Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My life as designed by Joseph Heller

Three weeks ago I was sick, overslept, and arrived late to work. By the time I had arrived they had called my mommy and asked if I was in the hospital again. (we're estranged, btw) They told me I needed to inform them if I'm going to be sick again. Then yesterday I was sick again, e-mailed them with the news, and then came to work later in the morning. I was then pulled aside and told that, despite my outstanding work, they couldn't tolerate my excessive tardiness anymore. The new deal is a) I get healthy enough to work a consistent schedule, or b) I arrange downtime in advance (i.e. I have to call in before my shift and inform them that I need x hours more rest before I can get to the office). It's important that I do my job from my cubicle because it can be done from anywhere in the world with a computer and Internet connection, so naturally my employers have canceled telecommuting because the poor economy provided them with the excuse they needed to stop improving efficiency. I was further told that if I they weren't relying on me so heavily they would have more flexibility, but my work is very important and of high quality which is why I may need to be replaced.

I used to be in management before I decided to pursue a career path that ostensibly rewarded having actual job skills and I knew from previous seminars that Georgia is an "employment at will" state, meaning you can be fired for any reason or none at all, so my only legal protection lies in federal law. I contacted a lawyer and he advised me that he can't give advice over the Internet and then added me to his mass e-mail list so I now get spammed by him. I checked the Social Security website to see what criteria has to be met to be labeled disabled, and in plain terms you have to a) be unable to do your job and b) be unable to do similar work under reasonably adjusted conditions (e.g. telecommuting instead of working a rigid office schedule). If you meet those conditions you can be disabled which will then require your employer to work with your medical issues and keep you employed. If not, you can be fired for your poor health and can become a burden on society (but not a disabled one - just a healthy bum).

Also my recent downturn has left me unable to exercise (my life now consists of being in the office, or at home resting so I can return to the office), which in turn leads to a rise in my blood sugars which leads to me being sicker. However, experience has taught me that exhausting the little energy I have during these periods leads to serious downtime and missed work and less exercise as a result. Basically I have to get healthy so I can exercise and get healthy. I also haven't been eating much lately. I think I've gained (more) weight.

And in other fun news, the first hospital that kicked off this whole adventure continues to ignore the bankruptcy ruling and to pester me with old bills, new bills, and collections agencies. My bankruptcy lawyer is taking action against them. Her e-mail to me read, in part, "This should be fun." With luck, that means we'll sue them and win easily and I'll have enough money to live without working for my remaining time. With my luck, that means I'll get to pay her much money to go to court to convince the court that they need to tell the hospital to do what the court said in the first place.

There's some subtle irony in here somewhere, but I just don't see it.

Update - they agreed to let me work from home. If you own stock in anything, sell it and spend the money on hookers and beer because the world is ending. Seriously though, that's good for both of us. They'll get their data when needed (before, actually) and I can focus on work and my health instead of expending energy to sit in a cubicle for eight hours a day. As for the above - forget all that. Now I'm good.

15 comments:

dr.alistair said...

i have a problem.

to be around hookers i need to drink alcohol.

if i drink alcohol i can`t use the hookers

what do i do?

Jay said...

Well, I'm glad that worked out. Working from home is the greatest invention since they came up with the idea of work.

Ricardo said...

I'm glad they let you work from home. If they did fire you, you have the grounds to collect unemployment as you did not do anything of gross negligence or break the law. In that time, you can go for disability. But if they let you work at home go with that, I'll get the beer if you get the hookers.

lancelonie said...

I agree with Jay. Working at home is awesome. No traffic and tardiness worries.

Kira said...

...and then you go into work today and they say, APRIL FOOLS! ;)

April said...

I'm glad you're disciplined enough to work from home. I can't do it. I can barely sit in my office and work the way I'm supposed to without playing on the internet let alone try to do that at home. It's impossible for me. I even happier that they're allowing you to work from home. They're still assholes in my book!

Charlene said...

I like working from home. I've done it and being a task driven person it works out. I'll stay up all night to get a project done, if need be.

Not working from home but in an office with set hours required you to be at work to get paid. When hired this might be one of the things listed as requirements of work. Therefore it is not being mean by asking an employee to call in sick.

Calling your mom with whom you have no relationship is wrong. If you had given them a current contact number, that was not nice at all. If you did not give them a good contact number at the point you no longer wanted your mom called, then that's to be expected.

I am assuming they had tried to reach you also and were unsuccessful.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Good. Good. Excellent! I'm so glad they agreed to allow you to work from home. I don't understand why not, in tight economic times, everyone who can works from home. It makes sense. It's better than downsizing.

And thanks for the email today. You truly did help. :)

tiff said...

seriously the best footnote I've read in a long while.

Live long and win that court case! Then you can not-work from home, which would be awesome.

Tracy Lynn said...

Rock on. I can't think of anything that has made me happier than your update, with the exception of my mayonnaise.

SJ said...

I am glad they let you work from home. I expect a future post where you call your ISP nasty names!

Avitable said...

Nice. Maybe they'll see that you're even more efficient when you can work on your schedule.

Maundering mutterer said...

Geez. What a bunch of funny fuckers. At least they relented about the work from home thing in the end! Loved your notion of having my brother put down - will join the mercy-killing lobby immediately!

Kerry said...

Gosh. Do you sometimes feel like you're a jerkoff attracter!? Like, you're surrounded by idiots!? I thought it was just me... but I see we share that talent :)

metalmom said...

Way to go. You fooled them all, but not me, brother. I know that you're just a lazy fucker who doesn't want to wear pants to work anymore.

Really, I'm happy for you.