I would like to say that I had a very good conversation with my employer today about returning to work after this last horrific leave experience of mine. Now generally my issues with a return to work have been unpleasant and I have in the past worked with a manager that quite simply didn’t work with me and my disability. And I couldn’t work the position. Well, I worked the job great. When I was there. But I could not consistently Be There. The work tension and issues that evolved from that caused more stress than you can possibly imagine. It was a brutal environment.
This was different. This area manager and the manager actually are what a disabled person wants to have at their back. They said they had my old role for me if I felt I was ready for it. They wanted to know what they could do for me for me to be a productive member of the group. For me to do well and be well.
We then went into how the return to work would be. I said it would be 3 days a week. An alternating work day with a day off after. Always having that recovery day. They were fine accommodating that. But wondered when I would be able to do full time again. I said the pain clinic wants me only at part-time. I would worry part-time would work out well and then I’d go to full time a rapidly find out it wasn’t possible… like every other time.
I asked about Job Sharing which they have at other similar institutions and also it is on the HR site at our office. But they can’t. So then it was mentioned there could be another role that has part-time. Something I had considered at home as a logical move for the back to consider for me. I agreed that role made the most sense since I knew working part-time is a good idea for me. Always saying if I wanted to do that. Because there are wage differences to consider. I am aware of that, but knew wages would be going down for part-time anyway.
I mentioned in the past with all those leaves I knew I wasn’t functioning well. But I was trying to hold onto a career. It was difficult to accept to work less. My boss said your work shouldn’t affect your health. If you need to step back you should consider that option.
So essentially they said you have a strong history with the bank and how can we help you continue that. What would work for you?
I literally have not experienced that. If I had, maybe years ago I would have done this and suffered a great deal less because of the change.
One thing they said that my productivity when I returned from the long-term and started at that branch last year was low. Very low. For me, whose productivity was always great this bothers me. I blame it on being two years off and having to get familiar with a new system and finding materials again as well as being rusty with customer conversations. I felt I was less productive as well. But I worry it might be medication. Since now I am on running painkillers. I hope it was just because I needed to adjust to the pain levels and a return to work and nothing to do with med side effects… if it is still like that when I return I may rethink the med choices and mention it to the pain clinic.
Anyway, bravo, for an exceptional disability work conversation with those two. That is how it should be with every disabled employee. Just have a straight up honest conversation with them. Help them to be motivated to succeed. Because god damn it we want to succeed.
So this will be the day I will finally stop fighting with my body over something I am incapable of doing. I tried repeatedly to work full time. Over and over. It never worked. Pushing through the pain is exhausting mentally, physically and emotionally. It catches up with you.
Remind myself I am not my job. And get down and learn something new. Excel at that and have less stress. Less pay, but less stress. Able to actually achieve it. Able to go to work Consistently. Able to be Reliable.
I feel this decision will work out well. I feel a sense of relief in fact. Because I know I will not be forced into a situation that I will not be able to function in and then feel like a failure when I cannot. I want to feel like a competent, efficient and reliable again. People never see you as you are. They see the disability… and it isn’t reliable. But I am. I’m intelligent, competent and damned reliable. I need a job that fits my limitations… so I can actually be those things. I know I’m giving up my career in the bank that I desired and wanted. I know that. But sometimes your health comes first and you just need to do other things. I will work to keep myself sane and this in turn will not be detrimental to my health. Maybe one day a successful treatment will come out of research and I can actually progress career-wise. If not, then I will maintain and consider myself lucky.