Disability and Work Related Issues

I developed an illness 18 years ago following a car accident, I was diagnosed some 2 years later with CFS which in my case manifests itself with low blood pressure (standing is a major problem as I go dizzy very very quickly) and a fast heart rate. Of course, the 2 are connected because as the blood pressure drops the heart beats faster to try and get the blood pressure up and so becomes a vicious circle. This condition is also called Autonomic Dysfunction.

I spent 6 years virtually housebound, bedridden and in a wheelchair. I have learnt to live with my condition,¬†by no means cured but learned to manage from day to day. In 2011 I was forced by the government to go back to work, I could n long do the job I was qualified to do (I am a trained nurse with 3 nursing qualifications) but unfortunately¬†there aren’t many sit down jobs for a nurse.

I was lucky that my first job was as a carer but sitting with people with dementia while their partners went out, I only worked a maximum of 12 hours a week but it was good to get back into work even though most days I did feel like death.

In 2013 I saw an advert that a new supermarket was open, why not I thought a job on the checkouts, meeting people every day, talking to people sounded like a good idea. It was for a major PLC and they had a sickness policy for my illness

I might add that the whole time I worked for them, I was dismissed in September 2017 NOT once did they adhere to the policy for my illness.

The policy stipulated I should be placed near a toilet (my manager constantly had a problem with me being placed there)

I should have had extra breaks …… never happened sometimes I had to wait over 4 hours for a break

Any absences to do with my illness should have been void of having a warning, I passed out at home and cut my mouth resulting in stitches took 2 days off work and was given a verbal warning for doing so

I was covered by the Equality¬†Act from¬†Day 1 …….not once was it adhered too

The policy for my illness clearly stated that unsteadiness on feet was a prime symptom,¬†this didn’t stop my boss from asking me if I had Gin in my water bottle ( I might add I have been alcohol intolerant ever since having this illness)

I had a bout of sickness one night in October 2016 was up most of the night vomiting so the next morning I phoned in sick, I knew I was ok to go sick as I hadn’t been off for 10 months so was under the 3% necessary to get a meeting with my manager

When I returned to work the next day my manager called me for a meeting and said that there was a new policy in place now and when people went off sick they would now be dismissing people like me

This was like the beginning of the end for me, one thing with this illness is the body does not respond well to stress, I began to be very stressed, worried I would be ill, my customers noticed the change in me and kept asking what was wrong. My manager belittled me at every opportunity, I was shouted at in front of customers for wearing fingerless hand warmers (low blood pressure makes your hands very cold and your fingertips numb)

When I had my 1:1 she would say that she had heard bad things about me but would never elaborate. Then I was told that a manager wanted me dismissed for being rude to his partner, I actually knew the person in question and just couldn’t understand why they would have said that?

My symptoms continued to get worse I started to dread going into work, my heaty rate was going faster and faster I wasn’t sleeping till finally on 30th December 2016 I was sent home from work ill. I went straight to the doctor and put off work immediately. Then I heard the bitchiness goes off sick and her husband was back half an hour later with a sicknote……erm yes he was back with a sick note because I was ILL

With 2 weeks of me being off, I was called in for a meeting with my boss dismissal was mentioned and I was referred to Fit For Work, not once did they look at the sickness policy for my illness

I went through the Fit for Work process and they said I’d obviously had a major relapse and should stay off until my sicknote expired in March and they would speak to me again. I was called in for monthly meetings which I struggled to get in for (the sickness policy advised home visits should have been done for my illness)

I was getting no better, I was put off sick until May, Fit For Work advised some things to be put in place for me to return, these were NOT carried out by my managers

In April I was forced to return to work, I cut my hours right down I was not paying NI I was not eligible for sick pay, bad things were still being said and done by my manager. I documented all these things all were sent to the union. Some of my colleagues used to record conversations they had with the manager, at times I now wish I had done this

