When it rains, it pours. Oh the irony

Letter from HR to my union. My notes in italicized bold type

‘Please note, Angela has since put in a request for a medical leave of absence, beginning May 1, 2018 for one or two months. We will need to address this request separately.

(And yet here it is)

1. What is your specific concern with regards to staffing the program?

This program is designed to provide in classroom support for the students and the staff. That requires that a staff person is available for the entirety of the time in class for the days on which class is scheduled. In other words our employee schedule is depending on the school calendar and timelines. In short, 5 days a week/for any days the school is open. Holiday, vacation and other time off are to be scheduled in accordance with the school calendar, as outlined in our Policies and Procedures.

When an employee is unable to attend class 5 days a week, employer has an on call roster of employees that can fill in on short notice, however, this backup process is intended to manage one off absences, not a continuous number of them.

In Angela’s case, as you will see, her absenteeism has resulted in a significant drain on our on call roster resources.

(There has been no coverage for the bulk of this year so how could their possibly be a drain on resources?)

2. What particularly has the impact been on the program on account of Angela’s absences?

The impact of Angela’s significant absenteeism has been many. On the front end there has been the impact as described above on the drain on our limited on call resources to fill the day in the event of an absence. Secondly, the point of the program is to provide on-site support to the staff at the school and to support and provide monitoring to the students in the program. Absenteeism means that the on-site support to the staff and the student support and monitoring don’t happen, leaving the on-site staff with more to manage, when coverage is not available, putting a strain on school resources as well.

Additionally, as the Counsellor for this program, Angela is expected to develop a rapport and relationship with the students and their family on-site in the school environment. If she is not able to be in class regularly it is difficult to establish, develop and maintain solid relationships. Finally, we have been approached by the school and program supervisors, clearly indicating that her absenteeism has been a strain in their staff and the program and cannot continue.

If employer cannot manage the situation, we could potentially be at risk of losing the program, and the funding, resulting in layoffs.

(I’ve been repeatedly told by my direct supervisor and collaterals that my ability to build rapport and engagement with these youth is superior bar none. That seems very contradictory given the above statements. Furthermore could it be that school admin is upset as a result of being notified about my absences when they have never been in the past?)

4. You’ve remarked on Angela’s level of absence from work over the past two years, yet there has been no acknowledgment from you of the fact that she was on a modified work schedule during most of that time; please substantiate these statements you have made with detailed analysis of absences for the last two years, as we would like to see a comprehensive listing please.

I have appended a summary of Angela’s attendance records for 2016, 2017, and 2018, plus some brief notes on her reduced work for 2015.

You will note that even when on an accommodated reduced hours work schedule, which we acknowledged, Angela has demonstrated that she has not been able to attend work for 5 days a week with any consistency, such as to address the issues that have arisen as a result of the significant amount of time off.

I trust this provides sufficient background and information to understand our position requesting medical as it relates to Angela’s ability to attend work 5 days a week to meet the requirements of the program.

(‘Even while on a accommodated work schedule Angela has demonstrated that she has not been able to attend work for 5 days a week’ . Does anyone else see the pure ridiculousness of this comment? As that would have been the point of needing the accommodation no???)

 

I look forward to your response and the medical that has been requested.’

What an awesome and unusual way to hit me while I’m down. 👍🏼

And I feel super supported not at all stressed, embarrassed and I definitely don’t feel like this is contributing to my extraordinarily shitty health at the moment!! Thanks!

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I want to dance in the rain

I don’t want to be that person above that sits impatiently waiting for the huge storm to pass

With tired eyes and a listless body

I don’t want to be the person that misses out on the feelings of being alive you only get while dancing in the rain

With a heavy heart and a restless soul

I don’t want to be the person that sits and sits wondering when the storm will end

I do want to be the person that makes the best of what the storm is offering

I do want to be the person that can revel in magic of the strongest storms

I do want to be the person that can revel in the beauty of the sun coming out after a dark storm

But what do you do when your body and your mind and your soul are all operating at different levels of abilities?

Your body wants to sleep

Your mind wants to give up

And your soul vacillates between wanting to run and wanting to steal someone else’s happiness

Some days my body can’t go on

And I have to call in sick from life

And I have to sleep

And I have to hope that rest will be what my body is needing

Some days my mind’s suffering is so strong

And I need to escape from life

And I need to sleep

And I need to hope that I either won’t wake up or that I’ll wake up whole again? For the first time?

My favourite are the days when my soul is screaming the loudest that it can’t be ignored and I have no choice in the matter

And I just live

And I just laugh

And I just love

So fully

So heartily

So fucking strongly

That I hope it will be enough to keep me going

On the days when my body and my mind are all I can listen to

And I can’t remember what the rain drops felt like cooling my skin as I danced and danced under the magical stormy sky

I want to box it up

With tape and bubble wrap

And beautiful hopefulness

I can replace my broken heart with it

I can replace my damaged mind with it

And I can live the way my soul wants me to

Never simply waiting for the storm to pass

Always dancing to the chaos of the rain drops

The only way me soul expects me to…

I’ll leave the forgiveness up to your choice of god

A fellow MSer and blogger recently wrote about forgiveness (check it out here https://fightmsdaily.com/2018/03/17/forgiveness/) and it got me thinking

Forgiveness is such a complex topic

So often we tell ourselves and others that we have forgiven

But what does that even mean? And what does that open ourselves up to?

Is forgiveness merely acknowledging that the offending event occurred and then accepting it?

But what happens after the acceptance?

Do you simply ignore the feelings that come along with the event that precipitated this act of mercy?

Read back to what I just wrote

Ignore the feelings

You didn’t choose the event that occurred

However you choose to allow yourself to remain ignorant

You know what happened

You know what that person did or said

And yet you turn a blind eye to what happened

After you’ve let said person off the hook

So that persons guilty has been appeased

But you

The forgiver

Have now placed yourself in a very vulnerable situation

Like sitting with your back to a door

You’re the very fodder of know better stories we recount to our friends

Tsk tsk tsking

You’re the person in cautionary tales

Don’t be like so and so

X did that to her and she forgave them

Only giving them the opportunity to do it once again

Poor ignorant so and so

I’m not saying to never forgive

However be aware of what the motive is

Forgiveness is for the other person

You on the other hand

Are forever changed

And now you must proceed at your own risk

That first time

Is enough of a warning for me

I choose to be unmerciful

I choose to be angry or hurt

I choose to never allow someone the opportunity to come back for seconds

I choose myself over making you feel better

Fool me only once

Even when I’m lying in the gutter…I can still see the stars 

I watched a video the other night that someone shared on Facebook. It was a danish tv station that made the video. The concept was basic. We are all humans. But it got me.  Watch the video here:

Danish video
Maybe it’s because there’s so much hate and sadness in the world. But the message in the video just got to me. I believe in the goodness of humanity. That’s why I am a youth worker. I believe in hope and the possibilities for a better future. 
Sometimes all the sadness in the world really consumes me and I feel it in every single cell of my being. I think I’m some sort of an empath and can physically feel the pain and hurt of others. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming that I just want to close my eyes and cover my ears so I don’t have to bear witness to it…

With depression, those feelings can easily consume me. But when I get to see the beauty in the world. Fuck, if it isn’t all completely worth it. It’s like someone turned up the lights and everything is so dazzling and bright. And I cry out of sheer happiness..my heart feels like it can burst. Like it will burst, like I can’t simply contain all the love and happiness I feel in my heart. 

I don’t know if anyone else can relate or even understand the feelings that I have. When I feel that way I wish that everyone else could have a chance to have that heart bursting moment but then I think of the flip side and that darkness that comes with it, is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.