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Old 10-28-2007, 09:06 AM   #1
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wheninrome1313 HB User
Unhappy I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

I have an issue I need advice on.

I have been doing well with my taper up until 2 weeks ago. This last 2 weeks I hit my half way point and found that I needed anti-depressents, klonodine and also added some vitamins. I am not sure if my feeling bad was a side effect or because a very good friend of mine died unexpectadely of viral ensephylidis that week. At any rate, I was feeling bad and my doc started me on these new meds. I have to take something every 8 hours. One of those does fall at 12 noon. I tried to take them while at work but was finding I was feeling very tired and very sick. So I chose to go home for lunch and take my meds so I could lay down (I live pretty close to work).

The place I work, I am a contract employee and have been there 3 months. I am a hard worker who is honest and loyal. I have always been highly respected and valued by my past employers and I pride myself on it. My boss is a really nice guy who is very smart but somewhat of a workaholic. He can sit for 9 hours without eating or drinking, just work work work. I often bring him food and water because I am afraid he is going to keel over someday. Up until the last few weeks I didn't take many lunch breaks. If I did, they weren't long or I would eat at my desk. In the beginning I used to check in with him whenever I left or came back even though the other girls said they never did, but most of the time he would be on the phone or just really involved and he hates the be interupted, so I stopped doing that. I would just tell the receptionist instead. It was all going fine, he didn't seem to care or notice so I kept track of my time honestly, was getting my assignments done in a timely manner and he was happy. This last week, I was taking longer lunches due to the issue I was trying to deal with. I was telling the receptionist when I left, then when I got back I would stay later to make up for the longer time. He never said anything so I figured he was ok with it. I didn;t think he noticed even that anything was wrong with me that week and if he did, he prob. would think it was because of my friend dieing. I also had a flat tire that week and had a bank errand for him that took 45 minutes, so really I was only taking about 30 minutes more than my usual break. More for the tire and bank run. I also felt that 3 months was long enough to know you can trust someone, and if they have a bad week you would prob. ask them about it or figure it would get better. I didn't want to make an issue out of it if he didn't say anything. Well come Friday I turned in my timesheet. Honestly I didn;t keep exact track that week. It was the first time I did that. I kept track of the hours in my head, but didn;t write the exact hours down. So I just turned it in with flat 8 hours a day. I honestly feel that it is what I worked. He called me in his office to show me that he had kept track that week and had different hours. (this is a guy who you wont see all morning and will come into your office at 11 and say "when did you get here?" and you had been there since 8:30!) So it was out of character for him to keep track. One day he showed me out at 11:15 when I hadn't left until 12 ish that day. (I had gone to the bathroom around then but I came back) The point is, I couldn't argue the point because I really hadn't kept track in writing. He wanted to know what was going on because he noticed I was leaving for lunch everyday and gone longer than usual and I wasn't turning out the usual work load and said he thought I was pre-occupied. First I was hurt that he had kept track but I know he had been burned before so I tried not to take in personal. But he said that he knows I have my own business and saw me on the internet a few times. I didn't want him to think I was doing my own business on his time so I chose to tell him the truth. I told him about how I was with a pain clinic and that I was tapering off Oxy and this week was different and I was tyring to just get through it and didnt think he noticed anything was wrong. I told him I was on this healthboard getting support. He seemed relieved and ok with and said I should have talk to him. (I also felt he should have come to me in the beginning so I knew he had an issue) But at any rate, we agreed to communicate more. He told me in the future to just tell him I need to leave if I am feeling bad and that I am entitled to 15 minute breaks to use the internet. But now I am worried that he really isn't ok with it or will judge me for this and think I can't do my job. I never told him I was on the meds because people seem to think we cant function on them or if we make a mistake, it is because of that. Now I feel like I did the wrong thing. I am at the end of my grace period and I don't know if he is really ok with it or if I should start looking for a new job. I feel like asking him to extend my grace period, just to make sure I can get through this. (I am also afraid that if I have more problems he will judge me or not be as understanding now that he knows) He is the kind of guy that wont say anything right away when he has an issue. He let one girl continue working for almost 6 months until she quit even though he was unhappy with her performance. I don't want to be one of those people. I am also slightly concerned that he was so quick to mis-trust me or that I can't take a lunch break without feeling like he is going to be mad. ( I can't sit for 8 hours straight, especially with my back) I spend my whole life proving myself to people and it is very hard to feel like I have to do that again. He doesn't trust anyone and I don't know if he will ever trust me. That is a hard thing to be around. Everyone trusts me! These drugs turn you into something else in peoples eyes and I hate that.