I lasted 6 weeks then I was off sick again, my last working day was June 8th, I found out I had been dismissed by a message from a colleague on social media……I didn’t receive the letter from my company until 10 days later ūüė¶

I was invited to meetings in July and August I wrote to the company to say I wasn’t well enough to attend, not once was I offered a home visit

My advice to anyone in my situation, seek legal advice before it gets to the point of dismissal, don’t allow people to bully you on the workplace, think of the long-term effects on your health

I would never want to return to my job, I won’t even spend money in that PLC anymore or step foot in any store belonging to them. I’m not the only bad story to come out of there but I am one of the only ones who stood up for myself. This I will discuss in another posting

Do you ever……………………?

Block people on, social media for whatever reason. I had a colleague I worked with , to say she was in Walter Mitty land is an understatement, I got fed up of all the stories on facebook day in day out, tbh you’d have had to be wonder woman to achieve all the things in a day. So I removed her from my social media account, a few days later I noticed some other friends were talking to themselves then I saw they mentioned a name, turns out the person I removed from my account then blocked me?? Whats that about?

With my privacy options on my social media all my postings are friends only so I feel no need to block people………………..what reasons do you have for blocking people???

I understand if someone is stalking you etc

Another strange thing, the manager that sacked me from my job follows me on social media…………what is that all about? Worried about the repercussions of sacking a disabled person, worried that it’s going to come back and bite them??

Who knows?

Film Review Darkest Hour

We went to see Darkest Hour last week, it was excellent.¬†I wasn’t really looking forward to seeing it as have seen a lot of Churchill portrayals and the film is over 2 hours long and sometimes this is just a bit too long for me to sit in the cinema and give it my full attention, but it was over before I knew it, it kept me captivated the whole time. Gary Oldman’s take on Churchill was wonderful I would highly recommend¬†this film

Film Review Darkman

Another film we recorded was Darkman¬†, considering I’m a big Liam Neeson fan I don’t know how I had never seen this film before. It’s actually 28 years old!! But to be fair it didn’t seem that dated and the special effect are really good.

IMDB give this film 6.4 /10 I’d agree with that it’s not too long and the story¬†goes along at a good pace to keep you interested. If you like comic book heroes you will love this

Film Review The Great Gatsby

We watched The Great Gatsby¬†¬†the other night we had recorded it over the Christmas period, I don’t really remember watching the original but this one was a very good performance by both Leonardo Di Caprio and Tobey McGuire we both really enjoyed this film and if you get the chance to watch it…….do so ūüôā

IMDB gives it 7.3 /10 I might even give it a slightly higher score than that

Afternoon Tea Out

I was given a voucher for my birthday last year, it was running out expired on 3/2/2017, it was for an afternoon tea. I looked at where the voucher was for and the reviews weren’t¬†very good. So I decided to exchange it for a place where we had been previously Ruthin Castle Hotel. The tea was booked for 1.30

We arrived there about 1.20 made ourselves known at reception and we were taken through to the library bar where we were told they were expecting us and tea would be along shortly. An old building, it’s very dark inside and was quite cold on the day we were there, we sat down there were some older people having lunch snacks and after about 5 minutes my husband went to the bar and said we are here for afternoon tea. The girl behind the bar looked very blank and said that they were n’t expecting anyone. Half an hour later after things had been sorted out our afternoon tea arrived.

Sandwiches were not as advertised we were expecting Smoked Salmon Egg and Cress and Ham and Mustard instead we had Coronation Chicken Egg Mayonnaise, Tuna and Cheese and Chive the fillings felt they had come out of prepacked mayo ones from the supermarket and the bread was dry like the sandwiches¬†had been left on the side,¬†(but they couldn’t have been as they weren’t¬†expecting us?)

The cakes were not as described either and were very dry and there was no Bara Brith, had I paid £29 for this treat I would have been VERY VERY upset.

Moral of the story we won’t be back again