Keeping up appearances where you get your paycheck
Look forward and busy so they won’t notice your missing brain.
Always carry your computer in a back pack to keep from falling sideways and jamming the rotating doors.
Try to avoid one-on-one conversations. You are only bringing part of a person to the table.
Wear a lot of pockets. If you lose something you probably still have it.
Wear dirty clothes if need be because you are pretty sure they match.
Check to see if your shoes match. Are they at least the same heel height?
Carry only one bag or spend all your time looking for the other bag.
On airplanes, don’t put anything in the front pocket. You will forget it. Just look at the pretty magazine pictures. You aren’t gonna get anything done anyway.
If you must sit in a meeting all day:
- Answer the easy stuff so maybe they wont notice the space where you formerly housed your brain.
- Shut off that ringer now. Your voice saying “Answer the phone!” sticks in their minds.
- If you cannot avoid giving a presentation, you will look like a fool. Just go with it.
- When the non-sequitors are upon you, sew your mouth shut. No exceptions.
- Sit between two people who won’t benefit from your out-of-body experiences. The sharks can smell your crazy. They will cut you and swim away.
- At lunch talk with those who are less familiar with the previous you and stick to subjects like their kids. That way words can just fall out of your mouth.
- Avoid those who get under your skin. Your skin is thin to non-existent
Don’t look for your brain in public places unless it is in the bathroom stall.
Look for a lack of urinals to confirm that your are in the correct public toilet.
Don’t volunteer for anything at work. You are functioning at about 40%. It isn’t fair for project mates. And they might cut you and swim away.
Try not to cry in front of your boss. Nothing good comes from that.
Try not to cry with the boss on the phone. He may offer to pray with you. Too weird.
Six weeks after you can no longer pretend to keep up appearances, start the medical leave process so you will have a job to which you can return. The medical people at work will not understand your disease or treatment. Be prepared to provide information.
Seek out a therapist who knows something about hepatitis C and treatment. Ask your Dr. to recommend one. The medical leave people will want documentation of your coo-coo ness. Hopefully your insurance covers this therapist. Mine did not.
Keep a calendar so you will know when to renew the medical leave. Let medical records and Dr.’s reports speak for you. You will not represent yourself well. This should work in your favor but doesn’t.
Before returning to work, catch up on the rumor mill with those in the know. Don’t forget, they are trying to get the scoop on you too, and your business shield is down.
When you do have to return to work, take on the minimum load. You left under a dark performance shadow and your uptake will be slow.
Your boss will ask if you are at 100% now. They always like percentages. Be as honest as you can. But don’t be stupid about it.
Memorize a script for those who ask where you’ve been and how you’re doing. Stick to the script. They are curious, but are mostly thinking about themselves. Take advantage of this and ask about them.
As poor performance reviews roll in, pray for a retirement package. Between your medical leave and age, Human Resources will hesitate to fire you. But, they can make it uncomfortable. To them you are a resource, not a person. That is their J.O.B.
It is tough when you have been a strong performer. It’s okay. It’s only your ego.
Look at LinkedIn. Can you put the armor on to go back into the crusades?
Start a blog on hepatitis C treatment recovery. Think about what is next.