We have all heard stories of harsh treatment dished out by employers. You might have heard of vindictiveness and raw injustices in the work-place. But after working with several employers, I cannot attest to any unfairness directed at me.
I have been blessed to have had kind, considerate and caring bosses. My wife, however, cannot make the same claim.
It is a given that the economy is in a rotten state (remember Hamlet's Denmark?) and employers are forced to make tough, unpopular and unpleasant decisions to survive - survival of the fittest, Baby! Regardless of the choices an employer has to make, there is room for some sensitivity and thoughtfulness.
Was my wife's ex-boss forced to make one of those tough choices? You decide.
Up until two weeks ago, my wife worked as a Nurse Practitioner for a small practice in a small city. The job was part-time - 9 days per month - but somehow we were able to make two ends meet. It was not easy because a year before she was making 2x the salary. However, we made some adjustments and were making it. My wife enjoyed her job, but was sometimes frustrated with what can be described as a difference in approach to the practice of medicine – ancient v. modern, if you will. It now appears that that difference was causing the growth of resentment or something else. The timer was ticking and the bomb was waiting to explode.
Have you ever stopped to think how good things are and then in a flash the walls came tumbling down? Well, that is what happened.
Our boys had perfect attendance up until Memorial Day. There were four days of school remaining and both boys suddenly became sick. One ran a high fever which broke temporarily with treatment. Our younger son doubled over with abdominal pain. During the day he seemed well and then at night he could not sleep and neither could my wife. I was up for only parts of each night. My wife treated him based on her knowledge.
On Memorial Day both boys were fine and then came night. The fever returned with a vengeance and the abdominal pain would not let up. We treated, prayed and watched. When it was too much, we rushed to the ER. The boys missed school and my wife and I missed work. This was unprecedented. The boys also missed the next from school, but we left them with a friend and went to work.
By Thursday they felt much better and returned school. And then came Friday. Our younger son was up all night in pain again. What should we do? We both had missed a day from work that same week. We debated and thought about leaving him with a friend. But was it fair to leave a sick child with a friend?
My wife was distraught and in tears she called her boss for ideas. Her boss told her to take the boy back to the ER and have them do additional tests. We did. Two days in one week. I have the bill to prove it.
All that unfolded and the following week the word around my wife's office was that our son was not really sick. Allegedly, her boss told others that my wife used that as a ploy to miss work. Can you believe that? Both of us sat for hours in an ER and now has a bill, because we did not want to go to work. What a smart plan?
Long story short - One week later while at lunch, my wife received a call from the medical assistant (MA) who said that the boss wanted my wife to return to the office and help with her patients. This also was unprecedented. My wife had already ordered lunch and asked the MA to tell the boss that she would return as soon as she was done with lunch.
You can guess what happened.
Later that afternoon after seeing most of the patients on her schedule, my wife was called into the office and was told that she should have left her lunch - her action was unacceptable - she was fired!
Is that real? Can someone be fired for that? Is that how one professional treats another? Apparently, in Georgia, an employer does not need a reason to fire someone. Even though the law is such, shouldn't employer actions be coupled with thoughtfulness and care? Unfortunately, some employers do not think so.
As for my wife, she depends on her faith in God and the support of loved ones to fight off depression. Life goes on and we are confident that all the pieces will come together soon.