Bit of a longish rant--will it ever end?
There are days that I just want to scream. And, in the privacy of my own home, I do.
It has been announced at work--the Parking and Municipal Code Violations office for Rochester, NY--that everyone not already trained to be a cashier will be trained. This will be in order to handle an expected influx of citizens at our cash window.
Twenty-thousand citizens will be receiving letters indicating that if they don't pay certain delinquent tickets, their credit could be affected.
I told the cash office supervisor that I can't do that. I have never been formally diagnosed, but I have a number of the symptoms of dyscalculia. I've always had trouble de-coding and using numbers, ever since I can remember.
Beyond basic math, I have very few clues. I got Cs and Ds in algebra in junior high and high school. I did a little better with geometry.
Even with basic math, if I'm tired, nervous, hungry, I have a hard time. I often apply the wrong mathematical functions to numbers: I see 3+3, I think it's 3-3. I see 12-9, and I put down 17 because, well, the closest I can come is that 7 and 2 equal 9, and somehow my brain thinks that applies.
Back before cash registers that provided change information, I had two jobs where I had to make change for people. I had to write everything down to figure out how to make change, and even then I got things wrong.
I am already struggling at work because it is mostly data entry. Numbers!
In order to do my work, I have to go slower than everyone else, and I am constantly having to check myself over and over. And because I am a higher grade clerk than other clerks in the office, I have been given tasks that Have. To. Be. Done. Right.
God certainly knows I want to get a new job. At my age, with my extremely unimpressive resume, and with no energy and focus left over from work, I have literally no clue whatsoever about the first step to take to be able to walk out the door to another job. Maybe here, too, I am dealing with some form of learning disability. I do have a lot of trouble putting things in sequence.
Primal eating has made it easier to cope. My brain, however it's wired, has not been in quite as much of a muddle during the past three weeks of really snarfing down protein and good fat.
But numbers are still a problem.
So, to wrap this up, I have to get a referral from my primary care doctor so I can be tested. Then I have to provide proof to my employer that I have a learning disability.
It makes me so angry. I have a high IQ. I have a master's degree in English. I'm in my current job because I have to survive day to day, and none of my particular skills seem to be survival skills. For two years, I have worked like a dog. There are days when I am sitting at my desk, literally sweating as i do my work.
I am a square peg passing as a round peg. And now, in order to continue to keep my job, I have to basically confess in public that I am a square peg. The Americans With Disabilities Act should offer me some protection in this situation, but the way things go in my office, I will be officially labelled and categorized.
Nobody in management will say, "Oh, this explains everything. She's not lazy or rebellious or stupid. She's just smart and hard-working in a different way. We can put her to good use and make life better for everyone in this office."
Just isn't going to happen.
At this point, I cannot, cannot, cannot afford to lose my job. I cannot. But in my many, many attempts to be an asset and not a liability in my work, this smells like one more failure, one more situation in which those in authority will look at me and roll their eyes and tell me--as I have been told several times--that I have to find ways to keep my "problems" out of the workplace. With an unstated "OR ELSE."
You can't always get what you want, but . . .
Sometimes a word of sympathy is exactly and all people need. I appreciate yours, Siobhan.
My job has made me quite aware--because words of sympathy are almost non-existent there--that in most circumstances it doesn't take much to keep people going. Just a word or two will do it.
Our world is so complex and hurried. We are trained from birth that if we "just do it" and present a happy, unblemished fašade to the world, everything will be great. When reality strikes, and we have--gasp--problems, that means we have, according to conventional wisdom, done something wrong; we've brought it upon ourselves; we've somehow failed to follow the formula for perfection . . .
In such an environment of unrealistic expectations and pressure to do the impossible (be perfect, be happy, never grow old, make more money each year . . . ) a simple word of sympathy is a welcome gift.
My circumstances are not what I'd call tragic. If I go by Shakespeare's plays, a tragedy is a play in which people struggle and suffer; everything is meaningless, and they never learn anything; at the end, everyone dies. A comedy is a play in which people struggle and suffer; everything has a purpose, people learn and grow, and at the end there is at least one wedding.
I feel that things in my life have a purpose, and I am learning and growing (though others may disagree).
And I am happy to report that Thursday of this past week, I did finally find my bite guard in a pocket of a skirt that I took from the bottom of a pile of laundry to wear to work.
So, on we go.
[QUOTE=Siobhan;918868]I'm sorry to hear about your problems and wish I could offer more than sympathy. I think the tragic thing is that you have such a good handle on your own strengths and weaknesses, and yet the powers that be insist on treating everyone the same. Best wishes - I certainly understand about the not being to lose your job part![/QUOTE]