The day I called in sick almost two years ago my horrible boss set in motion what has become a nightmare with no end in sight. She came to the hospital to see me even though I made it clear that I did not need her there. During the uncomfortably long visit – it should be noted that she brought one of my co-workers with her – I was lying in the hospital bed in nothing but a gown and feeling incredible pain. My pain was being managed by Oxycodone so I had to fight very hard to concentrate to not let down my defences or my inhibitions, and not reveal any personal information while the pain boiled in my abdomen. With my co-worker present my horrible boss asked me embarrassingly personal questions trying to uncover information to which she had no legal right. She continued to invade my personal life after the visit with daily phone calls asking questions about my symptoms and diagnosis.
Weeks later when it was clear that I was too sick to return to work and needed to take a sick leave, she delayed starting the process for my short-term disability benefits. Under the fog of pain medications and in indescribable pain, I had to start the process myself. First I had to investigate what benefits I qualified for and then submit the paperwork. While I waited for approval of these benefits, my horrible boss decided not to pay me my salary. Imagine my shock when I checked my bank balance and found no new funds. That was the last straw for me. Naively, I filed a formal complaint against her for this behaviour that any reasonable person would agree was reprehensible.
Unfortunately for me, the people to whom I filed my complaint didn’t see it that way. Whether it was down to self-preservation or blind loyalty, the investigation was turned on its head and they started to dig into my life. How sick was I really? Could my doctor provide information to substantiate the need for my sick leave? Could my doctor pinpoint the date when I would return to work? What accommodations or modifications of my duties would they have to make for me when I returned to work? It was only when these questions were answered they started to investigate my complaint against my horrible boss – that was three months after I filed it. And what they characterised as an investigation predictably ended with my horrible boss receiving a slap on the wrist.
I’m venting about this today because I had to engage with this situation again. I had to contact my lawyer. My horrible boss terminated my employment a few months ago without notifying me and she and the powers that be are refusing to reverse the decision. I’ve been trying to figure out which legal route to take to bring this situation to closure. I need to do the thing that will have the least harmful effect on my health but will have consequences that are enforceable for my horrible boss.
Sadly, every time I have to think about this or actively do something it makes me feel a higher level of pain and my entire body feels overwhelmed. I can’t figure out how to process this situation in a way that makes it ok. How is it right for anyone to treat another human being this way? How can it be right for an employer to act so violently against a sick employee? How can it be right for an employer to take away the very things an employee needs to take care of their health and recover so they can return to work? How can it be right that someone living with debilitating pain should have added layers of trauma piled on them by their employer when they are most vulnerable?
I want this stress eliminated from my life.
Maroon 5 – Misery