ADD thing, and when I went, I found out that I did indeed have Adult ADD. I wished then that I had known about it before, cause I would have told them, the bosses, maybe they'd have given me once more chance, (and maybe they wouldn't) but there's at least that chance that they would.
So I think I would, cause if they fired you for something you did caused by the ADD, then you'd be able to fight them on it.

Well, I guess I've given my 2c worth. Glad I found this board. Hope to talk to you all soon.
Nesslee

USMC
12-23-05, 02:32 AM
I would never tell at first because if they end up firing you for it, there's virtually no possible way to prove that they fired you simply because of your adhd. There are so many people that still don't understand the disorder. If you tell them and they don't like it, they may keep track of every single little thing you do so they can say that's why they fired you and not because of your adhd. I just recently told a few of my managers but the top manager still doesn't know yet. I waited until I had established an extremely good rapport first though. All my managers just love me because I am a sales associate and can get things done so fast. Like getting things on the shelves. I'll also gladly work 12 hour days when they need me. There's really no way they'd fire me now. (at least not for the adhd). You just have to show that there are MANY great aspects of ADHD that are an asset for employers. Show the assets first before you let them know why you are so energetic. The same things that got me in trouble in school are getting me praised at work. It's great.

Foghat
09-29-06, 12:34 PM
If you tell them and they don't like it, they may keep track of every single little thing you do so they can say that's why they fired you and not because of your adhd. If you do tell your employer... I suggest you deal strictly with HR. They are the ones that are "supposed" to know about the ADA and how to deal with disabilities. If you ask them to keep it quiet... I'm pretty sure they are legaly bound without your consent. If a problem does arise that requires someone other than HR to know... they will have to get your permission, and will not be able to "retaliate" for the seemingly special treatment they are ordered to offer you.

This is when YOU should begin keeping track of every single little thing THEY do... in the context as to how it relates to you... and if they exibhit behavior that makes you believe is due to your disorder, it shouldn't be too hard to build a case. I'm not a big fan of frivilous lawsuits... but if you are descriminated against because of a medical condition... then it isn't frivilous.

Keep in mind that it's probably best to keep a journal in a case such as this... one that you write more that just "when you are being maltreated". It just seems to me that it would be much easier to put into the correct context. Such as... how you are treated differently than other employees and what makes you think they are trying to get YOU to quit as oposed to someone else.

Anywhoo-:)

VisualImagery
09-29-06, 01:43 PM
Foghat, you are right on track-One of the best suggestions to date! We should not have to be afraid to out our disability and then struggle to maintain a job without accommodations. Alas, it isn't a perfect world.

HR is there for a lot of reasons. Dealing with them 1st is one of the best suggestions I have heard! HR is there for the employees and don't forget, the business owners too. They have to balance the good of the whole with the needs of the individual. They don't want to be sued. On the other hand, they want productive employees whose accommodations do not cause undue hardship. (keywords to remember.) The record keeping is vital, it is a record! Even though it only tells one side, it shows a timeline and and should contain materials or copies of any documents, memos, e-mails, evaluations, etc that related to the problem/s. You should also record any verbal communications as accurately as possible, as soon after they occur as you can.If you do these two things and are unjustifiably fired or asked to resign, you have the evidence to prove your case-causing lawyers to drool!

While there are understanding bosses-who know what is an excuse and what is a real disability issue, many more are not-or do not have the knowledge or training to understand or deal with the information, let alone understand ADD/LD. They know their job, not HR's! Managers and supervisors usually have to comply with HR's recommendations and directives, or they could lose their jobs or at the least be reprimanded.

NOTE: Do not keep documentation at work or on work computer, (especially if your desk/office/email/computer can be entered/searched anytime, or you go through searches other than bag x-rays). Do not tell anyone at work about it! I mean no one, friends can turn on you at anytime in the workplace-sad but true. It is your back-up info-just in case.

If you are in a really screwed up business-without professional HR-i.e. small business, then you would have to find a different approach.

RADD

Foghat
09-29-06, 02:14 PM
Foghat, you are right on track-One of the best suggestions to date! We should not have to be afraid to out our disability and then struggle to maintain a job without accommodations. Alas, it isn't a perfect world.

