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The Why Don't You Get a Job Thread

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Unless it's absolutely necessary, Shy Dad, I wouldn't, if I were in your shoes, mention any mental issues to a potential employer or colleagues unless I knew, later, I could consider them as a close friend who I could trust. Most people will just think "nutjob" because most people are idiots. Unfortunately, it might be 2019, but unless you happen to be in a woke field of work like left winged journalism, the majority of clock-punchers will still see aberrant mental health as an indulgence rather than something you can't help, like, say, a nut allergy. 

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As mentioned I've known of the guy for years, runs in the same circles so it's a case of him knowing about me and knowing about my "issues" sadly. Also tried to pull the "I have mental health stuff, I just got over it, you should too" line on me. 

Managers emailed back, seems super understanding and is dealing with it. 

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26 minutes ago, Shy Dad said:

As mentioned I've known of the guy for years, runs in the same circles so it's a case of him knowing about me and knowing about my "issues" sadly. Also tried to pull the "I have mental health stuff, I just got over it, you should too" line on me. 

Managers emailed back, seems super understanding and is dealing with it. 

That's good to hear, Shy Dad. Hope this works out better for you.

That guy sounds like a total cock. I'm pretty sure anyone who's had serious mental health issues would know better than to use that line.

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Maybe one for the future or just some general advice, but if ever you feel that you are being bullied and harassed, start a diary.  Log incidents with dates and times, and witnesses if possible.  It will help massively with HR.

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1 hour ago, Brewster McCloud said:

Unless it's absolutely necessary, Shy Dad, I wouldn't, if I were in your shoes, mention any mental issues to a potential employer or colleagues unless I knew, later, I could consider them as a close friend who I could trust. Most people will just think "nutjob" because most people are idiots. Unfortunately, it might be 2019, but unless you happen to be in a woke field of work like left winged journalism, the majority of clock-punchers will still see aberrant mental health as an indulgence rather than something you can't help, like, say, a nut allergy. 

I don't think that's entirely true to be honest. Also, telling people to just keep that kind of thing to themselves for fear of being branded a nutjob is sort of counter-productive, is it not? 

We've seen some good progress made, and that progress goes far beyond left-wing journalism, but if people were to follow that advice not only would we not be making the progress we are now, but we'd likely see things go backwards.

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13 hours ago, David said:

I don't think that's entirely true to be honest. Also, telling people to just keep that kind of thing to themselves for fear of being branded a nutjob is sort of counter-productive, is it not? 

We've seen some good progress made, and that progress goes far beyond left-wing journalism, but if people were to follow that advice not only would we not be making the progress we are now, but we'd likely see things go backwards.

I'm only going by personal experience; it's not counterproductive if keeping quiet about it allows you to stay in a job you like. Yes, progress has been made, but we're still some way off mental illness and the toll it takes being generally grasped, much less understood and accepted, by the hoi polloi. I'm not quite able to embrace your utopian vision yet, and not being compos mentis isn't something I, personally, would mention in an interview or when I've just started, but rather something I might broach when I've been in the job for a while and I could trust people not to be dicks about it. It's the same reason I wouldn't openly confess to being an alcoholic or a drug addict at the start of a working relationship - you might gain some sympathy, but ultimately? One must consider etiquette - maybe other people don't really want to know you're mentally ill.

Maybe it's different in the UK now - I've not lived there for a while, and it's great if it is. But Shy Dad's experience would suggest that it's not, and I suspect it's a subject that's best raised cautiously, having first established trust. You have to consider people's ingrained prejudices and how that might affect your career and, moreover, your happiness long term. 

 

Edited by Brewster McCloud

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6 hours ago, Brewster McCloud said:

I'm only going by personal experience; it's not counterproductive if keeping quiet about it allows you to stay in a job you like.

The problem there is that despite being in the job of your dreams, if such a thing exists, mental illness can strike at any given time. It's when it strikes and you have to then not only deal with the issues you have, but also maintain a facade of normality that cracks can start to appear. Often it's then that the worst can happen, which is usually followed by heartbroken colleagues and bosses wondering why the individual didn't confide in them, or didn't make their issues known as there was help available.

6 hours ago, Brewster McCloud said:

Yes, progress has been made, but we're still some way off mental illness and the toll it takes being generally grasped, much less understood and accepted, by the hoi polloi.

Yes, we are. No one really believes otherwise. There's a lot of work still to be done, but that work cannot be done if people keep their issues quiet and just "get on with it."