Anyway, I can't afford to lose my job and I don't want to be blind sided one day. I don't even know if he believes what I told him and is just saying he does! For now, I am just going to get all my work done and hope I can make it through the day without having to take a break. I am not sure what he really wants. I thought working hard and doing better than his other assistants was enough, but the fact that it only took one bad week for all that to fall apart, I have to wonder what is going to happen in the future. What is the point if I work really hard for a year if it can all fall apart with one bad week?!

Sorry for the long post, just really hurt and sad and worried and trying to resolve without falling back on my taper because I am tempred to go back up so I can feel better and get through the day at work. I am also worried if my side effects get worse what I will do if it happens at work. I dont know if I can make it 8 hours every day with the way I feel! I just want off these things so bad so I can go back to my normal life again...

 
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:20 AM   #2
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spark-o-cet HB User
Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

i have struggled with the same thing myself,whether to tell the company whats going on or just let it go.i think it is a mistake to tell the boss or company about the adiction or pain clinic or problem with pills.it can and will always come back to haunt you in the end im afraid to say.the least little thing that goes wrong from now on will be blamed on you no matter what it is.back in 04 i was signing up for health ins. and a question on the ins. asked about addiction issues.i thought and thought about it and decided to be honest with the girl rep.she said this had never come up before with her and she had to think about what to do.i had not signed up yet at this time.so she calls me at 5:00 that evening and tellls me she thinks she should not let me get health insurance cause of what i told her.i got mad as hell.she said she was gonna say somthing to a superviser and i told her if she told anyone i would sue her and the co for violating the hippa privacy act.she freaked out and told me to fill out the application and not mention anything about addiction or the medication i was taking for it.but all this would not have come up if i had just kept my mouth shut about personell problems.

if you have problems with the boss in the future and you change jobs i would never mention anything bout addiction or pain or pill issues.they automatically label you a noaccount drug addict no matter what.just blame the problems on something else if they do ask what is the matter with you.good luck-spark

 
Old 10-28-2007, 02:26 PM   #3
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granny0 HB User
Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

Hi there. I have never told anyone of my addiction. When going thru withdrawal, I just didn't feel good so that's what I said. Went to dr for blood work etc. Then I became very depressed and anxious so I'm taking and adjusting to an anti-depressant. Everyone I work closely with knows that. The higher up bosses were probably oblivious to anything that was going on with me. I would never tell any employers or prospective employers of the addiction. Like spark said, they may automatically think of you in a bad way if they've never suffered from an addiction themselves. Depression and anxiety is a little more understandable to them than an addiction.
What's done is done. He knows now. All you can do is prove yourself by doing a good job. I khow how horrible the fatigue can get and it's tough putting in those 8 hrs a day but I have managed. You are entitled to your lunch hours, so don't stop taking them. You need to get out and get some air. Alot of times, I just park my car somewhere, listen to the radio or CD and relax for an hour. I can't say it always perks me up, but it's an hour out of the office.
I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. That's what really started my spiral out of control when I lost a friend to breast cancer at the end of June. I work with her mother, who is probably my closest friend, and have had to be supportive for her loss of a daughter while I was double upset, loss of friend and extremely worried about her Mom. I hope you find peace and comfort soon.
JB

 
Old 10-29-2007, 08:55 AM   #4
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wheninrome1313 HB User
Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

I know you both are right, and I shouldn't have said anything but I had to say something and I couldb't lie. And if I did lie, I would have felt bad about it and had bad luck for a month. I also thought that he might have checked the computers and saw I was on the addiction and recovery board and I din't want him to make is own assumptions.

When he comes back from his trip, I am going to have all of my work done and am going to have the front desk girl keep track of my time. Then I will sit down with him one more time and make sure he is ok and also give him a note from my doc so he at least knows I am telling the truth about tapering from meds prescribed by a doc. I will ask him to extend my probation period another month so that he has time to see that I am doing ok and honestly it also gives me time to decide if I can manage or if I want to stay. As much as I like my job, I am still concerned that he was so quick to judge and that he doesn't trust people. Earlier, I went to the rest room and was worried that he might have called while I was gone and assume I am not working. I don't want to always have to worry about those types of things. If I can't make it, I can at least be honest and give him sufficient notice before my probation period is up. I wont just walk out on him, I could never do that.

That is the best I can do. Too late to take back what I said. I will just hope that it works out for the best, whatever that may be!

Thanks for the advice!

 
Old 10-29-2007, 11:05 AM   #5
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Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

I am a contract worker for the banking industry. These companies are very sensitive about the background of their contractors. A stigma attached to my life-history, like drug addiction, would have been my demise.

I needed time off work to detox, and this is how I did it:

When asked why I needed someone to cover my service contracts, I put the general term "medical problems," and they were very understanding and found a temporary worker to replace me. When rumors started buzzing around, I leaked a little bit information about my heart condition (the truth, but not all of it), which seemed to take the "fire" out of the gossip stuff. To restart the service contract, I was asked to submit a doctor's release-to-work form. I told the doctor what little information I had given my customers, and he wrote it up just well enough to cover my *ss

Good luck. Sometimes, if your disclose too much information, it will bite you. I am certain that I would have lost the contract if I told them ALL of the truth.

mk

 
Old 10-29-2007, 11:10 AM   #6
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Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

I dont know about the laws in colorado, but in ohio you CANT get fired if you admit to having addiction issues. all they can do is offer you help, or see that you are getting help by a doctor. if you get fired for it, you have every right to sue the company for discrimination. Its just like if they fired someone for being gay, or for having aids.
when i told my boss, long ago, about my addiction issues, the company sent me to rehab to get better. i could have chosen to go to any doctor or clinic for my rehab, but i had to comply with some sort of recovery plan and if i didnt THEN they had the right to fire me.
so as far as your job is concerned, you should have no worries there.
i would do as you said; work hard, complete all your responsibilities efficiently. just be a good employee and what is there to complain about on his part? nothing, right?
i wish you luck, i know its hard but just take it a day at a time and life will get better and better. try going to a 12 step group for some support because that will help immensley (sp?) in all areas of your life.

take care,
michelle

 
Old 10-29-2007, 11:44 AM   #7
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Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

There are laws to protect us in Oregon as well.

The only problem is the excuse that your employer uses to "fire you." The real reason for dismissal, the truth, is hidden behind baked up excuses like "she wasn't doing her job" or "I caught her cheating on her time card."

If the company is big and the employees are protected by a powerful union, or you have been working for the company some years, then you have a chance. I tried to get a lawyer for a what I saw as a clear cut "discrimination" lawsuit some years ago, and found out how difficult these are to take to court.

Good luck,

mk

 
Old 10-29-2007, 11:56 AM   #8
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Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

Hey Rome,
First of all, slow down and breathe.....you have no control over what the future holds. So all u can do is to try and do your best right now.
Whatever is meant to happen will happen, and worrying about it won't change anything. YOU are doing the right thing, and that is all that matters.
I myself am a big people pleaser, and i CAN"T STAND IT if i think someone doesn't like me or is disagreeing with what i do. But i can't control what others think nor can i let it control my life.
Don't analyze everything, just take care of yourself and keep moving forward on your taper. Your health is most important, and your Boss will understand. And if he doesn't, then u cross that bridge when it comes. But more than likely nothing will come of u telling him and all the worry will only make u sicker.
I'm so sorry for your loss also. Your dealing with a lot right now and you need to be kind and patient with yourself. Take care of you!

 
Old 10-29-2007, 02:25 PM   #9
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spark-o-cet HB User
Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

mk was exactly write in his post up above,they can cover it up and call it anything they want to.they dont have to prove it,you have to prove you are right.even if all states have that "protection" from being fired for addiction issues,the companys will get you to quit by knit-picking you to death or give you every **** job that comes along.they can and will make you miserable until you cant stand it no more.you cant beat the big ceos.like mk said about the discrimination no lawyer will touch a case unless it is clear cut with all kinds of evidence,tape recordings,photos,witnesses.you just cant beat them.i have tried a few times and it dont happen.good luck-spark

 
Old 10-29-2007, 07:25 PM   #10
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wheninrome1313 HB User
Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

Well I am screwed anyway because I am a Contract employee. So I have no protection because I am an Inependant Contractor, I pay quartertly taxes and so the benefit is more money but no Unemployment, benefits or reasons to sue if they violate my rights. (plus I am a paralegal and lawyers dont like to sue lawyers)

Thanks mags, I am a people pleaser too and part of me has a big ego and I just want to say, DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE TO HAVE ME! I should be able to smoke crack at my desk and you should still be thankful I even showed up!

Just kidding.

THanks all for the advice and encouragement!

 
Old 10-30-2007, 03:59 AM   #11
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Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

to me, it sounds like your creating monsters...
If he were that concerned, he would have already let you go, or shortly after you told him what was going on.

When he comes back, ask for a few minutes of his time, sit down and explain your worries, let him know you are under a Doctors care for this and not just doing these drugs for recreation and found yourself in over your head.

Let him know, that you are willing to keep him informed as to what to expect as far as why you need the time off etc and thank him for his patience and concern.

we tend to think so badly of ourselves when we face the fact that we are addicted to our DOC and we often end up thinking that telling others of our addiction, will leave them with the impression that we are some sort of low life drug user living under a bridge somewhere....

IMO you did the right thing by being honest with him.

 
Old 10-30-2007, 03:56 PM   #12
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Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

merely me have you told your boss about your addiction?just wondering-spark

 
Old 10-30-2007, 04:52 PM   #13
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Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

In fact I have, when I applied for the Job I currently have, my boss asked me to explain the 18 month gap in my employment history and I was totally up front and honest.

When I first began to detox, I was on medical leave from the job I was working at the time, but I did go in and explained to my Manager that I had become addicted to my medication used to treat my pain and would not be able to return from my medical leave of absence due to my having to now detox off of the medication, she was very understanding and offered to hold my position for me, due to my recently discovered medical condition, I was not able to return to the position being held for me, but was honest with the supervisor I have now.

 
Old 10-30-2007, 06:17 PM   #14
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spark-o-cet HB User
Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

excellent,its different here in kentucky.so much has been in the news about prescription drug abuse that everybody automatically labels you a loser.glad it worked for you.did you tell the boss where you are at now?good luck-spark

 
Old 11-01-2007, 02:28 AM   #15
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Re: I told my employer...did I do the right thing?

OK my boss comes back tomorrow. I came to the conclusion that I am not going to be happy at this job anymore. The lack of trust is a big issue for me, and I was honest about my issue and I think he sold me short. All I did was fail to write down my time to the minute 1 week, and went on the internet for a few minutes here and there. I remembered all the things I have contributed to the company like giving him a scanner, taking work home and not billing, and buying his creamer and bringing him lunch all at no charge, staying late, offering to come in on weekends. That isn't a person who is trying to pull something. In the grand scheme of things, and compared to the quantity and quality of work I put out and the most people I have worked with who are way worse, that should not have been that big of a deal and he should have known better. I have a great resume and a lot of experience and most people would be happy to take me on a bad day than most people on a good day. Everybody makes a mistake at some point, this was my first one! PLUS, I just don't feel myself and don't know from day to day if I can make it through a shift until this is over with. IN all fairness to him, he still deserves to have someone in the capacity he chooses. It is his company and I haven't been with him long enough to expect loyalty and to stick with me through this alhtough it seems like he expects all of his people to not have lives or issues ever which is why he can't keep anyone around. So I am going to tell him tomorrow that I want him to extend my grace period by a month and that I am unsure of how I will feel day to day and I will try and make it through at least 6 hours straight (keep in mind this isn't an issue of not being able to work an 8-12 hour day, it is just straight through with my tapering every 8hours. I would do eves and weekends if he allowed me to work like and actual contract employee instead of treating me like an employee which I am not) I will tell him we can just try this day to day and if he doesn't think it will work tell me now, or if after a few weeks it isn't working, I will help him find someone who will work for him. That way I am true to myself and fair to him and leave on good terms. I think you are all right, telling him the truth means everything I do will always be judged by the meds, I was already judged before he knew, I can't imagine if I make a mistake what he will say. I don't like the way this is making me feel like a bad person or weak or worried he is judging me. I think inevatabley, this trust issue he has with people would have caused problems even if my health hadn't been an issue. He would have found something else at some point, from what I hear, he is looking for it and expecting it.

WISH ME LUCK!

BTW I am at my half way point now and doing good. At this rate, I may be off my x-mas!

 
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