Posted on June 20, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 25 of 36 in the series Michael

Following Script at Work: Michael Part Twenty Five

In part twenty-five, Michael talks about the problems he had in the workplace with human contact issues. He also struggled with following script at work.

We talked about the first job you had after your TBI and you’ve had a couple of other jobs since then?

Had a few.

Talk to me about the next job you had.

The next job is actually I went back to an old place I used to work for. After I got in trouble up here I moved back down to Louisville, Kentucky with my first wife for a while.  I used to work for Sears when I was in high school and I went back to Sears and I was selling vacuum cleaners and stuff.

So that was a lot of  human contact issues.

Lot of human contact issues.

Were you fine until somebody got angry at you?

Actually I sold shoes the first time I worked at Sears.  And people were getting more, people got more angry at me at that job then when I was selling shoes than

What were the problems you had at Sears?

Sears, well, one problem, the biggest problem I had was management.

Following Script at Work a Struggle for Michael

Such as?

For some reason, I don’t know how it is now, because I haven’t worked since 2007, or 2006, but up until about ’92, everybody had their set way that you had to do things.  And I have a hard time with that because I can’t follow what they want to do.  I have to find out on my own how to do it from what I can do.  And management at Sears didn’t like that because I wasn’t following their scripted program.

How long did you work for them?

I worked there for four months.  Then, I got a job with the government.

This is in Louisville?

Actually this was in Jeffersonville, right across the river.

In Indiana?


One of the most central requisites for keeping a job, is the ability to do what you are told or following script at work, in the way you are told it. In other words, follow instructions or following script at work. This is such an important element that the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has made it an essential element of the “Mental Abilities Needed for Any Job” : See!opendocument

Where the SSA mandates the finding of anyone who can’t do the following, deficient of the requisite work capacity: “Understanding, carrying out and remembering simple instructions.” The SSA also recognizes that in addition, an individual must be able to remember work like procedures.  Further, they must not only be able to understand “short and simple instructions”, they must be able to “carry out” those instructions. In other words, following script at work.

When Michael couldn’t do his job the Sears way, he wasn’t going to be a Sears person for long.

Next in Part Twenty Six – Petit Mal Seizures Created Problems with Census Bureau Job

By Attorney Gordon Johnson


About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447