HR Driving Me Crazy - (Disjointed) Rant of the Desperate

Yanno... I don't know why they call themselves "Human Resources". The truth would be Inhuman Resources!

I've been on FMLA for my fibro, which has gotten much worse in the past year, and as there was a company-wide schedule change, I'd asked for ADA accommodations, as well as a new FMLA form. They gave me a whole whopping 2 weeks for one of the forms and -I didn't realize until _after_ I'd seen my doctor- ONE whole week for the other. Can't remember which was which. Memory impaired here! I have no insurance. The company's never helped provide it, and now I don't make enough that I'd be able to afford it even if they did. I'm having to go through indigent care because I'm disabled and SSD is dragging their hind ends in the hopes that I'll become homeless or commit suicide before they actually do what I've been paying them for since I was 16.

The job description they included was so vague, my PCP had nearly nothing to go on. It's a high-stress technical customer support job, but all it said was customer support that requires long hours of sitting, which I can't do. The high-stress environment makes me fibrofog within a couple of hours max, and one can't do technical support when they have to say "you know, that box with the lights on it" because the word "modem" just won't come to mind. Or when I end up having to search for each word, and wind up talking very slowly... it's like having a stroke, and I'm honestly not sure sometimes if this actually is what's happening or if the fibrofog gets that bad... how would I know the dif?

So PCP said I can't sit for long hours and need frequent breaks. We all know fibro symptoms vary with weather, stress, lack of sleep and a slew of other factors.

I'd linked HR to the Dep't of Labor's fibro accommodations page to help them understand, but I'm starting to wonder whether their literate or whether their 4 year old reads my emails for them, because it seems pretty clear they haven't bothered to even try to read it. Even if they have, they can't seem to get it through their thick skulls that symptoms vary, and _really_ don't get that the higher the stress, the worse the symptoms wind up being. My fibrofog gets absolutely horrible when I stress out, and they've done nothing but add to it and make it worse. I wound up missing work today. It's almost 4am and I can't sleep, not just because I'm stuck thinking about what a stupid mess, but the pain is so bad it's hard not to cry.

After they gave my PCP short notice and a pathetic excuse for a job description, have been given my PCP's phone number, as well as the number for Voc Rehab -who were kind enough to _pay_ for the appointment with my PCP since I can't afford such luxuries on my own because I'm disabled.... and the link... well, here, perhaps it'll help someone else to have it, assuming there's an HR person on the planet who can actually read:

and my PCP also said in the reply to the forms "frequent breaks" "flexible hours" and specified can't sit for long periods, and no more than 2-4 hours a day. Now they're wanting her to clarify "frequent breaks" and "long periods" when my PCP has already specified 2-4 _flexible_ hours a day and I've already worked with them to do an hour at a time as my condition allows, which has allowed me to work a whole 4 hours more than half the time, and even more on occasion. If I do 2-3 hours straight, I'm shot and can't do it anymore that day and they know this. HR is trying to say they'll outright deny my ADA rights until they get it re-specified by my PCP, which is opening them wide up to being sued of course, since they already have all the info they need to start working with me and instead are _fighting_ me on it, causing stress/distress/anxiety and flaring the fibro to the point that I'm unable to work as a result. I told them to feel free to call my PCP for clarification, and called the Dr.'s office to let them know to expect a call -this is after rounds of trying to explain to them what the frell "flexible hours" and "varying symptoms" mean, and them acting as though they're completely illiterate. After several back and forth emails and having sent me into a horrible anxiety attack they said they wouldn't call the doctor but had sent a letter with their request... why the h-e-double-hockey-sticks didn't they just say that to begin with instead of causing me such trauma?!?! "We're wanting more info, so we sent your doc a letter asking for it" would have avoided all this, but instead they decided to give me some kind of horrible head trip! What is wrong with these people?!?!

They know I'm disabled and struggle to get through any part of a work day, yet they turn around and mess with my head needlessly to the point of causing panic/anxiety attack, have me awake thinking about it at 4am when lack of sleep makes it worse, and have flared the pain symptoms to the point I could scream... or cry... I don't know but gawd I wish I had meds that actually did something for the pain. I might take some old (and I mean _really_ old) vicodin just to try to get the pain under control enough to be able to get some sleep.

When a company pulls this kind of malarkey and tries to deny ADA rights, who can we call for help? I'm trying so very hard to keep it together while I wait for SSD to drag their tushes, and I don't have the energy to jump through these hoops and fight these fights on my own. It's too much and I'm about to reach a breaking point here... I need help, but I don't know where to turn for it. If anyone knows or has ideas, please, please reply. Thank you!

You could try contacting the Federal Dpt of Justice
Employers generally try to make your job life so miserable that you will quit. This makes life easier for them. Unfortunate but true. It is best to try work it out with them, but sometimes you have to complain to a higher authority ! I wish you the very best of luck !!! I also hope you feel much better soon…

I feel your pain and stress. I’m on FMLA at work too. I work for a major company that uses the point system for missed days with no exceptions so even using my FMLA hours is stressful because I worry my time won’t be covered and it will be a point instead and I get fired. Unfortunately the compny has to comply legally too but they do need very specific info from our doctors. I work in customer relations which is like upper level customer service like you do so I sit and talk to customers for 8 hours a day and yes the words don’t come out right. We had a storm blow in yesterday and my arthritis and my brain fog went crazy. I should have left work but I can’t afford to not work because my medical bills and prescription costs are outrageous right now. I have great insurance but seeing a new rheumatologist who tests for everything is killing me. I spent $400 in medical and prescriptions just in July. And I missed 25 hours of work last pay period.
My doctor gave me 48 hours per month. He said it is a chronic condition and specified flares can happen at any time, with no warning and can last hours to days. He didn’t mention sitting because I do get a break very 2 to 3 hours which I can usually tolerate. He specified no pushing, pulling, lifting, tugging, etc. But I don’t really do that. And unfortunately they do have a time limit on paperwork. Those are the FMLA regulations. Right now my job is doing mandatory overtime. Its only an hour one day a week but I’ve begged and pleaded and explained that a 9 hour day is enough to make me miss 4 hours of work but they can’t split the overtime they say.
I’m so sorry you are going thru this. I wish I had answers for you but the best options is to ask for an extension and see if you can sit down with the nurse and fill out the paperwork together. I explained my work system to the doctor and nurse and they said “whatever you need, we will do”. Thank goodness.
I hope it works out for you:-)

Thanks to you both for your replies! The stress/distress/anxiety from all of this flared my symptoms to the point that I couldn't function for 3 days straight! Electric zaps went from just zaps to absolute non-stop, on top of it all.

I spoke with my PCP's assistant today and explained everything, and she was very kind and supportive, and is faxing over an amended document to HR for me today.

MrsK, I can't help but to wonder if we work for the same place. Where I work is a large corp. that's also on a point system and is also doing the mandatory overtime thing.

Honestly, I'm behind on bills, and even with the Indigent Care program, the only way I'm able to see my PCP or anyone right now is with the help of Voc. Rehab.

Disability is only adding to the stress/distress/anxiety and making my symptoms and everything worse by dragging their tail ends so badly. Honestly the system we have is one of pure abuse and cruelty to the disabled. I'm being told 7-16 _more_ months of waiting and praying I don't lose my home... or my mind.

That said, a kind PCP is _huge_, and I'm extremely thankful for her!