I don't know whether I am doing the right thing... again!

@patgalca (14557)
Orangeville, Ontario
May 9, 2007 2:10pm CST
I put this under the topic fibromyalgia because I guess that is the main issue. I have had fibromyalgia for 10 years. I have never worked in that time. But money is getting tight and hubby is on my case to find work. I think finding a part-time job that is suitable to me and my illness could be manageable for me. Yesterday I noticed an ad in the paper for an administrative assistant, part-time, at my husband's plant. I asked him about it. He called me today to say the current receptionist is retiring. The job is 33 hours a week. I said, "That is not part-time, that is full-time." He says that full-time, by the government's law is 40 hours a week. I am not looking to work 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. I don't think I can handle it. Not to mention the fact that I don't really want to work where my husband works. I gave in and sent my husband my resume via email and told him to do with it what he wishes. I am regretting that. If I work those long hours I am going to relapse, not to mention the things I do during the day will suffer (laundry, dishes, cooking, being available to my kids when the school calls needing something, my writing too as well as my exercise). I am scared to death of going back to work and I certainly don't consider 33 hours a week part-time. I have talked myself into believing that because my husband works there, the rest of the plant must know that I have fibromyalgia. No one is going to hire someone with fibro. DH says to just try it and if it doesn't work then it doesn't work. The ad also says "plant experience a must". I have never worked in a plant but have 15 years of secretarial experience behind me. Everytime a job opportunity comes up I get nervous. It will turn my life upside down. Anybody got any reassuring words for me?
4 people like this
11 responses
@RosieS57 (889)
• United States
9 May 07
It depends on how severe your FM is. If you overdo you will flare, as you know. Even these days, most employers don't have the foggiest idea what FM is and how it affects a person: the rate of absenteeism for FM'ers is very high because we really can't plan from day to day how we are going to be! Another problem seems to be that hubby isn't taking you seriously enough...he doesn't realize how difficult living with FM can be. Having said all this I *do* believe you should take the job. And document carefully each day and chart the days you must take off due to your health and why. Having worked for 15 years you probably qualify for Soc. Security Disability and you'd be documenting why you're disabled. The next step would be to find a doctor that's willing to do all the writing it takes to document your disability and to hire a disability atty. They work for a percentage of your award in a lump sum if/when you get SSDI. That's what I did and I got SSDI for FM/arthritis in 1993 and never looked back. Wishing you the best over the next few months on this journey.
@patgalca (14557)
• Orangeville, Ontario
9 May 07
I applied for my disability pension 10 years ago when I was first diagnosed. It is mandatory when you are applying for long-term disability with your employer. I was turned down several times.
3 people like this
@RosieS57 (889)
• United States
9 May 07
Usually you are turned down when you do it yourself. That's why it's important to use an attorney who will work with your doctor to get you approved. The atty. is only paid when you win. (on contingency) It's usually not possible to get disability with only FM so the doc has to document other conditions you have in order for it to go through. Things have improved in the last ten years -- when you really are disabled it's easier to qualify than it used to be. Especially when you show you've tried to work and cannot.
3 people like this
@patgalca (14557)
• Orangeville, Ontario
9 May 07
I used an attorney back then. I struggled for five years and probably dished out A LOT of money to my lawyer. I appealed and even used a contact name that my father knew but they told me my case was closed and not to bug them anymore. I know things have changed in the last 10 years. My lawyer told me so and added that it was too bad it was too late for me.
3 people like this
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
9 May 07
I wouldn't worry about it just yet...but you are right, 33 hours is much more than p/t...here in canada, p/t is considered 20 hours a week...which is what i work...i work from 9-1 every day and sometimes i am so tired that i crawl into bed when i get home (my kids are older - 10 & 14). I also do freelance writing from time to time, but after i lost my last gig (someone else was plagerizing), i haven't looked seriously for a new one yet...(but have an offer that i am looking into) also i am having problems with my knees as they are causing me severe pain (i was hit by a car in 1990), so 20 hours is just fine for me... as for the house, hubby does ALL of the cooking, i do the laundry and all that it require (ie ironing) and we all clean up the house on the weekends. If my kids are off school, my oldest watches her sister. If my youngest is sick, my parents live close by... the money is definitely handy but you have to see if it is worth it or not for you...
