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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am seeking some advice on how best to proceed with a good problem that I have.I am a 45 year old male, married with children, and have had IBS-D for over 18 years now. Even as a child, I remember always having a sensitive stomach. I want to stress that I have IBS, it does not have me. I have learned what I can and cannot do, but more importantly, WHEN I can and cannot do things. Like everyone else that has IBS, it is extremely stressful to travel away from home and the comforts of having a bathroom nearby, or to do something new because of the fear of the unknown. I decided early on that I would not let this thing ruin my life, so most would surprised to hear that I travel weekly, mostly by commercial airlines (this is a completely different post all by itself). You might catch me at the casino's in Las Vegas this week, and at the beaches in the Bahama's next week. Most would be surprised to hear that despite having IBS, I travel extensively for my job as a Sales Executive. I watch my diet when traveling (no greasy fatty foods, very little caffeine, small portions, etc.), take 8-12 immodiums per day, and occasionally take some Pepto-Bismol to help calm the rest of the things down. However, most importantly, I control when and where I eat, sometimes going 12-24 hours without eating until I reach a safe haven, typically a hotel. Obviously there is entertaining of clients, lunches, dinners, etc., so I always have to try and control how far from the client's office we go to eat, so as to not get caught in an uncomfortable situation. I most often prefer to do dinner's so that everyone drives separately to the restaurant and then leaves separately to go home (I am more comfortable driving alone in the event an emergency comes up that requires me to make a quick pit stop, as it is much less embarrassing than having to tell someone riding with you that you have to stop). I normally tell my clients that I have extreme food allergies to things such as Gluten and dairy, and then just order something small like a salad, claiming that it is nearly impossible to find foods that don't contain gluten or dairy. I find this much less embarrassing than telling them I have IBS.I have been working for the same company now for 10+ years. Over the years, I have confided in a few colleagues that travel quite a bit with me, and they are very accomodating to my needs and help me out. Most of the time I travel alone, which is ideal. I have been pursued over the last 2-3 years by my company's main competitor who is trying to recruit me to join their company. To make a longer story shorter, they have put an offer in front of me that is so good, I would be a fool to not consider it. However, as most of you are painfully aware, the fear of the unknown is damned near paralyzing me. I honestly believe, money aside, that this is the right career move professionally, as the division I currently work for at my company is becoming less and less of a focus for my company. So, here is my question:Do I have a candid conversation with the new company and tell them of my IBS, or do I keep it to myself? I will inevitably be traveling with new folks, and probably quite a bit initially. I don't want to hide it from them, because they will eventually catch wind of something unusual about me, but on the other hand, I am concerned with telling them up front as they might fear it would interfere with my job (I forgot to mention that during the 10+ years with my current employer, I have consistently kicked their butt and won over $8+ Million dollars in contracts during this time). So, this is my good problem. I have a good job and work with people that know about my IBS and am comfortable where I am at, but it will probably come to an end in 3-5 years. I have an excellent offer from a new company that could provide me employment for the next 10-15 years, yet they know nothing about my IBS. Let's assume for the moment that I have decided to accept their employment offer. My question is do I come clean with them and tell them of my IBS up front, or do I keep it to myself?
 

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Hey you were very successful with your current company. Weren't you?And they didn't know of your condition at first. You said you eventually took some of the people who you work with into your confidence about it. But you didn't tell they right away... so I see no reason for you to tell the new company right away. You manage your symptoms in such a way that your performance at work isn't impacted.. so truly... I really don't think they need to know. Now if they only want you to do "lunches" with people as opposed to dinners.. yeah you might need to bring it up... but really??? I think you would be good to go to just leave it be til when or IF you need to tell them anything.Just do what you do best! You are an inspiration! And I hope you take the new positioin and wish you all the very best!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
BQ, Yes, I would definitely say I have been extremely successful, beyond even what I would have expected. I have provided my family with an extremely comfortable lifestyle, and have made it through this terrible recession, making more money the last 2 years than in previous years. I appreciate your feedback and input, as I am honestly torn regarding whether to bring it up with them. My angst is over just staying put and working here as long as I can in comfort, or risk leaving a good thing and going to a company that might not be as understanding and accomodating. They will eventually figure it out and I just don't want them thinking I hid it from them.
 

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Technically .... You are not hiding it from them unless they specifically ask if you have a chronic illness and you do not tell them about it. But.. I doubt they will ask. That's your business IMHO.Now about switching jobs in general....Totally up to you whether or not you do so. But if you are quite comfortable and see no 'layoff immiment' type writing on the wall at your current company.... not sure why you would want to move??
 

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For what it is worth, and I didn't do this in my own case when I was looking for work, I would let them know in some kind of "in passing" way. Assuming you are in the office from time to time, you really don't want to be the new guy that HR is hearing about right from the start. But doff of the hat to you for the way you are dealing with this. I would want you on my team if I was forming one.Mark
 
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