Apologizing for ADHD Behaviors at Work

I want to do everything right, to be precise, to work as swiftly as the rest of the world—but I can't.
ADHD & the City | posted by Jane D.
Jane D.

I had Britney Spears dancing in my head this morning, that song, "Oops, I did it again," on the tip of my tongue. I come into work and there is an angry call from a PR woman who is pissed that the date in a story we churned out was wrong. It didn't help that she demanded that I email it to her now, since she hadn't seen it but had heard it was wrong. When the email went on strike, she wanted it faxed ASAP. It didn't help that I apologized and said we'd fix it.

"It doesn't matter, you made a mistake and it's already out there," she hissed. “I want you to write an apology, too.”

The mistake wasn't the spine of the story, but dates and names, like time itself, are black and white. You either have it right or wrong; there's no in between. I had no defense.

At one point I would have fired back, or beaten myself over this and said it could have been different. But this time around, I was defeatist, because it is the second fuck up this week.

I give up. I will never be a very precise person. It got me thinking about what I should do with the rest of my life (which can easily throw me into a funk, but why bother).

As the financial markets tumble and the jobless numbers climb in Sodom and Gomorrah, what can I do about it? A colleague sitting across me shook his head as we watched the Dow down spiral. "At least we have our health," I quipped.

I wonder if the remaining world will ever understand how frustrating it is for an adult with attention deficit to live in a disconnect. I want to do everything right, to be precise, to work as swiftly as the rest of the world—but I can't. I try, and today the ADHD medication didn't even seem to help. All I could do was say, Sorry, I'll fix it.

And not a day goes by when I don’t wonder if this is the straw that breaks the camel's back, and leads into being pink-slipped. I am tired of living in fear and chanting the "I'm sorry" mantra. It gets old.

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