4 people like this
@patgalca (14557)
• Orangeville, Ontario
9 May 07
As usual, I was right when it came to what part-time work hours are. DH hates it when I'm write. LOL! My kids are 14 and almost 11 so I don't have to worry about that. Besides, it sounds like I'd be home when they get home from school anyway, if not shortly thereafter.
2 people like this
@paidreader (5151)
• United States
9 May 07
Hi patgalca. I understand how you must feel. At least you are showing hubby you really are going to try to increase the family income while things are tight. I don't think working in the office is going to strain things between you unless he works in the office too. You may not even get the job since they want someone with experience of how the plant works. Hubby may be able to help with that so things may work out, only time and an interview will tell. Be honest during your interview and let them know of your condition, don't assume that they all know about you already. A bit of info on the part time thing.... Anything under 40 hours can be considered part time & usually it prevents the need for the company to pay for insurance and any other benefits that come with full time employment. Best of luck in your new job search. :)
@patgalca (14557)
• Orangeville, Ontario
9 May 07
There are two plants connected together by a tube of some sort where the liquid plastic hubby's plant produces gets sent over to the other plant to be turned into plastic pellets. I would be working in the second plant so would barely see my husband. It's just that I know so many of the guys that work there, as well as their dirty little secrets.
3 people like this
@BarBaraPrz (20534)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
9 May 07
Of course you do... ;o)
2 people like this
• United States
9 May 07
A plastic extrusion plant? I'm fairly familiar with them as my dad worked in one for a short time after retiring from the navy. Hubby and my brother-in-law worked for one for a few years too. Sounds like you may be over qualified for the position, lol, but good luck in any of your endeavours. :)
2 people like this
@coolcatzz (1587)
• Canada
9 May 07
You know Pat I think I would try it. I don't know things sometimes happen for a reason and you may go there and really enjoy it. Being busy and keeping your mind off of things might really help not to mention the extra money. I would try it out before saying no and if for some reason you can't do it then you can quit.
3 people like this
@patgalca (14557)
• Orangeville, Ontario
9 May 07
Well, I was right about 33 hours not being considered part-time. The woman who is retiring worked 33 hours a week. They are downgrading the job to fewer hours. I don't feel so bad now. And it will be limited to weekdays so I don't have to worry about nights and weekends which I will NOT work. Still uneasy about working where the old man does.
2 people like this
@RebeccaLynn (2256)
• United States
10 May 07
Hey Pat! I have fibro as well as CFS and I used to work 40+ hours a week. There is NO WAY my body would do it now. The stresses and pressures of a job outside of the home plus the stuff we have to handle at home would cause some major flares for me. I'm going to give you two suggestions so that you can earn a decent living at home from your computer. I know that sounds like a "come join my site" pitch, but truthfully it isn't. Just one lady with fibro trying to help another. You said that you have a great deal of secretarial experience. Go to getafreelancer.com It's a free to join site where you can bid on freelance jobs. There is no gimmick. I use the site regularly. I am a freelance copywriter and I get a lot of work there. Your skills work in your favour because there is always someone looking for a virtual assistant and VA's are usually paid well. There is also another place that I have worked which I loved. I can't work there now because we have moved and can only get dial-up here and you need atleast dsl. It's called WEST. The site is workathomeagent.com There is a 10 day training period and then they send their incoming sales calls to your phone and you take the orders and input them into their system. The calls are mainly from people wanting to buy what they saw on an infommercial. I was never stiffed on my pay. I was always paid on time and always the exact amount that I was supposed to be paid. I worked for them for 7 months before we moved. I hope one or both of these helps you to be able to help your family financially and take the pressure off your husband as well as take the risk of worse flares off of you. I wouldn't wish fibro on my worst enemy. You're in my prayers! ~RebeccaLynn
@UDDERONES (888)
• United States
9 May 07
Things will wor out the way they are suppose to. I wouldn't stress out you may not get the job anyways. I certainly don't consider 33 part time either.
3 people like this
@BarBaraPrz (20534)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
9 May 07
Well, Patty, Here's what I think: 1. Hubby is an as. (All hubbies are.) 2. You've applied for the job. That should suffice to placate him for a while. 3. Since they state "plant experience a must" they may not even consider you. But then again, they MAY consider you because of hubby, so don't count on it. 4. If they call you in for an interview, absolutely mention the FM. Hubby may not have told anyone there because he obviously thinks it's a figment of your imagination. 5. If you end up being offered the job, think of it as a tryout. See if you can make it through the first two weeks. If you're too tired when you get home each day, just don't do the home stuff and tell hubby why. 6. Try again for disability. 7. Good luck.
