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Need Help with Job/Health

Hey Folks,

I’d like to get some input into my current situation.

I’m currently employed full time in a glorified accounts receivable job. The income is meh, benefits and company culture are great, and the job is fairly easy under normal circumstances. However, in recent months it’s become incredibly frustrating as there is a plethora of incompetent individuals in the company and our department is responsible for fixing their mistakes. I’ve also been forced to take on additional workload because management hired someone in our department who cannot handle a normal workload. In speaking with other colleagues with longer tenure, they say that this is just the way the company operates. I’ve brought this to management on several occasions but nothing has changed.

I’ve also been suffering from repetitive strain injuries since I started this role two years ago. My time on the job is spent entirely on the computer. I’ve been to several doctors, massage therapists and physiotherapists,  and tried just about every treatment under the sun (topical creams, anesthetic injections, supplements, stretching, strengthening, hot/cold compress, etc.). Nothing has provided any substantial relief. At the worst of times I can’t drive or even open a jar of peanut butter. At the best of times I can do most things in life and put up with the pain. However, I feel pain 24/7.

The two doctors I’ve been seeing recently (one is my GP and the other a hand specialist) will not approve any short or long term disability. At least not yet.

Ideally I’d like to find another job, but I feel as though I first need to recover from my injuries before doing so. It would be pretty awful having to quit a new job a few months in because I physically could not complete necessary duties.

What would you do?

Well, looks like my wife found AF…

Jk, she’s not in A/R.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

WTH is causing you these strains?  How old are you?

I mean if it’s such a problem change careers.  Funny that you’re asking for disability before you reduce yourself to the inconvenience of changing jobs. 

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

Excessive typing and computer use is the main cause. I receive and send over 100 emails combined everyday. When I’m not sending emails I’m navigating 5-10 different software programs.

I should have expanded as well. I’ve been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the past year or so and it’s helped quite a lot. I certainly do substantially less computer work than prior to having the software but I still experience pain all day.

If I moved into a new job I don’t think I could demand the company purchase Dragon and also provide me with a private office (you need to talk loud when using the software). Also, the combination of pain (I reduce typing as much as possible) and using the software (it takes a long time to do the simplest of tasks) greatly diminishes my effective output. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t make it past the probationary period in a new job.

And I am currently 29

kjames05 wrote:

Excessive typing and computer use is the main cause. I receive and send over 100 emails combined everyday. When I’m not sending emails I’m navigating 5-10 different software programs.

I should have expanded as well. I’ve been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the past year or so and it’s helped quite a lot. I certainly do substantially less computer work than prior to having the software but I still experience pain all day.

If I moved into a new job I don’t think I could demand the company purchase Dragon and also provide me with a private office (you need to talk loud when using the software). Also, the combination of pain (I reduce typing as much as possible) and using the software (it takes a long time to do the simplest of tasks) greatly diminishes my effective output. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t make it past the probationary period in a new job.

I don’t know what to tell you, that amount of typing / computer use is not considered much at all in this industry.  I’m probably chained to a BB terminal 10-12 hours a day on average and your age is early to be experiencing this.  I think you need to recognize that this industry is not for you and find a different career path while it’s still early.  It’s hard to see you being successful if that’s an issue for you.  You could try an ergonomic keyboard of some sort, but I think you’d be fighting a losing battle.  You may just have some sort of muscular-skeletal issue in your hands that isn’t meant for this.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

Have you talked to your HR about the repetitive stress injury? Most large-ish companies have programs that aim to accomodate people with these difficulties. These can be ergonomic consulting, special equipment, or other things. Given the symptoms that you described, a doctor should be able to write you some kind of letter for your condition.

“Visit the Water Cooler forum on Analyst Forum. It is the best forum.”
- Everyone

Yeah, I guess like Ohai said, talk to HR and see what they can recommend, maybe some sort of occupational therapist, who knows.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

Nothing relives hand stress better than a little chicken choke.

kjames05 wrote:

The income is meh

Even if you didn’t have health issues doing this job, that right there is cause to keep looking.

