Do You Want Me To Not Say It Any Clearer?

, , , , , , | Working | March 27, 2020

(I’ve unfortunately inherited my dad’s severe reactions to orthodontic work. A procedure that would cause most people a day or two of mild pain will cause me a week of severe pain and residual pain for another two. Nothing seems to help and dentists don’t always take it seriously. One summer, I’m working my first two customer service jobs and I get some dental work done. I’m in my usual pain, meaning I can’t talk for more than a few seconds at a time, which is fine at [Job #1]; it’s the front desk of a gym, so it’s mostly just, “Hi, how are you?” But [Job #2] is cashiering at a restaurant, which means I spend most of my day talking. I go into [Job #2] a few hours after getting the dental work and these are the conversations that happen for the next few days:)

Me: *explains dental work, level of pain, and requests non-talking jobs*

Shift Lead: “Are you sure?”

Me: *in a slow whisper, which is all I can handle* “Absolutely. I cannot talk today and I probably won’t be able to stay on register all shift for at least three days.”

Shift Lead: “Okay…”

(They seem to be willing to accommodate, but then…)

Shift Lead: *thirty minutes later* “Hey, can you get on register?”

Me: “Umm… No? Remember it hurts to talk?”

Shift Lead: “Oh, okay. Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes.”

Shift Lead: *two hours later* “Hey, are you feeling better? Can you get on register? [Coworker] needs to go on break.”

Me: “Can anybody else do it?”

Shift Lead: “Well…”

Me: “Okay, fine, but no more than fifteen minutes.”

(Ten minutes pass.)

Me: “Sorry, I tried but I really can’t. You’re going to have to find someone else.”

(It finally seems to get through, but then, the next day…)

Shift Lead: *in pre-shift meeting* “Okay, [My Name] you’re on register today.”

Me: *thinking* “Seriously?” *saying* “I feel just as bad as I did yesterday. I really can’t. I’m sorry.”

(The same thing repeated the next day, and on the fourth day, I finally felt like I could do half a shift on register without too much pain… Buuuuuuut, you guessed it — the same questions were repeated all day again. I was eventually fine and went back to my normal duties, but having had several customer service jobs since then, the situation seems a lot sillier than I realized it was at the time. It makes absolute sense that they need me on my regular job, but when I couldn’t do it they didn’t hold to the accommodations they agreed to or ask me to go home until I felt better, which would have saved them the cost of paying an employee that couldn’t do their job!)

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