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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Kate* Offline
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May have been fired for self-care - October 12th 2014, 06:25 PM

As part of my masters degree, I was placed at a local agency that my school has worked with for years so that I could earn my required hours co-leading groups. After 2 weeks and no feedback to my face, I was "fired" over voicemail because they didn't like my "attitude." They said that I was "sighing loudly" and "rolling my eyes incessantly" and there was a 6 paragraph email that got sent to my supervisor (who forwarded it to the head faculty of my program) telling them how they've never seen such disrespect in their lives and that they have "concerns about my readiness to do this work." I've been excused from my hours at the college counseling center until I meet with them on Tuesday to discuss what happened and I'm afraid that dismissal from my program is a real possibility.

My explanation: I was not "sighing loudly", I was taking deep breaths in an effort to quell my anxiety (for which I am being treated by a psychologist at the faculty's suggestion who taught me the skill) and it was misinterpreted as disrespectful. I was anxious and frustrated by the situation and could not escape it. The "sighing" and "eye rolling" were not done out of disrespect, but were my attempt at soothing myself. I need to tweak my coping mechanisms, but I should not be dismissed for them. The more I think about it, the more I understand where the agency was coming from, and I'm not asking for any favors or to be allowed to go back there, I'm just going to tell the truth and hope that it's enough to save my career. I SERIOUSLY hope it's enough because I know I'm more than on the faculty's last nerve.


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Last edited by Kate*; October 12th 2014 at 07:09 PM.
   
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Re: May have been fired for self-care - October 12th 2014, 08:30 PM

Hi Katie,

I can’t believe that you would be fired like that, in such a short notice, over such matters! That reflects terribly on them. You weren’t doing anyone any harm, and more often or not ‘sighing’ can’t be helped anyway.

I definitely agree with telling the truth. Hopefully, they can’t dismiss you as this would count as discrimination against mental health. Also, definitely state that you are being treated by a psychologist, and give contact details, in case they want to confirm this.

Hope things go in your favour!


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Re: May have been fired for self-care - October 12th 2014, 09:08 PM

Hi Kate,

I would explain to them in writing (email) that you're very sorry that you appeared to be disrespectful and unprofessional on behalf of the company. You do, however, want to let them know that these gestures were not intended to be negative and that they are coping mechanisms for you. You truly are sorry and enjoyed working for them and hope that they will accept this misunderstanding.



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Re: May have been fired for self-care - October 12th 2014, 11:57 PM

The faculty knows I see a psychologist for anxiety, since it was the program coordinator's suggestion, it's not something I hide from them. I didn't tell the agency about it though, as I have the right to keep that private. I have an appointment with him tomorrow and he's in the campus health center 2 days a week if they really want to talk to him, they can work that out. They also brought up that I was late the first night, but as someone who has to rely on others for my transportation, I had no control over that and apologized for it the second I got there. I'm going to run this by my psychologist tomorrow, it's the truth, but I want to make sure it will be enough before I get in there and freak out that it's going to backfire. This covers about 95% of the problems they claimed to have with me.

I was told by my supervisor that the group leader gave up on me the first night and that I only got a second chance because her supervisor took pity on me, but I could tell immediately that she was already frustrated with me, and the nightmare pretty much continued from there (hence the coping mechanism). I need to learn to manage this better in front of clients, but I don't deserve to be dismissed over it. If they let me stay, I will also remind them that I've lost 9 group hours because of this and a full week of individual hours because they asked me not to go in until they meet with me, so I'm putting it on them to make sure that those get made up. I have no control over client scheduling anyway.


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Re: May have been fired for self-care - October 13th 2014, 10:28 AM

I'm so sorry to hear this happened, it's pretty crap that they treated you like this. Even if you can see where they are coming from, yes just explain the reasoning behind your misinterpreted behaviour and say you were unaware that it was coming across like that. Best of luck <3


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