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I got in trouble at work today for a new employee that complained about something that I said. When I was talking to my manager and team leader, my manager said that the director thought that I had memory problems like my mom. My mom issues have to do with something that happened after she moved. She was fine before then. The loneliness just set her off. She is getting older. She will be 89 in January. Has been widowed for 23 years. The older you get without a spouse gets harder. The Lord is keeping her alive for whatever reason and we are happy for that. Stressing my brother a lot but me too. But we seem to work together.


I just don't know why they think that I have memory issues because of my mom. My manager said that it's hereditary. Then if that is so, the a co-worker's mom who died of lewey body dementia, might end up getting that herself as she gets older. But that's not true,right?

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The only way to know if you have memory issues is to talk to your doctor and get some testing.

Do you have a union where you work?

Your director seems to be making some very unwarranted and unscientific assumptions; you might consider seeking a consultation with an employment lawyer in order to protect yourself.
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Judy79 Dec 4, 2019
No union. I won't have the option to talk to a lawyer until January. That is when I get legal coverage with the hospital where I work.
Maybe I should do that,get some testing. Then I could prove to the director that I am fine.
So, just because my mom has memory issues doesn't meant that I do,right?
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"When I was talking to my manager and team leader, my manager said that the director thought that I had memory problems like my mom. "

If your director said this to your manger and/or team leader, you probably have grounds for a nifty lawsuit.
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Shane1124 Dec 4, 2019
Absolutely! Your manager has no right to bring your mother’s memory issues up AT ALL yet correlate her memory issues to your work performance.
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Judy, stress can cause us to have memory oops. Also, side effects from meds. And dealing with an elder parent is one of the biggest stressors of them all.

Does anyone else notice a memory oops? If not, then it could be work related. Was the oops major or just a ho-hum whatever? My sig-other and I both mid-70's] have normal aging oops. And we have noticed our friends/relatives who are our age are having the same thing. No biggee. Just aging, welcome to the club :)

At work, my stressor was when the telephone rang.... it's the 10 years of calls from my parents [90+] still living in their house and refusing to downsize. Ok, who fell now? Another doctor's appointment? Do you have your grocery list ready? No, I can't shovel the driveway, I can't do my own!! Can't you hire someone to climb into the attic?

Even after my parents had passed a couple of years ago, the sound of the telephone rings got my stress to go from 0 to 60 in a split second. Happiness was getting all new landline telephones at work, and each of us could set our phone ring to what we liked since we have private offices. Oh my gosh, my ring is a lovely "song", now I love to hear the phone ring :) My boss set his phone to the U.K. 2-ring which isn't so demanding sounding as the regular standard phone ring here in the States.

Ok, I had to proof-read what I wrote a half dozen times. It's part aging and part OCD. And after I post the answer, will proof-read again. I know I will miss something :P
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NeedHelpWithMom Dec 4, 2019
So true. Stress can make us forget lots of things! I totally agree!

I would get so stressed with mom that I would forget certain things.

Guess who reminded me about things? Yeah, mom who is in her 90’s! My mother has all her faculties. Her brother did too and he lived to be 96. My cousin also, who is almost 98! If I wanted to know something about our family I would call my cousin and she had all the answers. She’s remarkable.
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BarbBrooklyn made a very good point. Are you union? If so, get in touch with your Rep. and tell them what is going on. If you have an attorney you trust, you may also want to start documenting this with them. Being who I am (WAY too honest and upfront), if it were me, I would go to my family doctor and tell them what was going on and see what they say. Part of me thinks they are trying to make things difficult for you at work and that is UNACCEPTABLE. Fight that at all costs! But if your PCP detects an issue...that is another story. I wish you all the best!! Please keep us posted.
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Judy79 Dec 4, 2019
No union. I wish at times. Work at a Catholic hospital. I've been doing okay so far. 20 years at the same place...
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Judy I watched my sister endure a truly toxic work environment for years, it totally eroded her self confidence and even more than a decade later I hear her making comments like "I can't work as fast as the younger workers" or "I'm too stupid to catch on right away". Don't allow this to happen to you, unless there is a culture change in your office it might be time to look for a different kind of job.
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Judy79 Dec 4, 2019
I don't compare myself to how they work as everyone works at a different pace. Thanks for the words of encouragement.
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Judy, just supporting much of what has been suggestion by others:

- your employer has NO business insinuating or "diagnosing" a memory issue (I'm an employer myself and know this for a fact). This may qualify for legal action, but you will need to check with an attorney ("hostile work environment"?)

