Going Under

October 16, 2008

This is a copy of my most recent letter to the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.  I included a copy of the information I found on the Job Accommodation Network about how unnecessary delays in responding or implementing an accommodation can result in a violation of the ADA, and, finally, I filed a complaint through their website.

Dear Dr. ********

I am bewildered by the continuing lack of response to my request for a health-related accommodation.  It has now been six weeks since the initial submission, dated September 5, 2008.  As I mentioned in my last letter, dated October 7, 2008, this situation is very stressful for me, and the pain and fatigue that are associated with my condition are exacerbated by stress.  (Thanks, Kathy, but this doesn’t appear to be working as well for me as it did for your father.)

This is wreaking havoc on my body.  Worst of all, it has brought on the intractable headaches that have been the bane of my existence for over thirty years.  Prior to this current situation, I had been headache-free for eleven months, and had dared to hope that I was rid of this particular agony that has plagued me for so much of my life.  Needless to say, the resurgence of these headaches is extremely distressing.

Along with the stress, I also attribute the recurrence of these headaches to the increased sleep disturbances I have been experiencing while waiting for a response to my accommodation request.  In addition to the resumption of these headaches, I am also experiencing a dramatic increase in pain throughout the Fibromyalgia tender point areas.  On Wednesday, October 15, 2008, my chiropractor, while working on my neck, remarked that he could feel the increased tension.  This led him to ask if I am presently under an unusually high amount of stress.  Indeed I am.

It just doesn’t seem right that an accommodation I requested to reduce my pain and enhance the quality of my life has instead resulted in an increase in pain and is having an adverse effect on my home life.  I am not only suffering physically, but emotionally, as well.  I now find myself fighting the depression that is not uncommon for people who live with chronic pain.

Many employees of the BLANK School District leave during their lunch period.  Some of them go home.  This is essentially all I am asking for.

Song of the Day:  Going Under by Evanescence

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11 Responses to “Going Under”

  1. Sasha said

    Yeah…you don’t already have enough problems without these people adding to it. You really aren’t asking for anything extraordinary. Sheesh.

  2. Good letter — I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it works!

  3. Carol said

    I too hope that this will work for you. Something must be done.

  4. LA said

    Fingers and toes crossed somebody in that department wakes up and does right by you. It’s not like you asked for anything that hadn’t been done before or that you’re insisting they build a bariatric chamber for you to sit in while you work! Sheesh!

    Would any of the people actually IN your building ie: principal, etc, would they stop you if you just took your lunch last period as you always have and just left? Has anyone officially said you COULDN’T? Because if nobody actually objects then what those dorks at the central admin don’t know won’t hurt them … or you! ~LA

  5. Sunshyn said

    I’m thinking you should get an ADA lawyer. Now. And ask for the bariatric chamber, what the hell. Actually, you need an assistive aide to hang around and pick up anything you drop, file books in upper and lower shelves so you don’t have to reach or bend, and a guard to make sure you are never again attacked by a student.

    Sorry I haven’t been around; I’ve had NO time for journals and am systematically trying to catch up. I’m blowing off real work to read a few. Aren’t you glad you’re in the short list? Hugs!

  6. Kathy said

    It just makes me so sad that they won’t respect your request for help with your health. I’m sorry the key word didn’t work for you!

  7. LeAnn said

    I hope they don’t get away with this. Sometimes a simple complaint filed with the EEOC will do the trick. They are clearly violating ADA laws but they seem to think they can get away with it. Often, they do. The burden of proof is on the person filing the complaint and besides most people won’t file a complaint and even if they do, they don’t follow through so companies are getting away with this kind of thing more and more. Maybe you should go out on disability until you get the job accomodation. Good luck.

  8. Sunday said

    Hmmm…first, kick whomever in the nuts (or labia), then do what my father says “play crazy,” which means make as much noise and be as annoying as possible until you get what you want. YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT HERE. You’ve got to find someone (who’s got some clout) to help you out.

    Or….how about getting on the news? At least where I am, they have this guy who’s always getting on someone’s case when they don’t do what they’re supposed to do, when companies spend money they “don’t have” to go on luxury trips, doctors who aren’t doctors, etc. You could even LIE and say you’re going to the media, that may even get the wheels greased.

    I know from experience–I was taking a drug called Toprol which was banned in Europe, but not here. I’d go to the doctor, he’d say I should exercise, I’d say I can’t exercise because of the medicine, he’d poo-poo me, and after a couple of visits, the evil bitch came out (seriously, the medicine causes you to become EEEEVVVIIILLLL!!!) and showed him a stack of people who had horrible side effects, to which he said, “I did not know that.” Who the fuck are you? Johnny Carson? So, my bitching did a lot of good, I was placed on a medicine that made me feel normal again (come on, when a medicine’s side effects say, ‘Symptoms may mimic heart failure’, you’re going to wonder what’s going to happen if you keep taking it.

    Sorry to make this ALL ABOUT ME!!! ;-), but to close, remember: bitchy wheel gets the grease!

  9. Clear, concise and well written. From my years of working in a school district, though, I have to agree with Sunday, The bitchy wheel gets the grease – you might have to keep bugging them!

  10. Michael said

    Good letter. In the next one, mention the ADA (and the district’s responsibilities under it) about six times. (And write the one after that in ALL CAPS. Just a suggestion.)

    Or maybe you won’t have to write a next letter. Maybe this one will do the job. That’s what I’m really hoping.

  11. Stefani said

    Such a simple request you made – and it’s been approved before. I don’t get it!!

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