Let's see if he can keep the job...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by in a daze, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    So difficult child's anxiety and perhaps his learning disability/ADHD have come to the fore in his new job.

    And of course, the sad, anxious, self doubting phone calls have begun.

    First, the orientation. Lots of stuff thrown at him. Forgot to sign up for payroll electronic transfer. Forgot the corporate folder with the CD.

    Then, first day training at the deli. He was kind of thrown into it, they didn't know he was coming. Training at another store till new store opens. Ok with slicing the meat. Blacks out when customer asks a questions. Doesn't have the location of the lunchmeat memorized. Feels it's all too much to handle. Too many things to remember and do at once. Almost walked off the job.

    Well, we said, it's your first day. It's just meat. Get a little notebook, write it down. But he can't be persuaded. I don't know if I'll last, he says. I wanted to stock shelves. Instead, the manager said that would be a waste of my customer service skills.

    His uncle did mock interviews with him, and he did an excellent job with him! Maybe too good...

    So we (me, husband, uncle) have been encouraging and supportive. But his self doubting, defeatist attitude is SO hard to take.
  2. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Ugh, I have been in a similar situation with my difficult child. The harder I tried to convince him not to be all gloom and doom about it, the more entrenched he became in his position that no one understood how HARD it was. Not sure if he was looking for sympathy or praise or just venting or giving me a heads up he was going to quit, but it seemed like nothing I said really made a difference. So since it didn't make a difference anyway I just started doing like you said, keep it encouraging and supportive. If he gets into a pity play I just don't respond.

    But it IS SO hard to take.
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This may not help? But it might.

    Really? This is a huge challenge. It is. For this person, at this time in his life, this is huge. It is the hugeness of the chance that has him scared. If he cannot do this...what is left for him, how could he face trying again?

    No wonder he is anxious.

    Anyone, anyone in all the world, would be so scared of failing, and of what it would mean to fail now, that they could talk themselves into tossing in the towel before they get fired.

    At least, then it was their choice, not a judgment about who they are.

    So...what if you were to talk to him like that? Like, big challenge, true. Meet it, and the next one will be easier. If you don't meet it this time?

    You will learn from this one and do better, next time.

    These emotions are real to us when we are in it. I can remember being so nervous at every new job that it's a wonder I functioned, at all. It wasn't until I was in supervisory positions myself that I got that piece.

    We all feel like that, sometimes.

    difficult child's heart is on the line on this one. I would be the first person to forget where the stupid baloney was, I just know it!


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  4. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Exactly! So tired of listening to it!
  5. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Excellent, Cedar! I'm writing this down, thanks!
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I strongly recommend you do some research on the fear of SUCCESS. This is a big thing, and something many people face and often sabotage their entire lives over. if he succeeds, what will be expected next? This is so hard, how would he handle the next thing he would be expected to do. I think he likely has some of this thrown in, and if you have some knowledge of the issue, you could help steer him without putting too much pressure on about how he will handle the next challenge ell, etc...

    I am just glad he is trying. It can be so hard to try, esp when you have memory and learning issues. I think people with LDs work ten times harder than everyone else for half the payoff. Anything they achieve is just that much more special.
  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    In a daze~ I started a new job last week and I understand just how he feels... and I don't carry his diagnosis's. It takes time and practice to get it right. What helps me is to imagine that I am objectively rating myself as if I were someone Else. Would I expect her to understand everything the first day? Would I expect the same performance as someone who had been the same job much longer? And, if I wouldn't judge this other person harshly, then why would I be harsh in the judgment of myself?
  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    And let's face it: Deli/fast food work is HARD! You are always busy, have to be very efficient, work well under stress, remember lots of small stuff, learn fast (with often less than stellar tutors) and handle different people and conflict well. Some of our difficult children may thrive on it, but for most it can be extremely hard.

    We (luckily, I guess) have so much less fast food joints, that no difficult child is ever able to get a job at them. difficult children around here tend to work on cleaning business. As a janitor you have much more time to think and often have to do only one thing at a time. And more complicated cleaning jobs go to college and uni students, who can mange them as do the fast food jobs.

