Getting the accommodations you need for your ADHD at work can be a tricky process. When it comes to navigating these waters, you’re your own best advocate. So, it’s important to learn the resources you have working for you, and the forces that can complicate your experience on the job. This week on the show, we’re talking about the Americans with Disabilities Act and what you need to know to make use of it, plus strategies for making the best of your work experience with ADHD using the resources you have at your disposal already!
Links & Notes
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Nikki Kinzer: Hello, everyone. Hello, Pete.
Pete Wright: You know who’s a real showman? That Zac Efron.
Nikki Kinzer: Really?
Pete Wright: My son made me watch-
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, The Greatest-
Pete Wright: … High School Musical.
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, I thought you were going to say The Greatest Showman, but that wasn’t-
Pete Wright: Oh, no. I’m all over The Greatest Showman. We are already fans, but my son is at that age where High School … It’s manufactured for kids my son’s age, so they’re all singing the songs at school. I mean, it is manufactured by machine learning. I’ve been singing, though, Zac Efron songs. He was … What? He was seven in that show?
Nikki Kinzer: Was he really?
Pete Wright: 7, 17. Whatever. I don’t know. I’m making that up.
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, I’ve never seen it, so-
Pete Wright: But he was a kid.
Nikki Kinzer: … I don’t know.
Pete Wright: He was scrawny little kid, not that hunky hunk of a specimen that he is today. He was already an incredible standout showman. I hope one day somebody says, “That Pete Wright. He’s the Zac Efron of podcasting.”
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, I’m sure that they’re saying that right now. As they’re listening, they’re like, “There’s no … That’s Zac Efron right there. I’m listening to him.”
Pete Wright: Yeah. “That’s Zac Efron. He shaves that beard, he takes off about 40 years. He could be in High School Musical.”
Pete Wright: Look, we’re talking about … we’re continuing our ADHD At Work series today. We’re talking about something that I know plagues those in our community. So we’re going to talk about it. Accommodations, getting the accommodations you need and deserve at work. And it is a muddy, horrible mess to-
Nikki Kinzer: It really is.
Pete Wright: If you’re having a hard time getting those accommodations, you are not alone.
Nikki Kinzer: No, you’re not. It’s so different than in college, because I work a lot with college students too, and it’s different getting accommodations at work versus getting them in the academic world. So yes, we have a lot to talk about.
Pete Wright: Protections are very different, and so we are going to talk all about that. First, head over to takecontroladhd to get to know us a little bit better. You can listen to the show right there on the website or subscribe to the mailing list and we’ll send you an email each time a new episode is released. You can connect with us on Twitter or Facebook at takecontroladhd.
Pete Wright: And you know, we have this community, this online community through Discord and Facebook, The ADHD Group. It’s an incredible place. We learned about goat yoga and babies being born and celebrate each other’s birthdays, and it’s all done online through this incredible community of listeners and supporters of this show at patreon.com/theadhdpodcast.
Pete Wright: Patreon, if you’ve never heard of it, it is a model that you … It’s like National Public Radio. You give a few dollars, and that money into a bucket that helps pay salaries, put food on the table for the people who are doing the reporting and the management of the service every single month. That’s just what Patreon does for us. So we have a few extra things. You get to attend the live recordings of our show. You get some extra workshops that you get every month at the supreme level, but mostly you get our deep, deep love and gratitude for your participation in this community. We couldn’t do it without you.
Pete Wright: And so to those who have already supported via Patreon, thank you for being a continuing member. For those who have considered it or never given before, please give it a shot. First and foremost, make smart financial decisions. Second, we appreciate you helping to support and grow The ADHD Podcast. Again, patreon.com/theadhdpodcast. We appreciate you.
Pete Wright: Okay. We’ve got a little bit of news.