- do get checked by a doctor so that for your own peace of mind you can know for sure what is real, and what is office catty-ness.

- ask for a performance review and then a follow-up so that they give you CLEAR expectations for acceptable performance and then make sure you hold them to the follow-up so it is in your record that you achieved it or not. Make sure you ask them what you are doing WELL so that goes into your record too.

- don't work at a place that doesn't value you or your abilities. There is a labor shortage right now and you can probably find another job that pays just as well with same benefits, even at your age.
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Judy79 Dec 4, 2019
Live in Indianapolis. I could get a certain job but then I would have to pay for my own insurance unless my husband has me on his and that would be too much for us to afford. I don't even have him on my insurance.

I am due for my review this month. Just ticks me off how other people can get away with doing certain things. I have done my best through the years. I am going to want a copy of my verbal warning. I will tell HR what my office manager said about what the director said. I should get an apology for even thinking that.

I will be going to see my doctor Jan 9th to talk about this. I can wait until then. I no symptoms of memory loss. At least from the symptoms that my doctor told me. If I do have any, it's very minute.

I'd like to see them in my situation. 2 ladies in the front office already understand my situation because they have experienced it.

I feel that they want to either have me quit or fire me. That is why I have to keep my mouth shut as much as I can. Feel at times, why should I go to work anymore? Paycheck, that is all. Sad, I used to like where I was working. Things are changing and not all for the good.
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The majority of dementia is not inherited by children and grandchildren. In rarer types of dementia there may be a strong genetic link, but these are only a tiny proportion of overall cases of dementia, per the Alzheimer's Association. And even if dementia WAS an inherited disease, there's no saying you'd get it just because someone in your family has it. My birth mother died of uterine cancer at 59; I'm 62 and show no signs of cancer at all.

You cannot say precisely 'why' your mother has memory issues; nobody has 'the answers' to those questions, really. The brain is a complicated thing, and so are all the forms of dementia. Some memory problems arise naturally as a result of age, but dementia is not a natural result of aging; it is a disease in and of itself.

If your director thinks you have memory issues, it may because you're work performance is lacking in some way, or indicating that you can't remember things you should know or have been taught. If I were you, I'd speak with the director about his/her specific reasons for thinking you have a memory problem.
Do YOU see yourself having issues? I mean, I know when I can't remember things and it makes me nervous........makes me question whether or not I'M going down the dementia highway sometimes!!

I wouldn't worry too much if I were you.........get to the root of what your director had to say. Keep an eye on yourself to monitor whether you're forgetting TOO many things or just the once-in-a-while stuff we ALL seem to forget.
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Judy79 Dec 4, 2019
I don't have memory issues like she thinks. I don't even think that she totally understands dementia like I have been learning. I am in a group on Facebook that is called Dementia Family Support. Loved ones in that group have tons more issues and worse issues than my mom's. They have their parents living with them.
Should I talk directly to my director and tell her what my manager told me?

When I started working there, I didn't have a backbone. Then I got married to a man who does have a strong backbone. I have learned to stand up for myself. I try my best to keep my opinions to myself. But when other people can give theirs but I can't, that's a problem. At least how I look at it.
I'll just have to go to work, do my job, go home, and get a paycheck. That is what my mom told me a long time ago.