    I guess your son feels a need to be heard how hard it is. But maybe reminiscing your own first days and weeks in new jobs for him, and remembering to tell how hard it first felt, could help him consider it as a normal experience in the new job and not just him being incapable? Or reminding him how hard it was to start in the new school and find class rooms etc. and how it did work out in the end? (Well, if it did.)
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  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The first days of a new job can be scary, for most of us.Perhaps he needs to really understand that that is a human thing, it isn't because of his issues. It's change, and change is hard and takes time. You may have told him all of that already, but it always helps me to know that how I am feeling is a normal response to the situation I am in. We can feel so alone and isolated when we are scared.

    Tell him to breathe deeply, we shallow breathe when we are scared and that makes the brain have less oxygen and sets off more weird stuff and more fear.........deep breaths, perhaps every 10 minutes, during the day, ask him to remember to breathe deeply. It's amazing how helpful that is when you are scared.

    Business employs the incentive program which I have utilized at times (I think at times it might have been called bribery!l) However, you could set up an incentive program for him. Like if he gets through the first week and hangs tough, he will earn, what? I don't know your son, so dinner out? an iTunes account with some songs? A new shirt? I have no idea what a young man would want, I have a million ideas for girls. You might even have a point system, he works a week, he earns 50 points, a month 400, they go towards? It doesn't have to be monetary, perhaps a family outing or family dinners, or if you want to make it monetary (this is where it's a hairy thin line leaning towards bribery, but what's semantics when you are trying to persuade a young person they can make the cut?) he could work for 6 months and earn a scooter or a bike.....I have no idea really about the actual rewards, but you do. Just a thought......

    Hang in there IAD, it's equally as frustrating for you to have to deal with his fears. Remember to take care of yourself. While he's facing his new job, go have a massage! YOU'LL feel better.
  10. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Yes, TM. He's really hard on himself. Little self confidence. Low self esteem. I do keep emphasizing...you're new. You are not expected to know everything right away...

    Yes. I did tell him about when I was a graduate nurse and was SO out of my element. It took a long time for it to finally come together. At least for me. I found it really difficult at first to deal with multiple patient issues on a busy floor. I told him, at least for you, no matter how many people are waiting, it's only one customer at a time...

    Hi, RE. Great idea. I actually won an itunes card in a raffle at work. I was thinking of giving it to him. Maybe next week.

    He sounded better today. Still freaked out at the rush in the afternoon. Worried about identifying lunchmeat with the label off. We keep reassuring him, that it will come in time, and that he'll be an expert at identifying random lunchmeat (LOL).
  11. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    InaDaze, I remember when our youngest got his first real job - at a Subway. It took him several days to learn how to wrap the sandwiches. His trainer was quite put out with him. The more he stressed, the worse it got. Son just knew he would never catch on. This was not our difficult child, but easy child did not have much confidence of his abilities. He was SO stressed. Of course, he DID catch on.

    He worked at Subway a little over two years and then got a job at a "cool" pizza place--a place that is kinda difficult to get hired on because employees do not often quit. The owner told him he was impressed that easy child had stayed at Subway that long and that is why he hired him. In the long run, it paid off.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My daughter's first job after her drug days were at Subway. Heh. Popular place to start a new life, I guess.

    Daze, I have always had trouble with jobs because back in the dinosaur days, learning disabilities were not acknowledged or helped and I tried to do everything "just like everyone else. I don't want to be different and stupid" which I thought I was. Along with so many other issues I had a non-verbal learning disability and my verbal skills were great, while my performance level skills...not so good (120 verbal IQ and 85 performance IQ). A NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), if he has one, and maybe he does???? makes the person sound great because of their speaking skills, but then once they are forced to do tasks, they tend to forget steps and make misakes.

    I can sooooooooooooo relate to your poor son. He is making the same kind of mistakes I have always made. But it IS his first day! And notes, if he can be persuaded, are very helpful. He could write the steps down so he can check to make sure he has done every task. Also, I don't know if he as visual discrimination problems, but I have trouble identifying objects and people. If I were him, I'd get a little card, make a picture of all the meats and where they are and label them on the index card until I memorized where all the different meats were. Anxiety does not help anyone who has learning differences, but, of course, just to make life interesting, they usually go hand-in-hand.

    Our difficult child's tend to give up quickly. If he can hang on for maybe a month, he will be far more familiar with what to do. May take a little longer than people without LDs and that's ok.
  13. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Yep SS, this is why we are all trying to give him lots of reassurance. This is exactly what he says...it's not the right job for me, I'm no good at this, I'm never going to get used to it, etc. Anxiety compounds it for him.

