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BadCat

How long to de-stress?

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BadCat

If you had an employee who had been at the scene of a really nasty accident on their way to work and when the police released them they went home and said they'd try to work from home later in the day, how long would you expect them to take to feel OK to work?  Would your tolerance be tempered by the fact that they have been working from home and are now expected back in the office full time?

 

Asking for myself.

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kadoodle

Yikes, BadCat; I’m sorry you had to deal with that. IME, there should be OHS guidelines regarding this type of situation. Personally, I’d have sent you home for the day, but expected you to see your dr for a longer absence and receive counselling if it was preventing you from coming to work.

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Soontobegran

 

People react differently to these incidents, I would expect said employee to do what she/he feels they need to do.

Debriefing about what happened is probably a good idea before thinking about getting on with work...would this employee have anyone to do that with or perhaps even an online forum of listeners to offload to?

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BadCat

I dare say she could unload on an online forum.  She does that from time to time.

I was so close to being in the accident. Leave home 2 seconds earlier...

There were two cars. The woman I was helping had the car battery pretty much sitting in her lap. She was screaming. She took off her seatbelt and started to fall out of the car.  All I could do was hold her up, because if she fell she was going to be stuck dangling, because there's no way her legs were coming out of that car without the jaws of life.  The other guy was unconscious and his car was in much the same shape. But I couldn't help him. There were other people to help. But there really wasn't anything we could do.  All I could do was tell this woman that the ambos were on their way and ask her her name and stuff like that to try to calm her down a bit. And hold her up. I figured human contact might help her feel less alone, you know?

It was horrible. Just horrible.  I can't imagine what it takes to handle situations like that for a living. I know I couldn't. But I'm so appreciative that other people can.

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-Belinda-

I would not expect the employee to work at home, if the incident was stressful enough to warrant being sent home rather than continue on to work. if the employee felt that they could then it would be up to them. I guess that I would also expect employee to be back the next day unless they needed to seek further help.

Whether the employee had been working at home recently or not has nothing to do with it.

Maybe employer has an Employee Assistance Program that could be accessed for a debrief? 

Counselling and support for Road Trauma in Vic also available https://rtssv.org.au/counselling-and-support/

Hope you are OK BadCat

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panda eyes

I would expect them to take the day off. 

If I was a complete a*se I'd request they apply for a day of sick leave, but I'd still be understanding that you can't witness a traumatic event and be able to concentrate on work. 

(I am not an a*se, but just projecting my own employer). 

I'm sorry that your bosses are jerks and that you've had such an awful morning. 

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-Belinda-

That sounds very scary for everyone involved and thank you for helping at the scene. I'm trained in first aid and hope I never have to use it in a real emergency, and can only hope that the adrenaline would kick in. Our emergency workers are incredible and I can't imagine doing that job either. 

Edited by -Belinda-
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panda eyes

Now that I've read your update I think you should take the rest of the week off. **** your work 

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Soontobegran

That is a seriously stressful situation and I agree with seeking the equivalent of the above link in your state to chat.

Even professionals who are no stranger to these sights are now given an opportunity to debrief in the workplace and your workplace is at home right now.

Keep talking here if you need too, there are lots of people who will understand you.

 

Your GP will supply a medical certificate for this if required by your employer.

 

Edited by Soontobegran
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BadCat
2 minutes ago, panda eyes said:

I would expect them to take the day off. 

If I was a complete a*se I'd request they apply for a day of sick leave, but I'd still be understanding that you can't witness a traumatic event and be able to concentrate on work. 

(I am not an a*se, but just projecting my own employer). 

I'm sorry that your bosses are jerks and that you've had such an awful morning. 

Work aren't being jerks about it.  I'm just feeling like I might want the whole day off, but also feeling like that might be seen as a bit pathetic.  Wanted to see what others thought.

I might be feeling OK enough to work later.

 

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magic_marker

Hope you're okay.

If the accident were that serious l would expect the employee to have at least a week off. Delayed reactions can happen anytime. My child was almost run over outside the school by a parent accessing the teachers car park, which is a no no. I was fine when it happened and after dropping kids off l had to go to the office within 15 minutes. 

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YodaTheWrinkledOne

I reckon my boss would be fine with a day or maybe two, depending on the employee. If it's a large organisation, I would assume employee would be told to access EAP for counselling/debriefing.

Then again, my boss would probably say if it's really bad, take some personal leave/get dr certificate if you need a couple of days to process what has happened.

It depends on how much detail the employee tells their boss so that the boss can determine what's the best course of action to take (time off versus work from home versus come into work). And I also think it might depend on how it impacts operations as well.

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Jenflea

Honestly, I'd give you the bloody week off work on compassionate grounds. 