6 hours ago, Brewster McCloud said:

I'm not quite able to embrace your utopian vision yet, and not being compos mentis isn't something I, personally, would mention in an interview or when I've just started, but rather something I might broach when I've been in the job for a while and I could trust people not to be dicks about it.

You may see acknowledgement of mental health as some sort of utopian dream, but I can't agree. I've been in positions where I've had to lead teams of people, and maybe it's just me, but I've always encouraged employees to be up front and honest about any issues they may have, from the very beginning.

I tell anyone I encounter as part of the interview process that they can be upfront about any issues, which can extend beyond mental health by the way, I've known females who've applied for jobs and are afraid to let it be known that they and their partner are trying for a baby as an example. 

I tell them that if they're the right person for the job, I'll work with them to make it work. Because I want the best people on my team, and the best people are worth the extra effort.

Is this me being a fantastic workplace superior who deserves admiration? Far from it. In fact, my reasons for doing so were two-fold. First of all, I obviously recognise that the team members I'm leading are people, and as people I give a fuck. That should go without saying.

Second, I'm also employed by the company to get the best results business-wise, and having team members taking time off and feigning physical illness, being unsettled in the workplace due to issues they can't discuss, and their workplace performance generally being the shits isn't doing me, them, or the company any great favours. 

It may sound a little business-oriented, and it is, but I'm happy to work with the right person and run the risk of them firing at 50% some of the time while the company and myself do what they can to help them through a tough time, than to shy away from hiring them and instead go for someone who's mentally strong but who's not a great fit and who's delivering results of 60% consistently.

Companies are willing to install facilities to accommodate people with physical disabilities (as well they should), and they do so not because said companies have suddenly become bleeding hearts who had decided to take the financial hit of having a wheelchair-bound mascot in the office for good publicity, but because they've recognised that a little financial outlay allows them to hire that person who's going to earn them a lot of money over a longer time period, be that person able-bodied or suffering from some mobility problems.

It obviously should be the case from a human standpoint, but the fact that it makes business sense makes companies all the more willing to make that effort.

6 hours ago, Brewster McCloud said:

It's the same reason I wouldn't openly confess to being an alcoholic or a drug addict at the start of a working relationship - you might gain some sympathy, but ultimately? One must consider etiquette - maybe other people don't really want to know you're mentally ill.

Again, I'm not sure where you work or where you live, but for me it has absolutely fuck all to do with sympathy. I may feel sorry for a person from a personal viewpoint, but as part of a hiring department I can't allow that to come into my way of thinking.

It comes back to the analogy above. From a purely business standpoint I weigh up the pros and cons of someone who's a great fit for the job, but who faces some issues that affect them on occasion, or hiring someone who's less of a fit, who'll produce inferior results, but who can do so over a more consistent period.

In fact, in the past I've had someone on my team who suffered from mild mental illness where they basically have days they can't leave the house. They simply can't do it, but because they feel they can be upfront with the company they often work from home. 

Depending on how they're feeling that can range from dealing with conference calls (sometimes video, other times not, depending on how they're feeling. The client usually doesn't care) to simply going over reports, creating documents and so on. 

In all honesty, even at their worst when they were doing a little work from home, they were still providing the kind of results over any given period of time that I saw team members in other departments provide on a regular basis. 

You may see hiring such people as a utopian feel-good exercise in PR, but trust me, that's not how companies work. Not in my experience anyway. They want results, and if someone is shit-hot at their job, and are still regularly outperforming the average even with their down-time and issues, it's a hit the company will take.

7 hours ago, Brewster McCloud said:

Maybe it's different in the UK now - I've not lived there for a while, and it's great if it is. But Shy Dad's experience would suggest that it's not, and I suspect it's a subject that's best raised cautiously, having first established trust. You have to consider people's ingrained prejudices and how that might affect your career and, moreover, your happiness long term. 

I'm based in the UK most of the time, and things haven't changed really. Companies still want the candidate who can do the best job, and who can make them the most money.

The only thing that's changed in my view is that some companies have started to wise-up to the fact that by dismissing mental health out of hand they're essentially throwing away excellent candidates, often times in favour of less desirable candidates who, even though they turn up every day, aren't performing to the level that those who have been ignored can.

Some see it as ticking the boxes and playing the modern game. I've often claimed to be a cynical bastard, and as a cynical bastard I've experienced the fact that for companies it's about the bottom line, and getting the right people for the job is important.

Companies are starting to realise that those with mental health issues are often-times the perfect candidate for a job, and that they're worth the effort and care not only because it's the right thing to do, but because over the long haul it's going to result in an improved bottom line.

