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Author Topic: Some help for my father in law please  (Read 2399 times)

Offline Daughterinlaw1

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Some help for my father in law please
« on: Jan 21 2012, 04:16 PM »
Hi all,
I wonder of there is someone that can help me.
My father in law has had hearing problems for years, and has recently been told that he has MD.
Problem is that he was made redundant last year from a job that he has being doing for almost 20 years. He is a real workaholic and has been working really hard to find a job, however he struggles with hearing the questions that he is being asked when he is being interviewed. I am disabled myself and know that he should not be discriminated due to this, but I do honestly think that it doesn't really go in his favour (even though they know of his condition). He is 55 which again shouldn't go against him when applying for a job, but I think it possibly does.

He was explaining to me the other day that he is not sure what he can do, he is currently living on sick pay but he doesn't know how long they will continue to pay this for and he is used to a very generous pay and is obviously on a very low amount compared to what he used to earn. He was trying to talk with me about what work we think he may be able to do and he was saying that it has to be somewhere with a low amount of noise as he gets a ringing in his ears and finds it harder to hear when somewhere with a lot of noise. (I am not too sure about any other symptoms that he gets, I know he said about dizziness but i am not sure how often he suffers with this)

Basically he wants to find out how people cope with their work and how they did with the interview process and if people had to change their career because their jobs affected their MD and what job they found they were able to do.

I would be really grateful if anyone has any advice that I can pass onto him, I'm afraid that he isn't very good with computers and this is why I am asking for him.


Offline Trurzy

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Re: Some help for my father in law please
« Reply #1 on: Feb 16 2012, 01:29 PM »
I am an HR Manager with MD so may be able to help. I think often there is a perception that things like deafness will be taken into account negatively, when actually they might not. I'm not saying that nobody will discriminate because there are always people who don't follow the law, are insensitive or ignorant, but a lot of people will not react negatively and will be supportive. I would urge and encourage applicants to contact interviewers in advance to say "I have a bit of a problem with my hearing, it's normally fine but in stressful situations can get worse. I'm keen to perform well at the interview, and so wanted to let you know as I may need to ask you to repeat things if I can't hear" or something like that. You can also ask if there is anything in particular that is needed so a quiet room, sitting in one place at the table etc. Most interviewers should be able to cope with that and if they can't, it probably reflects what they would be like as an employer if he got the job.

In all honesty the age thing should not impact, but probably will do in some ways.  In reality, even if it is against the law, for a job where you want to invest in someone and want them there for a long time, a manager will choose a younger candidate. I advise people to stick to the positives - sell experience over inexperience, sell existing skills over potential for the future. So choose jobs where these things will be recognised and rewarded. What hobbies does your father-in-law enjoy? Are there any jobs in that field? What job did he used to do? What skills did he acquire and where else could he use them? The closer he gets to something he enjoys and knows well, the more likely it is that he will be able to sell himself confidently in a CV and then in an interview.

I hope that helps - feel free to PM me if yuo want to discuss further!

Offline The Wobbler

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Re: Some help for my father in law please
« Reply #2 on: Feb 16 2012, 06:56 PM »
I wish you were my HR Manager Trurzy.

How the hell do you explain to them about MD?

I have used words like random, episodic, idiopathic, variable, spectrum disease.  They smile warmly and comfortingly and then say “Yes I am here to help you, but when will you be better?” or “I sympathise but I am afraid that your absences are impacting on the business”.

Offline Trurzy

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Re: Some help for my father in law please
« Reply #3 on: Feb 20 2012, 10:51 PM »
I think it's about trying to understand the processes that they *have* to follow (so if they need to meet with everyone who has x number of days off, then they kind of need to do that so that they are not discriminating against certain people). But it is also about trying to get them to treat you as an individual, with individual problems. So make an appointment to speak to them about it when you are well - ask to be referred to OH if they want to understand more about it - explain to them about the symptoms, but in a positive way ("most of the time I'll be fine.... but" is much easier to deal with than "sometimes I might" - it's the same thing, but one way is much more positive) and talk about what support they can give you easily - seating you somewhere that you can hear best, letting you have time off for medical appointments and not getting you stressed out should be simple things for them to do which don't cost them that much money or cause them too much hassle, but could help with your symptoms or management.

The thing I find hardest is people's assumptions that there is a causal link - because they know I can't take caffeine, if I have an attack, people will say "oh, you must have had some caffeine" and I have to explain that no, it's just that I have attacks for no reason, as well as attacks when I have caffeine.  My mum does it too  >:(

The thing is that for every genuine person who wants to be at work, there is someone who doesn't want to be and relies on their illness to get out of work, or someone who is swinging the lead, so you have to persuade them you're one of the good guys! Being constructive, helpful and understanding to them will help smooth your path!

Hope that helps Wobbler - when you're next meeting with HR, give me a shout and I'll see what I can do to help!

Offline little-roo

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Re: Some help for my father in law please
« Reply #4 on: Mar 20 2012, 02:56 PM »
You don't mention whether your father-in-law wears a hearing aid? If he doesn't, he should get help with this - even if he does, he should have his hearing re-tested, it may need to be readjusted if his hearing has deteriorated.
Perhaps he could also get help with his confidence - if he doesn't have access to a counsellor, maybe a self-help manual would help him to think in a positive way and give his self-confidence a boost or even doing voluntary work for a worthwhile charity where you get a positive sense of worth from doing something to help. I lost my job due to illness and it was a real blow to my confidence so I really feel for him, but I am working full-time again now - so it can happen! (I am moderately deaf in one ear).
In a former life, as a manager, I was involved in appointing staff and have given jobs to more mature candidates over younger ones and also to people with disabilities including hearing problems - at the end of the day they were the best candidates. :) Take heart!