Nikki Kinzer: We have a couple of announcements, and the first one that I want to talk to … or talk about is the Hearts for ADHD. And this is something that a friend of mine, who’s also an ADHD coach who I get to meet every … I get to meet up with every year at the CHADD conference, and it’s lovely … And she’s actually been on our show too. Jennifer Camp, a couple years ago, actually came on the show and talked to us about Hearts for ADHD, and she is running this campaign again. I know we’re kind of late in actually talking about it on the podcast, because it’s something that’s running February through … or February 1st to the 14th.
Nikki Kinzer: However, I don’t think we can put a deadline on it. I think that you should always encourage your children to see their strengths, and that’s what this campaign is all about is she has these little hearts that you can get from her website. And what you do is you put, every day … For her campaign, it’s every day February 1st through the 14th … something great about your child, a strength that he or she has. And so one of the things that she had for her son was a sense of humor. She loves his sense of humor.
Nikki Kinzer: And so anyway, again, I know we’re a little late on advertising this on the podcast, but I think it’s something great to do anytime of the year and really encourage you to check that out.
Pete Wright: You know whose mother did that for him when he was a young guy?
Nikki Kinzer: You.
Pete Wright: Zac Efron.
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, Zac Efron. Well, of course-
Pete Wright: I’m just saying look at him-
Nikki Kinzer: … because look how great he is.
Pete Wright: … look at him now. Yeah. That’s all I’m saying.
Nikki Kinzer: You have a man crush. That’s what I’m getting.
Pete Wright: Zac Efron. Dax Shepard.
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, yeah.
Pete Wright: Yeah. Probably a little Will Arnett. Yeah. No, I got a list. Oh, totally. Yeah. Tom cruise. Oh, please. Hugh Jackman.
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, no. No.
Pete Wright: Please. Do we need to go-
Nikki Kinzer: I don’t like Tom Cruise.
Pete Wright: All right. What?
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, I do not like him.
Pete Wright: He runs like a freight train, Nikki Kinzer.
Nikki Kinzer: No. After I watched the documentary on Scientology, no thank you.
Pete Wright: I know. Okay. All right. Moving on. We have other news.
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Okay. Moving on, because that’s going into a whole different area. Yes. And then the second announcement I have for us to share is the Women’s ADHD Palooza, which is coming in the end of February, and that is hosted by Linda Roggli, one of our good friends on the show as well. And it is a great opportunity to listen to many different ADHD experts around a lot of different topics. Last week, I said that we were going to be in this Palooza. Unfortunately it didn’t work out with our schedules, so we are not part of the Palooza, but I highly recommend that you still sign up, check it out, and, if you want, send a little note to Linda about how you miss us. That would be great.
Pete Wright: That would be the best. You know what? That is action item number two. One, hearts in your kid’s lunch box. Two, send Linda a note and tell her how much you miss Nikki and Pete on the show.
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. And it wasn’t her fault either. So I just want to make sure it’s not any hate mail, because Linda’s fantastic. It was just a scheduling situation. So anyway, those are the two biggest announcements I have for the month of February.
Pete Wright: Excellent. Then we should talk about accommodations.
Nikki Kinzer: We shall. Yes.
Pete Wright: Circus music, because accommodations are fun.
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, they are. They’re so tough, especially when you get into the workforce. So I thought a good place for us to start is to just briefly say an explanation of what Americans with Disabilities Act is. Basically, it states that employers are required by law to provide reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified employees and applicants unless these accommodations pose an undue hardship. Let me just repeat that.
Pete Wright: That is so dumb. Yes.
Nikki Kinzer: I know. I’m going to repeat it. Americans with Disabilities Act states that employers are required by law to provide reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified employees and applicants unless these accommodations pose an undue hardship. It is such a loaded sentence, and it can be taken in so many different ways.
Pete Wright: And the problem is it’s taken in so many different ways usually by the employers and the legal community defending employers, and that is what makes it really hard.
Nikki Kinzer: Right. Well, and they’ve got the money to do it. I mean, they’ve got the money and the resources to be able to do that versus one person who is on their own. So yes.
