Fibromyalgia Action UK
40,250 members52,360 posts

why cant some understand?

hello fibro buddies,

at work last night I had an upsetting conversation with another member of staff; I walk to work as I don't drive and on my walk I rest at two benches on my route as I get out of breathe a lot lately and also helps keep me cool as I have to avoid sunshine.

anyway I arrived at work 15mins before my shift was due to begin so I offered my duty manager and supervisor a cuppa (I always do) and another member of staff said;

"o you bothered to turn up today then?"

I replied " who me? I had last week off as annual leave "

her; " don't know how you can phone In sick when you always look well, beyond me. you must be hamming it "

me; " I do not skive, when im too poorly to work I always phone in early as possible so cover can be found. my conditions are invisible, its not like you can see how im feeling. I always work hard and do my best to avoid absences"

she glared at me with her arms folded and huffed

me; " with all due respect I only need to answer to my superiors. "

her; " you've been sick for years, your conditions cant be that bad for you to work. one of them sounds like a breed of dog"

I held my breathe and counted to ten to stop me biting back.

me;" you know nothing about how my life is affected, I put on a brave face everyday and smile through the constant pain and ignorance of others. if you will excuse me ive work to do"

I smiled and walked away, fuming inside. I kept my voice low and calm.

I just wish people wouldn't judge me, they've no idea how much my life has changed. how ive become a weak and constantly poorly person who struggles to get through everyday so I can put food on the table and food in my kiddies tums. I hardly know this woman as she works mornings and me evenings yet she makes judgment on me. she didn't know me when I was well and worked 12 to 16 hour days there and was a supervisor and had bundles of energy . I work as hard as I can and come home totally drained and climb into bed at 9pm just so I can get up for work again the next day. I don't have a social life as I have to constantly rest so I can work.

she has influence on who works there and has an opinion on everyone, so there is no point in reporting the conversation to management. I will just do my best to avoid her, I will be polite (falsely polite) if our paths should cross again.

wish there was a pill she could take that would let her feel how we feel for 24 hours.........if only!

hugs to you all xx

15 Replies

Oh love how awful I think your doing the best thing by keeping calm you must have been so angry . Even if she could feel how you do for an hour she would be shocked . I had to finish work and I have huge respect for you who keeps going when you can . When I was at work before my diagnosis I had one person who kept giving me part time job adverts and I said look when they fix me I won't need part time . Also I was off sick and she cleared my desk when I got back she said well it only a matter of time I was heart broken . She was someone I had worked with for years and thought of as a friend. Well good luck I think you handled yourself brilliantly best wishes squeak xxxx

1 like

If only there was a spray to knock these queen bees out of the air, seriously though, I would be inclined to ask if she felt better after her judgemental wittering, or of course you could just ignore her. Wishing you all the best. Lou xx


I tend toward thinking that people who pick on others are miserable themselves!

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Oh honestly some people. I think that I would be inclined to print out a fibro fact sheet. preferably one in words of no more than three sylables, then to hand it to her with the sweetest smile possible and ask if she would please read it.

I would then pin another copy to the wall and if that doesnt work pin another to her backside.

Hugs sue xx


thankyou for your support.

ive been there 15 years this November and have seen many managers come and go. the worst comment I had was sent by text from manager at the time when I was signed off for months before diagnosis , text said " hurry up and die as I need to save money on my wage budget" of course he denied sending it even though it was his mobile he wasn't disciplined over it. luckily he has gone to another store.

hugs x


oh my goodness, that's disgusting and disgraceful behaviour. (((((fibro hugs for you)))))


Some people these days make me mad x my partner has had an awful time in work with people making comments. I feel for you having to deal with idiots. They never seem to listen if you complain to management. Stay strong...I know how awful people can make you feel. Makes life a struggle x I wish you all the best and big hugs xx


Hi caninecrazy

I am so sorry to read that you had to endure such horrid nonsense from this person! Some people are just so unthinking and uncaring.

Please take care of yourself and do give this person the power over you to upset you like this.

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken x



and double WOW to the one about what your manager send you.

Seriously am flabbergasted (love that word)

I have to say I completely agree with what mayrose wrote.

Do it

print off fact sheet. One from somewhere like NHS direct or somewhere she would recognise the author of.

Politely ask that she reads it as you felt from your conversation that there were things YOU couldnt explain properly. (STAY WITH ME!!)

(Blame yourself, people like that love feeling a small amount of power and if they think they have something right they are easier to manipulate into actually doing what you want, such as reading what you would like her to)

if you insist she reads it she may know she is being an idiot so she wont out of pride and ignorance being bliss.

Then put another on the notice board. If there isnt one, start one. Write on the bottom some small statement inviting people to ask you questions about your illness as this will help spread awareness.

Play to peoples egos. Managers like to think they are great managers so praise them for their people skills for a couple of weeks then ask them at a later date if they would mind you displaying a fact sheet somewhere else around the building, hand them out to customers or something (sorry I don't know what you do so that may be completely inappropriate, but I hope you get the idea.

I hope this has come across as I meant it and not in a bad way.

I am a teacher by trade and have taught and worked alongside adults and children. Some with very very severe learning and physical difficulties. Itvwas mybjob to read people and find ways to get tgem to do what I wanted from them (learn!) If I couldnt read them then my job teaching them was impossible.

its nit finding a weak spot so much as finding a way in.

The principal is the same in a work place.

you were right to stay calm. Despite, I bet, fighting every natural urge to staple her to the wall. You did the right thing.

I guess what I am saying is make her arrogance work for YOU. The mind is a powerful tool and I promise if you can find a way in you will feel great. Meanwhile the ignorant madam wont know what you are actually up to...educating the plum!

I hope I havent over stepped the mark.

Thinking of you.

Em x


thankyou em, I did ask about putting up some info on staff room wall but its not within company policy :( x


Hi caninecrazy well done you for not stooping her level, and for giving her the answer she needs to no,people like her are so judgemental and disbelievingin people like us who have this wretched illness if they were to have what we have they would what our sympathy what they don't realize is its invisible to the peoplelikes of them and so they don't understand or they are very ignorant people


So Sorry Sweetheart!!! I know how you feel, been through it myself. I always tell them that today, tomorrow or next week you may come down with something or be in an accident where you are worse off than me and it changes your life, so until you have walked in my shoes please keep your comments to yourself!!! They have no clue. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, but you are right about them just getting it for a 24 hour period and then they could imagine the struggle of day to day life. Hope she leaves you alone honey!!! xxxx Mitzi


hi it is really hard when you are in pain and try to carry on working, i am in the same situation as you where i have had to lose shifts because of flare ups, peoples ignorance is infuriating ! thank goodness for this site and our fibro buddies, chin up and take care kim x


I admire you that you are managing to hold down a job. There are more who have nothing wrong with them, but just dont want to work... ( thats just a general comment, based on what you see on TV), i have no way of knowing, but it always makes me wonder that, those who shout the loudest, really have less to say! If you get what i mean.

They are all hot air!

Dont worry about what she said, i know its hard and hurts, i have been through it, in years well before fibro, i was even bullied by my boss! I was born with disability, how much evidence do these people want?

They aren't worth you wasting energy on!

I for one really admire that you are managing some work and i think you deserve respect for that (((hugs))) they aren't worthy of anything if they can speak to others in that manner!

Tae care xx


thankyou everyone for your kind words and support. hugs to you all xx


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