Present Management Stress Disorder

| Working | April 7, 2015

(I have severe PTSD and the hectic, noisy atmosphere of my restaurant job can be rough. My boss is a veteran, so he understands and lets me have several breaks to make sure I don’t get too overwhelmed, and the rest of the staff is very understanding about it. I’ve been getting treatment and doing very well. My boss is on vacation this particular week, and has the assistant manager from the morning shifts running the restaurant.)

Assistant Manager: “Hey! Where are you going?”

Me: “I’m taking a break. I’m feeling a bit foggy and need to sit outside for a bit. I won’t be out there for longer than ten minutes.”

Assistant Manager: “You can’t just wander off whenever you feel like it! You have s*** to do!”

Me: “I finished all of the major tasks, and the dinner rush is done. It’s pretty slow right now, so I figured I wouldn’t be missed.”

Assistant Manager: “You’re the one with PDST or whatever, aren’t you? That’s a just a stupid excuse you crazies use to get out of work.  I’m not letting you take advantage of me!”

(He storms over to the back door and starts moving heavy boxes of meat and produce in front of it. I realize what he’s doing and I start to panic.)

Me: “Wait, please. No, please, don’t block the door—”

Assistant Manager: “You are never getting out of here on my watch. You aren’t going home until I say you can!”

Me: *tearing up* “Please don’t. I’m already embarrassed by this as it is, and I can’t move those boxes. I just need to clear my head.”

(The assistant manager then goes to one of the entrances of the restaurant and blocks it with a table and points to me.)

Assistant Manager: “You. Aren’t. Going. Anywhere!”

(I start to have a flashback and curl up on the ground. It’s been a year since I had an episode like this. I hear one of the waitresses run in.)

Waitress: “What’s happening?! [My Name], are you okay?!”

Assistant Manager: “He’s just trying to get attention!”

Waitress: “DID YOU BLOCK THE DOOR?! HE WAS A HOSTAGE IN A ROBBERY, YOU IDIOT! WHY WOULD YOU BLOCK OFF THE DOORS?!”

(The assistant manager went pale and watched while the kitchen staff rushed to my aid. They moved boxes aside, walked me outside, and one of the waitresses even brought me my panic attack medication from my bag. My boss was called. Not only did he scream at the AM for not taking my mental illness seriously, he was also fired because blocking one of the customer exits was a safety hazard in the event of a fire.)

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