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An Open Letter to All Coworkers

Several weeks ago, I fell on the ice and sustained a fractured and sprained wrist. Per instructions from the radiologist that I saw, I was to restrict my lifting for 4-6 weeks. Being a veterinary technician, it is quite difficult to work around my inability to lift anything more than two pounds for that long, so I have been assigned to desk duty.

That is where the story should end. Unfortunately, the story continues and gets ridiculously immature.

After presenting my office manager with my doctor’s note, I have been endlessly harassed, not only by her, but also by many coworkers. I have been called useless. They don’t understand why I am allowed to come to work and do nothing. It seems ridiculous that I cannot restrain an animal with the good hand and pill with my “bad” hand.

Most fail to see what I am actually doing as the receptionist while they are in the treatment room complaining. At any given moment I am: filing charts, answering phones, cashing out clients, making appointments, fill prescriptions, checking in patients, receiving lab work, and most of the time, I am doing some combination of the above.

I have been put into situations where I simply cannot do the duties of a technician. Despite my doctor’s note, I am still being made out to be the bad guy in the situation. I am sorry that my injury is an inconvenience, it’s not like I went out that morning looking to fall on the ice. They fail to realize what impact this injury has on my life.

The fact is, that I don’t just work with them! I have a life outside of work that is incredibly compromised by the inability to utilize my wrist. I am a busy student, I am studying for the GRE, I have meetings, chores, and a boyfriend that I rarely see, even though we live in the same apartment.

I shouldn’t feel like I need to apologize for my injury. I am well aware of how annoying it is. Why? Because I live with this morning, noon, and night. Imagine what it is like for me.

I know many of you out there are members of the workforce. I am sure that you have colleagues that you only see at work. Co-workers who you only know bits and pieces about. Who knows what they have going on at home. So, while it may seem like common sense, when something comes up in a co-worker’s life that is a pain for you, think about what life is like from their point of view.

By InnatelyKait

I am an art history student extraordinaire doing research on Hellenistic Sculpture in Ancient Greece. I also moonlight as a multitasking office assistant. Yes, I am really that awesome. In a past life (or career really) I was a photographer.

Chocolate and ugly baby animals keep me from being as awesome as I could be. I know all the names of the cats in my building (but not the names of their humans) so I guess I am the crazy cat neighbor.

2 replies on “An Open Letter to All Coworkers”

I’m with you. I’m a school counselor in a K-12 school of about 400 kids, and deal with remarks like “What do the counselors do all day, just go in their offices and close the door?” My door is only closed when I’m on the phone or with a student. I have a caseload of almost 50 to see weekly, plus support groups, plus admin meetings, plus PD, plus whatever crises may arise from day to day. And I have to find time in there to regroup after sessions and be able to present the same listening ear to every student I see.

So just because I don’t have a classroom or do lesson plans, don’t look down on me.

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