My employer is killing me and I’m allowing it to happen. I earn just enough, that I would likely take a pay cut by leaving, that would cripple our household. I wanted a way to get feed back, document, and just write for some kind of outlet. I will be telling a story that has taken place over a decade. Specifics will be changed a bit or not used, names will be changed, but I will convey the situation accurately. I am a mid-forties male, married, 2 adult children, and we have a few grand children also. At the present time, I am suffering from panic attacks, often resulting in hospitalization. These attacks are foreign to me. I have been anxious or nervous on occasion in life. Sad at times. Certainly nothing that I had no control over. All in all, I was a happy go lucky, positive, kind and caring person. During these attacks, I am convinced that I am dying. Whether that be from a stroke, heart attack, or whatever I convince myself of at the time. I am thinking about having these attacks, or dying, about 85% of the time. I am consumed and obsessed. This is the first thing that pops in to my head upon awakening and the last thing I am thinking of when I am finally able to sleep. All hospital tests have shown my heart to be ok. Brain scans are normal. Blood pressure is high upon arrival to the E.R., but is normally fine, all blood tests spot on. I am not over weight, and am in fairly good health, well I was. I am seeing 2 doctors, about to see a third, perhaps more. Included are a Psychiatrist, a Counselor, and maybe a Neurologist. I am a walking pharmacy, and feel like a zombie. My hope is that medication will get me to a place of coping until either I am able to change the environment causing these conditions, change myself and how I perceive this environment, or find a new environment all together. If something does not change, quickly, I will either be dead, divorced, institutionalized, or perhaps all 3, maybe not in that order.
I have a career, that requires me to be physically at the office, 40 hours a week, or however many it takes to get the job done. Sounds typical does it not? I am also on-call, 24/7 all year long, that includes while on vacation, when sick, on bereavement, doesn’t matter, always on call, that is in addition to the office work that I described above. And I get a lot of calls. We can not lead a normal life. I am never involved in any activity that would not allow me to answer the phone immediately, jump in the car and proceed to the office. Over the years I have lost count of missed or interrupted life happenings. Such as family events, half seen movies, interrupted holidays, called away from the birth of a grand child, weekends “away” with my wife, interrupted “relations” with my wife, one of our chidrens graduation, the list goes on and on. During lean times, I decided to get a part time job. If you haven’t guessed, I am a salaried employee at the office. I do feel that I have been misclassified as such since the beginning, but they refuse to talk with me about that, or answer my questions. I have gotten these part time jobs 3 times now. Cash jobs, but none the less extra money. I have been terminated from all 3. I was called in to the office while working the part time job. Due to the call in from the office, the part time job felt that I was unreliable. And I do not disagree. The second year there, we took our first and last vacation out of state, since having taken the position. Needless to say half way through we had to pack up and drive back home so that I could go in. These calls can come at noon on Saturday, or at 3 a.m. on a Wednesday, after having worked a 12 hour day the day prior. I keep saying office, but this is a very physically as well as mentally demanding career. Anyone would need time to recuperate. It is without a doubt, a 2–3 person job. A few weeks ago, (a month after the attacks started) I took a long 3 day weekend. Two regular days off, and a vacation day. Could not wait. I was called every day. On the vacation day, I was called. The call took about 4 or 5 hours total to complete. I was still docked a full day of vacation. That happens all year long. If I go home sick after being there let’s say 5 hours, which I can honestly say up until a few months ago, rarely ever happened, I have to use a full day of vacation to make up time missed that day. I feel that this is stealing. I have attempted to speak to my direct manager about all of this on numerous occasions, usually met with hostility. I have spoken with our HR department about it as well, it seems they could care less.
This is the first time I have blogged, or anything of the sort. I am not sure what this will look like to everyone else or how it will be displayed. Have patience with me as I learn the site. I will likely be breaking this story up over time. There is a lot more to it.