Saturday, January 5, 2013

blog therapy

Well, I had some photo's to load but the button is not there for me to do it. The Alpine girls are still visiting.

Anyway, I always try to keep this blog upbeat but life just won't cooperate.  I have been employed by the same company since Sept 25, 1984, almost 30 years. I have excellent benefits while I am employed there but have none when I terminate or am terminated - no health insurance, no drug card. I would describe myself as an excellent employee as far as the quality of my work but I lack the social skills that would keep me from remaining on the "island." In other words, I'd be the first one voted off. Because I recognize who I am, I accept it as it is.

Now, after 30 years, they want to push me out. I really want to oblige the Director and Operations Manager, I have a little retirement money that I could cash in and hope for the best, but I'm on RX prescriptions and 56 years old. What am I going to do?

Unfortunately, Mike has never been the bread winner, I have. He's always worked but keeping the bills paid has always fallen on my shoulders. He inherited this beautiful land we live on and he's a wonderful caretaker to our animals, we're blessed and I'm not complaining.

On Thursday Jan 3, my boss/the Director was asking me about a one-day substance-abuse class that I arranged for and he signed off on but now because Operations Manager wanted to squash it, Director wanted to squash it, and I said, "I know the Operations Manager is gunning for me from a lot of different angles." And he said, "yeah, but besides that."  I told him I had to leave and I'd be back Monday, the stress is overwhelming. He mumbled something about how he hadn't intended to upset me.

I and the Operations Manager report to the Director but the Operations Manager has started acting as my supervisor, and the Director is riding this whole wave. A few weeks ago on a Friday, the Operations Manager called me into his office, he was real mad, kept saying he was mad, but would never give any details, said I had been going behind his back, but I have no idea what he was talking about. Towards the end, I motioned for the Director to come in, he came in, and I left shortly after that. Later, I kept waiting for the Director to speak to me about it and he never did.

At the office, when the Operations Manager has an audience, he is very ugly towards me.

Let me add, I work in a service industry paid for by taxpayer dollars, this is not private but we work for the taxpayers.

Anyway, this is where I'm at. They're being obvious about getting me out, I MUST have some decent health insurance and I can't afford it on my own with no job. I'm quite depressed and I'm void of any self esteem.  Where do I begin to get some help?  I need somebody on my side to help guide me in the right direction.


melanie said...

Does HR have someone who can go into these meetings with you? Sounds pretty stacked against you. If so, ask for a sit-down to lay out the issues BUT include a plan to help you meet their goals. It forces them to think about what changes they want (you can decide later if you want/can meet them) and does not allow them to just leave you hanging or think they can just put you out. It puts the weight on their shoulders to lay out a plan you can follow to meet their needs.

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

That's good Melanie, thank you very much. We don't have an HR dept. For years, I begged for us to hire an HR person, and they act like I'm being silly. Also, I should have mentioned that I am in a service industry paid for by taxpayers, this is not private dollars.

Tammy said...

I'm so sorry Joanna. It sounds very awful. I'm not where you are yet, but I can definitely understand what you are going through. I feel I do excellent work too, but because I don't like to just hang out and chat all through work hours (because SOMEONE has to get the work done), I know that I might be one of the first 'voted off the Island' too. It is all very bizarre, this new work ethic, everything seems so backwards. I hope someone can offer you good advice, as was Melanie's. My current struggle is with getting home owners insurance. As of 12/31 my home is un-insured. It is an older home and I burn with wood, and I've jumped a thousand hoops and am now waiting to see if I've been turned down yet again. Again I'm so sorry for what you are going through. Who knows though, by putting this post up perhaps a clearer plan can emerge and you can find some help.
Take care,

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

Well, writing the post was like getting some free therapy. I really appreciate the support from y'all. I'm in a pouting stage right now and hoping I'll find some strength but my self esteem is shot. For 30 years, I've had the mindset of sticking it out, "keeping my nose to the grindstone." At a cocktail party, I'm the one in the corner, but I excel at churning out good work quickly.

We can't any homeowners ins either. Hope you can.

Cat said...

I can't give any advice, but sending virtual hugs your way. (I would say that you might contact the EEOC, or something equivalent, they might be able to help... Other than that, I got nothin'...)


Sandy said...

is this a government job...state, county? there has to be an hr dept if so...who does the paperwork when someone new is hired? payroll? surely there is someone higher up than the two "bosses" that you referred to. if all else fails, tell them that you will retire if they pick up your medical expenses BUT GET IT IN WRITING!!! (also, keep a written account of ALL the incidences...who said what and when. it may be your saving grace if something should happen.)

IsobelleGoLightly said...

(Isobelle's lady here) In 1998 I sustained an injury at a job where I thought I was valued and I worked very, very hard. After the injury the employers decided I was a liability and they wanted me out. They couldn't technically fire me because I hadn't done anything wrong, so they cut my hours, then cut my benefits because my hours were cut...and so on. I did have an attorney and she said this is sometimes the way it goes. If they want you out, they want you out.

I'd get some advice about termination/leaving from someone with legal knowledge. In some states you do not receive unemployment if you voluntarily quit, even if you feel you are quitting because you are forced to. On the other hand, it's very hard to continue working in a place of employment where there is such hostility.

I'd suggest mediation from an outside party to see if you can get to the bottom of why your employers are hostile towards you. Perhaps misunderstandings or personality differences have escalated to the point where no one is acting rationally. It's worth a try.

I'm sorry about the scariness of the whole thing. I lost my benefits in 1998 and have been without since then, mostly because I can't work full time anymore and part timers don't get benefits most places. It's just me caring for myself, my household and my pets, so I do understand.

Try the mediation, and see if you can get it from someone completely outside the company. In my state there are free services available by volunteer people. Hope this helps. You are not alone.

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

Sandy, it's stupid but we do not have an HR dept. For years, I've begged for an HR person. The Finance Officer enters the new employees into the computer. I review personnel policy stuff with 'em.

We do have an 8-person Board. I can begin a GRIEVANCE process to get this on record, and guess I'll have to. I'm mentally tired, exhausted. I gotta get some fight in me.

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

IGL, I like the mediation suggestion, gotta figure out where I'd go for that, and I already know that the expense would come from my pocket.

Now, I'm worried about you. How did they legally cut your hours? You're alone caring for your pets? If a big bag of money ever falls out of the sky, I'll remember you.

Mary Ann said...

Joanna, wrote you privately, but my prayers are with you.

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Oh, thank you for your kindness, Joanna. Companies can state that they only have need for part-time workers and that's what they did. Then they said, "well...since you are part-time you don't qualify for any benefits," so those went. They were perfectly legal about it - in fact it was an attorney's office. Ha!

Mediation from an outside source usually has a minimal fee - ten to fifteen dollars a session was quoted to me when I needed it.

My lady works for a little newspaper now. It's part-time so no benefits...but her nerve damage in her arms won't let her work more than 28 hours a week. She's good at economizing for herself but feeds us well.