My Dh is an EL1 and would give his underlings(sorry, team) at least today and probably tomorrow off as well, no questions asked. 

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needs to get out

I'd probably try to get a telehealth consultation or something like that, talk to a doctor. The impact of the adrenaline through your body will be there for the rest of the day. It is unreasonable for them to expect it not to affect you just because it coincides with a return to the workplace (and best to have it on the record somewhere).

I once had a scary accident, nothing like as horrible as what you have described (spun car in a 360 on a gravel road, lost control, lucky not to hit trees etc) driving from the country into the city for work one morning. Arrived at work, sat down and couldn't concentrate. Took myself home and it took the rest of the day to get back to normal. I had one glass of wine and was completely smashed. 

Give youself time and space. Its scary stuff.

Edited by needs to get out
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rosie28

Oh you poor thing. In hypothetical I’m your boss land I’d insist you have the day off and not do any work, and hope to see you back tomorrow. That said, if you needed some extra time then that’s ok too, but I’d want you to see your GP (not so much for the paperwork) but to make sure all is well. 
 

It wouldn’t make any difference that you have been WFH and are now expected back in the office- that’s not got anything to do with a random accident. If you wanted to work from home later in the week I would at least know that was logistically possible. 
 

Rest up today!

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BadCat

Thanks for the support folks. 

I do have access to an EAP if I need it.  And work will be OK. They're good people for the most part.  I just need to destress for a while.

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born.a.girl
5 minutes ago, BadCat said:

Work aren't being jerks about it.  I'm just feeling like I might want the whole day off, but also feeling like that might be seen as a bit pathetic.  Wanted to see what others thought.

I might be feeling OK enough to work later.

 

Good God, the rest of the day at a minimum.

What an horrific thing to experience.

 

 

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YodaTheWrinkledOne

How much time someone needs away from work will depend on the individual. One person might find it very hard to focus back on work until their have had a chance to talk about it, process it. Another person might find immersion in work to be a great way of letting themselves slowly diffuse the stress. It will have a different impact on different people. It's up to the individual, but a good supervisor will recognise this and allow the employee the means to do what they need to process the trauma (within reason).

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Crombek

Holy sh*t Badcat. If it were me I'd probably want to work while full of adrenaline & to distract myself, and then I'd fall apart later in the week. Be gentle with yourself and take as long as you need. 

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BadCat

Just went and got myself a hug,  I'm not much of a hugger usually, but hey, DC1 is here so I woke them up and requested a hug.  Felt good, like... a warm hug after a long day.

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blackcat20

Take the day off, and find someone to talk to about it. I'm sorry you had to witness something like that.

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Bethlehem Babe
13 minutes ago, Crombek said:

Holy sh*t Badcat. If it were me I'd probably want to work while full of adrenaline & to distract myself, and then I'd fall apart later in the week. Be gentle with yourself and take as long as you need. 

I would be similar. But once it hits I would be useless, at work and at home. 
 

Take all the time. Take all the assistance and support. It may take days for it to hit you completely and it may be difficult to pass the area again. 

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BadCat

Yes, have to say I'm not looking forward to getting in the car again tomorrow and driving down that road.  I drove home pretty slowly.  Lucky I wasn't really far from home, just 5 minutes or so.  Traffic was nuts because of the accident so I went through quiet suburban streets which is probably better than going to the main roads anyway when I'm feeling like that.

I feel like I should be trying to work, and I feel like I should just go to bed.  My head is in two places at once.  Responsible reliable me vs curl up in a ball and pretend the world is a nicer place me.  Neither side is showing clear signs of victory yet.

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Chicken Pie
1 hour ago, panda eyes said:

Now that I've read your update I think you should take the rest of the week off. **** your work 

this

 

it is extremely traumatic to witness never mind help....my sister once witnessed a woman crossing the road (right of way) and a garbage truck rode the woman over and basically no one stopped except her and one other who stopped the garbage truck people from leaving....she died holding my sisters hands after she managed to share her phone info

 

it took her some time - a few days and she was okay to work but they didn't pressure her at work knowing what had happened and she had counselling....

Edited by Chicken Pie
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Chicken Pie
14 minutes ago, BadCat said:

Yes, have to say I'm not looking forward to getting in the car again tomorrow and driving down that road.  I drove home pretty slowly.  Lucky I wasn't really far from home, just 5 minutes or so.  Traffic was nuts because of the accident so I went through quiet suburban streets which is probably better than going to the main roads anyway when I'm feeling like that.

I feel like I should be trying to work, and I feel like I should just go to bed.  My head is in two places at once.  Responsible reliable me vs curl up in a ball and pretend the world is a nicer place me.  Neither side is showing clear signs of victory yet.

i would encourage you to take a few days and just be a vegetable

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