    So you know pretty much what he's dealing with, MWM! Yes, his NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) has been confirmed by two neuropsychologist exams. I did encourage him to get a little notebook and write everything down. He said he was going to go on Google images and see if he could pull up examples of lunchmeat. He was having trouble when the loaf was say halfway gone and the label wasn't there anymore.

    Yes, like yourself, he has excellent verbal ability. When he was at home and trying to manipulate us, we told him he'd make a great courtroom lawyer!. Excellent writing skills, getting A's on research and essay papers. Because of this I think NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is kind of a hidden disability. People seem perfectly fine but have trouble organizing information that comes at them, multitasking, etc. They get lost easily and are not good at puzzles and assembling items.

    We're encouraging him to hang in there, and that each day will get easier.
  14. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Sounds like he's really trying! Good for him!
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  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You know, I was thinking about your son, today. Would it be possible for him to take a picture with his phone of the deli counter from the front? With all the labels and prices on everything? Then, he would know right where everything was from the customer's point of view, and would have something to refer to if he needed to. Maybe, that would help so much with the anxiety that he would hardly have to refer to it, at all.

    Another thing I thought about was to print pictures of each of the kinds of lunchmeat from the internet and staple them together for him. Sort of like a little notebook. He could add prices and anything else he needed to know.


    It's all about tools, right?

    He won't need any of this once he is sure, in his own heart and mind, that he can do this, after all.

    I hope he makes it!

    (They did not call me helicopter mom for nothing. I earned that title fair and square.)


  16. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    People with NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) have normal to superior verbal skills and way lower performance skills, often with auditory and visual processing problelms. Notes are your friend! Also find that when I get nervous, that only makes me get "brain freeze" and I can't work at all. It takes time for things to come together and make sense. Once they do...I'm good :) I can hear instructions but not understand what they really mean until I do it a few times (this is a processing problem. You aren't deaf and you know the words, but they don't make sense all together). Also, I don't have a good visual memory either so showing me doesn't work either. Again, I have to do it, sometimes making mistakes in order to learn how to do it right. It makes every job hard, even Subway.
  17. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Yes, MM, I told him he's going to have to wait on customers and make mistakes. He worked Saturday, and was having panic attacks since it was very crowded. He hid in the bathroom a lot. I told him, he's going to have to wait on customers and interuppt his coworkers to ask questions, he cannot hide in the bathroom anymore. He just cannot do that anymore.

    LOL, Cedar! I helicoptored him all through high school. In college I kept close tabs on him through his advisors though I did manage to refrain from calling up the professors...
    I was thinking of telling him the same thing about taking the picture, good idea! And the pictures might work, too.
  18. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Cedar, this is why I love you. You remind me of my incredibly kind and patient sister, so good with signs and symbols and aides for everyone who needs them ( and who doesn't?)

    I think your suggestion is spot on.

    Being a difficult child, however, he may not like it!

  19. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Daze, how is his job going now? I was thinking about him this morning because my difficult child just had her second day of a new job. She is delivering pizza, and she did have a little experience doing this previously. Even so, it was a big step for her.

    She is proud of the money she is making because she will be able to finance her own apartment that she's moving into with a "friend" (I think it's a romantic interest) in a little over a week. We have just been letting her stay here while she recovers from the suicide attempt (in February) and gets herself back on her feet.

    As I have said in posts before, with a bipolar child, you never know what the next minute will bring, so I maintain a degree of detachment all the time, although I do allow myself to reattach a little bit when things are going well, but I'm always cautious.

    I have a mental image of myself as a piece of Velcro. Attach ,reattach, attach, reattach, always keeping the two pieces in my hands so I can attach and reattach as necessary for MY sanity.

    Good luck to your son and please update!
  20. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Hi TA...I am still struggling with this detachment thing. It's funny you should mention it because I was just thinking about it the other day, how my moods go up and down depending on how he's doing. And that's not the way it's supposed to be. When he's not doing well I continue to live my life, although it's with a cloud over my head. I'm trying to get to the point where I am happy no matter what is going on with him. It must be really hard when they live with you!

    Anyway he continues to go to work although he's not at the deli, it's more orientation stuff. He is starting at a brand new store which opens in two days and he is apprenhensive about the crowds coming to check it out. He starts very early in the AM like 5 AM and he seems ok with that (used to be not a morning person). I'll keep you updated.

    I hope your daughter keeps taking her medications and keeps the job. The structure that a job provides is so important for them.