Discrimination At Work

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

Discrimination At Work

Good Day Everyone!!!

I want to start this blog with a comment and suggestion to anyone who reads this, please.

I am new to this blogging thing and at first, was finding it quite challenging. You see my aim is to please and in blogging terms that means I want to connect with all of you who read my blogs. That being said, I want it to be funny, relevant, well written and interesting enough for you to respond, be it positive or negative. In fact interesting is too dull a word. I need my blogs to be arousing your curiosity or interest all the time. Holding and catching your attention is my priority .... They need to be absorbing, engrossing, riveting, gripping, compelling, captivating, engaging and enthralling. If you can think of any other adjectives I could have used please let me know.  So please respond when you can so I don't feel as if this is a one way street going no where fast. 

Also, please feel free to give me input on subjects you may want me to blog on in the future. I am here for you and not just for my own pleasure. So speak, write and respond often. You can even just correct my spelling or grammar if you wish....:)...Just please let me know when you check in. I would love to here from you sista's!

Ok, now for my subject....

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I was clueless, as we all are, on how to manage this new fangled challenge. Just three months before my diagnosis, I had started a new sales position, with a new company. My sales position would be to sell single diamonds to jewelry stores all over the company by phone. The company was very small, under a hundred people and to say the owner was tough was an understatement. 

My BS numbers were around 550 and my doctor quite frankly asked me if I wanted to be taken out of work. I did as I was exhausted, my vision was blurry, I had my nineteenth yeast infection in two months and I knew I needed the time off to eat more cannolis. I also needed time to see the dietitian, educator, etc. So I was out for two weeks.

When I returned my human resource manager was very sympathetic and concerned about me. The owner, his sister, who was also in sales and my VP were not. There bottom line was productivity as it should be. I should also mention that the owners sisters husband was type 1 with a pump, so she knew the importance of managing ds even at work.

Breaks were not really a staple here. As a matter of fact they watched you like a hawk. If you got up for five minutes to talk to another employee whether it be about work or pleasure you were immediately told to take your seat. I felt like I was back in Catholic grammar school.

Eating three or four times a day would be a challenge here and something I would need to sneak. 

I would sneak away to the break room and have a quick snack and almost all the time my boss would catch me. Of course he would since his open door office was right across from the break room. He would yell, "So how many calls you got, Cin?"

We had sale call goals. He knew I was consistently well above my quota everyday. He just wanted me to sashet my derriere back to my desk as I did every time with my tail between my legs. 

His actions and the lack of respect for my DS got old real quick. I got angry and just to get through enough to get up and go back everyday, I prayed and I prayed hard. This alone sustained me for ten months. 

Almost a year later I was out of work for another two weeks by my doctors orders and this time my HR rep gave me short term disability papers. Hmmm....they didn't do that when I was out ten months before. 

To make a long story short, I was fired the first day that I returned. You should know I always made my sales goals. The only negative I ever game them was being out for medical reasons and taking two short breaks to eat. My HR manager loved me and she told in privacy before I came back that they were letting me go because of these only absences from work.

They denied me unemployment twice and I appealed. There was a hearing and I won. I was also encouraged to sue them for medical harassment, which I never did.

So ladies, my question is have you ever or are you currently being discriminated at work or anywhere else for having diabetes?


In early 1999, I took my first "real" job after graduating from graduate school. I worked for a large hospital in Miami and was experiencing my non-compliant stage with diabetes. Toward the end of that year, I was hospitalized for DKA and spent a week in the hospital. I was poked and prodded the entire week and when I walked out, I was black and blue in the arms and still fragile from the trauma my body had experienced. When I walked into my office at work, the first thing my boss said was "Well, look who's back! Can't even tell you were in the hospital; you may as well have been on a vacation!" I was floored and I knew it was wrong. But I was also a young woman, this was my first job and I didn't know my rights. So I bit my lower lip, gave her a half smile and went straight to work. Later, at my desk, I shed a single tear and my co-worker put her arm around me in support. I should have reported her, but I didn't. I should have gone straight to my HR department, but I was embarrassed. I did learn from that mistake, though. Never again did I allow anyone at work to undermine the challenges that diabetes pose every single day.
annatnorton's picture
Submitted by annatnorton on Wed, 02/12/2014 - 8:13am

Amazing Anna that this was said by a supervisor in a hospital, no less. The tears this disease causes can only be truly understood by another diabetic. TY for sharing...
CindyCamp's picture
Submitted by CindyCamp on Wed, 02/12/2014 - 12:00pm

I have never experienced this type of treatment at work. I have endured the foolish comments of co-workers, supervisors and others who are simply ignorant what diabetes requires to maintain your health. Most people in fact haven't a clue, and even those who have some sort of an inkling really don't understand in entirely. In fact, I am not sure I do either after 25 years at it.
glowright1's picture
Submitted by glowright1 on Thu, 02/13/2014 - 9:19pm

I so know what you are speaking of. they did that also. I laughed a bit when you said you didnt think you understood all that having diabetes entails. I also feel the same way. That is why this site and the conferences have helped me so much. The conferences contain so many subjects that cover the physical and the mental challenges that we endure everyday. That isnt to mention the new friendships and support you take home with you. My first year attending was last year and it truly changed my life as far as how I handle my ds and the support I receive currently. I encourage you to come if you can. I would love to meet you. Also see if there is a PODS group in your area or consider starting one in your area if you havent attended one yet. Huge support and information is shared monthly. Thank you for your input!!! It is greatly appreciated.
CindyCamp's picture
Submitted by CindyCamp on Fri, 02/14/2014 - 12:12am