Disability and workplace, when to speak up

Hi everybody,
I used to sit at a front desk reception area for a few years. This place had two doors on each side, offices all around, and I had to answer multiple phones. I’ve always been a secretary in a cubicle so this was a new environment for me.
I started getting headaches, really bad and losing focus in my tasks because of the constant noise and interruptions. In addition to receptionist work I also had to do meeting minutes and some project and event work, I couldn’t concentrate at all. I would go home and feel sick. I finally went to the doctor and after conversing he diagnosed me with adhd which I didn’t realize I even had, and I didn’t know it was considered a disability. They changed my seat due to his recommendation letter and the symptoms were much better. I could complete my work again and my headaches went away almost completely. It was what I was used to.
I have about 3 managers. My main manager knew of my disability letter that led to my seat change and because it’s confidential I don’t know if the other managers know because sitting in the front was part of my job.
Now one of the managers looked st me and said “there’s no one in the front”. Sometimes our student workers are out which leaves the front empty. She said this 3 times before and I feel bad like I should sit out there but I don’t want to get headaches again.
I’m not sure what to do. The main manager doesn’t care that no one is in the front because there are Director offices there and if someone walks in they would get help but I think the Directors feel it’s not their job (I agree) and I should sit there when no one is there to cover regardless of my letter and disability. I overheard “she can’t sit in the front and help?”. If my manager didn’t tell them than I just look like a lazy employee. I feel like it’s not my place to say “hey I can’t sit in the front because I have a disability “ it doesn’t even sound right and I wouldn’t know how to even word something like that!
Any advice is appreciated. Thank you

Perhaps you could ask your main manager to have a word for you? I’d assume the other managers don’t know if they’re wanting you to go out when it would make you sick.

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Speak to HR.


Thank you. I did have a conversation already. I sense they look at me like they don’t understand why I can’t just sit in the front. I am a bit shy and am awkward in speaking especially to these strong personalities so I don’t say anything. They haven’t asked me directly yet but i feel they will soon.

That’s a good point thank you. It was a separate HR department, they told me this information would be confidential to the usual HR department which couldn’t even know this information.

Do what you’ve been allowed to do medically and ignore those who don’t know the whole story. If they cause you stress about it go to the one who does have your doctors note


thank you.

Offices similar to yours where I’ve worked before, whenever the students or front desk temps are away, they put up a sign directing people to the desk further inside for the office administrator if they needed assistance. Of course, we sort of all had the attitude that anyone who saw someone enter the office should greet them if no one else had noticed them.

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That’s a great idea! I have no visual to the front door unfortunately, only the Directors do.I appreciate the idea thank you so much

Have you spoken to occupational health?

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