Friday, October 25, 2013

Fibromyalgia and the Workplace

Having a great work ethic is a wonderful trait to have.  It makes you a great asset to the company and can even lead to better promotions and pay.  But just how much is too much of a good thing?  Especially when one has Fibro?

Before diagnosis, I used to be a workaholic and spend every waking moment at my job.  And sometimes those moments were sleeping ones for my boss.  Yup, I used to be asked to stay over-night so I could get things done.  This was especially true during the Christmas set-up season.  I stayed and really didn't complain.  Why?  Well, for the same reason that most have, I was afraid of getting fired or being looked over for a promotion.

These hours didn't bother me so much in the beginning.  In fact, I used to pride myself into thinking that I could do more than the average person since I didn't require as much sleep.  But after about 9 months of only sleeping 2-4 hours a night, my body get ticked off.  What can I say?  I was young, fresh out of college, and I thought I could do it all.  Well, I couldn't and I blamed myself for it.  But was it really just my fault?  Actually, no, it was not.
  
Some people just don't have proper work ethics these days.  I personally found this to be true with people who held a position of authority.  And even though they were only doing what they thought was following orders, it wasn't, and pardon me for quoting Triple H, what was best for business. Part of a manager's job is to manage their time along with their employees.  If you are finding it difficult to do that, you need to find out why it is happening.  If you have the answer and you resolve it to the best of your ability, great!  But if you feel that the resolution should be to have employees work over-time, you may be wrong. 

Over-time is a great thing for the employees.  They love it because it's extra money in their pocket, but if they are constantly being asked to do over-time, a manager should be coming to terms with the fact that more help may need to be hired.  Either that, or the actually task may not be necessary.  

I remember a time where we had to do a remodel of one department and set up Christmas in another.  I was in charge of both and I had 4 people under me to help with these two gigantic tasks.  The remodel took forever.  Why?  None, I repeat, NONE of the bosses could agree as to what should be displayed first according to the floor plan.  As a Store Manager, Regional, Vice President, or CEO, you have decisions to make, I understand that, but if one Vice President fails to talk to the other Vice President with a simple remodeling move, you are going to have a ton of problems, and one of those problems is a costly one.  Your payroll is going to go through the roof!  And that's something the Store Manager should have talked about during this very large and costly mistake. 

In these cases, the bosses have a poor work ethic.  I know that some may disagree with me, but it's very selfish to think that a co-worker/employee should be available to you 24/7 for something as trivial as remodeling a department that was redone 3 times in three weeks.  It wouldn't have been so bad if these remodels could be done during the day, but they could only be done at night.  We were moving very heavy objects that could not be moved while the store was opened because we may risk injury to an employee or customer. 

Now since I wound up working nights instead of days, that meant that my days were shortened and that caused me problems with the Christmas set ups.  That then meant more over-time for me and the employees.  I find that rather silly and a waste of payroll, something a Vice President should have picked up on, yet he did not because my immediate boss didn't have the sense to tell the guy that we had already done it three times according to the Regional and other Vice President's specifications. 

Now, I'm sorry to say this, but that's poor work ethic on all of their parts because nothing, I repeat, NOTHING is SO important where it can't wait until the light of day because nothing is more important than your health.  A boss should know that!  Especially considering it would have cost them even more money if I wound up with a work injury or illness from lack of sleep. 

And let's face it, NOTHING needs to be SO perfect that you have to change it 3 times on a customer.  Most were already acquainted with the floor plan and stopped shopping us because they couldn't find anything.  We lost a lot of business those couple of months due to the huge mountain of mistakes made by management.  It honestly could have all been avoided if someone had stopped thinking they were better at something then someone else.

Now granted, I had gone through all of this before being diagnosed, and I managed to get through it.  But if you are suffering through a flare and you are one of the unlucky few that have bosses like these, it's even tougher to deal with all of this frustration.  The best thing you can do is to look for a boss and a company that has a good work ethic and put in your resignation with the lousy one.  I personally feel it's the only way you can avoid persistent and constant flares.  And if your boss ever winds up faultering on work ethics, kindly remind them of a proper one.  You can even give them this story as an example of what poor work ethic will cost them LOL! 

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

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