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Return to work interview

(38 Posts)
Undercoverbanana Tue 13-Mar-18 08:06:10

Absolutely dreading it. Feel sick.

I’ve been off with anxiety for 5 weeks. Surgery have been no help at all. I was promised all sorts of support but nothing has happened despite me chasing up.

I am just walking back onto the hamster’s wheel here.

I can be strong about this but It’s only an act so the problems will arise again.

Any advise? TIA.

ForTheLoveOfGrace Tue 13-Mar-18 08:13:07

Be honest how you feel it'll help in the long run, no point rushing into things if you're going to be off again. Make sure HR are involved in the meeting too, they are there for you as well the business. Is a phased return something you could do?

Undercoverbanana Tue 13-Mar-18 08:22:40

If I’m honest about how I feel, I will have to tell them that I hate the place, don’t trust the people and the work is mind-bendingly boring and pointless.

I need a job and I’ve never been fulfilled by any job (except when I did random decorating/leaflet delivering/cleaning jobs when I had DCs).

I am buying a house with DP in the future and so need a salaried job. I also need a pension and a decent income.

I don’t have the confidence, self esteem or where-with-all to get a new job. My anxiety is too extreme.

I feel really trapped. One of the people in the interview is someone who makes me feel particularly worthless and intimidated.

TittyGolightly Tue 13-Mar-18 08:30:49

Make sure HR are involved in the meeting too, they are there for you as well the business.

HR don’t usually get involved in day to day management like this.

Undercoverbanana Tue 13-Mar-18 08:33:40

HR are going to be there. What difference does that make, please?

Falconhoof1 Tue 13-Mar-18 08:38:24

HR will make sure everything is done by the book.

OurMiracle1106 Tue 13-Mar-18 08:39:25

Ask to be referred to occupational health. Ask if they have any counselling services available.

I am very lucky I had a guidance and was given details of our employee assistance helpline that covers legal and counselling as well as other things. I am currently funded to do counselling.

If you don’t ask you won’t get.

Undercoverbanana Tue 13-Mar-18 08:44:18

I was referred to Occupational Health. It was useless and highly anxiety-inducing. I was unwell for days.

ForTheLoveOfGrace Tue 13-Mar-18 21:49:58

HR will make sure everything is done by the book.

You have right to HR to be at any meeting - if you don't ask you don't get.

You can be honest up to a point say how you feel you don't have to give reasons why you feel that way.

Eg high anxiety, depressed etc. It's none of their business why. However if it's the role that is making you feel the way you feel perhaps you should explain more confidentiality of course.

daisychain01 Wed 14-Mar-18 06:36:44

OP does your GP have a record of any treatment they have given for your anxiety. If you have well documented diagnosis of anxiety as being debilitating to your everyday life, you could request your employer makes reasonable adjustments to your work conditions to assist.

That would include them giving you reasonable time to complete work to agreed deadlines and not giving you aggressive deadlines. If you can explain to them that you feel intimidated they might have to adjust their style.

It isn't easy if they aren't prepared to meet you half way, but all you can do is try...

Undercoverbanana Wed 14-Mar-18 06:47:09

Thank you. I have to start back today. Nothing has changed. I have no support. I am absolutely dreading this. I have no idea how people cope with these feelings. I am paranoid, anxious, depressed, panicky, unpredictable, can’t concentrate .....

How do people get through the day?

Undercoverbanana Wed 14-Mar-18 06:50:48

The meeting yesterday felt like a telling off. I felt so humiliated and worthless. They kept saying “it’s got to change”, “we can’t let this go on” so when I asked that would happen if I struggled again it was intimated that they would get rid of me. I’m so scared.

chickhonhoneybabe Wed 14-Mar-18 06:54:45

I think you’re probably better going back to your doctors and being signed off for longer, until you feel better able to cope. And perhaps look for another job.

If you go back now, you’ll end up going off sick again.

Undercoverbanana Wed 14-Mar-18 07:12:18

I can’t be signed off anymore. My pay will reduce and I can’t afford that.

I have no idea what sort of job to apply for. I am so messed up I will feel like this anywhere. I have no self esteem in the work environment. At work I feel like nothing is real and I feel “floaty” and then it all feels really real because something triggers my anxiety.

LEMtheoriginal Wed 14-Mar-18 07:21:46

Did your Dr not prescribe medication for you? 5 weeks is a long time to be signed off work without any help at all.

