Over the past few weeks, I've had a couple of conversations about the future of my lighting accommodation at work. Although I still don't know what's going to happen, it is looking better than the first talk I had, but at that time, I didn't have a chance to talk with my boss who has always been very helpful in this department.
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with our HR director about something else. I knew it would be premature to have these conversations, but she brought it up after she was talking about how one of her relatives has Migraines and then she remembered about my lighting needs.
During our discussion, she said she couldn't promise me anything around lighting modifications. She also started quoting the archaic lighting policies we used to have under an old maintenance supervisor when the lighting absolutely killed me. As I said, it was still too early to have these talks because we still don't even know where we are moving yet and she asked me to remind her later on so I could possibly look at our new area to help determine the best place for me to sit.
A big problem about where we are moving is that a whole group of us will also lose our offices which means I will lose a lot more control of my lighting. I know this is a little selfish as we will all need to be extremely careful about everything we talk about everyday as we have a lot of impromptu confidential conversations that go on throughout the day too.
As we kept talking, I slipped in different challenges that Migraineurs face as she needs to understand that Migraines are not just headaches. I also mentioned that many of us know people with Migraines, like she does with her relative, and if I can help them understand a little more around Migraines, then I feel like I've helped someone someplace. She seemed to understand that. She was funny after I revealed some of the obstacles and comments I had received around getting my light accommodations setup the last time. Even though it is a couple of years later, she apologized for the comments I received.
This past week, I was able to have some conversations about the future lighting and other things with my boss, Bart. I feel a lot more confident in talking with him about this as he understands and was very instrumental in getting my current light accommodation in place. Bart understands enough about Migraines as his wife has had Migraines forever and takes preventatives for them too. Bart was actually my first teacher of Migraines, but I don't want to inundate him with Migraine talk since I'm sure he gets enough of it and lives with it at home too.
Bart told me not to worry about the lighting. He said they have already started having different talks around employees who have a need for special accommodations. I reiterated to him that I would not be able to handle it at work without the light accommodations I currently have and that this is my biggest concern about moving. I didn't mention to him that I have other work anxieties around my Migraines too because the lighting is the one I worry about the most. I think I also fear coming across as just wanting the best environment and not necessarily for health reasons which is why I pick and choose. I guess I really need to see the area before I can judge.
Bart has an idea of what I go through. We met in a different city for a meeting a few months back. We split when we got to the building, but I was able to give him my parameters around picking out a seat in a conference room if he got there first based on the lighting in the room. It's embarrassing to let out these inter-most struggles we go through that appear to be totally strange yet normal to us. These are the types of things I try to keep invisible from work as I fear they may hurt my employment because it is weird and usually within my control. By the way, he did a really good job in picking out the seat.
I'm sure there is going to be a lot to come around these light conversations. I trust Bart will do whatever he can in the extra meetings he needs to attend around this because of me. He knows what I go through and how much the accommodation helps.