Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Happened Part One

I'm ready to explain how I was fired now. I probably will post in parts, since it happened in parts. The truth is that I don't understand what happened. So as you read, if you understand, I'd really, really like to know.

The first 3 months I had no complaints about my work except that once I was told I needed to increase my productivity some but that this would come as I was more acclimated. The other time was really horrifying to me, but eventually I laughed at it as other people did much, much worse variations and nothing was ever said. Basically I had written a note to my supervisor about several frustrating things, and at the bottom I signed "grrr" to express frustration. It was not in relation to anyone, and besides, that's pretty harmless. But I was given a huge lecture on not being threatening. Then, just to show that this wasn't at all related to my disability, I was told that if I was feeling I was a threat to myself or others to tell someone. Duh. I got a bit irked at that and gave the "I am bipolar, I am not violent. I take meds. Professionals guide my treatment and I am well in control of myself and if I am a threat to anyone it is ME, and believe me I won't be at work at that time" spiel. I was reassured it wasn't my diagnosis, but it clearly was. You just had to listen to the "I'm going to kill ___" that everyone else threw around.

So then after my orientation period I was informed I was going on an extended probation because of these two issues and another that basically was I had made an error and written a score for a patient as one thing on one form and another on another form. That was so minor I'm not sure why it was a big deal, but it was. But that was considered non-disciplinary.

At the next review the supervisor and I had some disagreement about how to handle my time management/organization issues. Nothing major, just she kept insisting she knew how to fix things, and that doing them her way would fix it. She would not listen to me say that my issues are different, they are due to my brain not working correctly and that I have tried every single thing she demanded I do and each failed. So I wound up trying to handle managerial stuff that my assistants' could have handled and it took me a very long time each week.

Shortly after that supervisor was fired and I was told to disregard everything she said. Yay.

I think I did ok for a while. And then the facility received negative publicity, the hospital wasn't very full, and so there wasn't enough to do. I did paperwork, weeks and weeks of it, which was good but not productive. Yet there was no alternative. This lasted with only a few breaks through when I was fired.

During the time I worked there I did not work on Thursdays. This meant that Wednesdays could be pretty busy. Originally I was told they would provide coverage for evals on Thursdays, but that was not true; it happened twice and I got in trouble for one of them. Get everything in writing.....Anyway, if there were late admissions, especially on Wednesdays, I would be at work very late. From the beginning the person I will call EM from here on out (Evil Manager) was well aware there were days I worked until 1 AM. Nothing was ever said for nine months.

In late July the manager and I had a meeting with EM. At this meeting I told her some of the things I was doing because of her now-fired boss and she told me to "ignore anything Stephanie ever told you". She agreed to move stuff to my assistants' responsibility list. In that meeting she asked me to name a time that I knew I would generally be at work (remember I arrive late but also that flex time is a major benefit, even without the disability issue). We agreed on noon, and if I was to be later than that I was to call the manager and her, "because we worry about you". Note that at no point was it mentioned that this was a verbal warning or that this meeting was in any way disciplinary.

We had a meeting with the assistants in early August. EM's new supervisor-to-be came as well. We talked a lot about organization of charts, tracking certain things, and I spoke for several minutes about hearing that there was a feeling that I was sometimes shutting people out or something. I talked about the illness and the mood swings and that if you hit me at a bad minute often I'm better in a few more, and that it's ok to suggest I take ativan. I don't care. Much better that than for me to embarrass myself or hurt someone's feelings.

All seemed well, until about 10 days after the meeting when EM denied that the assistants were to do the tracking that was so hard for me. She threw it on the rehab aide, who just kept printing things out from the computer that I could print myself, and I didn't want a bunch of papers on my desk, I had enough stuff. The rationale won't make sense to you, but really, the assistants should have been able to do this without any issue.

But even then, I just started doing it and figured it was tough luck if it affected my productivity.

And things went fine for some time. And then, oh did they go wrong. But that's part II....


thethirddegree said...


This sounds a lot like how I ended up leaving my job in hospital billing. The EM I had was just that ... an EM.


Not Very Anonymous Mom said...

the first incident you mentioned about the note - the reaction to it sure sounded like it was "a bipolar thing".

waiting with bated breath for the next installment.

Just Me said...

Sara-It gets worse.

Not Very Anonymous Mom-I absolutely, totally think the whole thing was bipolar related. However, I can't prove it as this was a very well-planned "attack" leading to my termination. The story will get worse though.

Emilija said...

This is just my opinion- telling someone at work that they could suggest to you that you take an ativan is not appropriate, for many reasons. And people at work do not want to know that you are taking benzo's at work, anyway. Yes it can be done responsibly, but a lot of people don't know that. I always worry about it when I put my klonopin down on my yearly health form for work.

Just Me said...


For ME my decision to be open about the ativan, and other things, is right. I've tried things both ways, and again, for me, this way is right. My doctors support this, and believe me, neither of them holds back.

I don't think there is ever a blanket way to handle this. I can only handle it with the things that work for me.