January 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm #97403
powcatMemberJanuary 19, 2011 at 10:03 pmPost count: 61
doubleplanet: some very wise words there, thank you.
I got fired once from a retail job and one of the reasons was that I apparently have “a weird sense of humour”.
another time I totally told my boss off and walked off mid-shift! but the boss was a real jerk at that restaurant.
I’m currently looking for a new job, or at least in theory I am, and the trouble I’m having is describing my past work behaviour to prospective employers. they ask me about my strengths and weaknesses, and to give other examples, and I have to think long and hard before I give an answer that’s both truthful and doesn’t make me look bad – or, unemployable, let’s say.
good luck to everyone!REPORT ABUSEJanuary 19, 2011 at 11:05 pm #97404
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 19, 2011 at 11:05 pmPost count: 14413
Since ADD is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act should we come out of the closet and notify the employer. This is not a visible ‘disability’.
We have a lot to bring to the table for an employer, but the employer needs to take care of us. However, my experience is that the loyalty between employer and employee is no longer there. The employer is out for itself.
My thinking is if the employer knows up front then the necessary proactive steps can take place. Also, if the employer is not made aware of the ADD can you use the ADA? or can the employer say we did not know and therefore we could not take the necessary steps to ensure the employee has a fair chance.
I know that we have to find employers / positions that we can be successful. However, like the company that I was just terminated from if they had lived up to what was sold to me in the interview process then I would have had other scientists to help with my duties. Instead I was capable to perform the test methods they do but it turns out I was the only one capable to do my test method. It turns out that I was the last Scientist to be hired.
Do we stay in the closet?REPORT ABUSEJanuary 28, 2011 at 1:03 am #97405
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 28, 2011 at 1:03 amPost count: 14413
What people talked bout really resonates. I have to say that my ADHD makes it difficult to read anything from top to bottom. I scan and read when something catches my attention. I had a professor who was working with me tell me that he notices how my eyes want to keep pulling down when I am reading.
Anyways, if I was blind, deaf, or had something people could see, no one would ever say “Just try harder.” This is not the case. The invisible disabilities can easily be dismissed that it is “All in your head.” That is why I think that this site is so great.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 28, 2011 at 7:59 am #97406
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 28, 2011 at 7:59 amPost count: 14413
‘just try harder’ isn’t helpful advice for anyone- ADHD or not. but there is usually a way to improve things to some extent, its just a case of finding strategies, experimenting a bit, and making changes to accomodate specific needs- then adding in a whole bunch of practice. sounds so easy when i put it like that- but really a lot of it is down to sincere desire to change a situation, and determination.
i’m pretty bad for saying “i can’t help it, it’s ADD!” recently (i was diagnosed a few months ago), and i’ll admit that i’ve milked it on occasion- when the bf has commented on me interrupting, being rude and abrupt, interfering, etc. truth is though, i’m becoming more and more aware of when, how and why i’m screwing up, and more and more aware of techniques i can use to break those patterns.
while its slow going, i am starting to see decent change on a few fronts already (like letting other people get a word in edgeways, focusing on reading their body language so i can tell that i’m boring them before they leave, getting communication out one sentance at a time- with pauses for breathing and reflection, taking 3 seconds to decide about whether something is appropriate to do before i dive in and do it, knowing that when i’m tired i make lousy decisions, and even being aware that i am tired, and being irrational.).
so yeah. ADHD is not an excuse, but an explanation. i’ve worked with people with numerous special needs, and in our workplace the same rules applied for everyone wrt doing your best, and expectations around standards of behaviour, work, etc. if someone needed a computer that’d take dictation, or a bigger, louder phone, they got it- but at the same time, nobody got a pat on the head and ‘poor you’- everyone has challenges. ‘poor you’ doesn’t solve problems- it just make you feel comfortable- and if something isn’t uncomfortable, it aint likely gonna get fixed.
i apply my own workplace rules to myself still- even now i’m not working: i’m accountable for my actions, choices and the consequences of making them, mitigating circumstances or not- if i screw up, i’m the first to hold my hand up and admit it, and to look for a way to sort it out. and when i’m open, honest, and sincere in my desire to resolve problems, i’ve found that the other party is usually a lot more receptive to the idea of supporting me to do that.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 28, 2011 at 6:15 pm #97407
texascannMemberJanuary 28, 2011 at 6:15 pmPost count: 3
Hi – I just started on this website several weeks ago because I saw “ADD and Loving It” on the Public Network channel and wrote down the website.
