Bad Bosses: Understanding Depression
What employers do not realize is that when a person is depressed they have very low esteem and their workload looks overwhelming. The last thing we need to hear is our bosses yelling at us and asking why our numbers are down or our work just not up to par. The attack on our performance only adds to our downward spiral and further lack of our self-esteem. A feeling that we are worthless and a failure. No longer able to cope in a work environment that once made us feel good about the contributions our talents brought to the company and our own personal successes.
I clearly remember one of the owners calling me in his office after returning from my intensive outpatient program, yelling at me and waving his hands in the air, "Bagles,Bagles,Bagles....do you know what Bagels are ? They are BIG FAT ZEROS ! That is all that you have on the board this month are Bagles!!!!". " Why are others doing well on the floor and you're not? I know it must be magic. They have magic and you don't. You have lost your magic !".
Sitting in his office now totally humiliated with HR just staring at me and not stopping his berating of me. I felt like Tinkerbell. When did I lose my magical powers?
Where was my pixie dust? When did I lose my light? Who will be there to clap for me to get my light and life back again?? I reminded both the owner and HR that I was still in recovery and trying hard. His reply was, "Ya,ya, still in recovery, we have heard that before." I had once been a stellar performer and even in the Presidents Club in my company. Now due to my depression it was hard to achieve the "magical numbers" I had recently had in the past.
That is not even half of my story. Another partner sent me an e-mail saying, "What the F... are you doing? Where are your numbers for the day?" I now have his e-mails framed to remind me daily that I will never allow any boss to treat me with such disrespect. All of this happened after my release from my treatment program. My company was well aware of my severe depression and attempted suicide. I knew they were just wanting to have me walk out or get rid of me. So yes, I do know first-hand how employees who are depressed are afraid of both the reaction from management and the stigma it brings with it in the workplace.