HR is there for a lot of reasons. Dealing with them 1st is one of the best suggestions I have heard! HR is there for the employees and don't forget, the business owners too. They have to balance the good of the whole with the needs of the individual. They don't want to be sued. On the other hand, they want productive employees whose accommodations do not cause undue hardship. (keywords to remember.) The record keeping is vital, it is a record! Even though it only tells one side, it shows a timeline and and should contain materials or copies of any documents, memos, e-mails, evaluations, etc that related to the problem/s. You should also record any verbal communications as accurately as possible, as soon after they occur as you can.If you do these two things and are unjustifiably fired or asked to resign, you have the evidence to prove your case-causing lawyers to drool!

While there are understanding bosses-who know what is an excuse and what is a real disability issue, many more are not-or do not have the knowledge or training to understand or deal with the information, let alone understand ADD/LD. They know their job, not HR's! Managers and supervisors usually have to comply with HR's recommendations and directives, or they could lose their jobs or at the least be reprimanded.

NOTE: Do not keep documentation at work or on work computer, (especially if your desk/office/email/computer can be entered/searched anytime, or you go through searches other than bag x-rays). Do not tell anyone at work about it! I mean no one, friends can turn on you at anytime in the workplace-sad but true. It is your back-up info-just in case.

If you are in a really screwed up business-without professional HR-i.e. small business, then you would have to find a different approach.

RADDThanks RADDmom... you had some interesting points as well... but I'd like to add to what you said about keeping emails and memos. Be very careful about your companies policy about removing documents from the work site. Many companies have a policy that stipulate that items such as these are "company property" and are sometimes considered intellectual property. By removing them from your worksite you could possibly endanger your job in a way that even the ADA could not save you, as it can be considered stealing and yes even "corperate espionage".

I would suggest keeping copies (And yes... DON"T TELL ANYONE about the documentation), in a safe place at work (if you have one). If you don't have one... I would speak to a representative from the ADA about your rights to keep personal records and how to best go about it. As RADDmom said... while on company property you are subject to being searched.

Actually, I'd talk to the ADA if you think you are being discriminated against or even if you think you might be. Knowledge is power and you should know your rights. Educate yourself and then make sure you follow company protocols, so as not to give them a valid excuse to fire you.

Anywhoo... hope this helps:D

healthwiz
09-29-06, 05:45 PM
McTavish

I love reading your entries. How has the adderall worked out for you? U know I am about to throw in my 14 cents, while most people only give you 2 cents, but I think you are more valuable! Here is the deal, I'm probably the same age or maybe a little older than you at my ancient age of 47. I have a differential diagnosis, which is damm hard and long to diagnose properly, which is needed to get the best treatment. Is it possible you are looking at a more complex combination than just one disorder? Could it be ADHD and BP II, or ADHD and Sleep Disorder, or ADHD and amino acid insufficiency, or ADHD and mercury poisioning? There are other things that become mitigating factors, which exaccerbate ADHD. But my susupicion is that the person who has these interactive disorders is the last person to think it could be differential diagnosis. Its so neat and clean to have one label - ADHD. I think, that by and large, ADHD is a differential diagnistic opportunity that needs to be explored in order to bring the patient to the highest level of health and enjoyment of life.

Now that said, I will tell you of some off-label prescriptions I have used to accomplish my goals. I am doing well, concentrating well, feeling good, sleeping good, etc. But not everything was your typical combination or prescription. Here goes: Lamictal for mood stabalizer, this helped me with the ADHD; lithium ORATATE (over the counter supplement) 1mg (that is almost nothing), that has calmed me and made me able to just focus on one thing at at time; Welbutrin (helps the ADD and the depression), IRWIN NATURALS supplements of amino acids that affect brain chemistry (excellent quality) nuero optimixer and triple boost for the brain (both good formulas); phosphotydal serine (the most important amino acid for the brain), Namenda for memory (usually used for alzheimers - this is off label use for ADD), ZYREM for deep regenerative sleep. Now the interesting thing is that I take a very small dose of these because I am ultra sensitive to medications of any kind. These combinations are not your usual- but if you get with a doctor who is an experimenter, avantegarde you can find a combination that makes things work for you. That is what I'm saying, just one thing may not solve it - one thing has never solved it for me - so now that a one drug approach is not working for you, I suggest the differential diagnosis as a possibility, and i suggest getting with an internist or specialist who really knows medicine and pharmacology, who is a total nerd about exploring the possibilities.