You can throw the hiring of females, physically disabled individuals and minorities into that mix as well. Any company who hesitates based on any of those factors is not only morally in the wrong, but they're doing themselves a disservice business-wise.

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7 hours ago, Brewster McCloud said:

 One must consider etiquette - maybe other people don't really want to know you're mentally ill.

No I don't, legally or morally. Fuck them if they have an issue with it. Would you tell someone with cancer not to mention it when they start a job, especially if it has any effect on what or how they can work? It's the exact same and hushing it up just makes it worse on yourself and perpetuates the atmosphere of it being something to be ashamed of. 

Edited by ReturnOfTheMack

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4 hours ago, David said:

The problem there is that despite being in the job of your dreams, if such a thing exists, mental illness can strike at any given time. It's when it strikes and you have to then not only deal with the issues you have, but also maintain a facade of normality that cracks can start to appear. Often it's then that the worst can happen, which is usually followed by heartbroken colleagues and bosses wondering why the individual didn't confide in them, or didn't make their issues known as there was help available.

Yes, we are. No one really believes otherwise. There's a lot of work still to be done, but that work cannot be done if people keep their issues quiet and just "get on with it."

You may see acknowledgement of mental health as some sort of utopian dream, but I can't agree. I've been in positions where I've had to lead teams of people, and maybe it's just me, but I've always encouraged employees to be up front and honest about any issues they may have, from the very beginning.

I tell anyone I encounter as part of the interview process that they can be upfront about any issues, which can extend beyond mental health by the way, I've known females who've applied for jobs and are afraid to let it be known that they and their partner are trying for a baby as an example. 

I tell them that if they're the right person for the job, I'll work with them to make it work. Because I want the best people on my team, and the best people are worth the extra effort.

Is this me being a fantastic workplace superior who deserves admiration? Far from it. In fact, my reasons for doing so were two-fold. First of all, I obviously recognise that the team members I'm leading are people, and as people I give a fuck. That should go without saying.

Second, I'm also employed by the company to get the best results business-wise, and having team members taking time off and feigning physical illness, being unsettled in the workplace due to issues they can't discuss, and their workplace performance generally being the shits isn't doing me, them, or the company any great favours. 

It may sound a little business-oriented, and it is, but I'm happy to work with the right person and run the risk of them firing at 50% some of the time while the company and myself do what they can to help them through a tough time, than to shy away from hiring them and instead go for someone who's mentally strong but who's not a great fit and who's delivering results of 60% consistently.

Companies are willing to install facilities to accommodate people with physical disabilities (as well they should), and they do so not because said companies have suddenly become bleeding hearts who had decided to take the financial hit of having a wheelchair-bound mascot in the office for good publicity, but because they've recognised that a little financial outlay allows them to hire that person who's going to earn them a lot of money over a longer time period, be that person able-bodied or suffering from some mobility problems.

It obviously should be the case from a human standpoint, but the fact that it makes business sense makes companies all the more willing to make that effort.

Again, I'm not sure where you work or where you live, but for me it has absolutely fuck all to do with sympathy. I may feel sorry for a person from a personal viewpoint, but as part of a hiring department I can't allow that to come into my way of thinking.

It comes back to the analogy above. From a purely business standpoint I weigh up the pros and cons of someone who's a great fit for the job, but who faces some issues that affect them on occasion, or hiring someone who's less of a fit, who'll produce inferior results, but who can do so over a more consistent period.

In fact, in the past I've had someone on my team who suffered from mild mental illness where they basically have days they can't leave the house. They simply can't do it, but because they feel they can be upfront with the company they often work from home. 

Depending on how they're feeling that can range from dealing with conference calls (sometimes video, other times not, depending on how they're feeling. The client usually doesn't care) to simply going over reports, creating documents and so on. 

In all honesty, even at their worst when they were doing a little work from home, they were still providing the kind of results over any given period of time that I saw team members in other departments provide on a regular basis. 

You may see hiring such people as a utopian feel-good exercise in PR, but trust me, that's not how companies work. Not in my experience anyway. They want results, and if someone is shit-hot at their job, and are still regularly outperforming the average even with their down-time and issues, it's a hit the company will take.

I'm based in the UK most of the time, and things haven't changed really. Companies still want the candidate who can do the best job, and who can make them the most money.

The only thing that's changed in my view is that some companies have started to wise-up to the fact that by dismissing mental health out of hand they're essentially throwing away excellent candidates, often times in favour of less desirable candidates who, even though they turn up every day, aren't performing to the level that those who have been ignored can.

Some see it as ticking the boxes and playing the modern game. I've often claimed to be a cynical bastard, and as a cynical bastard I've experienced the fact that for companies it's about the bottom line, and getting the right people for the job is important.

