Tricky work question

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Abbey, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I am having some work related health issues and not sure how to proceed. I NEED a job and don't want to risk losing it by saying something. I've been around the block enough to know they'll find any way to let you go if it is causing them money.

    My entire right arm from the shoulder down is in pain. I can take the pain, but the tingling and numbness in my hand is driving me nuts. I think my thumb is going to fall off. This is the third time I've been up tonight because of it.

    I've done some research online specifically to cashier issues and they all suggest the same thing - notify supervisors, wear a metal wrist spint especially at night (going to buy one today) and the proper way to scan things that are repetitive.

    The store I work at is MASSIVE. They have a policy that if you have no customer you are supposed to stand in front of your station inviting customers. Not once have I ever had to do this. IT IS FLIPPING BUSY!!

    My hands, ankles and feet are hugely swollen. I couldn't get a ring on if I tried with Vasoline.

    My fear is telling my supervisor and then losing my job. I'm thinking about asking to be reassigned to some other position, but they just might say that this isn't right for me.

    I've got a 10 hour day today (Packer/Bronco game day...uggggh...:faint:) and am dreading what I'll feel like afterwards.

    Secondly, by health law, you are not allowed to have any liquids at the check stand. I drink water by the truckload all day and night. I know I get dehydrated. So, every 4-5 hours I completely sink myself in water. I know I could get a doctor's note authorizing me to have water, but I have no insurance to go to a doctor.

    I'm just wondering under OSHA if they have to pay for the doctor's visits if I report, hence a water note and check out my arm, and protect me legally.

    I tried using my left arm...oh, that was a sight. I'm so challenged in that arena. Now I have two gimp arms.

    I just don't want to lose this job. I really like it. I'm looking at others, but you don't give up a job when you don't have another. They are a great company...but not sure they'll actually help an associate. It's easier to just send them away.

    Sorry for the 5am vent.

  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ouch Abbey!

    I can understand your hesitancy in not wanting to ask to be reassigned but the pain sounds horrible. I don't like that no water rule either. Wish I had some advice, I hope you are pain free soon. Hugs.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Are there other positions in the company that you know are open? If so, you can apply for a transfer. What are the demo positions like? Can you request to go to that position based on your past experience? Go ahead and ask for whatever position you want. Present it as you want that job without the reason that you want to leave the cashier job. Let them be the ones to say "No". They may surprise you and say "yes".

    If you can not get out of this position quickly without letting management know, then you must come out and tell them. You don't want to damage that arm any more than it is.

    Take care of that arm!!!
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'd talk to some of the staff who have been there awhile. They'll know how the company will react if you ask for a transfer to another position. Standing on concrete and checking is physically brutal. If you're at one of the super stores like Sam's or Costco, it is doubly hard because everything is in bulk.

    The splint at night is a good idea. I have my doubts they'll let you have water at the stand -- too much risk of spilling it into the register and, sadly, it is cheaper to replace you than it is the machine. Salt pills? I know they're used by migrant workers and greenhouse employees when they can't get to water often enough.

    Hope you find a way to get some relief. It sounds awful physically.
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Abbey, do you belong to a union? If you do, that is who can help you. Without a union, you have no contract, and they can do whatever they want with you.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Abbey -

    I worked 43 hours at my full time job and 40 hours at my part time job. My feet and heels are screaming. I'm sore from using muscles I have not used as an office person for the last 15 months - when I worked construction I did NOT get this sore. I think it's the standing in place thing.....I try to move around the store as much as possible to keep my body flowing. If I stand I hurt more.

    I got some gel insoles and those helped a little....I was taking Tylenol (2) before I started my shift.....and now I take Aleve. It seems to work better/quicker. I also use Bio-freeze on my neck and lower back - it's in a tube - I can excuse myself from the register, get it from my purse and put it on in a jiffy. (Otherwise I'm looking like I'm enjoying myself at my register :tongue:)

    As far as the water at the register? I told my manager that I take medicine that I MUST have water all day with - If they wanted me to buy their water I would be glad to - but theirs is $1.09 a bottle and I drink about 4 in 8 hours - and can get a case for $4 down the road...and keep it in the co. fridge. I then said if she needed to I would get a dr. slip for it. She said Not necessary - just keep it down where the DM couldn't see it or pitch it if we knew he was coming in. I took a paper bag, stood it up under the register stand and keep my water in there.

    My thoughts are that this is work related and therefore should be covered under workers comp. I wouldn't tell or ask a SOUL about anything in the store.....SOMEONE always is looking to get ahead, unless you can do it like Meow suggested on the in hypothetically.

    If worse comes to worse - the next time you scan something and go numb or have a twinge - Turn off your light and tell your manager you need to go see the dr. you think something is wrong and ask them what dr. place they recommend you going to - or you could not go to their doctor that time, but DO report that you injured yourself and if the numb comes again THEN tell them you reported this problem earlier - it's documented and then seek their doctor.

    I think honesty is a good policy in most things - except when you are over 40, trying to keep a job you like and can't skuck it up anymore.....and need the job. I hurt so bad tonight - I'd kill for some epsom salts.....but I'm going to bed......and rest. Next week? Every day Is a 13 hour day - getting closer to my goal though (Hope I can survive this)

  7. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    There is no union here and I think it would be highly frowned upon if you joined one. It's a 'family' business, albiet a HUGE chain. I tried to talk with a manager today, but they all run around like bees with honey. I guess bees don't run. Bad example. I digress.

    I did put in a request to meet with the employee relations person who is supposed to be in on Wednesday. I want something documented before I proceed.

    Thanks for all the great advice!