The Gift that keeps giving!
AnonymousFebruary 15, 2007 at 6:57 pm
[SIZE=2]So I just had to tell someone before I go nuts!!!! I became ill with GBS about a week after I had quit my job. I had just graduated college and was going to start a new job as a teacher however I got sick before I could do that. When I was sent back to work I tired to work as a teacher however it was too hard for me, my strength and energy would not allow me to do the job. I looked for different types of jobs and either the pay was too low or the job was to hard for me because of my limitations. I finally found the perfect job however I’m a temp and I have no medical. I have looked for other jobs but its been hard. I support not only myself but my mother also, she is to ill to work. When I’m at work I stay to myself because I don’t want others to notice that I have limitations. I have almost been here a year and I just found out today that they offered a job to another temp who started after me. I know the reason is because I’m not that social, they have told me that I need to be more social, however I really don’t have the energy to be. They have said I’m the perfect employee but yet I’m not social. I was so hoping I would get offer a job here!! That means I would have medical and I could really use it. The person they gave the job to is healthy and only has to support themselves. GBS is gift that keeps on giving, I’m at this job because I got sick and now they did not offer me a position cause I’m not social and the reason I’m not social is because I have had GBS and my energy is so low. It takes all my energy just to be here! I just had to tell someone! 😡
AnonymousFebruary 16, 2007 at 5:13 pm
You must have been so disapointed!
It is really difficult to find the extra energy to be “social” while at work, but as you’ve found, it’s really essential if you want to be chosen for the jobs you want most. It can also be a valuable resource for you during times of stress or when you need some help.
Is there a way you can carve out some time during the work day to make some work “friends”? Maybe if you look at it as one of your job duties, it will make more sense to you. Allocate 15 minutes a day to getting to know each of your collegues.
During a break, use the time to chat with a coworker. Invite someone you work with to share lunch with you – many connections are made that way. Stop at the bakery on the way to work and bring some cookies for everyone (if you don’t have the energy to bake them yourself). Offer everyone a smile (even when it’s not easy).
Right now, this probably sounds stressful to you – meeting new people often is, but try to view it more as a way to eventually reduce your stress. Once you get to know people, it is good to have someone to discuss things with to either solve work problems, or get your mind off of work by discussing personal things. It works both ways. Good collegues can help each other.
I was often impatient with “small talk”, and felt that it was a waste of time, until I realized that “small talk” is what leads to “big talk”. People recommend and include others they know and trust. This involves more than simply doing a great job. You are lucky to have a temporary boss who took the time to explain this to you.
I’m sorry you didn’t get the job this time, but it sounds like you are someone who many companies would be lucky to have on staff. Do a little polishing of your “social” skills and the next job can be yours!
AnonymousFebruary 16, 2007 at 5:26 pm
You gotta do what you gotta do – meaning don’t beat yourself up for not being a way somebody else wants you to be. Yes, it is a shame because the benefits you need. We gotta keep the faith that everything happens for a reason.
I have done lots of temp work – before and after GBS. Being a temp sure offered a big perk to me – you don’t have to get involved in the social stuff that takes so much energy, and you don’t have to get involved with company politics. You have got to take care of number one!
Hang in there, we love you just as you are 🙂
AnonymousFebruary 16, 2007 at 7:22 pm
Thanks Ali and Chrissy,
For always being so sweet. Suzanne I understand where you are coming form however sometimes things are easier said then done. I’m social, I’m just tired and when your tired the last thing you want to do is talk up a storm. One of the reasons I stay to my self is because I don’t want them to know that I’m sick, who wants a sick person working for them. I need to save my energy, time and money for myself and my family not doing things for work mates. I do have a nice temp boss but I have been here a year. Thanks I just had to explain more cause I felt like a false picture was being painted of me! 😮
AnonymousFebruary 17, 2007 at 6:17 am
Don’t worry, you did make yourself clear enough the first time! I can relate, it is so hard to do even one thing properly when you have little energy, so it really is understandable that being social has to give way a lot of the times. When I was still working I couldn’t go and have drinks after work, or chat during lunch breaks. I made sure I said hi a lot when passing my colleagues and offered them a smile, even when it made my face hurt from making the effort:). That isn’t the standard though, and I still was looked upon as being a bit arrogant by some. People expect more than you can give, and they can’t see you are tired. If you are lucky there are one or two people who take your word for it when you explain it to them, but we have been hurt a lot by people who don’t seem to want to understand. That makes us cautious.
