Feeling overwhelmed at my job...

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Webalina
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15 Apr 2013, 2:26 am

Been working at my job -- cashier at a convenience store -- for about 2 months now. I worked here for nearly a year back in 2011. The job was a LOT of work, but I was able to handle it then. But now, it seems SO much more difficult than before.

I never complete my work on time and have to stay over as much as an hour to complete it -- without pay because they won't pay unauthorized overtime. My boss is getting angry -- I've been written up several times -- with my what she sees as laziness or time management problems. I've been threatened with termination twice in the last week.

I'm trying all different types of things to keep myself going, but I'm always lagging behind at closing time. It's so difficult to get my chores done because of interruptions by customers -- I start a duty, get interrupted for as long as 1/2 hour, and then forget what I was working on and start something else, only to see the scenario repeat itself. And apparently other employees don't have nearly the trouble getting everything done that I do.


It doesn't help that we're short-handed, so I'm working CRAZY long hours -- by my next day off on Wednesday, I will have worked 158 hours with only 2 days off during that time. I'd break down into tears if I wasn't so tired. And it's a very negative place to work -- everyone is considered lazy, a thief or a liar until you can prove otherwise. The employee manual is basically pages and pages of ways you can get terminated. The owner is tight with his money, and any complaints about the company or suggestions to make the place better is met with eye-rolling.

There is so much good that I bring to the job -- always arrive on time and have never called in sick, don't need to take smoke breaks like so many of my co-workers, I will will work whatever shift they need, I'm good with the customers, and I am able to competently do my chores and shift close paperwork -- I'm just slow at it. Doesn't any of that matter?

I don't want to tell my boss about the AS and Executive Function issues because 1) I'm not officially DX'd, and 2) she'd probably just use it as reasoning why I can't handle the work and fire me. I live in a rural isolated area, so jobs are few and far between. So I can't just up and quit -- plus, I don't mind the job itself and I enjoy my regular customers. I just don't know what to do to convince my boss to cut me some slack.

Sorry this is so long...just needed to rant.



neilson_wheels
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15 Apr 2013, 3:24 am

Webalina wrote:
I'm trying all different types of things to keep myself going, but I'm always lagging behind at closing time. It's so difficult to get my chores done because of interruptions by customers -- I start a duty, get interrupted for as long as 1/2 hour, and then forget what I was working on and start something else, only to see the scenario repeat itself.


The only thing I can suggest is to manage this bit better.

Try and get to the point of what customers need quicker, even if it's nice to chat with them.

When someone interrupts what you are doing make a mental note of what you need to come back to.

Good luck, sounds like a hard place to spend so much time.



BTDT
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15 Apr 2013, 5:24 am

Maybe you could quickly write down coded notes for the top five or ten tasks that get interrupted?

C might mean you need to get change, for instance.



neilson_wheels
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15 Apr 2013, 6:00 am

Or different coloured items with a code letter written on, like plastic counters from a board game for example.

Keep them all in one pocket and transfer to another pocket when you start the job, back to first pocket when job done.



Greatsharkbite
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15 Apr 2013, 8:05 am

Yeah, the best way is probably to have something is a visual reminder nearby. I had similar issues with a job, so I studied at home as to what I had to do and in what order.



Vomelche
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15 Apr 2013, 9:02 am

Maybe ask you coworkers for advice or watch to see how they do it. Don`t stress over it, if it comes down to losing your job try to mention your disability and that you really are trying your best. Open communication may help, but if your boss is a jerk there is not much you can do except maybe seek legal counsel.



BTDT
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15 Apr 2013, 9:29 am

You might also need to prioritize what you do--which is hard because you are so busy!

But, I found that in many places, there are things folks say should be done, but it never happens and nobody seems to be penalized for not doing it!

Cutting corners is hard for Aspies, but you need to do it if that is what your co-workers do!



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15 Apr 2013, 11:15 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XGkseNwQMA[/youtube]


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IkariGendo
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15 Apr 2013, 12:54 pm

Dear Webalina,

I do not mean this to be negative, but step I think you step back, and look at the missive you posted.

