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Problems at Work

I'm fucking sick of discrimination.

By Rene PetersPublished 28 days ago Updated 28 days ago 4 min read
Top Story - March 2024
41

Sunday, March 17th

I know I have been extremely honest about having epilepsy and the types of things I face due to having it. However, something I've never truly dealt with in the workplace happened just a few days ago.

I was at work doing my job and then helping coworkers for the rest of my shift, as I always do. I thought my shift was going smoothly. I only had one or two PNEA that affected my ability to do stuff. That's a low amount compared to some other shifts. I was nearing the end of my shift, only about 20 minutes left. The coworker I was helping came into the kitchen from taking care of some stuff as I was starting to wrap her pans from the salad bar. It was just us two in the kitchen when she quietly told me (in case anyone could hear), "I want to tell you what David just told me... He said, 'She should be going home as soon as she's done with her own tasks because what if she has a seizure?' I told him he can tell you that himself if he's that worried about it." David is a supervisor and still doesn't have any idea how seizures work despite me being as honest at work as I am on here.

What if they happen while I am doing my own job? I can't just prevent them for the 90-120 minutes that my own tasks take. My brain will have a seizure whenever it damn well pleases.

I bet the general manager will love to hear about that. Just last year, a manager was forced to leave because of an insensitive remark regarding my seizures. She was told to keep an eye on me by the former assistant manager and she said, "I know how to take care of people with seizures. My dog had epilepsy." I wasn't the one to tell on her but the general manager was pissed and let her choose between putting in her two weeks or being fired on the spot.

I swear this supervisor causing issues now just doesn't like me. He got mad when I asked if my mom and I could leave work early months ago because I was sobbing in pain and needed to go to urgent care. He has hated me since that day because he had to do... gasp... work, at a job of all places.

As soon as I found out about him saying that, I decided I am absolutely calling the general manager when he goes in on Monday. I am making sure shit gets done about this because I am fucking sick of the discrimination no matter where I go.

Monday, March 18th

I called the general manager this morning to tell him about everything that happened. I started with, "First of all, I'm sorry for calling so early." 7:45 in the morning seems early for a work call but he claimed it wasn't early, probably to make me feel better. I'll never know for sure.

I started with explaining that David didn't say it to me but told him the name of the coworker who he did say it to. He asked what I do when I finish my own tasks. I was honest about helping other people with prep work and cleaning tables. In a college dining hall, cleaning tables takes about 45 minutes at the end of my four hour shift each time.

I reassured him that everything I do to help is stuff that I feel safe and comfortable helping with. He wasn't worried about that (probably because he trusts my judgment... I've been there for three years) but because he wanted to make sure I was actually doing stuff and not on the clock doing nothing, which I completely understand.

After we talked about what was allegedly (though I trust this coworker) said and what I do after finishing my tasks, he said, "I'll handle this," which gave me some hope.

* * *

Instances such as this are unfortunately very common for people with disabilities. It's not okay and people need to realize that. He probably thought I wouldn't find out and in his mind, that somehow makes it okay. It isn't though... The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) exists BECAUSE of people like him. Unfortunately for him, my hours can't be cut just because I have a disability. More awareness needs to be brought to the discrimination that disabled people receive.

Workplace
41

About the Creator

Rene Peters

I write what I know, usually in the form of poetry. I tend to lean towards mental health, epilepsy, and loss/grieving.

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Comments (23)

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  • Siyabulela Mchila22 days ago

    Sorry for having a hard time at work because of David. Workplace supposed to be a place of happiness regardless of discrimination

  • Excellent personal story . Discrimination of any form is so wrong .

  • Novel Allen25 days ago

    There are so many different forms of discriminations. None is right. Sometimes people say or do things ,not really trying to be mean. Yet. it hurts. I wish we could all be perfect human beings, but life will happen. We all must try to be the best that we can be, and be supportive. Kudos on TS.

  • The persistence of prejudice in the workplace is horrifying, but your bravery in facing it head-on is commendable and essential for bringing about change.

  • Anna 27 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • JBaz27 days ago

    Sometimes people care other times they ignore an issue. And some say shit because they do not understand. Nice article on your struggles thanks for sharing

  • The Dani Writer27 days ago

    Excellent personal narrative and just the type of perspective that NEEDS to be shared! It's how people wake up, truly see, and understand. Glad that this was a top story!

  • L.R27 days ago

    Thanks for sharing this snippet of a day in the life of you. It is not often I read or hear of other peoples experiences of epilepsy. I especially like the image you selected. Simply because when my seizures started a few years ago, they came hard, they came fast and for the few months before I had meds prescribed which actually made a difference, I was genuinely afraid to go outside. It really did feel like the seizures were coming to define my existence. It's a real shame awareness is so low in workspaces, something really should be done to make things easier, just wish i had a solid idea of what changes would be best to try.

  • Thank you for sharing this, hopefully it will bring it to the attention of a wider audience

  • Sid Aaron Hirji27 days ago

    I have talked of this before. While there is a disabilities act, discrimination will always exist. All we can do is bring awareness. I feel disability studies should be mandatory to work in HR but definitely is not the case. Stay strong

  • Farhat Naseem27 days ago

    Nice. Keep yourself motivated

  • Andrea Corwin 27 days ago

    I worked in HR with the Fed gov. Totally unacceptable. Training is needed but many times the “supervisors” don’t get it. I hope it gets better and the dumbass pays attention to ADA. Congrats!!

  • David really crossed the line! I hope writing this made you feel better. Congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • You are a strong lady René!!! Keep up the good work. Congratulations on your Top Story!!! 😎🙂

  • Alexis Wellmaker27 days ago

    💕 My heart goes out to you ... It's awesome that you help others even after finishing your own work tasks. Keep standing strong!

  • Jeremy White27 days ago

    Good of your coworker for telling you. Congrats on top story. I understand the discrimination. I have autism. It's more a problem with customers than the employer.

  • Babs Iverson27 days ago

    Proud of you!!! Fantastic Top Story!!! Congratulations!!!💕❤️❤️

  • Cathy holmes28 days ago

    Congrats on the TS.

  • Paul Stewart28 days ago

    Oh first off and ahead of anything else - well done on you and your co-worker. I am proud of you and you should be of yourself for advocating for yourself and for knowing your rights and the rules. I'm glad your boss is going to deal with it, because that other guy sounds like an arsehole. Congrats on this getting Top Story too because I think it will help encourage others too, in similar situations. Well done you!

  • Donna Renee28 days ago

    Holy crap. I’m so sorry that you had to deal with this situation in the first place!!! ❤️

  • Judey Kalchik 28 days ago

    Good for you and your coworker. When everyone on the team knows what is right and supports each other, there will be less opportunity for managers/leaders to pull off this stuff.

  • Suze Kay28 days ago

    Good on you for advocating for yourself! Those conversations must have felt uncomfortable and scary, so I’m proud of you for pushing through.

  • Cathy holmes28 days ago

    I'm sorry for what you're going through. I know seizures are random and unpredictable, so yeah you could just as easily have had one while doing your own duties. It doesn't mean you can't work because there's a possibility it may happen. Thanks for sharing.

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