Devalued in an Instant

I do my best at everything I do. I am not lazy, and I work hard to do my best at everything that I am given to do as a person, friend, family member, and as an employee. The last couple of weeks has been really difficult at work. This week topped the cake. On Monday I was assigned a project that was due by Wednesday morning. I was not given the appropriate tools to complete the task, and I knew because of difficulty with the dexterity in my hands that the task, although not difficult, would be time-consuming for me and that I would need more time or assistance to complete the task. When my supervisor emailed me to tell me about the change in the project and the new deadline I immediately responded saying that I would do the best I could but that I may have difficulty. Well, my supervisor came out of her office like a ball of fire and said to me out in the open, “If you can’t do this then I will just do it. I’m not telling A that this can’t be done.”

Needless to say, I was humiliated and was not given the opportunity to explain why I would have difficulty with the task or given a chance to offer suggestions on how the situation could be handled. I attempted to do the project in the time constraints but needed help, got visibly overwhelmed (I should have controlled my emotions better and kept a professional demeanor; I admit that.), and missed the deadline by an hour and a half. That lead to a meeting between my supervisor and the CFO.

During the meeting, they did tell me that I should have handled myself with more professionalism. I will give them that. As a matter of fact, I have already spoken with a friend of mine who is a long time HR professional and asked about ways to hide my emotions better while working; even when I am overwhelmed. I was given some really awesome tips.

  1. Deep Breathe
  2. Tell one of your co-worker’s you trust that you need to step away from your desk, go to the restroom, breathe, throw cold water on your face and come out composed.
  3. Hold it together until you get home (funny thing, so many people have said; don’t take work home with you…)

During the same meeting, they both spoke to me like I was incapable because I had difficulty with that particular project. The CFO even went on to say that I thought too much of myself and my capabilities. It was all said with a beautiful smile on their face. The signal to me was that they don’t value the other work I have put in, and I need to get out of here. I love many of my co-workers, but the top executives are clueless on the impact of their words and actions on their employees. I am not the only one here who has felt this way. So, I did two things today:

One, I gave my supervisor, the CFO and the “Interim” HR director a written letter stating the limitations because of my disability and a list of suggested accommodations (with medical documentation) asking them to engage in the interactive accommodation process. This happened to make it all official and “On paper.” I have discussed my accommodations with them all on multiple occasions, and they have all said things were fine. But, when I tried to engage in a conversation about the difficulty I would have in completing I was shut down and then insulted when the project was not down in their time constraints. Two started looking for better jobs and fixing my resume.