When The Disability Comes From Others

| Working | April 29, 2016

(Our team has recently been majorly shaken up with changes. It’s also worth noting I have a number of health conditions which require me to have a desk I can sit and stand at interchangeably, I also start later in the morning (9:30) and have done for several years. I’ve been pulled into a meeting with the new manager.)

Manager: “So, I don’t see you fitting in. You’re not ‘living the team.’”

Me: “I’m sorry, what? I don’t know what you mean.”

Manager: “Well, you refuse to sit with the team.”

Me: “Yes, because I have to have a sit/stand desk. It’s an OHS requirement due to my back injury.”

Manager: “And what? That desk doesn’t exist where the team sits?”

Me: “There is one but it’s up against another desk. It’s incredibly claustrophobic to work at.”

Manager: “So, basically you refuse to sit at desks with others and insist on sitting separately.”

Me: “That’s not what I said! My desk is no more than 10m away and I regularly come over. I’m working within HR’s requirements.”

Manager: “I just don’t see you interacting. You’re not part of the team and you come in late everyday!”

Me: “You are aware I’ve had a verbal agreement with all my managers to start at 9:30 for the last four years?”

Manager: “No.”

Me: “Well, I do. My health issues are the worst in the morning so I need that extra time to get here. Are there any other reasons you think I’m not fitting in?”

Manager: “I don’t have to provide you with a list! You’re not fitting in and we need to move you to a team that can work with your limitations.”

(And that is how I realized my new boss is against people with disabilities and began looking for a new job!)

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