• United States
13 May 07
First of all, I am sorry that your husband is less supporting of you. My husband is the one with Fibro so I am pretty experienced in dealing with the ups and downs. He has Fibro with Chronic Fatigue, IBS etc. One of the things that may help you is SSI. My husband had to fight with the Veteran's Administration for his benefits for nearly six years. Something else usually causes it from the research I have done. (In his case it was back injuries during his stint in the Marine Corp). As far as work goes..he has had several jobs in the last few years and it is frustrating to be broke all the time. We have learned to live frugally to say the least. But, we do have fun hiking etc. Part of the therapy for Fibro is plenty of exercise so we get plenty of exercise..hiking..doing yard work etc. Your husband needs to learn more about your condition. Many employers are not very tolerant of the idea that their employees have to take a break every couple of hours and walk around for a few minutes and stretch. This is how my husband has lost several jobs..he tried to not take those breaks. If you do get this job..you need to let your husband and your employer know that "This is how much I can do". If they can't handle it then they shouldn't hire you from the start. Also, they need to understand that Fibromyalgia is a disability and does fall under the American with Disabilities act. Fight for your right to take those few minute breaks. If it means you give up an hour lunch and only take a half hour..that might be okay. Or perhaps you can break it down to where you are only working five hours a day five days a week or something. Someone has to compromise and it shouldn't be your health that suffers because of it. Is hubby willing to take on more responsibility at home? If he expects you to work and take care of kids, house, dog and what have you..he's out of his mind. My hubby is very supportive in our house..cooks, cleans, picks up dog doodoo, gives kids bathes..everything...even puts them to bed at night. When he is working...mostly everything falls to me except on the days he has off..which he tries to help..but usually ends up sleeping most of the way thru. It causes more trouble than its worth. Money isn't everything. If you can afford to live on what he is making..stand your ground. If you need to change your budget so it is more affordable..then stand your ground. Really..look at all of it..and if he isn't willing to give more time to you for the needs of the household (things you deal with while he is at work etc)...then I say stand your ground. 33 hours a week is too much to ask of a person with fibromyalgia most of the time. Especially if you are on meds too. My hubby takes Naproxin now and again but does not take any other medicines for his Fibro. (Not that he hasn't BEEN on several in the past). So, there's my 2 cents worth. Hope it helps a little.
@patgalca (14557)
• Orangeville, Ontario
13 May 07
If you had read the previous posts you would have read that I have jumped through hoops to get disability pension but the door has been closed permanently on me. Also, I am in Canada, but fibromyalgia is acknowledged now but it is too late for me. I had my five year legal battle that ended five years ago. My husband has been withdrawing retirement savings to keep us from drowning. He cannot afford to support this family without another income. We don't want to have to sell the house so we are doing what we can. I am doing what little I can with delivering catalogues and such. I think I may take up a paper route. It pays more than delivering the Sears catalogues. LOL! If only I could get my novel finished and sold. That would bring some real piece of mind. If I go back to work, time will be taken away from me for achieving that goal. My husband is very aware that he would have to pick up the slack more around here if I was working. My husband is also the one who likes to spend money on golf and stuff - always getting the kids whatever they want (well, not everything - we do without a lot. No cell phones or video games, only one computer, no ipods). But they are growing girls (10 and 14) and need clothes constantly. Sorry to hear what you and your husband are going through. It is a wicked illness.
1 person likes this
@ArysMom (32)
• Canada
13 May 07
if you are in Canada I thought 25 hours was partime.... could be wrong
1 person likes this
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
13 May 07
I would give it a try and see how it feels. If it is not working out you can always resign. Thats worse case senerio. I think you are wrong to think they are not going to hire someone with fibro. As for the plant experience, maybe your husbands working there might be able to give you an extra edge. Today you have to do what ever it takes to get a job.
@ArysMom (32)
• Canada
13 May 07
Oh as a fibro suffer *** if you have problems with daily life then my advice is to shelf the job. -I have difficulties with daily house work and to try and juggle that with a full time job UGH. -there are days were getting out of bed and bathing is enough for me and I want to go back to bed however having a little one of 16 month old puts it out of the question. - If you are in Canada I believe depending on which provence you are in there is help...