Fed up with work! — Scope | Disability forum
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Fed up with work!

vapegirlclouds Member Posts: 10 Connected
I hope this finds all of you well, and if you do read my moan, all of it. I deeply appreciate it.
Firstly I know I'm incredibly fortunate to have a job, and to still be able to work 
In 2001 I started my current role, I work as a scientist for a government body. Since starting I've become registered visually impaired and have severe Tourettes syndrome with complex tics. Every time I've been referred to OH it's been a battle to stay working in the laboratory. I do work with chemicals etc, but you'd be surprised at what you can do in a lab with low vision. I have extreme light sensitivity and eye pain and have reasonable adjustments in place. 
My main reasonable adjustment is low light, I basically work with black out blinds and by soft lamp light. I've worked this way for 5 years.
We've recently moved to a new premises in a different town, it was agreed at board level  July '16 that they would help cover my taxi costs with AtoW my team leader didn't know this, lack of communication from upper management. 
AtoW contacted my team leader in December despite her not really having to do anything, it took her 7 weeks to respond to AtoW. This left me a week to sign declaration forms and contact the winning taxi company and sort out times etc. 
I requested several times for her to respond  (nicely) and at one team meeting she said that AtoW had left her a message, no idea what that's about?!?really! I bit my tongue. 
I also needed to go to the new build and traverse the area with my cane. I use a cane everywhere apart from my house, inside the lab areas I work. I was told "don't worry you'll be fine, you'll get there"
Actually I'm visually impaired, have mobility issues with my tics at times especially when anxious. Nope, nothing.
I arranged it myself with a colleague, naturally managers then wanted to step in and rearrange the plans I'd made...
This is all in the week where I have to sort out transport, pack up a lab, I rarely ask for help and don't get it if I do.
My main reasonable adjustment, black out blinds hadn't been done. I was apologised to by the project manager and assured it would be done straight away. 5 weeks in now, and they still aren't right. Hopefully this week it will be. I bought clip on sunglasses to slip over my safety glasses to try and help me manage. Because I'm still expected to do my job. 
I work 7am to 3.30 I was assured the first day that everything would be open. It's a university. It wasn't. I sat on the floor for over an hour before another staff member came in, then a while longer before someone actually opened it up. It's new, I expected some issues.  What really upset me though was I'd text my team manager to say what was happening, she couldn't text me back but had managed to tell everyone what had happened. As any staff that came from the old building came to see me and ask if I was ok. She didn't.  I don't want the moon on a stick, I'd just spent 40 minutes with a new taxi driver, stressed, an are you ok would have been nice.
I have two work areas. A lab and an office. I'm the only person to have an office, due to my reasonable adjustments, they replicated what I had. So a dark office for all my pc assistive kit etc. Again I know how lucky I am. And the lab area.
I had my review last week. I passed, she commented that I'd not done 6 samples. Thsee came in the week before we moved and I'd packed up everything, she also said it was fine to do them after we moved!
Followed by " I know you love your domain, but for next year's development, how about you have a think about doing something else, we'll obviously have to train more people up to do your work, so have a think"
Now, I don't know if I'm being over sensitive here. But to me there's a massive difference between " loving my domain " and being able to walk into my work area and work. Half my work I need masses of kit, the other half I can manage without kit.
This really upset me, it came across as "your reasonable adjustments are just your comfort zone"
It isn't practical to reasonably adjust a multitude of labs and I work with such low light it causes others difficulties. Naturally I'm met with but you're going blind how can you work in the dark...
I'm just fed up with it. It's a university, we have no security yet, I've very loud racist motor tics and have already been approached by a student about hate speech, staff think it's funny. I'm scared.
I also have a colleague who thinks it's funny to deliberately make me tic, I've asked him not to, said it's unkind his response was. Well, you're ticcing anyway.
I don't know if I'm being a snowflake or am being slightly discriminated against and should complain to someone.
I do love my job, but wouldn't be able to do it if it wasn't for my reasonable adjustments. 
Any advice if you managed to read my ranting would be appreciated. 
Many thanks
Vapegirlclouds x


  • Markmywords
    Markmywords Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    Hello @vapegirlclouds ,

    This is my advice for what it's worth. I once got pushed out from a college so I have experience.

    It can go one of two ways; either HR will want to be seen as progressive and support you or they will want to stop the boat rocking by blaming you and denying everything.

    The phrase "how about you have a think about doing something else" indicates your manager is already on the path of moving you out. The vague mumblings of dissatisfaction while being unable to identify any failure to perform will most likely escalate.

