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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The First Two Children of Trouble

I'm going to try and make this brief. I know it's hard for me to do that, sometimes!

So, child number one came screaming into our lives after Justin cut his wrist - no not the underside, but the top; with a boning knife. If you know anything about kitchen cutlery, a boning knife is the last knife you want to cut yourself with. A sharp chef's knife will leave paper cuts. A boning knife will literally slice you open. Filet is another term for this particular knife. It was Monday morning, and I was getting ready for work. I work near St. Joseph Hospital, so that's where I took him. We had managed to stop the bleeding by wrapping it up tightly with a wrap, but the cut was really bad. The ER didn't think it was a big emergency, so we waited. I'd parked in my work space across the street, which turned out to be a good thing because after the doctors got a look at him, they decided he needed surgery because he'd managed to sever the tendon that allows you to make a thumbs up. I stayed with him until he was wheeled into surgery about 2:30, and then I went to work. I needed to get stuff done, and there was no point in sitting in the waiting room when I worked right across the street. It was only an hour 1/2 later that I was called back, and he stayed in the hospital until Wednesday. The good news was that this time off for him uses my EIB - emergency illness bank, which accrues (albeit at a slightly slower rate) with my PTO. My boss told me that I could use it to care for Justin, which was really cool.
So, everything was going to turn out all right. Justin's surgery went fine (he'll still need physical therapy), and he was going to still be able to work, since it was his left arm that got cut.

And then the second child of trouble snuck in slowly, like a prowling tiger.

Justin got called into the office that Thursday the 20th. Since he works for McDonalds, "the office" meant the place they do education; and where they fire people. The meeting wasn't until noon, and we were both convinced that he was going to get fired... peg him on something, who knows what. I was at my wits end. At one point during work I had a small panic attack. We were trying to plan on what we were going to do if he got fired. He was telling me they wouldn't approve his unemployment, which would be more than detrimental, since we are barely affording to live here as it was. And our lease isn't up until December.
Turns out, it was just a transfer. A bad one (as in, they're trying to get rid of him and telling him he may do better somewhere else. As in: "this is your last warning, buddy"). However, this transfer came with an horrible side-effect: he doesn't start work there until October 1st. Coupled with the days off from his injury, that left us 2 weeks without pay. He's the bread winner because he works full time. I only work 32 hours and the medical/dental/vision gets taken out of my paycheck, so it's pretty shitty income.
So, now we had a new problem. 2 weeks without pay would leave us basically unable to pay all the bills. What were we going to do?
A friend suggested the Cornerstone Club. It's part EAF (employee assistance fund). Workers contribute to this fund out of their good will, and it goes to helping employees in need. Unfortunately, you only get to use it once in your career. But, I didn't know where else to turn. Finally, out of desperation, I called HR. She told me one of the requirements to get the EAF was to have already cashed out some of your PTO.

Wait a minute - you can cash out your PTO? I had 127 hours worth!

Apparently, once a year, you can cash out up to 80 hours of PTO. I was saved! Since I only work 64 hours a paycheck normally, this was going to be a nice bonus; and we definitely needed it. I couldn't believe my luck. I was so happy I even thanked God. I'm not religious by nature; although I am agnostic. I just wanted to thank... something. And hopefully, Justin will do better here, in his new environment; in many more ways than one. We shall soon see.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad everything seems to be going good hope everything works out!