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Rant about boss

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Uny_, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. Uny_

    Uny_ Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi does anyone else find it difficult dealing with work and diabetes? I've been type 1 for two years, along with Graves' disease - a hyperthyroid condition - and bar a few days off when I was first diagnosed I've never missed time off work for appointments or anything. However my boss is under the impression that it isn't that serious a disease. I keep a glucagon kit at work and I've given her instructions on how to use it but she isn't that interested. She always says things that "Oh god I hope you don't pass out, I don't want to have to use that needle." As if it's something I'd choose to do! We travel quite a bit and last week I had a hypo just before getting off the plane which I told her about but she still hightailed it out of the airport so that she could get to the car and get home as soon as possible. I was struggling big time behind her to keep up as stopping to sit down was out of the question and she was so far ahead of me that I couldn't even ask her to slow down. It wasn't until we got to the car that she said "Are you alright? Are your sugars very low?" I'd taken glucose sweets at that stage so my sugars were going back to normal. But I'd told her on the plane that I was having a hypo so regardless of if they were "very low" or not it still needed to be treated. I've explained it to her several times how diabetes works and hypos in particular but it's fallen on deaf ears - she's one of these people who think that I caused my diabetes by eating sweets, and that if I go low etc that's my own fault for not looking after myself or because I've eaten more sugar or something. I just find it really frustrating because if she's so worried about using the glucagon kit she shouldn't have been racing out of the airport ahead of me. And it completely undermines the seriousness of it, and if I had continued to go low and collapsed in the airport she would have been in the car park before noticing. She's not the brightest person and likes to believe what she believes so repeatedly telling her isn't having much effect. I had a hypo in a meeting once but the supplier had brought in sweets so I ate a few of them. Later on she told people in the office how I had scoffed loads of sweets, like I being greedy or something. And I said my blood sugars were low so I had to have sweets. She just laughed as if I was making up an excuse and I said well it was either eat the sweets or pass out, and she said "Oh come on". It's like she thinks I'm being dramatic if I talk about diabetes - she sees it as a sugar allergy rather than a serious condition. She can also be quite selfish. If someone is sick they need to toughen up, but if something is wrong with her it's the end of the world. I have background retinopathy which is fine now but I was a bit alarmed when I first heard and when I told her she said "Don't go blind whatever you do, I need you at work." And that was it! No "how do you feel about that? Is it serious? Can it be treated?" However she broke her wrist three months ago and to hear her talk it's the worst thing that could ever have happened to anyone in the history of the world! The pain is unbearable and she's depressed over it and she needs to see a specialist now and get physio done and her wrist is so stiff and I have just no idea how truly awful this is for her. Anyway sorry for the really long post, just needed to rant because it's been bothering me!!!
     
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  2. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    Though it's truly unpleasant, grit your teeth and ignore her. She's uninterested in what's going on with you, and honestly, making reasonable modifications doesn't include being responsible for you when you are on a plane having a hypo.

    While she sounds like a nightmare, she is also of no use to you and you have to be responsible for your own condition. As a result id suggest you find someone else in the office who you can teach about the glucagon kit and what to do in the worst case.

    I'd suggest though, that if you are that concerned about having hypos while travelling and working, you probably need to review how you are managing yourself and see if there are things you can do differently to reduce the risk (and worry) of a severe hypo.
     
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  3. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Expert
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    You have my full sympathy, I can see exactly what type of person she is and sadly I can't see it doing anything other winding you up, as Tim has said its best to ignore her, she obviously lacks empathy and will never change, however you can change your mindset which is to approach this differently in regards to keep her informed with 'stuff the boss needs to know' and draw the line at this. I had a boss once who thought I had the worst illness going and made a drama of it, I felt embarrassed to have type 1 and only lasted 3 months before I left. Sadly discussing health conditions at work is something that most workplaces aren't comfortable with, however it is good to have a rant and get it off your chest ;)
     
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  4. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hope the rant has helped!

    Just a thought - have you tried sending her info by email, people who won't listen might respond better to written instructions/ info, especially if that's coming from someone else (she sounds like the kind of woman who doesn't respond well to instructions from the people she manages) so maybe try sending links to websites.

    Other than that ignore her sounds like the best advice.

    Is there a first aider in the office you could have a chat to about what to do when hypo, just for your piece of mind?
     
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  5. kelp84

    kelp84 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi!
    I am type one too, and I used to travel A LOT with work, and it can be a nightmare, I always used to go low at the most inconvenient times (prob due to all the rushing around through airports etc)
    I think the first thing is to try and not let it get to you! I have had a lot of people say mean things to me disguised as Jest "oh your diabetes again" but i genuinely think it is a hard disease for people to get their head around, one minute we are saying we cant eat sugar the next minute we are sweaty panicking beasts devouring everything sweet in sight! ( well maybe that's just me!!)

