Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lupus in the work place - setting the standard from an employer's perspective

Those of you who have kept up with my blog or read my book know that the company I worked for when I was diagnosed with lupus was extremely accommodating. I worked there a total of 10 years - pretty much 5 years without lupus, and 5 years with lupus. It was very difficult for me to transition from being a work horse/leader/go-getter type of employee to being an employee struggling with fatigue, pain, and dozens of doctor's appointments. Despite the fact that I struggled to accept my new limitations, my supervisors and co-workers embraced my disease, and did everything they could to make sure I was taking care of myself.

Just to show you how supportive the company was, I thought I'd post a few quotes from emails I received from my various supervisors. This is the kind of thing I walked into every day at work - kind, considerate, caring emails that conveyed nothing but concern. Every one deserves to have such support - whether it's at home, at the office, or among friends. I know it doesn't always happen, but perhaps the kind words below will inspire those around you. Feel free to send them a link to this site...maybe it will help them find the words they've been looking for to reach out and tell you how much they care.

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From my supervisor, a year and 1/2 after I was diagnosed:

"How are you feeling? You looked very tired yesterday...do not wear yourself out, please!"

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Another note from the same supervisor, a couple of months later:

"No problem at all...I know it is so hectic up there - things will
happen. You are doing great...just don't work so hard that you wear
yourself out....thank you."

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Note from my next supervisor, a year later:

"I really want to make sure that you take care of yourself, because your health is more important than anything else. Please let me know how I can help you out to make sure that you
are able to stick to your part-time schedule, whether it's stuff I could do, or [another manager]
could do, or stuff we can delegate to others in [your] department. So thanks
again, but please, please, please let me know how I can help."

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And that's just a sampling!

I know, I know - with this kind of support, why did I have such a hard time letting go at work, right? Well - you know how it goes...the problem isn't the expectations others have for us, it's re-evaluating the expectations we have for ourselves.

Want to hear all of the gory details on the subject of re-evaluating expectations? Feel free to check out chapter 7 of "Despite Lupus" - where the author tells all!

2 comments:

Sportsgirl said...

Wow you are very lucky to have had that kind of support. Some employers only care about $$$ and see their staff as disposable.

britta said...

I wish some of my professors were than nice and understanding of my chronic illness....which just so happens to mimic Lupus!