Pete Wright: So there is a good thing about the Americans with Disabilities Act, that it exists. It exists, and it protects a ton of people-
Nikki Kinzer: It does.
Pete Wright: … and occasionally you … It provides a framework for how to talk about accommodations in the workplace that can really help a lot of people be more productive and live up to their experience no matter what they are living with in terms of their physical, emotional, psychological ability, so it’s really … I want to say up front, it’s a … it is a good that it exists.
Pete Wright: And hidden in it is this namby-pamby undue hardship language. For us, that is … I mean, it is just-
Nikki Kinzer: Confusing.
Pete Wright: … confusing.
Nikki Kinzer: It really is.
Pete Wright: It’s really confusing. It does nobody any good.
Nikki Kinzer: Right. It really is, because who’s deciding if the accommodations are reasonable? The employer. What’s considered undue hardship? Is there a money value to that?
Pete Wright: That’s usually what it is. It’s usually a fiscal condition.
Nikki Kinzer: But that’s the thing that’s really kind of strange. If you’re asking for the accommodation of coming into work at 10:00 AM instead of 8:00 AM and working 10:00 to 7:00 instead of 8:00 to 5:00, is that an undue hardship? You can’t really put money to that.
Pete Wright: Well, and I have heard this response, “We cannot do that because …” And I heard this specifically in the state of Arizona, the town of Phoenix “… we will not be working swing … any sort of swing schedule,” where you’re working off hours of the general population, “because of our environmental control systems. If some people come in at 8:00 and work 8:00 to 5:00, and some people work 10:00 to 7:00, and some people will undoubtedly want to work noon to 8:00 or 9:00, then our … we will have to run the air conditioning at a higher rate for longer during the day, and that is an expense that is considered,” and won, “an undue hardship.”
Nikki Kinzer: Wow. That’s interesting.
Pete Wright: Yeah. We think about undue hardships like, “Oh, we live in an old building that’s a historic building, and we can’t do any sort of physical conversion of that building in order to make it ADA accessible,” like to put ramps on it, for example, to make it … “We can’t touch it because it’s a historic building.” Well, that is where the ADA runs headlong into community civic challenges, and that gets worked out in courts. But not wanting to run the air conditioner because it’ll cost you hundreds extra a month so that your employees can get what they … That is where the undue hardship language gets frustrating for a lot of people.
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, that’s too bad. I don’t even have anything to say about that. I’m speechless.
Pete Wright: I know. I’m sorry. I just wanted to set that up because there-
Nikki Kinzer: No, but, I mean, I’m glad you bring that up because that makes sense, because I’m just thinking, “Oh, it’s two hours. What difference does it make?” But, I guess, in that realm it can. But yeah, that’s unfortunate.
Pete Wright: Well, and sometimes an undue hardship is not just the hours, but it’s the fact that many employers will feel like if they make an accommodation for one or a small group, that that accommodation is extended to everybody who wants it whether or not they need it. And-
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. I can see that. And there are going to be people who will take advantage of that.
Pete Wright: Well, take advantage of what? Working a schedule?
Nikki Kinzer: I know, I know.
Pete Wright: So there are conditions about the work. It’s just a frustrating traditional leadership model and a failure of creative thinking.
Nikki Kinzer: It really is, and that’s really what it comes down to is this traditional work model that isn’t really necessary. If you’re not working with the public, if you’re not working with customers who are coming in and seeing you and you’re just doing admin work or work in a … on a computer, it just is really frustrating.
Pete Wright: Right.
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. When I was looking at my notes about this, because this is-
Pete Wright: I snuck some things in.
Nikki Kinzer: You did sneak some things in, and I’m really glad that you did, because this is a really complicated situation, and one of your questions here was, “Who decides if your ADHD is a disability?” Do you want to talk a little bit about that?
