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Should I keep it a secret? - July 17th 2011, 08:23 PM

I have Brain Damage, and it effects certain things about my life. I'm not seriously unstable or anything, if you met me, you would have never known i had brain damage until I had told you. The problem is, normal things that average people are expected to do, is really hard for me.. I have to work twice as hard to do average. Also, my parents expect me to excel because of my brother(who doesnt have brain damage) has 3 jobs, was on the honour roll all 4 years of high school, and is very outgoing, which is very taxing and very frusterating for me, because i do my best just to be like an average person. Pills or medication will not help. I start work tomorrow, and im worried. Im not good at doing new things, and i find it scary. My brain damage effects things like memory, ability to register what is required for what im doing(common sense), and things like that. Should I tell them about my brain damage? Or would it be best to just keep my mouth shut? I really dont like it when i get special treatment... but i think it will be extremely hard tomorrow... my parents say just to keep my mouth shut because it would cost me my job... my job is at a bakery selling items.... any tips/helpful advice?


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Re: Should I keep it a secret? - July 17th 2011, 08:34 PM

I don't think they can fire you for having brain damage, it probably falls under a disability act. If it affects your ability to do the job and they don't know, they could be on your case about poor performance which could eventually lead them to fire you. I'm not saying they would, but they might just assume you're not trying or something. If some type of accomodations would help you then I think you should tell them.


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Re: Should I keep it a secret? - July 17th 2011, 08:43 PM

Alright. I also do better with lists/someone telling me what to do, like, wash the dishes, sweep the floor, ect. Should I tell them this aswell?


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Re: Should I keep it a secret? - July 17th 2011, 08:59 PM

It couldn't hurt, the worst they can do is tell you that they won't or can't do it, it depends on the environment, but it's worth it.


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Re: Should I keep it a secret? - July 18th 2011, 09:35 PM

I think it would be best to tell them . Telling them is best as then they are aware and can be more understanding when you need things explaining more simply ect. I do not think they would fire you for this. You need to tell them. Employers need to be aware of this sort of thing. It's for your best interests that you tell them about the brain damage. You employer needs to know. They are more likely to fire you for not telling them rather than telling them.



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Re: Should I keep it a secret? - July 19th 2011, 07:03 AM

Maybe don't tell them straight away and wait and see how you go on your first shift. You might find that the tasks are quite simple and that you pick it up ok. If you feel uncomfortable with how it went at the end of your shift you could tell your manager about it, and say that it might take you a bit longer to pick things up then the average person, but that you're a very hard worker and would appreciate their patience. You could say that you'd like to be told what to do as it will help you remember (lots of employers just let the staff work independantly, but they won't mind giving you instructions if you ask for them!). If you're professional about it and don't make it sound like an excuse they'll really respect your honesty and it shouldn't be a problem


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Re: Should I keep it a secret? - July 20th 2011, 05:32 AM

The primary concern is if you have been diagnosed with a particular neurological or neuropsychological syndrome. I assume you have, if you haven't, then that should be your priority not only for your current job but for future jobs and making your life easier. However, starting a new job is hard for everyone.

I've worked in the food industry for several years and when I first started I had years of non-academic training from my family who are amazing at cooking. However, I was put at a lower position I never worked in (employer knew this) and got no formal training at all. I had to learn from my mistakes, which were quite a lot, until I got to higher positions and even now I have no academic culinary training yet I've made dishes at home and after hours at restaurants I worked at which convinced people I did have such training.

Just give it some time because people will know you're new at the job and no employer in their right mind expects you'll be a superstar on your first few days at the job. Make a list for yourself if you need, nobody would fault you but don't tell the manager of the bakery you have undiagnosed brain injury and it'll be harder for you because they probably will think you want it to be easier, question why you applied for the job, etc... . They don't have neuropsychological experience so when you say you have difficulties with memory, they may think you cant remember for 5 seconds, whereas someone with academic knowledge or experience would know your memory IS intact, at most there's damage in particular aspects of it.


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Re: Should I keep it a secret? - July 20th 2011, 12:20 PM

You would be surprised that more places would rather you tell them so they can work with you by placing you in the right position, getting you extra training, having somebody work with you until you are comfortable, etc than if you were to not tell them.

I kept having severe asthma from an employer until I had an asthma attack at work. ^^; That was embarrassing. Afterwards, they were very angry with me for not telling them, but in the end they actually offered to pay for my inhaler each time I needed a refill! And they trained two of their employees (small company) how to handle asthma attacks.

Sooo it can't hurt. They cannot legally fire you. If anything they will just not feel comfortable with the fact that you did not tell them at the interview (though most wouldn't :P ) and treat you like every one else.

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