In these times where this government (or Satan’s minions – take your pick) state that people need to “come off long-term sick” and “go back to work”, I have found for myself that actually employers do not want people with long-term health issues on their employment list. In fact, I have just been “let go” because I am not well enough to do everything they require of my for the minuscule pittance they pay me.
This is despite the fact that I have gone to great lengths to try and continue to work the best I can, and (in a great irony) made myself more ill by going to work when I was really too ill to work, to help them with important reports so they would get done. If I hadn’t done that I would not have complicated my already fragile health. I had pneumonia (as well as other health issues). I went to work anyway because it was important to them to have these reports done, because there was no one else to do them. For 2 weeks I pushed myself until I literally couldn’t move. I struggled until I literally couldn’t get off the floor or out of bed on my own. I did it through a pointless sense of loyalty to an organisation who clearly didn’t care. Yesterday I received an email basically stating I was too ill to work for them, in their opinion. They didn’t want someone who was ill and struggling.
Oh, and did I mention they paid me pittance for this too? It’s the worse-paid job I’ve had in years. I took it because it was for – what I thought – was a worthy hospital. Is it irony when the NHS tells you you’re too sick to work for them?
I was working from home and in the last couple of weeks had the equivalent of 4 people’s jobs dumped on me – with no pay rise (and yes, it’s the worst-paid job I’ve had in several years and I wish I hadn’t taken it, because my outgoings went up considerably shortly after I started it). I struggled to go to work until I literally couldn’t move – emotionally blackmailed into it, because there was no one else who could do what I did. Everyone in my team had already abandoned this ship. It was just me left – and also my ex-boss who still had half a finger in his old role because he also left before they found someone else to do it instead.
To be honest – apart from the money thing – I’m rather relieved. The area I worked in was unravelling quickly and there was no proper organisation or management in place. My two bosses left with no substitute in place, leave me – a consultant (a temp) – alone to deal with everything (as well as the jobs of 2 other people too, on top of everything I was already doing). There was no longer any structure, training, organisation, or semblance of sense anywhere. I’m glad I will not require to carry any burden of responsibility for this – and I am certainly in no condition to do it now.
Between the pneumonia, my rather delicate condition before it came, and pushing myself to run a 3 hour round-trip commute after walking the dog for 2 hours and working for 6 hours each day for two weeks, I have now crashed and burned. Chronic pain that was almost durable before has now become unbearable. Stupidly strong painkillers finally dull the pain enough for me to walk about without crying. Before I got them, I couldn’t move without unbearable pain just taking my breath away, like I had been punched in the stomach. I can’t understand why I have this – after all these years, perhaps I will now find out (I’ve finally found a GP who’s willing to help me work it out), but what I do know is that it hasn’t made life worth living much. I am just lucky I have people, and a dog, in my life who are willing to help me.
Apparently, what I can’t do it work. My own (ex)boss told me that in no uncertain terms. When the idiots in government decide to penalise ill people for deciding “not” to work, they should probably check whether employers are willing to employ people who aren’t perfect. Who aren’t super-healthy. Who have medical conditions or disabilities that make life difficult. Business models in this country to not allow for people with health or disability issues to work in the capacity they are able to, and certainly not for liveable salaries. It’s not acceptable to work from home, Skype into meetings, or have the company/organisation help with things to make things easier – like cabs to work, which I cannot afford, but if offered I would then be able to get to work with no problems (I can’t travel by bus or train right now, thanks to the fact I can’t really walk far or for long, I cannot manage stairs, and I am unable to drive now).
If I didn’t have to do things like pay for stuff it wouldn’t be so bad. But unfortunately, shops tend to like you giving them money for their things. It makes life difficult when you don’t have any to give them. It usually means you can’t have things like food, which is unfortunate when they’re rather necessary.
Making ends meet was difficult enough as it was. Now, I really do not know how I will manage. This is not exactly a society that cares to look after its vulnerable people. I’m not exactly elated I seem to be one of them.
I can only hope somehow this is some way of changing things up in my life – foxing my hand and heart towards something that ends up being better for me that the path I was on. Perhaps that is wishful thinking – a false light in the dark. But since the alternative is giving into depression, I’d rather hang onto that. It’s a nicer thought that comes with hope. And without hope, there’s nothing.