Pete Wright: I do, because this is what makes it incredibly difficult, because so many … And this is the number one question we get is when and how and if I should tell my employer about my ADHD and how I live with ADHD and would it be useful to have that discussion. Well, great, and that’s followed by a grand “So what?” in the eyes of the ADA, because who decides if your ADHD is an actual disability, even if you have a diagnosis, even if you’ve gone through the rigmarole of being tested and having an evaluation that comes out and says, “Check. This person lives with ADHD”?
Pete Wright: If your physician or psychologist does not add, “This … These are the symptoms that specifically are severe enough that will …” or, “that are considered disabling at work,” … That is the language. It has to be disabling at work … then it is not something that is considered protected under ADA. You have to have your diagnosis and you have to have an addendum that says, “This is severe enough to be debilitating at work, and it should be protected under ADA.”
Pete Wright: And then if you are not willing to tell your employer, if you’re not willing to share all of this information with them in an official capacity, you have zero protections under ADA. You can’t just go in and say, “I have ADHD. I have a diagnosis, and I need to work a swing shift.” You have to go through all of these protections, and even then you may not be protected. Your employer may not qualify under protections of ADA at all if they are … because there are state and-
Nikki Kinzer: Federal.
Pete Wright: … national limits. The federal limit is your … if your employer is more than 15 employees, then they are protected under ADA. Some states will go as low as a four. I think Pennsylvania. Don’t quote me on that, but there are different state regulations that go as low as four that says, if you’re a team of any group of people more than three, you should be protected under ADA, but that would be a state thing that is dependent on where you live. The federal limit right now is 15.
Nikki Kinzer: Wow. That’s interesting too.
Pete Wright: Yeah. So I feel like just knowing that, what ADA is and isn’t and what it does propose to protect and what it doesn’t and what you have to do if you want to use ADA as a defense, I think that sets the stage for the rest of this.
Nikki Kinzer: Well, and that is also why I mentioned earlier it’s so different between the academic world and the work world, because the academic world, I think, is a little bit more, at least from my experience with working with college students that I have … Not all professors necessarily are … aren’t always helpful, but a lot of them are, and a lot of the student services are wonderful and they really do help these students and make a big difference. It’s just a very different world when you get into the work world.
Pete Wright: Well, and the difference in the academic world is you have an advocate in student services, right?
Nikki Kinzer: You do, yes.
Pete Wright: If you go through the channels to get your diagnosis and be officially protected by the school, you have an advocate in student service … disability services that you don’t have to talk to your teacher. They do all the work. That’s technically the way it’s supposed to work is you have an advocate at the school that manages all of that relationship for you so that you can just get your work done. Again, I know I’m speaking sort of grandly, idealistically-
Nikki Kinzer: I know. Right. It’s-
Pete Wright: … generally, broadly. I know your mileage may vary, but that is the … that’s the letter, if not … Or I should say that’s the letter and the intent of the law, and that’s not the way it necessarily plays out, but …
Nikki Kinzer: And where they’re the same is if a student with ADHD has these accommodations, but they still fail a class, they still fail the class, so they don’t pass. You can get-
Pete Wright: You can still get fired.
Nikki Kinzer: You can still get fired and get kicked out of the university because of academic probation and you didn’t make that 2.0, so it is … And that’s where we go into the … with the company is that technically they’re not supposed to discriminate against you because you have ADHD. However, just because you have ADHD doesn’t mean your job is safe, and that’s what you’re saying here is that you can still be fired from a job and not be covered by the ADA. So we don’t want to make this ADA be a security blanket and thinking that you’re untouchable, because unfortunately you aren’t.