Finally, hire a local organization specialist to come in and get your office organized and functional for the way you work and think. Even though you have tons of help, and understanding and acceptance, your paper flow is driving you nuts because it doesnt flow the way you do. An organization specialist can come in and think about how your brain works, and how the paper must flow, and teach you a method.

That beats retirment and disability, and will make you feel better. I have an organization specialist come to my house at least once a month, usually twice, and I pay her to bring sanity to my life and to my environment. It helps!

I hope this cavalier advice attidude, and the 14 cents worth, is helpful, even if it is long and tedious to read.

I am behind you, supporting you, rooting for you, and hope you are well, and hope your new meds worked, but if they didnt, it is not the end of the line, kiddo - it might be time to think differential diagnosis!

:)

Jon

I'm glad you've brought this up. The subject comes up periodically and always generates interesting responses.


Right now, I'm going thru the biggest professional challenge of my life.

My meds (Ritalin LA) have quit working (not all of a sudden but gradually). The point is that on Friday, I realized for the first time ever that I (cognitively) cannot do my job.

By that I mean the "paperwork" part, which is overwhelming. I literally mean I can't do it.

The obvious irony is that I specialize in ADHD and I'm at the point where I know that the upcoming med change has to work, or I'm looking at short term disability. I already have the paperwork handy just in case.

My practice is with kids ages 6-19 or so, with between 90-95% being ADHD. My workplace has always known that I have ADHD and have been exteremly helpful.

My wife also works there and does a great job of helping me with orgainization. Both she and our mutual friend the medical records supervisor came to me recently and asked if I was feeling ok.

The truth is I've only had one day in the last 3 weeks where I actually felt "good" at work, in the sense that the day went smoothly and I got things done.

When other people see me becoming more scattered and off task, that's always been the indicator that things aren't going well.

So tomorrow, we'll see if the med change helps. I start Adderall tomorrow and I'm optimistic.

The point is that my workplace knows about the impact of ADHD on my ability to do my job.

BTW, that's what makes it a "disorder."

Good luck.:)

healthwiz
09-29-06, 05:55 PM
hey i resent that. Im a small business owner, and my HR is myself. Is that screwed up? Don't knock the small business owner, and/or working for a small business. If you work for a small business you get to wear many hats, and get to be creative and prove your worth, and you are valued for not just being a desk drone. Secondly, being a small business owner is a great ADD option. You can then stop worrying about being fired. The only people who can fire you are your clients, and you can survive that, and not lose your job. I love being my own boss, and if I want to fire myself, well, I go into mediation, and when I come outI always rehire myself, because I cant find anyone to do more work and a better job than me , and well even if i could, i figure I need the work and I need the money, and I need the freedom!

Don't knock small business. If the corporate environment isnt working, work for a small business owner who will appreciate you for your talents! Where you can spread your ADD wings a little and not be ridculed~

Jon

Foghat, you are right on track-One of the best suggestions to date! We should not have to be afraid to out our disability and then struggle to maintain a job without accommodations. Alas, it isn't a perfect world.

HR is there for a lot of reasons. Dealing with them 1st is one of the best suggestions I have heard! HR is there for the employees and don't forget, the business owners too. They have to balance the good of the whole with the needs of the individual. They don't want to be sued. On the other hand, they want productive employees whose accommodations do not cause undue hardship. (keywords to remember.) The record keeping is vital, it is a record! Even though it only tells one side, it shows a timeline and and should contain materials or copies of any documents, memos, e-mails, evaluations, etc that related to the problem/s. You should also record any verbal communications as accurately as possible, as soon after they occur as you can.If you do these two things and are unjustifiably fired or asked to resign, you have the evidence to prove your case-causing lawyers to drool!

