Hope everyone’s as well as can be. I’m sitting here listening to the radio waiting for the new footie season kick off and my beloved Stoke City, goarrn you mighty potters!!
Anyways I’m looking for a bit of advice, or maybe just plain old encouragement, regarding my employment situation at the moment. I currently work 32 hours night shift in a large clothing warehouse for one of the big supermarkets. Up until a few months ago they’d been really good with me, I very rarely spent all night on my feet which is pretty good considering the type of work I’m in. There’s just not much opportunity to sit down in a warehouse!
A few months ago we had a new pay deal and terms and conditions which bought us in line with the rest of the distribution centres for the company I work for. It meant a fab pay rise but they’ve also got more strict on “downtime” and job rotation. This is now beginning to have an adverse effect on me. I’m not getting the opportunity to sit as much as I was (I only ever had an hour or two per shift but it made the world of difference to me being able to pace myself). There’s a few jobs in the warehouse that I think I could do and be able to have a quick sit down for an hour or so while I’m doing it. I tentatively mentioned it to one of the managers last week and was told that we’re not allowed to have chairs in the warehouse.
Now, whenever I’ve seen our occy health therapist she’s always encouraged me to get in touch with Access to Work but I’d always been reluctant thinking that they wouldn’t be able to help much but now I’m beginning to wonder if it’s worth a shot. The only reason I’m holding back is I don’t want to draw attention to myself and what I can and can’t do. I keep hearing stories off other colleaues how the management are trying to lay people off on capability grounds. Now this may be unfounded rumours but it still makes me nervous about bringing someone in to highlight what I need. I’d had agreements with the managers on the shop floor to let me do this one particular job but with a couple of hours sitting, trouble is they never put me on that job anymore as they don’t want me sitting in the office (at least that’s the way I’m reading it!). If Access to Work came in and told my bosses I should be supplied with a chair to do certain jobs I’d put money on never being given those jobs to do. Maybe I’m just being pessimistic or plain old paranoid but i don’t want them to turn around and say that because I need to sit for part of the shift then that means I’m incapable of doing my job anymore.
I’m one of those who just wants to keep quiet, keep my head down and just be left to do what I can. I’ve already decided to reduce my hours in the next few months to 24 per week but I’m scared about what comes next, I can’t cut my hours any more and I just hope this works for me for a while. I do feel like I need some support from my employers but I’m nervous about asking for help. It all sounds stupid but i just want a quiet life lol! I’m torn between going after some help or just keeping schtumm and plodding on regardless.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, sorry it’s a bit of an essay but I feel better just having typed it all down. If anyone’s been in a similar situation or has any advice that’d be great!