Nikki Kinzer: Well, and the thing is too is that we have to think about what’s happening with the employee. I mean, if a company is firing you because you’ve been late to work too many times and have made too many mistakes, it’s tricky because the ADHD could have been and probably is the reason this is happening and getting in your way, because, for whatever reason, it’s not managed or it’s out of … you aren’t able to get out of the door on time. You don’t have those systems in place. You don’t know what the clear expectations are of the job. I mean, there could be so many different reasons of why this is happening, but what they see is that you’re not qualified for the job, and it’s not directly because you have ADHD, but the ADHD got in the way. So then, okay, what do I do with that? So it’s just so tricky.
Nikki Kinzer: And we’re not lawyers. So definitely want to say, if you have questions about your exit from a job, whether you got let go and did … you think you got let go unfairly, don’t write Pete and I. We aren’t going to know-
Pete Wright: We don’t know.
Nikki Kinzer: … if that was the case or not. But definitely do talk to a lawyer.
Pete Wright: That leads us to, I guess, the first biggest question.
Nikki Kinzer: Do you tell or not tell?
Pete Wright: Do you tell or don’t you?
Nikki Kinzer: And I had this-
Pete Wright: And do you tell or don’t you in an interview? Do you tell or don’t you once you get the job? How do you handle disclosing your ADHD?
Nikki Kinzer: It is such a personal decision, and every single person with ADHD is going to have a different story. Some people are going to say they told and it was the worst thing that they could have done. Some people are going to say they said something and it was the best thing that they could have done. And so that’s the tricky part too is that there isn’t an answer for that. You and I, again, can’t say you should or shouldn’t. I think it really depends on your job and how long you’ve been there, what your relationship is with your coworkers, with your boss.
Nikki Kinzer: Would I say something in an interview? No. My personal opinion is I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t share that I have anxiety in an interview. I’m not going to say, “Oh, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety a few years ago and I take medication for that.” I wouldn’t say that. So I think you have to protect yourself. And the ADHD is a part of you, and I guess I want to go back to it isn’t you. So do you have challenges? Everybody has challenges. You don’t need to highlight what those are in an interview. Talk about your strengths. Talk about what you’re good at, and so that’s … I would probably say in an interview … I don’t know what’s necessary.
Pete Wright: Well, and that’s what an interview is for is manage to your strengths and … I mean-
Nikki Kinzer: Right. Or is this a good fit for you? And again-
Pete Wright: Yeah. You’re going to-
Nikki Kinzer: … it goes back to what we talked about last week. You need to interview them just as much as you’re … they’re interviewing you.
Pete Wright: 100 percent. I’m really glad you said that. That’s what I was going to say too. It’s this idea that if you know that your ADHD is going to impact you negatively, you’re going to know in that interview, because you’re talking to them about what the job is, what the expectations are, and you may have to make the hard and honest decision yourself to say, “This is not going to be a good fit because of my … the symptoms of my ADHD. I own that.”
Pete Wright: It’s okay. It’s okay to say, “This is going to be a terrible fit. I’m not going to be able to communicate with you as my manager. I’m not going to … ” You don’t say that out loud. Please don’t say that out loud. But you say in your head voice, “I can’t communicate with this person who’s talking to me. I know that I’m going to be living in disaster straits if I try to take this on. It will be too much, because it just doesn’t agree with the symptoms of my ADHD.” It’s okay to be honest with yourself. Yeah. Do that.
Nikki Kinzer: And you can ask for accommodations without saying why you need them, and I think that we talked about this a while back when we were having the same discussion. You can tell an employer that, “Gosh. I work better if I’m not in a room full of cubicles. If I have to be in a room full of cubicles, is there any way that I could be in the far corner? Or is there another room that I can maybe use every once in a while if I need to focus on something?” And you don’t have to say, “It’s because I have ADHD.” You can ask for these things, and I’m going to talk a little bit more about that in just a minute, but I just want to kind of plant the seed that you can ask for stuff and not necessarily say that.
Pete Wright: Well, yeah. And that should be part of your interview process in the first place. “Where am I going to sit? What does the work environment look like? Can I see it? If there’s a chance I get this job, can I see the kind of place I’ll be sitting?”-
Nikki Kinzer: That’s a great idea, Pete.
