|The vocational rehabilitation office is in this building.|
Next, she asked me about my recent work experience. Currently, I am working part-time as the Director of Administration for a small chain of restaurants. I would like to work full-time, as I love my job, but the company is not growing as quickly as was expected, so it may be a long time before I will be able to work full-time. I have interviewed for two other positions this summer. I didn't get the first job I applied for, and I am waiting to hear on the second job. The second job would be a six-month contract job, in which I would write a training manual for a chemical company--possibly very interesting, but not a full-time job.
I briefly went over my resume, which includes my entire work history, with the counselor. She advised me to only list my last three positions: Director of Administration, Business Consultant, and Teacher, and then describe them in detail. When I told her that I want to disclose my disability so that I can ask for some accommodations at work, she said that I don't need to tell potential employers about my diagnosis. Instead, after the job offer, I should say that I will have some ongoing medical appointments, and let the employer know that I will have to miss an hour or two a few times a month. If they retract their offer for that reason, they will be breaking the law. They could come up with another reason not to hire me, but that is the risk I will have to take. Then she promised to get some information about the Americans with Disabilities Act together for me, by our next meeting, so I will be better informed of my rights as a worker with a disability.
Trying to squeeze in appointments with my psychiatrist and therapist on holidays, as I did in the past, is stressful, and really doesn't help me to manage my bipolar disorder very well. I have finally concluded that I need to be able to go to my psychiatrist and therapist as needed, and I shouldn't worry about asking to miss work in order to take care of myself. When I reflect on my life, I think that part of the reason it has been difficult for me to maintain my mental health, at times, is that I always tried to hide the fact that I have health issues. There were many years that I wasn't keeping regular appointments, because I was afraid of asking for too much time off from work, when I think the appointments really would have helped to prevent disabling breakdowns.