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Should I Tell People At Work?


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#1 KarenM

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

I was diagnosed with N about two months ago, but I've been dealing with it for much longer. It got really bad this fall, and I had to withdraw from school. That allowed me the time to get the sleep study and start treatment. I just started an internship and am having so much trouble making it through a full day. I went to the doctor yesterday and they switched me from nuvigil to adderall but today was even worse. I may have to switch back. I'm worried they are going to think I'm unmotivated and slacking off. But I'm worried if I start to tell people that I'll be judged unfairly and that they'll think I'm not capable of doing my job.

 

I may experiment with going home to take naps during lunch, I've been trying to be social because I'm new. I just don't know what to do. I wonder if it'd be easier if I told my team, but I also wonder if that will make things worse. 

 

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Any insight is appreciated.



#2 munky

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:03 AM

I have only told a few people I work with, one who was helping me track my sleep attacks before the diagnosis, one who's a good friend, and my supervisor.

 

Also, of course, told HR, and mentioned to security that they might see me taking a nap in my car "due to medical issues" so they wouldn't pound on the window and wake me up.

 

That's all I've told at work. No one else, as far as I'm concerned, needs to know.



#3 DeathRabbit

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:08 AM

It really depends on your situation. I have been very vocal about my issues to my team and it has helped improve my standing actually.



#4 keith_harper

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:42 PM

Karen, in my experience you have nothing to lose when you tell your team. In fact, there should be zero issues, since narcolepsy can actually be classified as a disability for some people. When people KNOW why you're tired, they'll be much more understanding. If no one knows, they might assume you're lazy, unmotivated, or just don't care about your job (believe me, I've been in that situation). When you have an explanation - especially one that is a medical condition - people will drop those doubts.



#5 lkl

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:19 AM

The other people in my department at the hospital I work in know about my sleepiness. I couple of years ago it became impossible to hide, since I was falling asleep all the time. At first I had to convince them that I was sleeping at night.

 

Since then they have been really supportive. I take naps during my breaks in our tea room (I tried going home to have them, but driving became harder, and often I would sleep through my alarm or fall back asleep, and miss half the afternoon!) They let me take the time off I need for medical appointments and tests. And recently I have had to work shorter days, and my boss made that possible.

 

When I started working shorter days my boss spoke to HR to check the logistics of me working less then my contract hours, which lead to a letter being written to my doctors, asking them to confirm that I was fit to do my job. My local doctor, just went by what I said though, and said that I was fit to do my job at the reduced hours I was already working.

 

I haven't told any of the staff on the wards I work on though. I don't think they really need to know.



#6 DeathRabbit

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:07 PM

My boss, when I told him, was much more sympathetic to me. He was like "Wow, I jsut figured you were one of those gamer nerds that stayed up until 3AM everynight killing noobs. He also has sporadic sleep issues due to some of his health problems, so at times he can empathize.



#7 XxSweet6LovexX

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:32 PM

Personally, I would tell them if I was you.  I told everyone at my work, and I benifited from it because everyone knows what to do in certian situations now if they occur with me.



#8 Kelly62u

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:58 PM

Because I manage my meds so well, and get good sleep people have a hard time believing I have narcolepsy, Tell your co-workers and your friends. It makes life easy. 



#9 Sincitychick

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 09:47 AM

Has anyone submitted a letter requesting” reasonable accommodation/ADA”, like a flexible start and lunch time (to account for times I can't get out of bed until my meds kick in, or needing a nap during my lunch break.

 

I've written this one, part of it I found online... But I'm not really sure exactly what it should say. My boss knows about my N, and she suggested that I let the HR lady know because there is one employee who is *BEEP*ing that it's unfair I'm late and don't get in trouble for it... She's the receptionist and "has" to be at the front desk 8-5... That’s her job... I am in the office and have the availability to have an actual flexible schedule (I always have) my boss and I are just thinking that it would be best to put something in writing and give to HR, that way is anyone complains it's "unfair" the HR lady knows what's going on and I won't be looked at as an attendance hindrance.

 

My other question is “who” states that I have a disability? Am I automatically qualified as “disabled” because I have documented Narcolepsy with Cataplexy? I’m not applying for disability or anything like that. I just want to be protected at work.

 

I was going to have my doctor write up a letter stating that I do in fact have N and C, and that having a flexible schedule at work will greatly enhance my life as well as my ability to function, and is absolutely necessary.. But does he need to actually say, “she is disabled?”

 

Here’s what I have so far;

 

 

Dear Human Resources:

I work as a Project Administrator, for XXX, Corp. I am writing to formally request a reasonable accommodation for my disability under federal and/or state laws governing reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. 

I have made my Supervisor, Mrs. Voss aware of my diagnosis, and have continued to update her since diagnosis and through the start of treatment.  Although I am still qualified for my position, and have not had any reprimands for accommodations made since diagnosis, I am sometimes limited in my ability by needing a flexible schedule, therefore, I am requesting accommodations in writing.

From my experience working at XXXX, I know that having a flexible start and end time is a possible solution. For example; on a day where I am suffering from side effects of medication, and/or Narcolepsy, I would need to have a flexible start time and lunch break. I am able to make missed time up, by staying late, working through lunch and/or taking approved work home. This would be a sufficient accommodation.  However, I am open to other solutions that you may suggest.  I also would be willing to meet with you to discuss other options.

If you would like medical verification of my disability, I can provide you with the appropriate documents upon your request.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  I would appreciate a response to this letter so that I can continue to be as efficient in my job as possible. I enjoy being part of a great team we have here in the Overland Park office, and I look forward to cooperating with you to find an effective and economical solution.

Thank you,

 

SJS



#10 SleepyMo

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 08:51 AM

Hi,

I'm new to this board.  In regards to this question, I'm in the same situtaiton.  At first I was hesitatant to tell my supervisor because I was worried that she would hold it against me when i'm up for a promotion.  But I had to eventually tell her, because I started to max out on my sick days.  I"m still not sure if it was the right thing to do to tell her but I'll find out in Sept.  If I don't get promoted by then, I'm sure it backlashed on me in some ways. 

 

After I mentioned it to my supervisior, she sugguested that I inform HR so that I won't get penalized if I take more than the max allowed sick days.  I'm very hesitant to inform HR because I wonder if this will be a backlash on me when I apply for an internal transfer.  Does anyone know if this will effect you when it comes to internal transfers? If you apply for a job in the company, do the hiring manager have access of finding out that you have narcolepsy? I' m worried that if I inform HR, it will hurt me when I do want to transfer out of my current dept. 

 

SleepMO



#11 DeathRabbit

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 09:24 AM

If you're running out of sick time, maybe you could make up hours on your good days? Even if it's not enough to completely cover the time out, it gives that impression of "fighting through the pain" which always looks good. And of course, no matter how sick you are, if you start missing important deadlines too much it's going to rebound badly on you. That's the cold, ruthless nature of the business world. :/ However, as far as informing HR (or anybody for that matter), them telling anyone else is a HIPAA violation, I'm pretty sure.



#12 SleepyMo

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 09:37 AM

I actually work enough overtime that my boss is aware that I'm putting my best foot forward.  I haven't miss any important deadlines. 

But it's really good to know about the HIPPA.  Thanks for the advice! =)



#13 DeathRabbit

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:01 AM

I actually work enough overtime that my boss is aware that I'm putting my best foot forward.  I haven't miss any important deadlines. 

But it's really good to know about the HIPPA.  Thanks for the advice! =)

I think you'll be okay then. They just like to see a sign of good faith every now and then. It makes it clear you aren't milking it if you sacrifice free time to make up for lost man hours.