Worlds Worst Employee

Chronic absenteeism

Those words keep repeating in my head

Sick days

Can’t get out of bed days

Anxious days

On and on

I can’t even use Multiple Sclerosis as an excuse

It started way before that

Somewhere in between my first real job in the industry and getting married

There were so many bad days

I wish I could say I know why it all happened

I didn’t know then and I don’t know now

It’s embarrassing when a supervisor calls you into their office to talk about your frequent absences and not the quality of your work

I can’t remember what I disclosed then

I was naive and thought people in positions of power cared

Especially in a field such as mine

But chronic absenteeism isn’t forgivable even in the best circumstances

I found that out quickly

I had a boss once who understood me

I can’t say enough about her

She didn’t judge me or make me feel less than

But then she was replaced

And when she moved on, she left a note for the next person in charge advising them to overlook the absences because in her words I was ‘worth it’

It got worse after I was diagnosed with MS

The chronic absenteeism, that is

I had a few supervisors that tried to understand

Or maybe they just overlooked it because they too thought I was ‘worth it’

That’s my wish

But I don’t know and can’t speculate on the why

There were some uncomfortable conversations where I hung my head with guilt and embarrassment weeping from my pores and tried to explain my life

In words that didn’t sound like excuses

Even though I’m sure that’s how they sounded

I know they did

Because my own ears heard it that way as well

Here I am now

10 years post finding out struggling with mental illness isn’t a valid reason for missing work

5 years post learning that adding MS to that equation doesn’t add up to stellar employee record

Decades after my father stopped working for similar reasons

Now at 36 years old I’ve built up a track record that includes words like ‘chronic absenteeism’ coupled with sentences like ‘when she’s there, man she’s good’

Where does that leave me?

With an ultimatum of having my doctor evaluate me and my frequent absences and ask for a modified work schedule which would likely lead to my relocation to another program (if possible)

Or quitting/going on long term disability like my father did so many years before me

Tackling the latter; quitting would leave me in a precarious financial situation

Going on long term disability would mean I’m off of work at 36 years old with a brain that doesn’t do well left to its own devices

Trust me, I’ve seen what it did to my father

The alternative is going to my doctor with forms and chronic absenteeism on my tongue

And that would leave me in a state of limbo

Where my fate is left in the hands of an employer that I have lost all faith in

For them to decide if they can accommodate me

Really for them to decide if I’m worth accommodating

Or to find another program to stick me in

Like a dirty little secret

Where the powers that be will dump me onto the unsuspecting supervisor

I wonder what their track record included for them to have gotten stuck with the likes of me;

The Worlds Worst Employee

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15 thoughts on “Worlds Worst Employee”

      1. While I do like the idea of being self employed, my niche of clients is the homeless, at risk, youth, post incarcerated kinda crowd which means no money to foot my bill

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I find it unfortunate that you term yourself the Worst Employee. I think I could give you a run for your money. I am not trying to make light as this has happened to me. Taking off too much sick time and needing to work on it when I stayed home due to my mental illness or god forbid my son was sick. In today’s world, the care for employees is not there. It is so unfortunate that money has become more important that the well being of the people who are the core at making that money for the employer.

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  2. No more self flagellation calling yourself the WWE! You are amazing and great at what you do. I think, for your own well being, you should seek alternative employment. I have no doubt that in the City, you can find a company/environment who values you for your skills and who will be sympathetic. Alternatively your new restaurant at Lawrence & Dufferin?? Whatever you decide, you will kill it because you are smart and fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Natalie. I don’t know what the future holds but I don’t imagine looking for a job with a chronic illness will be easy. Who knows where I’ll end up?

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