Do your work have counsellors ? Could you be referred?

I suffer with anxiety and know how debilitating it can be.

Just take one day at a time. It might be that once you are back in the wheel you will cope better. I actually find my job eases my anxiety. However previous jobs that I haven't been suited to exacerbated it. Ironically the job I have now would be considered more stressful by most.

Don't let that person intimidate you. If they do that they are failing at their job. Take the moral high ground in your head and look down on them.

You are being very brave xx

TittyGolightly Wed 14-Mar-18 07:37:41

You have right to HR to be at any meeting

Huh? Employees usually have the right to a TU rep or colleague to accompany them to formal meetings. In 15 years as a HR professional I’ve never worked anywhere where HR could be asked to attend by employees. I have 6 in my team in an organisation of 1500. There just isn’t capacity for them to be at every meeting!

MaverickSnoopy Wed 14-Mar-18 07:41:17

I have been through the same, as has a friend (with the same employer). We had the same manager with very high expectations (she used to work 7am-7pm and come in at the weekend, although was contracted to work 9am-5pm M-F) and would expect us to achieve the same volume of work to her standard (even though she was 2 grades higher than us and had much more experience). We both did more than a good job (I even got a performance related bonus before she started in post) but she single handedly destoryed our confidence. I used to wake in the night having panic attacks and felt anxious and miserable all the time. I was on maternity leave and ended up resigning during it because I couldn't face going back. My friend ended up being repeatedly signed off by the doctor, while being performance managed (she didn't need it I worked in HR and her performance had been exceptional before this manager came along) while I was on maternity leave. We both resigned with no job to go to and we had both needed the income. Neither of us ever thought we'd do anything like that but our sanity and mental health came first.

Honestly, she's destroyed my confidence. I have another job now but I still think I'm rubbish. I was actually headhunted so I know this can't be the case logically, but logic doesn't really come into it.

In your shoes I would and did leave. You should only do that though if you can afford to. I would definitely recommend going back to your doctor though and explaining how unsupportive they are. Firstly ask for minutes of the meeting that you had and then ask the GP to sign you back off and use the time to find another job - even temping would be better. You probably also need some kind of cognitive therapy. I believe there are some online courses but your GP can tell you.

Undercoverbanana Wed 14-Mar-18 07:53:06

I have medication - I don’t think it works.

I have done CBTs - I try to use strategies I’ve learned.

LEM - I have to be brave. I am going to be fighting with myself every working day for another 20 years (if I can retire at 70).

Brokenbiscuit Wed 14-Mar-18 08:01:35

The meeting yesterday felt like a telling off. I felt so humiliated and worthless. They kept saying “it’s got to change”, “we can’t let this go on” so when I asked that would happen if I struggled again it was intimated that they would get rid of me. I’m so scared.

OP, can you look at this another way? Perhaps they were not telling you off or trying to humiliate you at all? Perhaps they were just setting out the factual position of the business in relation to sustaining the amount of time you have had off sick? That doesn't necessarily mean that they're judging you in any way - they might just be doing the job that the organisation pays them to do.

Can you think of any adjustments that could be made in the workplace to minimise your anxiety? They should be trying to support your return to work as best they can.

Undercoverbanana Wed 14-Mar-18 08:09:39

Yes - I know they are just doing their robotic jobs. I have thought about it over and over and over and probably just ought to not think about it at all.

They have told me that they won’t make any of the adjustments I requested. I was promised support from Access to Work with this but they have never got back to me. I feel so let down and lost.

ForTheLoveOfGrace Wed 14-Mar-18 08:13:08

Titty any HR related meeting not just any old meeting

TittyGolightly Wed 14-Mar-18 08:26:47

My point stands. We wouldn’t ordinarily attend a meeting until it was serious - ie second formal sickness absence meeting. Up to that point we would provide offline advice to the manager.

TittyGolightly Wed 14-Mar-18 08:28:01

What adjustments did you request, OP?

RaininSummer Wed 14-Mar-18 08:29:39

What sort of work do you do, I am guessing office based. Perhaps something totally different would work for you maybe back to decorating or gardening etc. It sounds a little like you despise your fellow robotic workers but they are no doubt just struggling through life as wage slaves too like most of us.

Brokenbiscuit Wed 14-Mar-18 08:46:47

They have told me that they won’t make any of the adjustments I requested.

What reasons did they give for this, OP?

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