    I have tried a couple of things in the past, like asking someone to tell me what they think diabetes is, you can normally do this in a nice way, i try diabetes is so misunderstood... what have you heard about it or what do you think it is?

    Also, you need to believe that you are an important person and looking after yourself should be your main priority, when you went low you should have sat down for a minute and treated, what's the worst that would happen? she leave you at the airport? imagine her trying to explain that to everyone in the office, sometimes these risks feel awful at the time, but you just need to make a stand once and it gets easier, you don't need to be rude or mean about it.

    Also, she sounds like a drama queen, so I totally agree that perhaps she isn't the best person to have access to your glucagon injection, you prob don't really want her flapping around making a scene if you are in desperate need of treatment.

    I am sorry to have written an essay, but I genuinely mean this..... being diabetic is hard, but we cope and most of us barely moan ( to each other doesn't count) you get up each morning, deal with your highs and lows and get yourself into work, BELIEVE me! this is more than a lot of people do! you should be proud of yourself! Don't let her bring you down

    I hope things get easier at work for you! :)
     
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  6. Tylers73

    Tylers73 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    How awful for you darling. But you still working and good on you. I miss my job had to give up three years ago not because of diabetes but joint problems etc diabetes just been and extra gift lol. Stay strong people like that could you imagine how they would cope!!!!!
     
  7. Uny_

    Uny_ Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi thanks for all the responses. Needed to rant and get that off my chest. I've tried sending her documents by email but that hasn't worked. She didn't read them. One was even a "cheat sheet" of sorts. However I recently got a couple of leaflets from my endo about explaining to work colleagues so I'm going to try giving her them next. It's absolutely fine at work as my some of my friends and colleagues know what to do. Regarding the glucagon kit I've told the first aiders in the office what to do - they sit behind me - along with a couple of friends I can trust. I gave them a demo and they have my family's contact details and know what to do, or not to do (It's alarming the number of people who think injecting insulin to the heart - pulp fiction style - is the solution to any diabetic episode!!!)

    To your point Tim about reasonable modifications, I wouldn't expect her to be responsible for me - that's not part of her job and not what I was suggesting she do. It's just the lack of understanding. I have really good control over my diabetes and haven't had a severe hypo ever although I've only been diagnosed a couple of years so it's early days but fingers crossed I don't. Of course there are people in the office that I can rely on. It's more that the two of us travel together quite a bit and I wouldn't want to have an emergency abroad and for her not to know what's going on. Also I want her to know where the glucagon kit is and what it looks like so that she could give it to a medical professional or first aider if needed. She's not someone I like relying on but when it's just the two of us it would be more irresponsible of me not to tell her what's going on. Work trips are hectic, we might be walking for 10-12 hours without stopping for food in a hot country. It's a lot of variables to account for and I'd rather not take any chances when I'm still relatively new to type 1 diabetes and coupled with the Graves' I don't know yet how I'll react in different situations.

    She wouldn't have left me in the airport alright but she wouldn't have liked being delayed and would have complained about it later. She'd be the type that would say to people "I wanted to get home and she was moping along behind me. I'd had a long day and my wrist was sore. I couldn't wait around, I needed to get home because my wrist was stiff." It may seem incredulous but she would honestly justify it like that. She believes what she wants to believe.

    She's unbelievable at the best of times really. Once a couple of years back I couldn't drive at work on a brief (but unplanned) trip so we took her car. And I told her my sugars were low so that's why I couldn't take my car, and she said "Pfff...Whatever, I know your car is probably dirty and you're embarrassed about people getting into it." My car was not dirty and I wouldn't use low sugars as an excuse!

    I generally do ignore her, she was just bothering me a lot the last day. She was also talking about a guy on the way home who drinks a lot of Red Bull at work early in the morning, and she said "That's so bad for him. He doesn't look after himself. He'd be a good candidate for diabetes like you." Doesn't matter how many times I tell her I didn't cause this - I know she judges me because she thinks I brought it on myself therefore it's my own fault. In fact that's ultimately the problem, she has no empathy because she thinks it's my own doing and why should anyone else have to put up with it? Coffee is what caused my Graves' disease she believes, and sugar caused the diabetes. I've explained type 1 over and over but it's falling on deaf ears. I know there's nothing I can do about her and most of the time I just tune her out. I've accepted that she's not a very empathetic person. Like it's not just health things and it's not just me. I've seen her acting similarly when it comes to bereavements or pregnancies for example. It's not about the person, it's about how it will affect her. It makes her quite challenging to deal with. I know however that I am very lucky to have plenty of people in my life that I can depend on which is the main thing. Just needed to rant as I'd just spent three days straight with her and no one else so thanks for the nice replies.
     
