Archive for the ‘boss’ Tag

THE BIPOLAR PERSPECTIVE: SOCIAL DISTORTION MEDIA   3 comments

The Human Lost and Found

Ten years ago if you wanted to find an old friend, you could do a search on the internet, or sign up for one of those “free” web services that can locate people at nocharge.  But if you actually want to find out anything useful about them, besides their name and age, then you get “paid-membershipped” to death.  Or, you could have gone to a then fledgling Social Media site, like “My Life,” hoping the friend was active in this human lost and found.  However at that time most people were not putting their profiles online for privacy reasons.

Disgrace Book

Then Facebook matured and now almost everyone has a page and timeline complete with their current location, photos, employment, likes and dislikes plus whatever else about themselves they want people to know.  Now old high school friends can look you up without your permission to see what you have or have not been up to the last thirty years.  I was a loser in high school.  For me, Facebook has given me a whole new reason to feel like a failure in 2015.  All my insecurities have come rushing back.  Will people think my girlfriend isn’t good-looking enough?  Have I aged poorly?   Am I the only one in my class who can’t do open heart surgery, or argue a case before the Supreme Court?  Will someone from my past find out I’m Bipolar and think it makes perfect sense?  I call Facebook “Disgrace Book,” because anyone can look me up and have a hearty chortle about how poorly I’ve done in life.

More Torture Please

Facebook is like “enhanced interrogation,” a word Dick “I shot my friend in the face” Cheney uses to make torture sound more soft and cuddly.  But now if you don’t have a Facebook page, you are out of touch.  People need to be able to see you just lost your job, got a divorce or have a kid with an underbite like a 1957 Buick Roadmaster.  Sure, you can make your site only viewable by confirmed friends, but then you look like you really have something to hide.  And since Facebook is now frequently used as a search engine, you are almost required to have access in today’s information age.  So you maintain your page, and just like the droplets in water torture that eventually drive people mad, Facebook allows your friends and foes to slowly trickle into your life judging and eventually driving you mad as well.  And if you’re Bipolar, which commonly comes with increased anxiety, social issues and disdain for one’s past, you never know who will pop into your life digging up your most detested memories, embarrassing moments and perceived lack of achievement.

The Sniff Test

Once in a while some old work cronie posts on my timeline who I thought I was done having nightmares about in the 1990’s, Then I’ll check out their Facebook page just to make myself a little more miserable with their magnificent accomplishments.  Its like when you accidentally get a little shit on your hand picking up after the dog.  You completely wash it off, but you can’t stop sitting there discreetly sniffing your hand over and over all day long just to make sure it doesn’t smell.  Being Bipolar often makes it so you just can’t help sniffing out ancient classmates or work associates who contacted you on Facebook.  You want to make sure the reminder of their success has not stuck to your brian.

The Pull Out Method

I wish there was a big pre-lubricated condom I could put over my entire head so whenever someone from my past or present tries to friend me or comment on my Facebook Timeline, nothing they can say or think about me will reach my Bipolar brain with all its insecurities.  But since I do not see this social contraceptive on the horizon, mainly because the wearer may smother to death, I have thought about using the “Pull Out Method.”  Basically, I’d just shut down my Facebook page and go off the grid.  Solve the whole problem wham, bam, no thank you Facebook man.  Would I really be missing out on things?  I could always keep up with politics on FOX News.  But then I’d really have something to be humiliated about.

Social Media Intercourse

But if you are a business marketing to highly targeted masses, Social Media really is the new frontier.  And when a consumer is reached through Facebook, Twitter or the likes, if marketers can’t get you to click to their link immediately, some will tag you with an ad.  They are essentially invading your personal space on the internet.  I call this “Social Media Intercourse.”  Give a marketer a sliver of information and they’ll follow your future internet viewing sessions with the same banner ad for what seems an eternity.  In essence your personal space has been permeated.  Or in other words, you’ve been fucked by Facebook.  I think they even sell your information to marketers, also making Facebook a pimping service.

