Friday, May 23, 2008

The Baseball Hat Saga

Here is my current tale of woe with my place of employment. It has been going on for the last couple of weeks.

Because I'm so sensitive to floursecent lights because of my migraines, I've been wearing a dark blue (logo free) baseball hat only at my desk to shield my eyes from the lights above me. When our office became business casual, I asked my supervisor about wearing the hat because of my problem. The dress code said baseball hats weren't allowed. He said it was all right, so I've been wearing the hat for the last year and a half.

Now my supervisor has brought it to my attention that I'm violating the dress code. Hats are only allowed on casual days, which are on Fridays. He said he was speaking to human resources about the situation, because he knew about my problem with the lights. I asked him if a doctor's note would solve the problem. He said to get the note, which I got from my new primary care doctor. (She's my rebound doc, not sure if I'm going to stick with her, but she o.k. for now.)

When I gave him the note, he had me call Human Resources to see who I should fax it to. The HR lady said I had to open an ADA claim and I had to speak to our ADA intake nurse. I called the nurse. I explained to her how we had already tried to fix the problem by removing some of the bulbs above me and switching to these pinkish bulbs, but it still wasn't enough. She opened the claim and I had to fax her a signed release form so she could speak directly to my doctor. The note wasn't sufficient. It had to be from my doctor addressed to her. She suggested maybe I should try a dressy hat with a wide brim or a dressy visor instead of the baseball hat, and once she had all the information, she would make a recommendation to Human Resources.

Over the weekend, I found a dressy visor at Kohls, which I brought to work on Monday, and I've been wearing it. Luckily it was on sale for $12.00, and I actually like it because it's a lot more comfortable.

Then I heard back from the ADA Nurse that my new doctor's office wanted 72.00 to send my information to her and my company wouldn't pay the fee. I had to pay it. Since I don't have a spare 72.00 dollars right now, the ADA nurse can't move forward.

Now I'm waiting to hear back from the HR lady who is on vacation until next week to see if she can approve the visor without me opening this ADA claim thing.

As you can imagine, all of this has been really getting on my nerves. First off, why was it o.k. for me to wear the hat for so long and now it's not. The only thing I can figure out is that a couple of other co-workers were wearing baseball hats on business casual days. I'm thinking their supervisor must have told them that they were violating the dress code and they pointed to me saying "Well, she's wearing one!"

Sometimes, I really hate being a cubicle rat trapped in corporate hell!


Eileen said...

What a bunch of CRAP!!!! Yes, I'm being blunt. Would they have a problem with someone having their arm in a sling? Or having crutches? NO! It's not like you are specifically trying to violate the dress code to be a rule breaker! UGH!

We need to find our own island where we can all just live in peace and sell coconuts and mangos. I think then we would not have to deal with the corperate BS. You have no idea how much I went through to get someone in the office to stop wearing triggering perfume - it took FOREVER.

I feel for you - it's a really big pain in the butt and it makes ya crazy!

Good luck! - maybe get in touch with Diana over at Somebody Heal Me too - she can maybe help you out...

deborah said...

What is wrong with people?? It never really ends the depths of stupidity they must fall. I think we need to start to somewhere, as Migraineurs, for our own protection in this area. Good luck. Don't give up.

Anonymous said...

All this fuss over a blue hat. What a bunch of morons. I am sorry you work with such evil people. Can you wear sun glasses? Sorry that you should have to change your tactics. It is not fair at all. Not acceptable. Completely not acceptable. Jeselle

Christy said...

I agree that it probably started with somebody else wanting to wear a hat. Hats for everybody!, in my opinion. But I understand there have to be rules. Is there a rule against putting a tent up over your desk? Or you could tie an umbrella to the back of your chair. At least you wouldn't be violating the dress code.

Emily said...

it does seem like a LOT of fuss for something small. especially when you're just at your desk. and $72 to write a note!?! talk about an exorbitant fee.

Conie said...

How old are the people you work with? Or maybe I should ask how old are they mentally? They act like a bunch of kids - na na na pooh pooh pooh, she's wearing a hat, so why can't we *in whiny voices*?

They need to get a life! I like the umbrella on your chair idea or the tent or maybe go for those coverings they have over scooters to keep people out of the sun!

I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of this.

MaxJerz said...

Any chance you could put one of these over your cube?

Amy said...

How absurd, I'm so sorry you have to deal with that and the comments from your co-workers on a (much too) regular basis. Hang in there.

quakerdave said...

"How old are the people you work with? Or maybe I should ask how old are they mentally? They act like a bunch of kids..."

With respect, that's unfair. To kids.

On days when I'm working with a migraine headache, I turn the lights in my classroom down, draw the shades a bit, and sometimes wear my sunglasses. My 8th grade students know by now that this is a big hint that "Mr. A. has a headache." They are always exceptioanlly compassionate and cooperative on the days this occurs.

Unlike the adults portrayed here.

Good luck with this. Too bad you're not unionized. I'd grieve these knuckleheads.

Migraine Chick said...

I really like the idea of finding our own island. It would be like The Island of Misfit Toys in Rudolph, The Red Nose Reindeer, but it would be called The Island of Misfit Brains.

Pamarian said...

I just got back from my eyedoctor. I purchased new frames/lenses with FL-41 rose colored tinting on them.
John A Moran Eye Center @ Univ of Utah has done extensive research on the use of this tint to help migraine. I know someone who went there (from Boise) and has been helped a lot. For more info. go to or contact me.

Anonymous said...

I am going through a similar problem. I was lucky enough to get my workplace to let me put a big piece of cardboard over my cube, blocking out the awful florescent lighting that is everywhere, and is spaced so closely together. We got a new member of the management team, and he thinks my cardboard is an eye sore... (I know it is, but it helps so much).. A coworker suggested that Cubeshield that someone else gave the link to above, but I'm not sure it's going to block out enough light. That seems to be more for small sources of lighting. But these lights are EVERYWHERE.. Suggestions anyone?

Angel_Faces_Mom said...

I'm so glad that you have this community to blog with. Everyone seems so supportive and helpful! God Bless all of you!