Saturday, January 16, 2016
I am on a leave. Kind of. Informal. Maybe formal.
On the last day that I was at the hospital, I was again shooed away by my immediate supervisor. Unfortunately, her supervisor saw me in a hallway.
"Oh, there you are," she puffed. She cannot walk and talk. She is unhealthy. Keep this in mind. "You need to go to employee health."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because I don't think that you are fit for duty," she off-handedly said.
"What are you talking about?" I asked.
"I noticed that sometimes you limp or have trouble bending over," she said, as she leaned against the wall for support. "You are a liability to the company."
I was at a loss for words for a moment. "I have a touch of arthritis," I slowly said. "We both do. We aren't spring chicks," I added, trying for solidarity.
"No, don't even try. I already spoke to the director. We can't put you on the floor and have you claiming that you hurt yourself and suing the hospital. You are supposed to be in Employee Health right now," she continued.
"What do you mean, Put me on the floor? I work in the office. There have been no physical issues with me in the office. I pick stuff up for other people who can't do it," I tried.
"An office is one thing, but the floor is another. We don't think you are physically capable of working the floor anymore," she said.
"That's not true, but it's also not relevant because I don't work the floor, I work in scheduling," I said more firmly. It didn't matter.
"You are a nurse and all nurses have to be able to work the floor, and you can't, so you have to leave," she said and plucked herself off the wall.
"So are you coming with me?" I called after her. She looked at me, uncomprehending. "Your walk is more impaired than mine. You have diabetes and hypertension. You are not safe to work the floor either and so you should leave with me."
"I don't know what you are talking about," she winced, shaking her head.
"You can't single me out as unfit to do a job that isn't even mine to do. You are more unfit than I am by far, so why aren't required to leave the hospital?" I answered.
"Because I don't work the floor," she answered with a roll of her eyes, as if this was so obvious. "I work in an office."
"As do I!" I pleaded.
"Just go," she said, "And when you are cured, you can come back to work." She hesitated. "If we still have an opening for you."
At Employee Health, everything had been set up. I didn't even have to wait. I signed in, sat in the crowded waiting room, and was immediately called in, which annoyed my fellow coworkers. As usual. The doctor and his witnesses told me that I am a liability to the hospital because I could get hurt and sue and that they were doing me a favor by enabling me to go home and rest.
"Rest where? I can't pay the rent if I don't have a paycheck!" I responded. They paid me no mind.
I left the building.
I don't even know where to start.