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Self Advocacy – How do I say it's too much?

Self Advocacy – How do I say it's too much?2010-05-10T15:02:09+00:00

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  • #88389

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    I work in an out of school care setting, which is both good and bad for ADHD. The child care hours are great, but I am also the summer program planner and the coordinator/planner for the youth leadership program which has the grade 4-6 kids. The problem is that I have a job that requires a lot of organization and planning and I am taking on the roles for two people when one of these would already be a problem for someone with ADHD. I can do it though, I would manage just fine if they weren’t adding more to my workload on top of what I am actually paid to do.

    You see, they have problems with unreliable/incompetent staff in other rooms that have children during the day, which are my programming hours. They end up having to call me into ratio (in with the kids) during my programming time. So the time I would have, which is really only enough for one job unless you are hella efficient, is cut virtually in half. I just don’t have enough time to get my job done any more because I am having to bear the weight of people who just can’t do their jobs. There are extremely high expectations of me because I have a reputation for being awesome but I just can’t do it any more.

    How do I tell them that it’s just too much? I’m now doing the jobs of three people, and not through my ADHD can-do-it-all attitude, it was just assigned to me because it looks like I can manage it. The kids aren’t going to get any field trips this summer if this crap keeps up because I won’t be able to book anything. :'(


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    So your managers have a big problem with unreliable/incompetent staff. That is their problem and should not be yours. It becomes yours when you are being required to take time and energy away from doing your real work, in order to try to fix that problem which should be dealt with by management, not by you. Of course, it’s difficult when you’re the new person, and when your ADHD keeps urging you to take on way more than you can reasonably be expected to handle. See Rick’s Blog http://totallyadd.com/no-means-no-or-so-ive-been-told/

    This is where you’ll need to do some paperwork.

    First, check exactly what your written job description is. Then, make a list of all the things you’re being asked to do, which go beyond that job description. Note how often, and for how long (on average) these extras occur. This will give you concrete proof to show to your boss, of how much less time you are able to devote to your actual work. It may also show you that things aren’t quite as bad as they may feel at the time…even though they’re still not good.

    Now, make a list of possible solutions to the problems, and how they will work.

    Then, you’ll need to sit down with your managers, show them your paperwork, and calmly explain that you cannot do your job properly because you’re so frequently called upon to cover for other staff. Give actual examples of when this happened, and how it negatively affected your work. You could also mention your concern about being unable to take the kids on field trips, and that that wouldn’t be fair to them. State the problem as concisely and objectively as you can.

    Then tell your managers that you have some possible solutions to the problems, and show them your list of those.

    This approach of showing the problems, along with possible solutions, is far better than just telling them your problems, because it shows your managers that you have fully analyzed the situation, and aren’t just whinging about having a bad day. It also makes it easier for them to help you, because you’ve compiled a list of options for them to select from, or combine. And solutions that come directly from those who are “in the trenches” are always much more effective than those which come from managers and others who aren’t directly involved.

    In case they’ve forgotten, you should also remind them that you have ADHD, which may make you look like a super-achiever, but that you’re only human, and you sometimes need help, just like anyone else.

    Bona fortuna!

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