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  8. Mrsass

    Mrsass Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh @Uny_ I feel annoyed just reading about your boss so can't imagine what it's like working with her - or being cooped up on a plane and/or trip with her, you have my sympathies!

    I had a boss a few years ago - not quite as bad, but who did ignore any time I tried to explain about my diabetes, she would tell me if I was to have a hypo and passed out she would just 'dump me in the corner and call an ambulance to come deal with it when she got a minute' I constantly ignored her stupid remarks but when going low I get really irritated by anything & everything so would often give her a piece of my mind during that time
     
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  9. Indy51

    Indy51 Type 2 · Expert

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    If there is an HR division in your company I would make a complaint to them about her attitude. I think I'd also try and get a brochure or something similar about Type 1 and the next time she starts with her misinformed garbage, I'd give it to her and tell her that her ignorance is showing and to never speak to you like that again if she can't be bothered finding out the details of your condition. What a moron!
     
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  10. mentat

    mentat Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes when people don't respect you, they will respect an authority figure. If you can get one of your doctors to give her a quick phone call and tell her they were shocked to hear how you are being treated at work, it might get through to her. (But be prepared for it to backfire in some way.) I'm not sure about UK law but I would assume that your employer would be held liable if you were to have an accident due to the unsafe working conditions she is creating.

    But IMO the best thing we can do is work hard and get to the top and be the great bosses/leaders the world needs.
     
  11. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    I'm of the opinion that you stand up for yourself and tell her that you've had enough of her attitude. In the nicest possible way and out of public view, but her behaviour sounds more like bullying than you had made it out to be in the first instance. Before you have that conversation, I'd suggest that speaking to HR would be a very important thing to do. The way you describe her behaviour sets a lot of alarm bells ringing and you may find that if you raise it with HR, they have had other concerns raised about her attitude.

    You need to be quite careful how you handle her. I'm tagging @AndBreathe as she has experience with handling difficult employment situations and is probably able to give better advice than I can.
     
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  12. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    @Uny_ I had a horrible experience at work some years ago, so I totally empathise.

    I second the suggestion to speak to HR. I don't see why you should have to ignore someone like that. Her attitude sounds ignorant and bullying.

    What you could try doing is to ask her questions rather than tell her things eg with the Red Bull guy, when she said he'd get diabetes too, you could have tried a politely-toned "What? Is he prone to auto-immune illnesses too then?" This would get a response from her and show up her ignorance. I found asking questions like that did shut up a bullying colleague, I had.

    Also, I would do what you need to. So don't rush to keep up at an airport if you're hypo. She sounds so ignorant that she may then think you're fine and just 'fussing'. I'd have sat down and waited till she realised I wasn't behind her.

    I left my job because of bullying, but the good thing arising from that is that I now don't take any cr*p from anyone.

    Good luck!
     
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  13. AtkinsMo

    AtkinsMo Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    The thought occurs to me that she might be frightened of the situation and overwhelmed by the responsibility, so the easiest thing is to ignore it. You have other colleagues who can help you and are willing to do so. My advice would be to use your meter a lot more when travelling - just say something like, "I know you're uncomfortable with this but I need to measure my blood glucose much more frequently as I know I can't rely on you to help if my sugars get too low". Just like some people can't deal with blood, for instance, maybe she's very phobic about needles / injections and overwhelmed by the responsibility.
     
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  14. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Expert
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    Its strange but bullying in the workplace can take many forms, however as others have said it would be wise to consult HR and see what they make of this, then at least it's on file. To be honest, the fact that you have needed to get this off your chest is saying that it is affecting you and regardless of who or how your boss reacts, this behaviour is unacceptable. Personally I would of sat down at the airport if I was having a hypo and treated until BG had normalised, this situation in itself was putting you in danger and your boss needs to realise that your health is high priority, god forbid but if something worse had happened then it would of been your managers responsibility to ensure you were not in danger. Good luck whatever course of action you take, but please put yourself and your health first ;)
     
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  15. Dillinger

    Dillinger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Get a new job! Jerks are not an essential part of an office.
     