While there are understanding bosses-who know what is an excuse and what is a real disability issue, many more are not-or do not have the knowledge or training to understand or deal with the information, let alone understand ADD/LD. They know their job, not HR's! Managers and supervisors usually have to comply with HR's recommendations and directives, or they could lose their jobs or at the least be reprimanded.

NOTE: Do not keep documentation at work or on work computer, (especially if your desk/office/email/computer can be entered/searched anytime, or you go through searches other than bag x-rays). Do not tell anyone at work about it! I mean no one, friends can turn on you at anytime in the workplace-sad but true. It is your back-up info-just in case.

If you are in a really screwed up business-without professional HR-i.e. small business, then you would have to find a different approach.

RADD

VisualImagery
09-29-06, 06:03 PM
Thanks RADDmom... you had some interesting points as well... but I'd like to add to what you said about keeping emails and memos. Be very careful about your companies policy about removing documents from the work site. Many companies have a policy that stipulate that items such as these are "company property" and are sometimes considered intellectual property. By removing them from your worksite you could possibly endanger your job in a way that even the ADA could not save you, as it can be considered stealing and yes even "corperate espionage".I am not in that type of situation so thanks for adding that-could I ask a question-would info that is related to work performance come under the intellectual property/espionage label? If so that could make record keeping a bit tougher. You would have to know where they draw the line. That gives me cold chills foggy.

Actually, I'd talk to the ADA if you think you are being discriminated against or even if you think you might be. Knowledge is power and you should know your rights. Educate yourself and then make sure you follow company protocols, so as not to give them a valid excuse to fire you.

Anywhoo... hope this helps:D
I talked to the ADA once, they sent me a large packet of ADD related info and general disability info-the person was so helpful and nice. Told me to call back and included business card in packet-which of course, I have lost. I will definitely talk to HR on my next job, since I believe the differences in my functioning affect my evaluations and the impressions of those supervising me. Plus, I will interview the next school, as they interview me to see if we will be a good fit! But will focus on their expectations for classroom management, appearance, support with discipline etc, these ??'s will help me decide if they would be accepting and supportive which I need. That way I would not have to out my disability except to HR-Urine tests are my instant outer-have to prove you take the prescription drugs and then they know! So I have to be my own advocate and know the law!

RADD

Foghat
10-03-06, 01:55 AM
I am not in that type of situation so thanks for adding that-could I ask a question-would info that is related to work performance come under the intellectual property/espionage label? If so that could make record keeping a bit tougher. You would have to know where they draw the line. That gives me cold chills foggy.

RADDAs long as the information you remove from work in YOUR line of work does not involve the names of any students, and is mainly about YOUR performance, you should be ok. Any time a student or a (parent/teacher) conference is involved... I'd err on the side of caution.

Documentation is key in self preservation if your job is on the line... But keep in mind that you don't have to take home the "Smoking Gun". When an outside investigation (and sometimes internal) is initiated, almost all forms of "Shredding" are stopped. This happened at the company where I work... and everyone recieved an email explaining that the email server was "delete frozen". While emails could be sent... they could no longer be deleted, until the investigation is complete.

As to the smoking gun, you should just keep a detailed Journal with Dates and times, and quote specific documents that may be referenced later. If you have a genuine greivance, then you're journal will be able to pinpoint any discrimination in a heartbeat... while the discriminators (who rarely think about what they do) will be scrambling for damage controll.

If you aren't sure you will remember everything that happened when you get home, try carrying one of those little pocket notebooks. When an event happens try to sumarize it with one word, date it, and time stamp it. If you have any corroborating evidence then by all means add that to the entry. When you get home, write about the events of your day and add the date, time, and corroberating documents and where they are kept. I would suggest never letting this journal leave your house.

Keep in mind that I'm not an expert on this or any subject. I've been discriminated against before for my "Innatentiveness" although I didn't know at the time. After the revelation that I (might) have ADD, I've spent a lot of time thinking about what could have been. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't fired... I was mistreated until I quit, and I don't really miss the job.

Anywhoo... Good luck on your job search, and remember to keep a good Journal:D