I am not writing this article to bash the company I had worked for over seven years before I became sick. I understand from a business point of view that I was considered a liability. I was not a functioning part of the machine and when a part of a machine is broken it is either fixed or you get rid of it and replace it with a piece that does work. You would also look for a piece that you can buy for the cheapest amount possible that will work well with your machine. To my company, I was a piece of the machinery that no longer worked towards the fulfillment of the whole product and that was to make as much money as you can and pay as little out as possible in the process.
When a person works for an employer they are working for the job that will yield the most benefits for their labor. I had it with my job, I had great pay for that time frame and great medical benefits as well. For some just the simple fact of having medical benefits would make the job a keeper. What was also available to me were benefits that were to help me if something were to go wrong right up to death. I paid for the extra because why not you never know what life is going to throw at you so you better have the right net to catch it. I had my son in 1997; I worked full time right up until I had my son. I left on a Thursday and had him by C-Section that Monday; he just did not want to come out “hahaha.”
He was two weeks early and was getting bigger by the day he weighed eight pounds thirteen ounces and was twenty-one inches long. I did not feel the need to take off before my due date because why? I felt great and to me too many women use their pregnancy as a way to take advantage of what a job has to offer a woman who is preganant. I know of one person who sucked their pre-natal benefits dry just because. I know a woman at my former employer who went on leave a full month early just because she was tired of working and knew she had medical benefits and long term benefits to ensure that she was paid while she was out doing nothing. It is this is type of abuse that is making it hard for people like myself people who have real medical issues to use their benefits when needed. People like myself being treated as if we are trying to take advantage(abuse) of the Long Term Benefits that are offered when needed.
Exactly two years and two months after my son was born I purchasd my first home. I had it built from the ground up. It was a modest three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath townhouse with a completed family room in the basement along with a home office and washer room. I was on cloud nine, I did it, I worked hard to get all of my ducks in order for the last two years. Right after I had my son I started having Savings Bonds for $100 taken out of my check each pay period. The Bonds would only cost me $50 at that time and when matured would be worth $100. I was saving towards braces, a new car when the one I was driving finally fell apart in the middle of the road, just anything that would occur that would require extra money. When I buy a car, I buy a car until it falls apart. People who buy cars every other year are wasting their money I had a great car at that time it was Saturn, that most basic and I loved it until I traded it in on a car I hated(never listen to other people when it comes to major purchases make up your own mind). Anyway I was getting ready for the future I knew I was not going to raise my son in an apartment. After working with a wonderful woman, Mrs. Brenda Dryden at The Neighborhood House I was able to purchase my home with only a total of $1500 out of pocket total for the whole deal. I paid $1300 as a down payment for the home this money came from cashing in the Savings Bonds. After six months, you can get the $50 that you paid and any interest that was made. At closing is when I paid the remaining $202 for the Homeowners Insurance, not many people can say they only paid out $200 at closing when most are paying between $5000.00 and $10,000. I kept my home as modest as possible I did not need to have the biggest home. I am secure in myself to know what is for show and what is for real. I never believed in “Keeping Up With Joneses” I knew what I had in my budget and worked with that. I spent my first Thanksgiving in my home in 1999 and in February 2000, I left my job for good.
After I had my son I noticed I had been falling down, dropping things and had a pain in my right leg so bad I wanted to chew it off because the twelve Tylenols I was taking each day was not working. It was the start of my history of many illnesses that is still growing to this day. I am not going to go into all of it just know that in February of 2000 I had my last day of employment and it was the beginning of the end of my happy home. It was a fight to the end, which really had started a year before when I would not go into work for illness. There were days when my hipbone would feel like it was going to pop out of the socket when I stood up. There were days when I was out trying go to doctors trying to figure out what was wrong then I would get a call from the so called Health Center at my job they ran to “help” people like me.
People who are nice in the beginning then turn on you and speak to you like a dog. When that does not work some how your manager starts to become mean or extra mean in some cases. I had one manager yell at me because I would not sign a document I did not agree with, first they were shocked that I would not sign it in the fist place. Then to openly defy them was a no no, I told them why would I sign something I did not agree with. Their answer was “No it just means we talked about it”, I still did not sign it until I was satisfied. It was my review and there was something I did not agree with and I disputed something anyway you were not supposed to do that. I went through a lot with this company, there were many days and nights I cried because of the pain I was in and the treatment I was receiving. I have always been a Rose Colored Glasses kind of person so I just knew because I worked hard and faithfully for my company there should not be any problems getting my benefits, wrong.
When March of 2000 came around and I was told you need to file for Social Security benefits I was like ok. Then I hear “oh yeah until they are approved we are cutting monetary your benefits,” so no more money until you get approved for Social Security. Until October of 2000 I had no money coming into my home, I still had my medical for me and my son. It was then I had a lawyer call them and tell them what it said in the job benefits manual that I was to receive my money because I was under a doctor’s care and I fell under certain other parameters. The papers for my foreclosure were filed that same day. People understand this your employer, any employer thrive on you not knowing your rights period. They cut my money off to see if I would come running back to work and if I did they could fire me within 30dys of me coming back, why? Because it would be up to me to find a department that would take me an ill person who “might work”. I also lived in a state that has a law called ‘At will work” meaning an employer could fire you for any reason and there would be nothing you could do about it. Again, know your laws and read your employee manual.