The Unintentionally Hostile Work Environment

Does anyone else have a job that thinks it’s accommodating or tries to be but just can’t be?

My office recently moved from a place with old lighting and high cubicles to a place with new lighting and low cubicles. The new lighting is energy-efficient which means it’s fluorescent and ungodly bright. I have pretty much had a migraine since we moved in February.

My job is a high stress, phone intensive, customer service job that is completely wrong for my temperament and pain management (I’ve gained 60 pounds in the 1.5 years I’ve done it and had headaches for probably half of it) but I’m kind of stuck because the job market here is still so bad and I also rarely feel coherent enough to fill out applications. My supers try to be accommodating and let me wear migraine glasses and a hat at all times but the lights are so bright that it’s still not enough. What it would really take is the lights near me being turned off, removed, or covered with filters but I’m not sure that that battle is even worth fighting because the job itself would make me sick in the end.


In the meantime, work can put up with the glasses and hat but get upset when I pass out at my cube as a part of my auras. And my performance has slipped since February due to the fact that I can’t remember what happened on days when my headaches were bad, which is unfortunately most days. So if I leave things to do for tomorrow, I won’t do them because my brain was too sick to make memories. I had similar issues in law school -‘and they probably explain why I did so poorly – but never made the connection between the new fluorescent lighting in some of the classrooms and the library and my propensity to sleep during class.

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