Finally, I have found people just like me. I have been reading some of your replies and help and now I know where I can go to share my frustrations, and my hopes. Finding this website was similar to my feelings when I went to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston in 1998 because I was diagnosed with breast cancer. There I could wear funny hats, have a port emplanted in my chest, bandages, and everything else without feeling like I was the odd woman out. It was there that first day that I saw a man with half of his head gone and would you believe it, he was smiling and putting on his jacket to leave – smiling! That told me that he was thankful for the life he had, be it an adjusted one. At a regular hospital, I would have been stared at, with folks wondering what’s wrong with her? It’s good to be with your own kind; people who identify with what your are going through.
I also had a hard time at work once I was diagnosed with ADD and told my fellow employees. After the fact, a friend from work called me and told me that sharing that information at work was not good. When I retired three years ago, and moved to an area that didn’t offer anyone who treated adult ADHD, I suffered and was told it was only depression. I finally found a doctor in Shreveport (a very good one) who started treating me again. Once I started treatment again, I overused a friend talking about ADHD and just about wore a sister out talking about it. I think people naturally don’t know that much about ADD and so they tune it out. Yes, it happens to all of us, forgetting the keys, etc., but only an ADD person knows the frustration of dealing with ADD/ADHD. One day, I got so mad at having to explain myself about ADHD, that while trying to use one of those floor mops that manuvers in all directions (and naturally, I must have missed some of the instructions), I just literally threw it on the floor and started crying and saying “I am not ADHD. I am Charlote and I am so tired of figting this.” Once I was having problems communicating about a problem I was having technically, and I told this person I had ADD. Immediately she started talking louder and condesendingly to me! Now, that made me angry! I just calmy told her “I have ADD, I’m not hard of hearing nor stupid.” From that point on, she talked normally to me. I also thank folks with they have the patience to hear me explain something the long way around.
Anyway, before the short story unfolds into a full fledge novel, I want to once again thank you for sharing your feelings and thank you for letting me share mine. Just a sweet lady in Texas.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm #97408
Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADDParticipantJanuary 28, 2011 at 6:41 pmPost count: 473
I really understand the suffering of someone who is struggling at work because of ADHD. (Been there, done that. Still do, more often and I would like.)
It’s tough. Everyone is so stressed at their jobs, to hear a colleague explain what is going on for them must sound a bit like a ‘cop out’. I can understand why they get their back up. “Oh great, now another thing I have to deal with! Someone who’s got a whacky brain.”
That said, the dismissal or rudeness is just inexcusable. No wonder so many of the experts say that when an ADDer finds a boss who understands and works with their AHDD they can soar.
The only solution is to make sure your boss understands, and make them see your potential. “If we work with this and make some accommodations and adjustments, I can become your hardest working, most loyal, most creative employee.”
That’s in the ideal world.
The other thing that you can, in an ongoing way, is learn more about ADHD, figure out what your particular flavour is, identify your biggest challenges, and try different strategies to get it handled. Everything from ‘working standing up to burn off excess energy’, to having an assistant who ‘handles the routine paperwork.’
And sometimes you can find a much better fit in the same company.
Thom Hartmann told us a great story of a relative who fell into the ADHD spectrum, and was an accountant at a big firm. Brutal right? Doing detailed, careful work, where you can’t make even small mistakes. He hated it. His clients weren’t happy. The firm wasn’t happy. Thom suggested he become a salesman for the big accounting firm, going around, selling the company’s services to potential clients. ADHD people are often great at sales. Since he was a trained accountant, he was one very well informed salesman. And in his first year he brought in millions of dollars in contracts for the company that was probably ready to fire him!
Finding the right job, finding the right partner. You get those two right and you’re golden.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 28, 2011 at 6:45 pm #97409
Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADDParticipantJanuary 28, 2011 at 6:45 pmPost count: 473
One more suggestion. Try using less exclamation marks. I’ve found cutting back on the !!!!!! actually takes some of the emotional weight out of things as I’m writing them. The upset is less. We ADDers can be hypersensitive around emotions. I hadn’t realized this until about a year ago, and when I learned this was an issue, I saw how everything in my life was a crisis. Someone cut me off in traffic and I was through the roof. Not helpful. Studies show, venting and ‘savouring’ the anger and frustration, something I love doing, is harmful.
Bad chemicals in the body.