It might be a good idea though to let your (future) boss know that you do have some limitations. But make sure to add that you are loyal and serieus about doing your job the best you can. No-one wants to make it work more than you do! I know you are concerned they might think you are not fit for the job, but as you have seen your handicap is reality and it will show one way or another.
You are very serious about your job, and very focused. Being limited in one way may have its downside, like not being social enough to everybody’s taste, but because of your illness you are trained in separating main issues from side issues. I know from experience it is hard to make them see this, but try to be proud of these skills and don’t hide them from anyone.
AnonymousFebruary 17, 2007 at 10:04 am
Hi Tammie: Sorry to hear about your struggles. I think we can all relate to how hard it is to do those little normal things that people take for granted. I am a psychoanalyst and my work consists of talking with people and, though I love my work, it is very hard sometimes to engage them meaningfully when I just want to be quiet and rest. I would second the recommendation though that you tell your boss and co-workers about GBS. I found a lot of people know people who have had it or have heard of it and often are far more understanding than we would imagine. You might have to teach them what it is, but then they would not project onto you that your are aloof or arrogant or anti-social. It is hard to admit our limititations-when one friend took me aside and said you have to admit you are disabled I wanted to hit her, but knew she was right-but it is much better to be honest with people in the long run because we may need their support. Sometimes it is just pride that gets in our way and pride is something we at times have to sacrifice. I applaude your courage and stength-I don’t think I could care for a sick mother and deal with residuals. Jeff
AnonymousFebruary 17, 2007 at 4:42 pm
I sincerely hope my last post didn’t come across as being critical of you. It wasn’t intended to be. I have a habit (sometimes good and sometimes not so much) of trying to solve problems, when sometimes what is needed is just a good listener. There are others here who are much better at that.
Anyway, if you simply can’t gather the energy to be social enough to satisfy the circumstances you find yourself in, I really do understand. You are doing a lot, just to be able to continue working.
Meanwhile, I hope your energy will improve and you will feel better soon.
AnonymousFebruary 19, 2007 at 11:44 am
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I understand where you are coming from so don’t worry, I just wanted to make myself clear that it was not that I don’t like to be around people its just that I don’t have the energy. I was always very social. I understand that you want to help, so THANK YOU!
Your correct that I we have to accept the fact that we have limitations and that is something I have to work on. I know that when I first realize that I had to go on disability because of GBS onset, I kept saying to myself ” BUT” I’m not disabled. I guess if I can’t accept it myself how can I expect others to except it. I will have to work on that!
You are very correct that I’m very cautious about whom I tell about my past with GBS cause I have been hurt by peoples reactions. I have thought about telling my boss But I get scared. I will give it much thought and try to over come my fear of their reaction!!!
Thanks to all………….
AnonymousFebruary 20, 2007 at 2:26 pm
[SIZE=2]I have never wanted to give up until now! I have lived through my fathers battle with cancer and his death when I was nine years old, I have lived trough my moms battle with cancer a year after my fathers death. I have lived through the hard times of having a ill single mother, I have lived through trying to pay for college myself and thinking I would never finish and then when I thought it was over I lived trough the onset of GBS, I have dealt with limitations it has left me with, I have dealt with having to support my mother and care for her whiling having these limitations; why now do I feel like I can not handle this dumb job situation. I work so hard and nothing in return, they are hiring a guy that is a half an hour late everyday and still leaves early over me cause I was not social. I’m still here as a temp but I would really like to just go home and never come back but I can’t. I just wonder if it will ever end and I wonder how much more can I take! I just need to share my thoughts sorry for being so negative!!!
AnonymousFebruary 20, 2007 at 2:36 pm
What burdens you have! In your shoes I would be so stressed out that I would not be able to function at all. It’s certainly true that one problem creates another which in turn creates another etc.
All of the advice you have received so far seems somewhat valid to me. In fact, recently I read a study that seemed to demonstrate how “small talk” is far more important to job success that previously realized.
I’m not sure it’s always wise to tell others that you have some type of medical problem. While some individuals are very understanding and sympathetic others (most?) often seem to hold it against you for a variety of reasons and will avoid you or evaluate you more negatively. At least this was the experience of myself and other GBS patients I have talked to.
Are you sure that your perceptions of the reason that you did not received the desired job offer are correct? All of us frequently misperceive why others behave the way they do. I know I have done this frequently. I would think a frank discussion with your boss as to what you want and expect (without necessarily mentioning your illness at first) might turn out to be very helpful in your situation.
I appreciate what a tough time this is for you. Sometimes joining a support group can help- we all need an opportunity to express our frustrations and receive understanding and acceptance. I’m not sure the workplace is the appropriate location for this however.
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