Taking Facebook at Face Value

Individuals dealing with Bipolar Illness need to view Facebook and other Social Distortion sites in a whole new manner.  Instead of thinking we are the only “under-achievers” in the room, which is only a perception and not a fact, realize that everyone is trying to make themselves look great on Facebook.  Who is going to put down “lost my last job due to alcohol addiction, suffer from schizophrenia, my wife is ugly and I just filed for bankruptcy?”  And you know the picture they post is going to be their very best shot with someone secretly standing behind them pulling back the loose skin on their face and neck.  So please, do not take Facebook pages at face value.  What you really want to know is lurking on the “back pages.”

Give Till It Hurts

The other thing someone with Bipolar Illness might want to consider when using Disgrace Book is to “give until it hurts.”  Only write or post about things with which you are comfortable.  Not everybody has to know every single aspect of your life.  It’s not lying, it’s called keeping certain subjects not for public knowledge.  Do you think your boss is going to post he has only one testicle?  Of course not.  It has no bearing on anything.  Neither does your Bipolar Illness.  Unless of course you want people to know.  So when updating your Facebook page, only give information until it hurts.  Then stop writing and move on to other things.  Like why you are 53 and still living with your mother.

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Telling Your Boss You are Bipolar: Is There a Reason?   2 comments

A lot of times we just hear about people with bipolar illness who are suffering.  Well, let me rephrase that. All bipolars suffer to some degree, because no medication or cocktail thereof can make us feel 100%.  And even if you are one of the lucky ones in whom medication completely abates all your symptoms, chances are you still have to deal with some unsavory side effects.  Nobody gets a free ride.

But there are a great deal of bipolars in the everyday work force in all kinds of occupations.  Jobs with responsibility over others, jobs with pressure to meet certain goals, jobs in customer service, jobs which require intense concentration, jobs that have a major impact on people’s lives, jobs that are boring and repetitive and the list goes on.  And many of these people function quite well.  So the question is, at some point do you tell your employer you are bipolar?  And if so, why?

I think we can all agree it’s not something we mention in a job interview.  Although it’s illegal to discriminate against the mentally ill, and theoretically we should be able to say we are bipolar without reprise, not all bosses have graduated from referring to bipolar illness as the medieval sounding manic depression.  Or maybe they have someone in their life with bipolar who is not functioning well.  It can even be they just don’t want to bring someone on staff that might have an “incident” in front of an important client.  In their mind you are a wild card that could be running around the office yelling at an imaginary person named Marvin, overturning desks and firing a staple gun at your co-workers.

However now you’re in the job and doing quite well.  Your manager is happy with your performance and you are making friends with your colleagues.  Your whole work environment seems to be liberal and accepting.  So one day you are alone with your boss in the car coming back from a meeting and he or she confides in you about a family member having a hard time with bipolar illness.  Do you suddenly rip off your clothes and expose yourself in blue tights, rocket boots and red cape with a big BP on your chest and offer expert assistance?  Do you reveal yourself so your boss can see how normal a person with bipolar can actually be?  Do you tell your boss you are bipolar so if you ever do have an issue, they’ll be more understanding because they have a family member suffering from the same illness?  Do you uncover you illness in the hope of getting accolades for doing such a good job while suffering from such a potentially debilitating mental disorder?  Or, do you say anything at all?

I think the question is, what do you hope to accomplish by spilling the pills?  Will telling your boss you are bipolar help you advance in the workplace, or will it make them interpret everything you do through a bipolar kaleidoscope?  Are you branding yourself  “handle with care” and spend the rest of your employment in a corporate playpen?  Each individual needs to ask themselves these questions before they do the big reveal.

The one thing I believe is that it is not wrong to keep your bipolar status to yourself.  You are not hiding it nor are you acting as if you are ashamed of it.  It’s personal information you are not reacquired to share.  Your boss is not your doctor.  You don’t have to tell them if you have high blood pressure or micro-valve prolapse, so why then are you compelled to tell them you are bipolar, especially if you have it under control?

Of course, this is a personal decision.  But it’s not something I would rush into without looking at all the possible outcomes.  There is no time table for making a choice like this.  And your boss could love your honesty and bravery for being so successful while dragging around the added weight of the bipolar ball and chain.  Or, you could end up stagnating in your current position forever.  It’s a calculated risk.  And, you’re under no obligation to take it.