Sunday, December 16, 2007

Knowing When To Give Up

How do you know when to throw in the towel on something that you've been fighting to carry on with, despite finding it really tough?

There are two dimensions to my problems at work. They are interacting and making each other worse (reminds me of two impairments I know quite well, that I could use as a very appropriate metaphor). 1. Work is not accessible - on so many levels. Going in today would involve pain, exhaustion, stress and worsening of my condition - that could all be avoided if the institution was more willing to adapt to my needs. 2. I am not well enough to work three days a week. But I am stuck in the benefits trap, because going down to two days would lose me my tax credits. So isn't it great that work just makes me more unwell...? And round we go again.

So, it was not without some relief that, when I fell, hit the side of my bed and subluxed my shoulder this morning, I realised that I'm really not up to working at the moment.

And then I e-mailed work, and got back the most curt response that I may ever have seen in my life. But it's all right, because they're "sorry" I'm not feeling well.

The Girl-Who-Is-Incredible-And-Brilliant got me an appointment at the doctor's. It's with Crappy Doctor, of 'made me feel rubbish for bothering her last week' fame (who is at least better than no doctor at all. I wanted Lovely Doctor, but we can't have everything now can we children). And so it transpires that I am sitting here researching whether I can afford to go back onto Incapacity Benefit, still keep my job (but for so few hours that it's barely worth it), still get support from Access to Work (thereby not having to give up the wonder that is Luna), and still bring in enough money to pay the bills. The answer is 'possibly'. The question is whether work will like this idea. If I give them the choice between this and losing me altogether, they may put up with it. Or they might decide I'm not really worth all this fuss. At this point, that would be fine by me.

I await an actual acknowledgement from the Powers That Be that work is just not accessible enough for me, and that they are causing their own chaos. It will never be forthcoming, but I live in hope. The problem is with society, people - not with me.


rosamundi said...

This is fucking insane. ('Scuse my language, edit if you feel like it).

I don't think I've ever felt more like going round somewhere and throwing a brick through a window (with copies of your blog posts attached with a rubber band).

lilwatchergirl said...

Rosamundi: Heh. Thanks. To be fair to them, I *am* probably too sick to work, as a result of which it would involve a lot of reorganization and hard work on their part to make it possible for me to stay employed - at least, at the level I am now. Also, this is nothing. This is a *good* organization for disability rights. The majority are far worse.

Anonymous said...

I hate it I hate it I hate it.

We are in very similar positons, authough I chose the other option to you (i.e. not working) ... the trap is horrible argh yuk

Tonight I feel incoherant but I send you all my best wishes.

Permitted work rules are rubbish, too (and even more horrific for people on means tested benefits). But you can get A2W however tiny your hours are.

this is supposed to sound supportive not ranty, but I am in an incedibly ranty mood, so may not sound that way.


grace said...

*grace sits staring into space with her cup of tea single-handedly redesigning the tax credits system*

In terms of accessibility and what you're going through, I'm increasingly thinking of Animal Farm (which I'm assuming you've read!) and a form of "feet good, wheels bad ... three days good, two days bad" type thinking pervading throughout all you're encountering.

But if anyone can work the system out to keep you working, I think you can... and if you can't then, well, there's a Masters course waiting in which you'll have all the more to say. But I do hope that, in the meantime, you can keep working...

Elizabeth McClung said...

Issues indeed - no no no, they cannot take Luna away - get the handcuffs and chains to attach yourself to her. Is there any way to use the "sick note" to give yourself enough time to recover enough to put in a good show and keep that going; sick note, work a while, sick note, work a while - it sounds like beyond accessiblity you have BURNOUT - when you are sort of GLAD you got hurt, that sounds like burn-out to me, which is a medical condition and you can get a sick note and still be paid as if at work, right? I think that is how it goes in the UK?

As for them - it is unpleasant working in a place where you are not appreciated. What is The Girl's idea on this?

By the by - Linda has diagnosed me with Burnout and is now bossing me around and taking tomorrow off work for a 'family emergency' simply because I had a wee bit of meltdown and tried a rather pathetic attempt at suicide rather than face wednesday (which is an ominous day by nature)

ms.cripchick said...

could they really take away Luna??