It was extremely hard for me to write about this topic because during the past years of losing jobs, I was going down a really dark, depressive road. To be able to talk about my experience, I have to kind of relive these horrible moments and recall what I went through and how it made me feel. Not very easy to do, to say the least. I have tried my best to leave the dark aspect out of this article, so, maybe to you, it might not seem so bad. Well, here it goes…
Suffering before I knew why
The first job I lost because of my IBS, I decided to quit in a stretcher. A few years ago, I worked for a nursing rehabilitation center as a scheduling coordinator. I wouldn’t consider it a high-level job, but it was my first job where I made more money than I ever did and it allowed me to move out of my parent’s house. At first, I felt like I had hit the jackpot. I moved in with my girlfriend (who is now my wife), we leased a brand new car that was of that year, we indulged in fine dining, my closet was becoming more filled with clothes and shoes, I mean, I felt like the man. However, after a while, the stresses from the job started to catch up to me.
Although the job was financially rewarding, what didn’t help my new role much was the fact that I was suffering from IBS before I even knew I had the condition. I just knew I was suffering from all kinds of stomach problems, like nausea and irregular bowel movements. Whenever I had trouble filling the schedule, or dealing with any ounce of stress from work, my symptoms would go bananas. I didn’t know what I was suffering from or why. All I knew was that I had to do my best to suck it up and live with it. Keep in mind I had seen a number of doctors at this point but still no answers to what I was suffering from.
Working in a zoo
Also, to make matters ten times worse, I had a demeaning boss who took advantage of his authority any chance he could, and I say that with no exaggeration. I was under a lot of pressure in making sure my job was done right, not just because I pride myself on giving 110%, but because I didn’t want to get caught in the web of belittlement from my boss. I recall times when he would call me after work hours and harass me about holes in the nursing schedule that even he, with his authority, couldn’t fill. He literally would scream at me, and just had a way of making me feel worthless and under-appreciated. So imagine, ladies and gentlemen, having a boss like this and also not knowing what you’re suffering from, and then trying to communicate and explain to this person about what it is you’re going through. Let’s just say, calling out was far from easy to do.
In order for you guys to truly comprehend the stresses from this job, you also have to understand the environment I was working in. The company I worked for had a number of nursing rehabilitation locations all around the state, but for some reason the building I worked in was understaffed and ill-equipped to train employees properly. Therefore, I had to figure things out for myself most times because there was no handbook for nursing schedulers – my IBS hated this aspect of the job due to the amount of stress it brought. Also, because I worked somewhat closely with Human Resources, I knew that some nurses and certified nursing aids were getting hired with hardly any skills or training. I’ve experienced and heard stories about nurses and C.N.A.’s being careless and unsanitary, which made me lose even more trust in some healthcare professionals. With that being said, and with great respect for the patients there, there were moments I felt like I was working in a zoo, and my IBS could not handle it.
One day at work I had the worse flare-up I had ever felt, and I immediately communicated that to my boss. What did he do?
Read part two here