Pete Wright: … because that might actually impact you making your own decision about whether you say yes to this job if you were to get it. You want to put yourself in a position to have all that information.
Nikki Kinzer: If you are going to talk to somebody about your ADHD in HR or your supervisor, we want to do it in a positive way, but what are some of the things that you can ask for? And this is something that was definitely harder to find in my research than it is in the academic world, because in the academic world it’s pretty clear cut, like here are the bullet points of the things you can ask for. And there’s always extra you can ask for if you have a good relationship with your professor.
Nikki Kinzer: In the work environment, not so much. It’s really gray trying to figure out what to ask for, but definitely … I think it’s one of those things that you have to kind of know what to ask for, because an employer is not going to know. And so think about what you’re struggling with, think about what kind of accommodation would help me in this situation, what would that solution be so that when you do go have that conversation, you have some ideas to bounce off with them about … and you’re clear. You don’t want to go into that conversation thinking, “I don’t know. What do you think?” because they’re not going to know.
Pete Wright: Yeah. The more specific you can be about your request, the better.
Nikki Kinzer: Much better.
Pete Wright: The more specific, the better the plan, the better your understanding of resources of the office. “I know we have this back room here and it’s not being used for anything in these hours. Would it be possible for me to move some of my job to that room from the hours of 11:00 to 2:00?” Something like that. So you can be very specific and proactive in getting what you want all in the guise of, again, as you said, being positive in a way that … “I’m going to be more productive if I can X, Y, Z. I’m going to do my job better if you’ll okay me doing A, B, C.”
Nikki Kinzer: Right. Absolutely. And that’s exactly some of the things that you can ask for is doing some work in a less busy area. If you work in a noisy environment, ask if you can wear headphones to cancel out the noise. A lot of people do that. Maybe you need a stand-up-sit-down desk. Again, you’re going to have to tell them why and how that’s going to help. It’s a slippery slope. Right, Pete? I mean, is that an undue hardship? I don’t know.
Pete Wright: It’s hard, and, I think, if you … You’ll know pretty quickly if you’re working in an environment that’s … that is, let’s say, progressive in terms of how they handle things like ADHD. You’ll know about your boss. You’ll get a sense of that pretty quickly. I think my guidance here, if anything, is ask for things in terms of accommodations that don’t cost money first. Don’t go in with, “I need a new office. I need a new thousand-dollar piece of machine equipment.”
Pete Wright: First thing you do is see if you can solve the problem using the resources that they already have that are change of behavior, not change in structure first. And if you can’t get it done but you’re still doing a good job and you’re doing your best and you’re showing that you are showing up here, that you’re part of the team, then you’ll have … You’ve got to build up some of that credibility, and that’s just the reality of employment, right?
Nikki Kinzer: Yes. Absolutely. That’s a very good point.
Pete Wright: You’re not paying your employer like you are a university.
Nikki Kinzer: It’s different.
Pete Wright: There’s more willingness, I think, as a … The university is going protect you for a number of reasons, and one of them unfortunately is you’re paying a bill to them. And so you’re not doing that at work, so you’ve … how else are you paying a bill to your employer? You’re doing your very best.
Nikki Kinzer: Right. Yes. That’s a very good point. A couple things that do not good cause … or actually would cost any money is asking for a weekly meeting with your supervisor. “Can I meet with you once a week so we can go over goals and priorities for the week?” If that’s an issue and you’re not really sure, this is an awesome opportunity to do that. Know your deadlines. Know your expectations. If you’re not sure, ask during that meeting what they are.
Nikki Kinzer: Another thing that you might be able to do is record meetings. That can be really helpful. Especially if you’re having issues with note-taking and you want to be able to go back and hear what you may have missed or you did kind of doze off, you can come back and listen to it and … So recording of meetings can be a big deal and can work out very well.
