I've been out of work for a full week plus now, and it's clear that I'm going to be out for
another three weeks.
I've already used up my sick time and vacation time.
So what's my company going to do for me?
This is pretty generous....they're going to continue to pay me my REGULAR paycheck,
at the rate of 40 hours per week, while I'm out. This is being accounted for as vacation
time that I haven't even EARNED yet.
I will have the option of replenishing that time by working overtime and giving it back
as vacation time at the regular (non-overtime) rate.
Damn, I think that's a very fair deal!
In many respects, this is the best company I've ever worked for. And I'm going to bust my
ass for them when I return to duty. They sure deserve it!
Sometimes, you just have to take a look at your life and realize that something you hate, like your job,
may actually be the greatest blessing you have.
In my case, many of you know that I've been plagued with a rather nice crop of painful kidney stones
as of late, and I've now gone through the first of three surgical "procedures" to get rid of them and
HOPEFULLY not get any more of them.
Though I've had some stone attacks over a period of several years now, I've had more since
starting my new job, back in March.
Eventually I'll be a salesman, but everyone, including me, begins as a delivery driver and then
moves into warehouse work, in a non-air-conditioned warehouse in Florida. This can be brutal,
at least in the summer. I'm doing that now.
The conditions contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Sweating gallons a day and not
replenishing often enough leads to stones.
The truth is, I really hate being a warehouse laborer. HATE it. Despise it. Detest it. Yes, it's
but one rung on many of the corporate ladder, but I really hate it. It presents no intellectual
challenge, and a good job for me is one that does present a wide variety of interesting mental
But I had to consider what else this job offers me:
Excellent benefits, particularly medical. Though my total medical bill for all things related to
my kidney stone treatments will exceed thirty thousand dollars, insurance picks up 90 percent of it.
The hourly pay is only so-so. I could not live on it alone. Not possible. But the benefits are worth
so much to me now, and will be valuable to me for quite a while.
We have a profit sharing program which is reported to hand out some very sweet bonuses.
I'm running out of sick time and am now eating into my vacation time to cover my sick days,
and the company won't clear me to return to work unless the doctor clears me for FULL duty,
and this company doesn't have a light duty position. Not for me, anyway. And the doctor will
not clear me for full duty until the stents that have been implanted from my kidneys to my bladder
have been removed. That'll be about a MONTH from now!
So I'm out of work for a month, or so it appears.
Yet...this company I work for LIKES me. I bust my ass to do my job right (which, did I mention I
hate?) and not only that, I do my damnedest to make sure that I'm always working at something
that needs doing. If I have slack time, I feel like a target. And it's noticed by the boss and
I get complimented on my work ethic all the time.
This is a company that has hundreds of sales offices all over the nation. We sell electrical supplies
to building contractors. All wiring, conduit, outlets, fixtures, etc. When Hurricane Katrina (and
now Rita) did damage to some of our offices in those areas, the company went to considerable
effort and expense to set up a donation fund, so other employees could donate to their fellow
employees in trouble, and the company matched every donation, dollar for dollar. And they kept
those employees on the active payroll. They're drawing their typical checks even if their shop
is closed or destroyed. This is a company that takes care of its people.
Somehow, I believe that I will continue to draw a regular 80 hour (two week) paycheck even if
I end up medically prohibited from working long after my available sick leave, vacation time,
and other forms of off time have run out.
I'm going to be quite able to enjoy myself on a day to day basis, feeling good and healthy, except
for a few days following each procedure. I'll feel fit and healthy and able to do almost anything
I want to, but until the doctor clears me for warehouse duty, I'm pretty much on vacation,
and believe I will still be paid for it and will still have a job when this is over.
I just had to stop and count my blessings. The job I hate is my savior in this case, as there's
no way I could possibly afford to have my medical needs taken care of without the insurance.
You can learn to love the job you hate when you think of it in those terms. And you bet, I'll be
busting my ass to do my job right and repay my bosses and the company for their consideration
and willingess to work with me, when this is over and I'm back at work.
I consider myself blessed to have a job that helps me, even if I find it hard to love it.