Lowers the immune system.
And I never make a good decision when I’m feeling really upset, or even the opposite way too enthused and excited.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm #97410
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 28, 2011 at 9:26 pmPost count: 14413
I think that stopping and breathing can be helpful. I have a friend who is studying energy work. She has taught me to drain energy and this has really, helped more than anything. Meditation also has really helped me. It has taken me a long, long, loooong time to learn how to meditate. It was worth the wait. At first I hated sitting (not a surprize) but I had to work at it.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm #97411
AnonymousInactiveFebruary 1, 2011 at 6:28 pmPost count: 31
Rick is so dead on with the change of job in the same company idea. I did that and it worked for me. I did several jobs (not all at the same time, thankfully) within one tv station, I got job offers from other companies to do the same work.
Also, I mentioned in another post about stress and heart disease. Rick is again correct about slowing it all down, being as disengaged about our feelings as possible. It’s very hard to face someone who is annoying or pushing you around and take a breath, smile and talk neutrally when you’re upset and hypersensitive. I’ve heard my whole life I’m hypersensitive, and I need to calm down. I’m the youngest of seven. It’s very hard to calm down when 6 siblings are attacking you from all sides constantly. The corporate world, to me, is the same situation – different players. Only I can’t tell my boss or immediate super to jump up my rump like I can with my siblings and expect not to be fired or carted off to the loony bin.
Here’s what I do: I treat everyone like they are my customers. Every single one of them are in my face for a few minutes, and no matter what they say, the customer is king. Make them happy and they will go away eventually feeling like you care. Smile, be cognitive of your facial expressions, don’t be adversarial and if you can’t do something for them, start by stating you’re very sorry to say no to them and would do it if you could. I even deal with my husband like he’s a customer. I can’t be mean, rude or cross with customers, can I? Trust me, this works. Especially in marriages where things tend to get very person, very fast.
Funny enough, I can stomach doing this with everyone but my own siblings, but that’s another post for another day.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm #97412
AnonymousInactiveFebruary 1, 2011 at 7:06 pmPost count: 31
This is an interesting article on letting yourself make mistakes. http://lifehacker.com/5748998/make-fewer-mistakes-by-letting-yourself-make-them-more-often Not sure if it really applies to ADDers but still interesting to ponder.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 7, 2011 at 9:22 am #97413
shutterbug55ParticipantFebruary 7, 2011 at 9:22 amPost count: 430
I am very new to this whole ADD thing, but I have been dealing with Dyslexia as long as I can remember. I would never tell them about either. I’m too fearful I may be fired over it and it is tough enough for me to just hang on as it is.
For the most part people wander through life in a half wakeful state. Why? Because they can. I would love to breeze through life like that. Even if it were for just a few weeks. It would be a fantastic vacation. Most people don’t have to concentrate on the most simple of tasks, or fight off distraction, or any of the other myriad of things people with ADD do. Heck. I do all that on my way to the bathroom in the morning. The only thing keeping me on track is a full bladder.
To me the workplace is a hostile environment, full of distractions and situations I have difficulty adjusting to or dealing with. It is set up for people without ADD by people without ADD. The places I have worked just want things to get done quickly and accurately. Sometimes, for me, that is an either/or situation. They can have one but not both. So I work extra hours, I take work home, and I still can’t quite “get it”. My IQ pretty high and yet I am made to feel stupid on a daily basis. I understand what they want at work and I know it is well within my capabilities to deliver, but I keep missing the mark.
It’s frustrating, Prunty. I know. I am an Inattentive ADD.
LOL I should start selling these things out of my house! Try a LiveScribe pen . This is becoming my best friend, because no matter what I am doodling on my pad, this thing is recording the conversation/meeting or what ever. When I replay the meeting, the pen is filling in the gaps I missed. I will let you know how it goes in a couple weeks.
Don’t give up.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 12, 2011 at 12:03 am #97414
AnonymousInactiveFebruary 12, 2011 at 12:03 amPost count: 14413
Personnally, I’ve kinda had it with the workplace. I have a ton of work to do on the computer and I’m the receptionnist too! So, not being able to do two things at once ’cause I just know I’ll mess up my work, I tend to be rude to coworkers who interrupt me. I hate the fact that they don’t get how disturbing it is for me. And I don’t know if I can use ADD as an excuse… they wouldn’t have a clue anyway lol!
And today I think I was rude to the only person in the office who knows and understand me (ADD and all) and likes me… well up until now. Today, when they came in from lunch, not using their magnetic key as usual just to disturb me… I worked and opened the door without looking to whom everytime I heard someone. I was rude! Some of them really hated me for this. I could see it in their expression later on. I mean… ITS NOT MY D*** FAULT! It’s hard! Really hard. It bothers me immensely afterward, having been rude with them. Plus their reactions hurt! I’m so tired of it all! It hurts!! Why can’t they understand? Give me a break?
Lucky thing its friday and I have this site to vent out about it. Thanks for being here guys. Sorry Rick about all the exclamation marks.REPORT ABUSEMarch 30, 2011 at 4:23 am #97415
AnonymousInactiveMarch 30, 2011 at 4:23 amPost count: 14413
I think in most workplaces it’s a mistake to disclose your ADHD. I haven’t been able to come up with any “reasonable accomodations” that I could ask for and expect to receive.
1. In general, we Americans are wary of people coming up with excuses to underperform. Most people who do not have ADHD or a close friend or family member with it do NOT understand that it is a neurological deficiency. As a result, they see it as just an excuse (Even a lot of people who HAVE it refuse to acknowledge it is a neurological deficiency, and prefer to see it as a variation.)
2. What would be most helpful to me in the workplace would be to have an analyst who did the tedious parts of my job. I could then be more productive at the challenging parts. However, no company would consider that a “reasonable accomodation” as it would require them to pay an additional salary. In my 20+ years career I’ve gone from sharing an admin assistant with one other person, to having none. In my business there is now typically an office manager who coordinates repairs of copiers, printers and scanners, orders office supplies, schedules conference rooms, etc. Only the head of the dept gets any personal support from the admin assistant. We execs are expected to be proficient at word processing and spreadsheets and any in-house software.
Here are the things I am doing to try to manage my ADHD at work:
1 – take my meds EVERY day
2 – in any meeting volunteer to take notes, type them, and distribute them to attendees for any thing they want to add to them – this forces me to stay focused and shows I’m a “team player”. Distributing them for comments/additions shows I respect others’ opinions.
3 – if the person who called the meeting doesn’t think it’s necessary for anyone to take notes, then I take notes for myself and when things get slow/repetitive, I flip my top page over and start making grocery lists, weekend to-do lists, etc. so that I don’t feel rising impatience.
4 – force myself to maintain eye contact with whoever I am talking with. My ADD has caused me to notice everything going on around me, and if I don’t maintain eye contact and nod occasionally the person I am speaking with feels disrespected.
5 – slow myself down when I am excited about something I have achieved or figured out and am sharing it with someone. My excitement causes me to talk very fast and many people can’t absorb the information if I do that. When I recognize the excitement in myself I remind myself to a) not talk to fast and b) pause occasionally so the other person can comment or ask a question. I’ve alienated several bosses by talking too fast and their then feeling that I was smarter than they were. The resentment of that cannot be undone.REPORT ABUSEMarch 30, 2011 at 5:06 pm #97416
Lindstr7MemberMarch 30, 2011 at 5:06 pmPost count: 103
Working2 – Great tips! I can relate to EVerything you’re saying. I’m always finishing peoples sentences when I think they’re taking too long to say what they want to say (spit it out already!) I’m on second week of meds and find I’m much more patient with people, dont swear in traffic nearly as much and try to listen more instead of trying to be heard more.
It seems that ADD awareness is on the rise (thanks ADD and Loving IT!) and while its not as recognized as say, depression, it seems more and more people are becoming aware of its positive aspects and not just the negative. Employers too. I found this article on what a great asset ADDrs can be to a company willing to make a few minor accommodations.REPORT ABUSEMarch 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm #97417
AnonymousInactiveMarch 30, 2011 at 6:15 pmPost count: 14413
Hey there Working2Change….. I enjoyed your perspective, maybe it’s because we agree…..mostly. I had to laugh I am one of those who see my brain process as a variation…..chicken….rooster, they are terms and definitions. I could go on about that but….what the hell. II’s a sharing forum and that’s my take on this thing. I do appreciate the way you strive to manage the ADD shortfalls, and recognize and I would guess, and exploit the gifts. You appear to be very successful in your workplace……. I was too.
Anyway…I won’t ramble. I enjoyed your take….. nice to see.
They DO NOT GET IT….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!2010-12-09T06:16:16+00:00
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