Pete Wright: Always ask permission, please. Always ask permission first.
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, yeah. Don’t do that.
Pete Wright: Don’t just start doing it.
Nikki Kinzer: That could be bad. That’s right.
Pete Wright: Even if you feel super confident that you know the laws and regulations of your state in terms of recording, please just let everybody know you’re recording this for productivity purposes-
Nikki Kinzer: And that’s it.
Pete Wright: … and personal record, and if they say … if anybody gives you … You ruin people’s day by saying you’re going to record something if they’re … if they don’t want to be recorded, and you don’t want to ruin somebody else’s day.
Nikki Kinzer: No. That’s very true.
Pete Wright: But then you ruin your day, because then you carry it around.
Nikki Kinzer: And then carries it around, yeah. It’s awful. Okay. So this is what I want to end with. You can make up your own accommodations that have nothing to do with your employer. These are the alarms and notifications that you might want to have in your calendar, having a large wall calendar or whiteboard so that you can visually see what appointments are coming up, what do I need to do. Have a big, huge to-do list. I had a boss who did, had this huge whiteboard and had it broken up in different ways, and he had his to-do list and crossed it off when it was done or checked it off when it was almost done. I mean, there’s just a lot of different ways you can do that.
Nikki Kinzer: Use your planners. These are tools, and so get your to-do list management system in place, your planners, your checklists, whatever helps with you. If there’s a workflow chart that you want to create to kind of help you stay on track on, “This is step one, step two, step three,” create those. I know it takes time up front, but it can definitely help you in the long run. Ask people to respond to you the way you need them to. If you’re not an email person because the email is going to get lost, then maybe it’s a text message, whatever that might be. Take your breaks. Get outside. Get a little exercise. Get that heart pumping so that you can come back in and focus. These are the things that you can do that can help. Morning routines can help to get you out of the door on time and into work.
Nikki Kinzer: So I would just say, look at the systems that you have, what’s worked before, and get back into those routines and habits, and figure out where the struggle is and then how do you get a solution for that struggle. Find it.
Pete Wright: Can I just say anecdotally, ask people how you want to correspond with them or how you want to be corresponded with is huge. You probably remember. A couple years ago, I made-
Nikki Kinzer: Voicemail.
Pete Wright: … a big deal out of my voicemail, that I was so bad at voicemail. It would go months and I would not return calls, and I realized, “Oh, my God. The problem is not that I don’t respond to voicemail. It’s that I don’t tell anybody that I don’t respond to voicemail.” I’m just bad at it. It’s okay. So now my voicemail says, “I love you. Don’t leave a message.”
Nikki Kinzer: I love that.
Pete Wright: Just text me.
Nikki Kinzer: I think it’s great.
Pete Wright: I think, in terms of how I run my own sort of individual business here, that has been probably the single best thing that I have ever done in terms of being able to stay in touch with the people who are most important to me, because it reminds them, “Oh, all I have to do is text Pete, and I know I’ll get a response in either minutes or hours or … I know it’ll be in front of him at some point,” and that’s …
Pete Wright: I think that has gone a long way to build trust, and that’s what … that is what all of this is about, using the tools that you have at your disposal to build trust with your boss, your employer, your company that you are doing your best, you’re trying everything that you can to get the job done, to do, again, what ADA asks for, to satisfy the skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements of the position sought or held. Are you doing your best to do that? When it gets in the way, then you get to push the domino, the first domino of, “I’m going to embark on the ADA protections,” and so that’s the flow diagram there.
Nikki Kinzer: There we are. That’s our show on accommodations in the workplace.
Pete Wright: Yeah. That is it. So that’s what you get. And we have a couple more episodes coming up on more workplace stuff that are very exciting, and so keep coming back. Keep hanging out with us. We love you here.
Pete Wright: On behalf of Nikki Kinzer, I’m Pete Wright, and we’ll catch you next week right here on Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast.