You Are Expendable

The worst part of working in a field that is other than your bliss, is that you tend to just throw up your hands every once in a while. Then those words come out of your mouth that, if a supervisor heard you, would get you a security escort right quick: “It’s just a job; I’ll fake it until I can get something better.”

Okay, you may have only thought this. Really though, it’s worse than that, because if you even have an inkling of these words, chances are your employer doesn’t care. That’s right, to them you are a warm body, and if you act like anything but a warm body, your job and, sadly, more importantly your health insurance goes out the window.

Add kids to that equation, and it gets worse. Though there is a shift in this country on wellness, no one told businesses this. Many treat a lack of PTO/Sick/Vacation time as a way to say you cannot miss work for any reason. Companies that have wellness incentives, in house gyms and in office nurses all sound good. And they are. But if you look, there are employees near the bottom of the ladder who isn’t allowed to take part. If they seek healthcare on company time they are booted without a thought. It may not even be company policy. It may just be that manager or that department. That gorilla is way more than 800 pounds.

Some of you have awesome employers. Many don’t. Many have to show up to work sick, or face being fired. How can you get decent health care like that? You can’t.

So, when I read the story of a woman whose breast had fallen off, I burst into tears. She had excellent insurance through her company, but could not take the time off work to get treatment. She died, but not before having to show up to an emergency room with her breast in a plastic bag, hoping someone could put it back on.

She was expendable. She knew it. We all are. The thing is that companies know this too. As someone who struggles to follow her bliss every single day, I worry about this. Healthcare is why I couldn’t stay at home and write. Don’t mistake me. I still have no insurance, and likely still won’t for the foreseeable future. However, I still have medical bills from 2006, and 2008 I am paying off. Paying those bills, while trying to pay for my own healthcare, forced me to get another job.

I’m one of the millions who live in a healthcare black hole. Medicaid is only available to me if I give up everything I have. I have been denied health insurance from all companies except for two. Both of those wanted more money than I make in a year to insure me. I pay out of pocket, and mostly go without.

But my biggest fear, that thing raises my stress level? That one day, something cannot be ignored, and I will be the one carrying the end of my life in a plastic bag into an ER, hoping that maybe someone can just patch it up.

Jobs aren’t worth that.

 

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