My Mind Is On The Blink

October 2, 2008

In response to my last entry, Michael left this comment: “Sounds like the school system has instituted a new level of buck passing. What in the world could be the objection at the district level, as long as the principal is okay with it? I mean, even without the ADA on your side. Sheesh.”

Sheesh, indeed.

I finally heard from the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.  The response came in the form of a of a letter requesting that I grant permission for the School District and their physician to speak to my physician regarding my request for “disability-related accommodations.”

By the way, the letter indicated that I should respond by September 26th.  The envelope was postmarked September 29th, and I received it on the 30th.  Incredible.

Anyway, this is something new.  In the past, the building Principal made the decision.  Once, when we had an interim Principal, approval was given by the Superintendent.  I don’t know why this has suddenly become such a complicated issue.

I must emphasize how much this accommodation has improved the quality of my life.  Leaving at 2:00 rather than 2:40 might not seem like a big deal, but it is to me.  Those 40 minutes at home allow me to prepare dinner and take care of other household chores that I am too tired and in too much pain to tackle when I leave work at 2:40.

Also, getting out at 2:00 allows me to see my doctors.  Because of my physical problems, I have been deemed eligible for the county’s Dial-A-Ride service.  Unfortunately, they will not schedule pick-ups after 2:30.  If I work until 2:40, I am unable to take advantage of this service, and, therefore, cannot see my doctors unless I take time off from work.  So, that is another way this accommodation benefits my health.

There is no doubt that Fibromyalgia substantially limits some of my major life activities, so it does qualify as a disability.  As I mentioned above, pain and fatigue have a tremendous effect on whether or not I am able to perform manual tasks, such as cooking dinner and cleaning the house.  In addition, I can’t walk or stand for longer than ten minutes at a time without experiencing discomfort, and “fibro fog” has a negative effect on my memory and ability to concentrate.

Furthermore, I have difficulty sleeping.  Consequently, I have to make sure I am in bed by 8:00 p.m. to ensure that I get enough sleep.  Even so, my sleep is frequently disrupted, and fatigue starts to overwhelm me very early in the afternoon.  Obviously, this is not a normal lifestyle.

I am not asking the School District to give me extra time off.  I will still be working eight periods, just like everybody else.  All I am asking is that they approve this simple accommodation that will greatly enhance the quality of my life.

I should also mention that my schedule already indicates ninth period as my lunch.  At present, I am sitting around, in pain, waiting for the dismissal bell to ring, and, when I get home, I am so deeply fatigued and in so much pain, I can barely speak.

Please keep your fingers crossed that this accommodation request will be settled as soon as possible, or that I will at least be given temporary permission to leave work ninth period until this issue is resolved.

Song of the Day:  I’m So Tired by The Beatles

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12 Responses to “My Mind Is On The Blink”

  1. Stefani said

    Kind of reminds me of my workplace where it takes management weeks to make a simple decision!

  2. Bex said

    I really wish there were some way you could work from home, like I do. I am in pain all the time too but being home is so much better for me, emotionally and spiritually, that I can’t imagine having to go “out” to work again. But if my retirement plans don’t stop nose-diving, I may not have a choice in the end.

  3. Jim said

    Bureaucracy, bureaucracy, bureaucracy…. having $100,000 bureaucrats to nickel-and-dime and micromanage the workers.

  4. Crossed!! And hugging you too.

  5. Don’t you just love when employers institute new procedures then neglect to tell the employees about them? When I worked for the school district in NJ…once the ex and I started having problems (and even though we kept it out of work..he worked there too…they chose sides…his) all of a sudden I had a whole new set of “rules” I had to follow..which were not told to me until I “broke” one of them. Talk about a FUN workplace.

    This sucks and I hope they work it out for you soon..

  6. Kathy said

    My father, who had MS, would write letters to the powers that be, using the words “exacerbated by stress” which was pretty much the key that unlocked the door to his special needs. Nobody wanted to be legally responsible for making his disease worse. Isn’t there a free legal group that would help you through this stuff. It’s getting to the point where it’s just little old you vs. The School Board. That’s not fair. You deserve equal representation. They have lawyers and they’re using them. Time for you to get the support you deserve.

  7. hope it works out for you.

  8. LeAnn said

    I don’t understand why you have to renew your job accomodation. You don’t start all over as a new employee every year. All of this sounds like discrimination and right now they are forcing you to suffer while they make you prove your condition to them for which you have already provided medical evidence. Employers are really pushing the discrimination envelope these days and actually getting away with it.

  9. terri t. said

    I agree with all the comments above….They are making you jump through hoops because they have to meet the ADA requirements. It’s not right. Hopefully your dr. will state your case so well that you might even get more time off….wouldn’t THAT be nice?

  10. Michael said

    I hope your doctor comes through for you for once, but I also hope you get some input of your own before the final decision is made. And I really hope you don’t have to go through this every year.

  11. goatbarnwitch said

    What a crock! Legal help wouldn’t be a bad thing to stop this from being an annual event.

  12. My goodness, it amazes me how the higher ups are afraid to act for the good of their employees.

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