Companies are starting to realise that those with mental health issues are often-times the perfect candidate for a job, and that they're worth the effort and care not only because it's the right thing to do, but because over the long haul it's going to result in an improved bottom line.

You can throw the hiring of females, physically disabled individuals and minorities into that mix as well. Any company who hesitates based on any of those factors is not only morally in the wrong, but they're doing themselves a disservice business-wise.

Well, thanks for giving such an insightful reply - I appreciate it, and I'm not going to argue, but let me clarify a couple of things: I'm not saying that mental health is any different to physical health or that people should simply keep a stiff upper lip and keep their emotional pain to themselves. I do though, think one has to play it carefully unless the matter has been established from the start. If a boss is as cool as you are, great, but I've found several of them not to be, unfortunately. At my lowest ebb a few years ago, I had to take two weeks off because I couldn't leave the house or, well... function. My boss at the time was super nice about it, even coming to my house to bring me food, but my contract wasn't renewed - the board of directors didn't want someone like me potentially taking 2 weeks off again and upsetting the applecart/the image they wanted to project as a Christian outfit. I accepted their decision, although maybe telling them I was drinking a liter of vodka a day was a mistake! Standards and all that.

 

Edited by Brewster McCloud

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I need a bit of a sense check here.

I work nights, in a shift of at most 7 people. Two of those are absolute dickheads, and one of them had the responsibiity of running the shift taken off them, and it was recently given to a Portuguese lad that has been working with us for about a year, who I get on well with. To be honest, I get on with everyone or am at least courteous and polite.

Recently. his brother in law has started with us, and whilst he speaks excellent english, if something needs to be communicated quickly, they speak Portuguese. Or sometimes they just speak in their native language as they feel more comfortable that way. I don't know, and quite frankly I don't need to know, it's none of my business.

Anyway, these two dickheads have complained about this, saying it makes them paranoid and uncomfortable, and have even been planting seeds in other younger members of staffs heads about it. My manager spoke to me about this, and said that she would have to speak to the two lads in question and address it. I advised her that she better seek some legal clarification before this, as to be honest...this is fucking outrageous right? They're even talking about asking them not to speak in Portuguese whilst these two are on shift (only one night a week crossover thankfully), but fuck them right? They should be able to speak in whatever fucking language they want.

I've already said that if this is put in place, I'll make a formal complaint and take it much higher, and given what business I work for, that would cause an absolute shitstorm, but I feel so pissed off about this. Basically, it's jealousy at best, and all out xenophobia at worst, and I want to know if it's actually legal to ask them not to do that?

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If they are relaying work related information, it needs to be in English, if not then it's no different from two dickheads talking in slang.  It says a lot about a persons self worth if they can't earwig in on a conversation that more than likely isn't about them anyway.

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The general rule is that if speaking English is an absolute necessity for the role (being a doctor, for example), then yes, you can enforce it. If speaking English is not a necessity, then you can't do so  as it would discriminate against those for whom English isn't their first language.

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2 minutes ago, Keith Houchen said:

If they are relaying work related information, it needs to be in English, if not then it's no different from two dickheads talking in slang.  It says a lot about a persons self worth if they can't earwig in on a conversation that more than likely isn't about them anyway.

Sometimes it is work related information but then it's only specific to that person, as we all have individual jobs. 100% the second point.

 

3 minutes ago, Grecian said:

The general rule is that if speaking English is an absolute necessity for the role (being a doctor, for example), then yes, you can enforce it. If speaking English is not a necessity, then you can't do so  as it would discriminate against those for whom English isn't their first language.

It absolutely isn't essential for the job, and to be honest, it's completely up to them if they wanto speak in Portuguese. Whilst they both speak excellent English, maybe they just feel more comfortable speaking their first language.

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2 minutes ago, SuperBacon said:

Sometimes it is work related information but then it's only specific to that person, as we all have individual jobs. 100% the second point.

Yeah, I'd not even bother having a word to be honest.  If language makes someone paranoid and uncomfortable then the issue is with them and not the company or other employees.  To emphasise the point, you could point out to them every time they use a slang word or a colloquialism that they are using uncommon language and it makes others uncomfortable and paranoid.

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I have worked in places where English has to be spoken in work areas (signs on walls and everything) but its fine on breaks in staff rooms etc. Not saying I think its right or wrong, just what I have seen through experience. I suppose it could depend on the job as I have also worked in places where no one speaks English at all (e.g. cleaners) and in that instance there isn't really much that could be done but then in the context of the job I don't think it really matters either. 

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