I’m struggling with how to tell my bosses about this. I’ve told them I had an MRI and I have to go see a neurosurgeon, but I haven’t really explained things.
Here is why - I am 35 working with mostly women in their late 50s and early 60s, one in her 70s (my direct boss). The work dynamic is so different. To them, it is more important to show up to work on time and be seen than to actually be productive. I don’t know why, but it probably has something to do with the age gap I think. Maybe not. Anyway - I have always taken time off when I didn’t feel well. I’ve been here for 10 years. It was never well received, but on the flip side I’m excellent at my job, I never drop the ball, and everything is always on time.
Last year when I started to miss a lot more work I requested a reduced time base (I work 4 days now) because I knew that I couldn’t maintain the 40 hours AND do a good job. They were reluctant, but we had a tight budget that year so they let me.
They all have the mentality of, “well you don’t look sick”. They also seem to believe if you are not at work you aren’t working. In rare cases, I’m allowed to work from home, but it is also not well received.
Now I am starting to find that the distractions in the office are becoming overwhelming. I have a harder time concentrating than I ever have before. I also have waves of anxiety where I sit at my desk and fight back tears. Or sometimes I just have a low-grade headache that makes writing clearly really hard. In other words, I know my quality of work is slipping, but I cannot figure out how to explain it to them so they will understand and grant me the ability to work from home more frequently. How do you explain how terrible it really is when “you don’t look sick”.
On top of it, our division director just busted a hip and everybody is working extra hard. The workflow planning here is awful and everybody (except for me!) is always putting out fires. I am fighting my inner monolog that is telling me not to be a burden. I know I need to explain this to them soon. I just don’t want it to go badly.
Any managers out there?