Mental Disorders in the Office

I’ve been at my current job for almost a year and a half.  I’ve settled in, and have a good position here.  I no longer consider myself the ‘new girl’ and haven’t for some time.

Since my start here, there has been one person who has been… complicated.  She randomly got mad at all of us, would overreact to everything, and was sick more than anyone I’ve ever heard of.  It was frustrating.  And then came the news… she has a mental disorder.

Well that explains a lot.  At first, I was like ‘great, now she can get help’.  But since then, things have gotten worse.  She now almost never comes into the office, we’re short handed, we can’t count on her, and we can’t say anything because she has a mental condition.  Suddenly there’s a big stamp on her of ‘we have to ignore all the crazy shit she does’ because if we don’t, we’re being unfeeling towards her condition.

When we first found out, I was all for helping her.  ‘Take the time that you need’ and ‘don’t worry, I can handle it all myself’.  After a few weeks now, I’m overworked, underpaid, and pulling extra hours for someone who’s almost never available anymore.  It’s hard not to get frustrated.  I find myself thinking ‘I don’t care what kind of condition she has, this is not fair’.  And that’s the truth.  She’s sick, so I’m being taken advantage of.

When do I say something?  I feel that if her condition is going to stop her from doing her job, there is only so much the company can do to accommodate that.  I feel for her and what she’s going through, but the company should not allow it to put this kind of pressure on their employees.  I don’t blame my colleague for having this problem, but I am beginning to blame the company for not handling it well.  I’m sure they’re in a bind themselves, but something has to be done.  I used to love my job, love coming to work, and now I’m tired all the time.

So what should be done?  For weeks I just bit my tongue and did the work.  Not I’m getting emotional, and emotion during a time where logic and calm is needed is never a good thing.  I’m torn between dealing with someone with a mental issue in a calm and understand way, and also protecting myself and my own well being.  When is enough enough?

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