Sure, I can get upset but that happens. One time at work, I got to upset, I blew up and just walked out. Of course, I couldn't go anywhere because my husband had the car. No one there totally understands where I am coming from. Okay, maybe a couple of co-workers. Most of the people who are working there have never had to deal with the situations that a couple of us there have been through.
I am 58 and I not going to give up.
I went to visit my mom one time and she asked me if I lost my job. Don't know where that came from.
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No, just because your mother has dementia does not mean you will, also. And it was a hurtful and insensitive thing for your supervisor to say! That said, if your superiors have specific instances they have enumerated to you, I suggest you see a neurologist and get tested. It's the people around us that first see the changes that take place. Do you have a trusted friend in your office that will be honest with you if they have also recognized issues?

I didn't recognize the signs in my sister because we only communicated by phone from miles apart. She had gotten a job cashiering at her local grocery store, but was not able to succeed. When I look back, it was probably because she couldn't memorize procedures. Then when she went to stay with her sister-in-law to help care for her when she had cancer, it was the sister-in-law that alerted us to her memory issues. We had her tested and she was diagnosed.

I don't say this to alarm you, but if you're questioning it on some level, you should relieve your fears by being evaluated. Then you can move forward with facts and good information.

Or maybe it's just time to change jobs. I understand you've been there for many years and change is difficult, but it may be time to move on. Take care of yourself and arm yourself with facts, not guesswork. Best wishes.
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Judy79 Dec 4, 2019
I have an apt with my doctor Jan 9th.  I already sent her a message in "MYCHART" and asked her about the memory thing.  She told me what to look for and I don't have any of the symptoms that she told me.

My  mom was not getting any socialization and the nurse where she is going said that for an older person, that can cause dementia.  Where she will be living, they will make sure that she will stay active and talk to others.  Where she is now, she doesn't have the socialization.  Very excited for her as I know that my brother is in his own way.
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Have you read your responses in this post and others? You do not seem to get along with SIL, brothers or coworkers. Your also speak quite condescending about younger co-worker. It was so bad, they offered to move your desk...thats pretty telling about your relationship with coworkers and there is a pattern from what you describe. Maybe its your words and body language so change your approach.

Your manager should not have said that and you should document in writing to HR.
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Judy79 Dec 4, 2019
I used to be very very quiet.  But since meeting my husband and getting married, he has opened me up to be able to stand up for myself.  Even my sil doesn't like it but I don't care about her.  I used to be walked all over and more sensitive than I am now.  No more!  I'm taking care of my mom, as is my brother.  We are both moving her to her new location this Friday.  I'll be moving her and he will take care of everything else. 

The place where she will be moving to has nurses 24/7.  The place where she is now doesn't require 24/7 nurse on staff for assisted living. Not right in my book.  But that is how they run it.  She had to be put there because of some memory issues that she had.  Glad that this was temporary.  But I will miss the ladies who were taking care of her.  She did lose her right hearing aid and could never find it.  So we had to order another one.  Plus I am getting her a new recliner as she has bladder issues.  We'll get some pads to put on there until she can control her bladder.  Will let the nurses help her with that. 

Can you help me out?  What part should I tell HR about?  The memory part?  They didn't say that I DO have some.  Just thought that it was hereditary.

I don't like them bringing up my past when that is all over with now.  Things are better with most of the people that I had issues with then.
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Judy,

Thanks for the response and clarity on the situation. You sound like a reasonable person to me.

You understand that changes do occur on procedures and willing to adjust to a new way of doing things. You understand that others need time to learn as well. It is the manager’s responsibility to properly train the company’s staff. The comparison between your behavior and your mom’s dementia was rude.

You’re right to step away from tasks that are no longer your responsibility. Let management delegate all tasks.

Our jobs are our bread and butter. Without work we can’t survive. People can’t just walk away from a job so easily. You sound very responsible to me.

Unfortunately, we may run into personality conflicts, improper training at times, lack of respect from coworkers, etc. Sometimes things can be a wake up call and we are given the opportunity to adjust if we need to. Sounds like you will be fine.

I don’t think that you want to lose a job over minor discrepancies. There is stress at work and yes everyone makes mistakes. It may be unpleasant but it will work out. If things don’t improve to your liking you could seek out other employment.

There are uncomfortable situations that we go through but we survive, don’t we?

All the best. I wish you a happy retirement when you are able to reach that goal. Take care.
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