Advice and help wanted - discrimination at work?

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VintageGal

New member
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
2
#1
Hi, this is my first ever post to this forum in attempt to gain any advice or help that anyone can offer me on a situation that occurred to me only yesterday which has torn me up inside. It is a fairly long story but I would really appreciate any time and effort as I am confused and upset.

First of all, I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depressed and I am currently on medication for this. I find it hard to leave the house a lot of the time; I do have a part time job, I work as a cashier for a supermarket which will remain unnamed. I have had to step down from Customer Service Manager and then from Customer Service Supervisor because of my mental health to do my cashier role. I thought this would help me manage my stress easier. I am worrying constantly, about anything and everything, what shall i cook for tea, what shall I wear, will I get enough sleep tonight, will I have time to clean, etc etc. I worry particularly about my appearance and I hate being out in public, especially alone.

I have been doing my cashier role for almost 9 months now and I haven't found the amount of stress to be decreasing significantly for me. The department is extremely short staffed, and often I find myself being the only cashier rotad on shift, which I find extremely pressurising, as this shop is a very busy bargain store. I have informed my manager, supervisors and duty managers about my condition and they are all aware of it, after asking for proof through the form of my prescription that I was on medication.

I am aware that in the Equality Act, employers should make reasonable adjustments for those struggling at work with a mental disability. This is where I am asking for your advice - was I refused a reasonable adjustment, in your eyes?
Yesterday, I arrived at work after a particularly bad morning of panic attacks and crying. I wanted to make the attempt to work as it often (when it's a good shift) takes my mind away from things. I arrived at work and informed my supervisor that I was not feeling great today. She is very aware of my position and we are quite close. It was only a six hour shift ahead of me but I was asked to be assigned to Till Point 1. Now, Till Point 1 has a reputation in this store. Whoever mans this till has to stay on Till 1 for their whole shift, so as to maintain a constant cashier at the checkouts, and they were in control of queue control, calling other cashiers to "jump on" another till, so on and so forth. They are not to stray from this till. No chair is supplied. It is just your job to stand at the till all day, all shift. Sing on Till 1 is a bit of a nightmare for me - I want to be doing something active. I want moving, doing stock, filling shelves even. I get extremely irritable and quite panicky of being 'trapped' behind this till point. My medication makes me extremely restless. I have asked to be removed from this till point often, but with no cooperation from my managers. I understand that I am a cashier and it is a part of my role, don't get me wrong, and I will man this till, but I find longer periods of time on that point very stressful, as do other cashiers that work in this store.

So, after being informed of the fact I would be on Till 1 for 6 hours, after such a terrible morning, I broke down. After some consolation in the staff room from my supervisor, my supervisor then suggested that maybe i could do some shop floor work (less people facing more individual working) for a couple of hours until I had calmed, and out a member of shop floor staff who was till trained onto Till 1 for that time - so basically, a swap of staff. I agreed that this would be a good idea for me. She had to firstly ask the Duty Manager if this was okay. She returned to tell me that the Duty Manager was not happy at this request, but she will allow it "just this once" and it was "not to happen again". So, I sort of lost it.

I felt pathetic. I felt like my duty manager didn't at all care for my wellbeing. Swapping my role for two hours would not put the shop back any, as it was merely a swap of staff. No loss to the shop floor team. I desperately wanted to work, I am far from rich and need every coin I can get my hands on. But I felt really put down about this remark. "Don't do it again"? I have a mental illness. This was not merely a childish squabble. "Just this once"? Well, I cannot guarantee that. I was angry, upset and felt quite embarrassed. Was this adjustment too much to make? I walked out of work. She may have agreed to let me into the shop floor, but her attitude was not appropriate here. Just because you can't see the illness doesn't mean it isn't absolutely crippling for me, on a daily basis. I have a meeting organised tomorrow with the store manager.

Do you think I am over reacting? I feel terrible and like I have done something wrong, but then again, I didn't really ask for much, just some support. Feeling very disheartened by this.

Thankyou for taking your time to read this. I desperately want another's opinion on this.
 
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nofuture

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 22, 2016
Messages
50
#2
I don't think your over reacting at all. tell them your needs at the meeting.
 
V

VintageGal

New member
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
2
#3
Thank you nofuture. Part of my illness is that it makes me feel like I'm overreacting all the time. It's nice to hear that someone agrees with my perspective on this. Eagerly awaiting the meeting tomorrow. Thanks for your time.
 
N

nofuture

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 22, 2016
Messages
50
#4
Tell them that its your illness that is the cause behind the needs, fuck what they think, multi million pound companies then some jerk supervisor or manager is not being nice, fucking joke.