You have done almost 4 weeks worth of work with only 2 days off. You say that you will work whatever shift they need, including closes, where you are struggling. You need to stand up for yourself when the boss calls you for an extra shift. You say that you never call in sick, and suspect that you're the first one they call when someone else does.

Practice saying. "I'm sorry, but I have other commitments."

Point out that you are struggling with closes and ask to be moved to an earlier shift. If the boss says that no one else can do closes, use that fact as leverage.

One of the problems that you may face is that if other employees are loud and abusive to managers, the abusive employees will get their way at your expense, simply because the managers know you won't fight back. Don't let that happen.

You need to take control of your work situation.

I have been in similar conditions and know how unpleasant they can be. I wish you great good luck and
Best wishes,

Ikari Gendo



Webalina
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15 Apr 2013, 11:16 pm

Thanks so much for the advice, gang. It all sounds very useful. I particularly like the chips in the pocket idea. Unfortunately, I'll have to wait for my next job to put them into practice. Got fired today.

Ands check this out -- my boss tried to call me several times for me to go in to see her. When she couldn't get hold of me -- it was 9:am and I was sleeping. Go figure...anyway, she called my mother at work (her store is down the street from my job) and yelled at Mom on the phone that she'd better find me and have me call the boss. Nice right? And THEN!...she let me go on in her office for about 15 minutes about how I knew I was having problems and was looking for advice on how to get better before she told me she was letting me go. I thought that was unnecessarily sadistic.

Thanks again. Y'all are awesome!



neilson_wheels
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16 Apr 2013, 6:08 am

Good luck with whatever comes next, sounds like you're better off out of there anyway.

What a low life creature your ex-boss is......



BTDT
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16 Apr 2013, 8:38 am

Good luck with your next job--sounds your ex-boss was trying to get you to do the job of two employees. 8O



auntblabby
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19 Apr 2013, 2:01 am

to the OP- i could tell you lots of "fired" stories :oop: just keep in mind that you are not alone. far from it. there are legions of us "rejectees" from the bloodsucking capitalist world, and you have lots of company. i used to [when i was young] work for a company that insisted that i learn to drive their large panel truck [like a moving van] and since my depth perception and proprioception in general is poor at best, i proceeded to tear the roof off of the company gas pump house- they were not too happy with me at that point but luckily they didn't fire me for some unknown reason. but i've beeen fired from lots of jobs to the point where it didn't matter that much to me anymore, sorta like the actor tim conway who had his car license plates customized with the name "13 weeks" because all of his tv series had been cancelled after only the standard 13 week tryout period, IOW he never had a hit series. does this ramble make any sense to you?



Webalina
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19 Apr 2013, 10:00 am

auntblabby wrote:
to the OP- i could tell you lots of "fired" stories :oop: just keep in mind that you are not alone. far from it. there are legions of us "rejectees" from the bloodsucking capitalist world, and you have lots of company. i used to [when i was young] work for a company that insisted that i learn to drive their large panel truck [like a moving van] and since my depth perception and proprioception in general is poor at best, i proceeded to tear the roof off of the company gas pump house- they were not too happy with me at that point but luckily they didn't fire me for some unknown reason. but i've beeen fired from lots of jobs to the point where it didn't matter that much to me anymore, sorta like the actor tim conway who had his car license plates customized with the name "13 weeks" because all of his tv series had been cancelled after only the standard 13 week tryout period, IOW he never had a hit series. does this ramble make any sense to you?


Yes, it does make sense, and rest assured that I'm not letting this get to me much. I didn't really want to work at that place to begin with. Plus I've had a couple of dozen jobs in my life and have been fired numerous times, usually either for petty crap so they could bring in a relative or somebody they knew to work. And it's not like I won't see my customers anyway. The store is the closest one to my house and really the only one in my area (I live in a VERY rural area). I'll have to go there whether I want to or not because it's the only one.

I think my main problems on jobs are executive dysfuntion issues (have trouble remembering all my duties, and trouble with interruptions as I mentioned)and I hate being told to perform meaningless "busy work" duties. The mantra of convenience stores is "If you have time to lean, you have time to clean." Every time I hear that it pisses me off.