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Thread: Having the TS talk with a new Boss

  1. #1

    Default Having the TS talk with a new Boss

    Just looking for some advice.

    I have a new manager at work and find myself needing to have the TS "talk" with him. Note this the 3rd manager in 3 years for my department so I'm getting kinda tired of having to keep explaining myself. With the prior manager I wasn't comfortable talking about my TS+ so I didn't really talk about it until my TS flared up again.

    To give some history: I was diagnosed with TS at 15 and OCD at 19. I was diagnosed with a learning disability about grade 2. Prior to the TS/OSD diagnosis I was constantly told I had "behavioural problems" and to "grow up". This meant i didn't get the support I needed to develop good self esteem and proper social/communication skills as a child (I was a social outcast). I also dealt/deal with "rage attacks" or as I've since learned are actually neurological storms.


    Fast forward to 25 years old and been permanently employed with this company after post secondary graduation. I currently take a low dose of Resperdone of my TS. I get frustrated and upset fairly easily at work and find when my Tics are bad that this gets worse. I'm a sticker for policies and procedures and find it extremely aggravating and frustrating when others don't follow them. (My OCD comes out to play). Most of my frustration boils down to communication issues. I've been able to overcome some of my self esteem issues but still find that I doubt myself at work and am slightly paranoid about doing something wrong at work. I explain why in a moment.

    When I get frustrated/upset/stressed my communication skills do suffer I am fully aware and am working on it. When I get extremely frustrated it is almost like a rage attack where my brain disconnects from the rest of body. Because of the OCD I get frustrated things aren't the "right way" (anyone with OCD knows what this is like). My prior manager seemed to think that I had to have things "My" way but really I pushing that the procedures put in place by the managers get followed. This same manager told me that my communication skills up to the "required standard" for an office environment. He didn't have a issue when I went to him with my frustrations and issues but other managers had issues.

    Apparently other managers in my company had issues when I would tell them I can't do what they ask because it breaks the policies. This would result in my manager pulling my aside and me getting in to trouble for telling the manger I can't help them. My manager at the told me that next time another manager asks me to break policy/procedure to get the request in writing. So next time it happen I tried this and got in trouble by my manager for doing what he told me to do. These issues have lead my being paranoid I'm going to upset someone. I'm hoping the new manager will make a difference with getting others to follow the policies/procedures.

    The Tics have cause a whole new set of problems. One tic (I don't see my TS/OSD as separate things so it may have been a compulsion) for a while was door slamming. If I shut a door it had to slam. At work I only shut my door when I needed some alone time to calm down so others saw this as me losing my temper. I them proceeded to get in trouble for this but didn't even know I was doing this until I got in trouble.


    To sum it all up all up I don't really know what to say about my TS+ with the new manager with out sounding like I'm a nut case. To complicate matters more my old manager is still with the company but has moved to manage a department in Edmonton (I work from the Calgary office). Some of the "issues" showed up on my last performance review which my old manager shared with the new manager without sharing anything else about the TS.


    Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I would like to have this conversation prior to any "issues" happening.

    On a happy note my other coworkers find some of the other tics cute and funny. We have great laughs together about my squeak toy tics.

    Cheers

    Laura

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Having the TS talk with a new Boss

    Hi ac_burton!

    I suggest you write a letter and give a copy to each of your managers. Explain -

    - You have TS and OCD
    - Explain that they're neurological disorders
    - Discuss your current tics and compulsions, and explain that they may change from time to time
    - Talk about any therapies or strategies you use or have used to try to deal with your TS and OC, and whether or not they've been successful
    - Talk about what things your manager can do to help you

    I think having a letter might be a good idea. That way you can make sure you express everything you want and not get into a situation where you say something you later wish you hadn't. Give your manager the letter first, so he or she can read it in advance, then take the letter with you to the meeting, so you can refer to it.

    Tell your manager that you appreciate feedback and criticism, positive or negative, on your job performance, and that you hope he or she will point out to you anything you could do to improve. For example, you could explain that slamming doors is an OCD symptom that you have, and doesn't mean you're angry. And, in fact, you never noticed you were doing this at work because it's like second nature to you.

    Just my thoughts, I'm not an expert, hope to help you, though. Someone else will be here soon to give you helpful advice.

    The Tics have cause a whole new set of problems. One tic (I don't see my TS/OSD as separate things so it may have been a compulsion) for a while was door slamming. If I shut a door it had to slam. At work I only shut my door when I needed some alone time to calm down so others saw this as me losing my temper. I them proceeded to get in trouble for this but didn't even know I was doing this until I got in trouble.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Having the TS talk with a new Boss

    Laura, I've been with my company 17 years now I was raised on a dairy farm in which my animals brought me a great sense of well being? In 1990 my family decided we could no longer continue in the business and we sold out after my dad had a heart attack. I was in my early 20s and devastated. I went into the factory world, this really sucked. I went from doing what I loved into doing what I was told. I married when I was 27 had 2 kids by 32 a whole new world! All through my life I fought TS, borderline personality and anger issues and anxiety and whatever and nobody really knew or cared what was wrong? Long story short, I'd get so angry I'd say things I'd later regret, call people names and not even think about it. I was diagnosed with TS, ADHD and borderline personality disorder. I work for a world renown company with over 20,000 associates in 26 countries and some how my bosses knew. Out of the 17 years I was a boss for 6? I finally realized, yeah I'm a born leader but I'd rather walk beside a wonderful leader! Today I got a wonderful review by him that stated how good I was with the others I worked with, how well they liked me and how much I was showing them. What I'm saying is, if your manager really wants to know you, he will ask those who directly work with you, if not he is a jerk . I have never told him I have TS, ADHD or BPD! There is only my wife, son, daughter, doctors and 1 close friend that know my situation. Either you are being discriminated against or they are just plain stupid! You shouldn't have to tell anyone about your disability unless it makes your job easier, if it keeps up check into it legally!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,939

    Default Re: Having the TS talk with a new Boss

    Laura,

    Have a look at these resources for some ideas:

    Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada \ Adult Issues

    Tourette Syndrome Association (U.S.) Adult Issues

    Resource library | Tourettes Action (U.K.) - Adults & TS

    Additionally, we have a series of posts that contain various overviews, downloadable brochures and explanations of Tourette that can be used as support material for your employer, located HERE

    I don't really know what to say about my TS+ with the new manager with out sounding like I'm a nut case.
    Do you think this might only be because of your own self talk and perceptions?

    Tourette Syndrome is a neurological genetic disorder that you were born with. Your Tourette symptoms are involuntary, and they are not behavioural, so it should be understood by your employer and co-workers you are not expressing your symptoms "to be funny, to annoy anyone and especially not because you have a psychiatric illness.

    You may have associated disorders, like OCD of ADD but these are treatable so your doctor should be able to help you, but you should never feel embarrassed or in any way apprehensive about advocating for yourself with regard to your Tourette symptoms.

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