Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I was home sick yesterday with a killer migraine, and although I'm back at work today, I still feel a little spacey. If I could I would have stayed home today too, but I have so little vacation or sick leave I feel like I need to hoard it against a time when I really need to be off. I remember a time when I had months of leave accumulated and never thought anything of it, but that was before I took 3 months off for Family Medical Leave. Do you know about this? Clinton passed it (FMLA)into law, that employers are required to allow up to 3 months of leave in a twelve month period for sickness, or to care for a family member who is sick, without losing their jobs. The leave can be paid, if you have the accumulated time, or unpaid if you don't, but at least you'll still have a job when you return. When I took FMLA back in 2000, I returned to find my job had been "outsourced" and that it would no longer be filled; but since the law forces them to re-employ me, they found me a miserable job at the same pay scale, but one I wasn't qualified for. Six months later my new boss filed a "letter of warning" in my personnel file, step one in the process to fire me. I went to human resources and told them they would either find me a job, at the same pay scale, that I was qualified to do, or I would go the Dept. of Justice and file a complaint under the FMLA law. I had, after all, 25 years with this university, and never a single complaint before. They found me this one, and I couldn't be happier. It's easy, I have a swell office, work with a great bunch of people, and feel like I'm doing a real necessary job. So cool. I still see my ex-boss in the hallways, and from what I hear he hasn't been able to hang onto any personnel since me, they all quit after a few months, even when they have nowhere lined up to go to. SMILE! Word does get around about idiots, I'm glad to say. And the "outsourcing" job is costing them a bloody fortune now, something like $2000 per specimen! Instead of earning them an equivalent sum done in-house. Idiots, too.

I was thinking about all this recently because N. (husband), who is retired, has been working part-time for a certain United Way agency for the last three years. He has been getting increasingly disillusioned with them, to the point where he hated to go to work. Monday he gave them two weeks notice that he is resigning. He's been doing consulting work ever since he retired, off and on, and now has a firm commitment for 20+ hours a week, at ten times the salary he was making for the United Way agency. His outlook on going to work now that he knows it's only for a few more days, is radically better. It's funny, how a bad job can ruin your whole outlook on life, making even minor aggravations into insurmountable obstacles. Life is too short for that, better to just move on.

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