I'll be getting a new boss at some point this week. This isn't major news in itself, but to someone with a chronic illness who has an absolute belter of a boss, it's a teeny bit heart-breaking. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled for her moving on as she is beyond lovely and deserves to be blissfully happy in her work, BUT, I'm also incredibly anxious as to what will happen when she's gone.
I'm fairly sure my new manager will be great, know their job and a super person, it's just that the thought of starting from scratch in explaining my illness fills me with utter dread.
Crohn's is such a complex disease with so many symptoms that it takes time, patience and effort on another persons behalf to get to grips with everything it entails. My current boss took the time to learn all about it, inside and outside of work, she listened and helped in any way she could, and did everything she could to make my time at work more comfortable. She also just knew over time, when I was sick and trying to hide it from her and focus on my work. I feel I can talk to her about anything and not be judged or thought badly of and she knows I respects her enough never to take advantage of her kindness.
I know it's a lot to expect to have that same level of care from someone new, especially straight away, but I can't bear the thought of not having it at all. It may take years to get even vaguely close to the understanding she has of Crohn's with someone new, if it even happens at all.
Small changes like this to a 'normal' person are difficult enough as it is; as a race we are generally frightened of change, even on a small level like this. But when you have an issue which goes unseen and often unspoken, one which people often struggle to grasp, it can be incredibly frustrating to start afresh. It can often feel you are constantly trying to justify why you are STILL sick.
My previous boss didn't get it. He wanted a nice easy case of employee is ill then well - back to work as normal, when in reality he had me; in and out of hospital with minimal information to provide him with, I wasn't getting any better and had no clue when or if I would.
My current boss understands that if I can't contact her straight away it's because I'm in agony/on the toilet/in hospital/all of the above. She knows I'm not and would never take advantage of my work due to my condition. But then she knows me.
That's why the prospect of a stranger who doesn't is scary.
Its an intimidating thought but I suppose the best I can hope for is someone understanding who is prepared to listen. And isn't afraid of the unknown..*
*my rear end..