    Really the only option is to write a formal complaint citing discrimination from the manager and bullying from colleagues to the head of HR. Tell them about the "doing something else" comment plus highlighting the passed appraisal. Also that you expect matters to escalate on your manager's part.

    Request the adjustments you need to perform your role in detail to HR. Also request that staff and students are briefed before meeting you on your disabilities. Your average student would hate to be seen as the intolerant one.

    You seem to be in a deteriorating environment so do you stretch it out as it is or gamble "all or nothing" to try to fix it?
  • bendigedig
    bendigedig Member Posts: 254 Pioneering
    edited March 2017

    You are such a nice person :). They dont deserve you.

    no you are not being over sensetive.  You are not being a snowflake.

    you are being subject to workplace discrimination and bullying.  Have you spoken to your Union?

    The passive bullying of your project manager is totally unacceptable.  As is the harrassment of the buffoon that thinks its funny to stimulate a ticking response in you (what an ****)

    Do somthing about this situTion as quick as you can,  embarrass them as much as possible!  Get people on your side.  Make it legal if necerssary.  Go to the news paper?

    Dont let them push you around! :). I know this sort of things takes energy and somtimes it feels like you are all alone.  You are not alone though... Ive been through similar.... This sort of thing is becoming more and more common, our ruling classes are starting to move away from the tollerant and inclussive model that the rest of us are trying to foster in our society.  Dont let them get away with it.

    Good luck let us know how you get on. 

  • Chris_Alumni
    Chris_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 689 Pioneering
    @vapegirlclouds, sorry to hear you're having so much trouble at work. You might like to give our free helpline a call as they may be able to offer some advice as to steps you can take. They're closed now but will be open again on Monday morning (hours are mon-fri 9am-5pm), and the number is 0808 800 3333.

  • vapegirlclouds
    vapegirlclouds Member Posts: 10 Connected
    I forgot all about this. I do apologise.
    Currently I'm almost 4 months into waiting for a reasonable adjustment to be completed. The adjustment is swipe locks on the only door I can get in. I have Raynauds too and currently have to stand outside up to 20 minutes before a cleaner sees me or a colleague lets me in.
    I was brave this week.
    I contacted my union and they've gone berserk. Want me put on gardening leave until the adjustment is done, take them to an employment tribunal and/or get a fit nite saying I can return once the adjustment has been done.
    I've decided if the adjustment isntndone tomorrow I'm going to get the fit note on Friday. Stuff it.
    I feel as if I've had no support from management, or my organisation. If inask for anything I get a face pulled at me. As if but you have all this and want more? Reasonable adjustments are seen as perks, still.
    Currently waiting to see if my manager speaks to hr and gets leave done, they're all frantically covering their backs. I've evidence of my first email in August but they're aware I've not had full access, ever. Will see what tomorrow brings. I just don't want to be penalised for getting a fit note if they don't get it done this week.
    There needs to be a nationwide survey, like Stone wall has for lgbt but for disabled workers. Yes companies might have signed up to the disability confidence scheme, but if people are like me, too afraid to speak up until they break then there's bound to be issues with other staff in other jobs.
  • Wondermum54
    Wondermum54 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Hi - sympathies to all struggling with work and adjustments.  I developed CRPS nearly two years ago now and although I was previously told by my manager that she would support me at work- this has not happened.  I was recently referred to OH and the referral was so full of lies it was unbelievable - I refused to sign anything until it is amended, I also took in 3 files of proof that the referral was incorrect.  I have also contacted my union for support moving forward. 
    I finally got access to work involved and am presently awaiting their report - which I don't think will go done well at work.  Basically I feel like I am being shoved out the door - after 16 years of working there.  Although each and every day is a major struggle - I go into work every day and do my work as there is no-one else there who can do my role.  They even tried to get OH to say I wasn't disabled - fortunately OH agreed with me and said it was not in their remit to disproof this.  I get PIP, have a blue badge, wheel chair, bath seat, walk with crutches, have a carer etc etc.  I was livid with work as how can OH be more qualified than top professors, consultants etc.  Also work have lied about reasonable adjustments being made/put into place - the adjustments I have made have been done by me - not anyone else, e.g. how to get a drink, carry files etc. I would love to apply for a different job, but am worried that anyone will employ me as my disability is visible, and especially after the attitude I am experiencing at work presently. I feel that employers see disability as a problem and not what we can contribute. 

    It is sad that it in this day and age - being disabled (or less abled as I prefer to call it) - seems to equate to being written off when it comes to work.  I do not have any answers at the moment - I am just going to keep recording incidents at work, keep my union updated and hope that Access to Work come through with some answers. 


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