  16. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    Hi, how are you doing ? After reading your posts I feel mad for you, really I do. Diabetes is an unseen condition, people are normally only aware when they are told. A broken wrist you can see that ( I will get back to this)
    I wouldn't leave my job because of her, there are many, many idiots and insensitive people in the workplace. Ignoring her, sending emails is doing any good. Drama queen comes to mind and someone who wants to be center of attention and in control, but honestly, one day you could say, " Do you know what, I am SO sorry to have Type 1 diabetes, so, why don't we swap, I will swap my diabetes for your wrist 'problem' that sounds fair and then you will see what it actually involves,", month after month, year after year, decades and decades, I would swap it in a heartbeat"..................................
    She is an ignorant, ill informed moron and I would love to do a Father Ted and kick her up the backside.
    Back to the wrist, I broke mine badly 2 years ago and unfortunately severe complications set in, (CRPS,) but it doesn't sound like she has and it's a case of poor, poor me !! Maybe she didn't get enough attention as a child and is craving it from anyone and everyone.
    Keep your chin up and your head held high, good luck and all the very best, RRB
     
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  17. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    @Uny_ - I read your post when you wrote it, then haven't got back to it for a number of reasons, so @tim2000s 's nudge has worked pretty well.

    When I read your post, your boss reminded me of someone I knew in corporate-land who was a complete nightmare; especially as she was in a position of some quite significant power and influence.

    In summary, my interpretation is that your feel unsupported in your office environment, in terms of hypo safety net activity, and secondly, your boss appears to be pretty self-centric when going about her business.

    I do agree with others that she may actually be pretty scared about the potential for having to inject you, in a crisis, and may even subconsciously, be removing herself from being around you to minimise the potential she would have to actually carry out that task. Just a contra view.

    The reality is not everyone is a caring soul, and she probably hasn't been employed to look after you on trips. I know that sounds harsh, but I'm trying to put forward contra views to try to help you think of how she may be viewing things and to consider if some things could be approached a but differently.

    In your office environment, is there not someone else who can be skilled in your deep hypo emergency treatment? Do you have an office First Aider? Do you share an office, or work in an open plan office? If so, should your first port of call not be those who work physically closest to you? If this person is clearly resisting the prospect with all her might, you should take control and take the potential away from her, by up-skilling other people. In any case, it is not an proper safety net if your safety is contingent on her being there. I'm assuming she has holidays, goes to meetings, even has sick leave, so who would help you then?

    When the two of you are travelling, you may just have to do the best you can. If she's 100 yards ahead of you and you need to stop, unless you can summon the energy to shout very loud, she is useless to you anyway!?

    How many hypos like this are you having? Is there anything you could do to perhaps lassen the chances of the airport type situation arising, by maybe ensuring you run a trifle higher when you're going through this process?

    I appreciate not all hypos are avoidable, but if you're having lots of them, that that should surely be the primary focus of your efforts. Try to prevent the root cause. Clearly, that's very easy for me to say.

    Initially, I suggest you think about the potential for taking her out of your immediate safety net loop, before you go to HR, because they will want to know what you have done about matters before talking to them. It could be that HR will then make a referral to Occupational Health (assuming you have such a department) to check you out and see what may need to be done.

    Giving your manager feedback is always a tricky one, unless your company offers a 360 Feedback process as part of it's regular appraisal process (which I am assuming you have). It's not easy to give negative feedback without causing further discord, so in doing so, you really have to concentrate on facts, and documents situations she is likely to remember. It is also important that when you paint the picture of her shortcomings that you then don't just leave it as "what are you going to do about it?". That could been considered confrontational. You must follow up by saying something along the lines of, "When x, y or z situation arises, it makes me feel............"

    Those feelings could be unsupported, unimportant, irrelevant, ignored, abandoned or whatever your descriptor words would be. Your boss can state categorically that she didn't do, or didn't mean to do these things, but she cannot tell you you did not feel as you did.

    If that all seems a bit traumatic, then you could try to involve a union or another person to mediate in a meeting, but again that's tricky when you are, after all, going to have to continue to work with this person. She may be required to change her behaviour, but you cannot change her character.

    If you elect to look for another job, again, it will be wise to try to really work on those hypos, because, in my experience you may not find takers queueing up to be your hypo safety net anywhere else either. In their shoes, at that time, they are dealing with someone who is very ill indeed. They have to assess the best course of action, then give you an injection you are incapable of giving yourself. I am clinically trained. I can give IV. I can insert lines in large vessels, when necessary, but I wouldn't be wringing my hands in glee at the prospect of being your hypo-buddie.

    I'm sorry that's so very long, but I wanted to express some of the thoughts that have been going around in my head since reading your original post.

    Really good luck with it all, because it looks to me like you have lots of thinking and planning on your hands.
     
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  18. AtkinsMo

    AtkinsMo Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hat is a very thoughtful and well considered post, I my opinion.
     
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