DEAR HARRIETTE: I am half-deaf, and because of it, I have a learning disability. I just started a new job, and the hiring manager is aware of my disability. Now that he is training me, it is clear that he is becoming frustrated as it takes me longer to learn and process new information than the average person. He doesn’t bring up my disability or ask if he is going too fast, but when I ask him to slow down, he tells me that this is the job pace -- I need to be able to keep up or I will not succeed in this job and should consider something else. I am confident that I can do that work; I just need more time to learn and process everything at first. How do I professionally correct him about my disability and defend myself? -- Hear Me Out
DEAR HEAR ME OUT: Have a direct conversation with him. Tell him about your learning process in relation to your disability. Explain that it takes you a little longer to grasp directions, but once you understand, you can perform at full speed. Ask him to have patience with you during these early days. When you do believe that you understand the processes that you are learning, be sure to let him know. Check and see if there is another employee who can be a buddy for you, so that if you need support later, you can turn to that person rather than your hiring manager to get help.