Fired within 2 weeks after a panic attack.

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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

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Joined: 9 Feb 2020
Gender: Male
Posts: 2

31 May 2022, 3:08 am

Less than a week ago now, I was fired from what was basically a cashier position at Walmart. First job, part-time, I am over it now already, but I'm left with thoughts.

The job itself wasn't terribly bad, I actually enjoyed being at the register, besides being exhausted at the end of the day and missing dinner.

I had my first panic attack within the first week. They put me on self checkout watch to help any customers who get an error or call for an associate; I cannot do this because I have not been assigned "numbers" yet, so I cannot login myself or resolve anything. More and more customers walk in, I become overwhelmed, hide in the bathroom, and ask to leave. I come back my next asked shift.
The second panic attack happens to be the day I'm assigned my numbers, about a week later. Not long after I'm assigned them, I ask for my first break. An older employee looks as me confused, and says I don't "get" a second break, or lunch, within the 5 hours I work. Only a single 15 minute one. Despite every other employee telling to take my break, lunch, etc. everyday I worked. Each time they would ask my hours, ask if I'd had a certain break yet, and tell me when to take my next one.
I begin to panic, being that a chunk of what I've done the past two weeks is wrong. They kindly escort me to the front office, where a Team Leader(A) sits with me and asks what happens. I explain as best as I can, but its incredibly hard to talk when I'm having a breakdown. She keeps asking if I want to take a lunch break, as she can make that happen. This only makes me... confused? And I respond with "I don't really know" each time. She then tells me I can "take my lunch break now" but I repeat my answer from before, still confused. She repeats her question again and again, until I become frustrated and leave, sitting outside for about ten minutes until I come back in to request to clock off and leave for the rest of the day, as I cannot work in the current condition I'm in. The Team Leader(A) okays it, wishes me a "feel better soon," and I leave.
A few days later, on the night before my next shift, I try logging into the Walmart employee app to double check my schedule. I notice I've been logged out, which is odd. I try to log back in, but cannot. I try again and again, but it requests a verification, which I know i already set up, which panics me more. It's late at night, so I cannot ask anyone and hope it's an error.
The next day I go into work and about 10 minutes before I'm scheduled, I ask Team Leader(B) why I can't log in. He tries to figure it out, and seems confused as well. After he makes a call, he send me to sit in the break room for about 10 minutes. He calls me back, tells me I've been "terminated" because I said something along the lines of "I'm so tired of this" during my last breakdown. I, unsurprisingly, begin crying, give them my vest and nametag, and leave.

I told the employee I trained with that I was autistic, and she told me to complete a form on a website to get accommodations, which was immediately lost on me, and I didn't have the time anyways. I guess I hoped she'd inform other higher ups. I didn't think of it until my last breakdown and asked if the Team Leader(A) if she knew I was autistic, and she denied knowing anything.

I thought I did my job well otherwise, I was quickly memorizing on how to scan in specific items and checking out different forms of payment. Other employees audibly took note of this as well. Of course I made mistakes but I was learning.
So now I sit here, once again jobless after months of applying. I don't mind right now, but it is tiring it all lead to this.


Joined: 31 Mar 2022
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,231
Location: Cardiff, Wales

31 May 2022, 3:22 am

The mix-up over the breaks is annoying. I suppose you kept saying'i don't know' cos you were trying to say whatever you had to say to keep your job and you were panicking.

Are you in your 20's or teens?

I would get very nervous in situations like that when I was young.

You have to learn coping strategies. Like, in the first situation I would make a joke out of it when a customer asked me for help and just say 'its my first day, I can't login' and smile at the absurdity of the situation.
when was younger I would have probably just panicked.

Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Joined: 18 Feb 2017
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 86
Location: Minnesota

31 May 2022, 6:52 pm

I’m so sorry to hear and I wish you a lot of healing from that. That doesn’t define your worth. I’ve had a handful of job situations so similar to this. So similar. Over the years. Some of it traumatized me.

I am sure you will find a job(s) that will be a great or even perfect fit. I eventually did. You’ll find ways in where you can shine.


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Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 24,226
Location: UK

31 May 2022, 7:43 pm

I'm sorry this happened to you. I think it's unfair that they fired you like that, and knowing you have autism.

It's why I steer clear of retail jobs, although I understand that you might not have had the choice really because it might have been the only job that came up in your area.

Customers can be demanding and even intimidating.

In the UK when a new employee is being trained and has a disability, employers aren't allowed to just fire them without giving them more time to settle in. It will be discrimination to just fire them, unless they were doing something illegal.

Aged 32

Diagnosed with ADHD
Have Anxiety Disorder
Diagnosed with mild ASD but I don't identify as autistic


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Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 85,160
Location: Queens, NYC

31 May 2022, 7:48 pm

Another instance of retail sucking. It especially sucks for us autistic folks.

Are you going to college?

You’ve done one better than me. I was once rejected for working at Macy’s.