The worse place was a very popular restaurant I had always loved, and always wanted to work at. The managers were insane and would start yelling at you randomly for no good reason. I was a great waitress, my customers loved me. I barely ever made mistakes ordering, and I was responsible, so it would always come as a complete shock to me when they would start yelling at me out of the blue, and I would almost invariably burst into tears. They would then remove me from my shift, not wanting the customers to see me crying because, at they put it: "the clients look at you with a tear streaked face, and right away they assume the manager did something to you". Hmm... I wonder why they would assume that?
I sat down with one of them one day and tried to explain my situation, asking him to please wait until the end of my shift if he was going to reprimand me like that, because it would probably always make me cry. Well, the jerk was offended by this, and made it his personal mission in life to make my life miserable from then on.
One day, after having been sent home the night before for crying, the GM (general manager) tried to make me sign a paper stating that I understood that if I ever cried again while at work I would be fired. I was OUTRAGED. I yelled at him that this was completely illegal, and discriminatory, and asked if they were looking to get sued. They continued to make my life hell until I finally had to quit.
There's a law in Quebec that allows you to still claim employment insurance if you quit for valid reasons, and newly added at the time was psychological harassment, which is what I stated and clearly described in my application. Not surprisingly, when the case worker visited the restaurant, they had other employees lie for them and probably bribed her with a free lunch. She ended up ruling in their favour, denying my benefits, and to add insult to injury told me I could probably be approved if I submitted a sick claim instead.
I was infuriated, and defeated. They had been allowed to treat me like dirt, and I was being told I was the problem. Even as I type these words, seven years after I left that hell, my eyes are tearing up as I dredge up the feelings of hurt and anger these events caused.
I have been denied promotions because of my disorder "Oh no Felicia, you can't be assistant manager, it's going to be too much for you to handle with your disorder".
Who the F are you to tell me what I can and cannot handle?
I have been the star employee in several places... until I started to get depressed. Then the people who professed to love me turned on me quicker than milk on a counter.
I have been on disability now for close to a year, trying to get over my last work fiasco.
I have lost all sense of my own self worth, and the thought of going back sends me into fits of tears and panic attacks.
I have never wanted to be a poster child for my disorder. But that is starting to change. I think it's exactly what I should be. I have a voice, and I can use it to draw attention to these injustices. I can use it to help others who struggle as I do, and I can use it to help the rest of the world to understand our differences.
In the past couple of months since starting this blog, I have found a multitude of online friends suffering from the same afflictions and always willing to listen, or to offer encouragement.
A new visitor left a comment on my "So the truth about me is I have Bipolar Disorder" post today. He told me that he's a teenager, and that he fears he may be in the same boat. How he felt very alone, but that my post really touched on his own feelings, and that I had helped to show him that he isn't.
I want to do more of that. I want to become successful so that I can show others struggling from the same afflictions that they just need to adjust their lives to suit their own needs, not the needs of others.
PS: I've reached 40 Google connect followers this week... very exciting! Thank you to all my readers, I appreciate your support more than words can say. Yes, even for an awesome author such as myself ;)