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Hi – I didn’t want to read this and not respond. I don’t have ADHD, but my husband does, and he has also struggled at work, so reading your post was like hearing a story from my husband.
There’s a lot going on here, but it sounds like now there is quite a bit of conflict at your work, regardless of who is “right” or “wrong”. Whether it’s right or wrong, you’re now in a position where your employer doesn’t feel like you’re performing up to their standards. Now that your employer feels that way, you basically have two choices. You can either:
A. Try to keep the job by dropping the arguments about if you were sleeping, wearing proper equipment, etc. This would mean being open to their feedback and asking yourself what they would have to gain by antagonizing a union employee for no reason. Clearly they must think there are some issues. Ask them what those issues are and how you can bring your performance back up to their standards. Get it in writing. Get clear performance goals. Then do your best to meet those goals, with no arguments or excuses. This might involve putting your pride and your desire to be “right” aside, and instead do what they need you to do as an employee.
B. Find another job that’s better suited to your skills.
There aren’t really many other options. You seem to be choosing to stay, but wanting them to admit that they are in the wrong, or change their expectations. Maybe that would be more fair, but there’s no point in staying and waiting for that, because it’s not going to happen. You’re in the position of needing to prove yourself. You can either do that with humility, if possible, or move on before you get fired.
I don’t mean for this to sound harsh, but I’ve seen my husband do the same things you’re doing (justifying behavior that’s been called out as inappropriate or unwanted by the employer, trying to change minds about his roles and responsibilities, doing jobs the way he wants to, not how the employer wants them done) and the unfortunate result has been that he lost his own business, and has been fired three times. The employer is going to win, because they have the power. You can either submit to it, or move on. There’s no third option where you assert dominance over the employer. They’ll just fire you.
Also, I have to say that whether you were sleeping or not, putting your head in your hands during a meeting doesn’t sound very respectful. If it’s hard for you to know what kind of behavior or mannerisms are appropriate at work, take responsibility to learn, instead of arguing. You’re in a vulnerable position, so it’s best to approach it with humility and a willingness to learn, instead of defensiveness or being stubborn.
I hope you’re able to rebuild a good working relationship, or find something else more suited to you. Just please don’t pursue the route of defending your behaviour, and expecting your employer to change their minds. It’s going to be an exercise in frustration for everyone.