But then again, “meh” could mean $200k so idk.

KJames - sorry to hear your going through this. Like many others, I never experienced any type of chronic pain for most of my life until a couple years ago. I had a disc issue in my upper back that caused constant neck pain. Through physical therapy, I have that largely under control. However, some lingering pain is still there, some of it similar to yours. I get wrist and elbow pain, which is worsened the longer I’m on the computer. For those that have never experienced this, it seems crazy that pain from to much computer time can be impacting your lif this much. However, once it happens, you know how bad it can be. As you mentioned, imagine not even being able to open a jar because it causes so much pain.

My elbow/wrist pain is not as severe as what you describe, and I hope you get this figured out. It sounds like you’re doing the right things by seeing various doctors. If there is a good Orthopedic center in the area, I would get there asap and see an Orthopedic doctor for this issue. Also, check out the book Pain Free by Peter Egoscue. He has a very natural method of treating chronic pain. It helped me immensely. I would download it on kindle or whatever you use for reading and start reading it today. It’s not a long read and can be life changing. 

kjames05 wrote:

Excessive typing and computer use is the main cause. I receive and send over 100 emails combined everyday. When I’m not sending emails I’m navigating 5-10 different software programs.

Receiving emails is the worst.

On a serious note, have you tried opioids? I hear a bunch of people are taking them so they must be pretty beneficial.

I greatly appreciate all the replies. It would be a bit much quoting everyone so I’ll clarify a few things.

HR is well aware of the issue and has let me purchase a ergonomic keyboard and mouse. Ive been using it for about 18 months. It certainly helps mitigate some of the pain compared to a regular keyboard and mouse; just not enough. I also had an ergonomic assessment but they had no additional recommendations (ie desk/chair height and my posture are all fine).

Income right now is ~55k CAD and my job is essentially glorified accounts receivable. Not all that exciting for someone who’s passed L3.

moto, thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll check it out.

Definitely not looking at opioids for a multitude of reasons.

I saw the hand specialist again this week and there was no other treatment he could recommend. My massage clinic offers some kind of laser pain therapy that I’m going to try. The treatment is covered by benefits. If that doesnt work I’m going to pressure my GP to put me on short term disability. Can’t see how she could say no given everything I’ve tried basically everything.

I should also mention that I am relatively healthy. I eat well, go to the gym twice per week, and have no family history of major illnesses.

Kjames get out now! My first role out of undergrad was in the same as yours (and I am in Canada as well btw). Literally 2 years of mind-numbing work. I took the first good job that came and got out. Now, after several moves, I have successfully landed myself in a company that I absolutely love and a job that is interesting.

Do it. Either quit. Or search for a new job and take the first good one that comes your way. Don’t apply to menial work. Apply for work that you really want to do.

If that doesn’t work, go from some masters degree and go through there for god’s sake. But get out!

Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA), Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built." Eleanor Roosevelt

athene wrote:

Kjames get out now! My first role out of undergrad was in the same as yours (and I am in Canada as well btw). Literally 2 years of mind-numbing work. I took the first good job that came and got out. Now, after several moves, I have successfully landed myself in a company that I absolutely love and a job that is interesting.

Do it. Either quit. Or search for a new job and take the first good one that comes your way. Don’t apply to menial work. Apply for work that you really want to do.

If that doesn’t work, go from some masters degree and go through there for god’s sake. But get out!

I’d like to, but I don’t think I’d last very long in the new job. I can maybe work on a computer for 2-3 hours before I experience pain. There’s not a lot of jobs in finance that don’t involve using a computer for most of your time

You can find offices with standing desks, i.e. working while standing not sitting on chair.

My office has a few of these and I’ve been using them for about half the day everyday

kjames05 wrote:

My office has a few of these and I’ve been using them for about half the day everyday

Does it help? Or still feel pain?

When I use the standing desk I’m also using the dictation software so it helps quite a lot. But I dont have the option of using it all the time

Can you try yoga? It can definitely help.

Change jobs man. 55k CAD a year is common entry level