My manager said that I looked better without my walking stick. What are your thoughts on this? — Scope | Disability forum
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My manager said that I looked better without my walking stick. What are your thoughts on this?

gaynorwishes
gaynorwishes Member Posts: 5 Connected
edited November 21 in Work and employment
Hi I have  had lots of health issues over the past few years. But in Oct 2020 I had extensive surgery. So I had 7 months off work. When I went back i was using a walking stick. For when I had bad days. But after I had more surgery in Sept 2021 for gallbladder removal I went back into work with out my stick. My manager said to me that I look so much better without it and I'm the same age has him. He said it made me look old. And he said he wondered what I was doing with it. Even though he knows all my medical issue..what are peoples thoughts on this pls? Thanks for reading 

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,827 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community 

    People say things without realising the impact of what they are saying and usually don't mean to cause upset 

    I suggest you discuss with your manager how their comments made you feel you may find they had not thought about what they said 

    You should bring it to their attention first and if it doesn't get resolved then take it further 
    I have professional experience in HR within public,  private, and charity sectors.  If I can help I will 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,635 Disability Gamechanger
    Somebody said to me in passing today that I probably couldn't lift something, looking at my walking stick, it wasn't true of course, but it proves the point that people make assumptions.
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 215

    Scope community team

    Hi @gaynorwishes thanks so much for reaching out. As our lovely members have said, often people say things without realising that they might be insensitive or ill-informed. Because there is quite a lack of awareness around disability in society, a lot of assumptions are made. If you feel up to it, you could gently challenge those assumptions your manager made. 

    If you're not comfortable talking about it with your manager directly, do you have a trusted colleague you can talk to, or a member of HR, if you have them? Just to flag it as a potential issue, or an area to focus on with some organisation wide training around disability awareness?
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  • Circe
    Circe Member Posts: 59 Courageous
    Hi I have  had lots of health issues over the past few years. But in Oct 2020 I had extensive surgery. So I had 7 months off work. When I went back i was using a walking stick. For when I had bad days. But after I had more surgery in Sept 2021 for gallbladder removal I went back into work with out my stick. My manager said to me that I look so much better without it and I'm the same age has him. He said it made me look old. And he said he wondered what I was doing with it. Even though he knows all my medical issue..what are peoples thoughts on this pls? Thanks for reading 
    I'd say to your manager that ignorance on disability aids has nothing to do with image and that how old would he think you look if you fell over and sued them for disability discrimination!

    sounds like a numpty to be honest.
  • leeCal
    leeCal Member Posts: 4,332 Disability Gamechanger
    I had someone tell me I was acting like an eighty year old just because I sat with a hot water bottle behind me! Ridiculous obviously, I’m nowhere near eighty and my back was aching.  However people do say things without thinking about he detail too much and we add the detail ourselves very often ...and replay the whole thing over and over just to add salt to the wound. 

    Throw away statements like that are best ignored in my opinion. 

    If everything's coming up roses it's time to call in a gardener

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