I lost my job 3 weeks ago. I had been at the company for 5 and a half years. It was my first job after college graduation as well.
To start, I have a BA in Psychology from a private college and accumulated a mountain of debt attaining it...stupid...stupid...stupid. I didn't make wise decisions back then, I was ****ed up all the time. I discovered very soon that well-paying jobs are difficult to come by with Psych degree. Anyways, I went back to college this semester to pursue an RN degree. I figure this will complement the Psychology degree well. I am intending on eventually becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I am in 4 classes this semester and 3 of them are online. The one regular class I have did not conflict with my work schedule. And my numbers and performance at work was pretty good despite being a full time student and being a father of 2 daughters ages 23 months and 5 months.
So about 5 weeks ago, everyone in the company was informed that they had received a 5% pay decrease due to cash flow issues. I was pissed, not only for my sake, but for the employees that I supervise. They were making miniscule amounts of money prior to the company wide pay decrease. And of course, I had to be the bad guy and inform all of these people of the decision...a decision in which some of them thought I made.
As fate would have it, my 5 month old daughter became sick the night I was informed of the 5% pay decrease. She was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with pertussis. I requested 2 weeks PTO (I had 225 hours racked up) so I could be with my daughter. My supervisor refused to grant it because in the handbook it states that they are not required to grant PTO under any circumstances if it has potential to affect business operations. I took it a step further and filled out a FMLA leave form (which my supervisor/company can not deny or control in any way) and had a doctor sign it. I filled it out for a leave of 3 weeks. According to our handbook/policy, my company is not supposed to contact someone on FMLA leave under any circumstances and it wasn't even an hour before I had my supervisor calling me and basically just whining because she had to perform some of my job tasks. Normally all she does is sit around her office resembling Jabba the Hut (she reminds me of a cross between Jabba the Hut and Bill Lumberg...has the Lumberg voice and way of approaching you), call people on the phone to discuss stupid shit and set up meetings where stupid shit is discussed and the glaring problems that she is blissfully unaware of are neglected. So she was required to do my work for 3 weeks, for in the county I worked in, I was the only Service Coordinator and the regions only auditor. Therefore, nobody was qualified to cover my shit except for her. It was presumably the first time she had been put in a situation at work in which she had little to no control over in a long time...probably 4-5 years. So she called me multiple times per day despite the fact that she wasn't supposed to and I ignored every one of her calls. Man, that felt good. Her voice mails were always concluded by her begging me not to tell anyone that she was trying to contact me, for she knew it was against company policy. She also disclosed many of my clients' names on her voice mails...due to HIPPA (which I audited for the region) she was not supposed to do that either. She was supposed to use their initials when referring to them. She would catch herself doing that and would conclude the voice mail with begging me to delete the voice mails in which she disclosed the clients' names.
Ok, so the 3 weeks were up and I plain and simply did not want to come back to that cesspool. I considered quitting. I had money saved up and had attained by CNA. I figured I could work for low pay as a CNA until I receive my RN. It would give me good experience. It was just...coming to that place was probably the most depressed I had ever been in my life. I had incompetent, cronified superiors, non-dependable staff who called in constantly and worst of all, clients who were 100% dependent on me in terms of every aspect of life....which contradicts the "mission" of the company which is to "empower" individuals with mental illnesses to "recover" so they no longer need to utilize us. Shit, they engraved the mission statements deep inside our craniums, but trained us to contradict the mission statement, for if clients truly did "recover" and no longer needed our services, we lost business. I felt more like an "enabler" of irresponsibility, unaccountability, dependency (on other people), people trying to score more government help than they reasonably "need," etc. Other than my auditing gig, I hated everything I represented in my position in that company. I am too proud of a person to not let these types of things get to me.
So I received a phone call from a co-worker who informed me that the whole program had gone to shit while I was gone (I had SHIT for backup) and that I had all sorts of emotional ruts to dig clients out of and structural ****-ups that took place during my absence which was now my responsibility to fix. On a regular work day, the shit is piled high. However, on this day, mountains of shit were piled on mountains of shit. So I called in. In my 5 and a half years there, this was the 2nd time I had ever called in. I had been sick many times, but worked through it because I didn't want to deal with the accumulation of bullshit when I came back. There was one day in 5 and a half years prior to this day where I was too sick to come in. I followed this by accessing my work email and submitting my two weeks notice.
After my supervisor received the email, she stated that she wanted to meet with me the following day because she had a plan in place in an attempt to work things out. I agreed to meet to listen to what she had to say. They gave me an ultimatum. I could either a.) accept a promotion to Regional Service Coordinator Team Leader on the condition that I drop out of nursing school. This would come with a pay increase that would put me conveniently .02/hr more than what I was making prior to the company wide pay decrease. or b.) stay in nursing school and accept a demotion to CSS staff that would essentially cut my pay in half. I told them to stick both offers up their schemish bungholios. I packed my shit, returned my keys and walked out.
This happened on the 16th and oddly enough, the human resource manager (who I was tight with, I had recently gotten her husband a decent-paying job at a factory where my father is general foreman) somehow talked the core team, which consisted of my supervisor, her supervisor and our billing specialist into paying me until the 29th of October, since that is the date in which was 2 weeks after I gave my 2 weeks notice. Somehow, they agreed to this, so I was paid for doing nothing from the 15th until the 29th of October along with the 3 weeks FMLA prior to the 15th. ****'em. I had 200+ hours of PTO racked up that I never used because I never could because it was never granted because my absence always seemed to "affect business operations." They ate shit with that small portion of the situation and I don't freaking care.
I saved a nice chunk of change prior to this, so I am doing ok for the time being. I want to get some midterm stuff done for school before going full-fledged in terms of prowling for jobs.
My main concern is health insurance. I received a letter from COBRA that stated that in order to continue my current health insurance plan, I had to pay $500 + per month. What can I do in regards to health insurance? There has got to be a cheaper way to be covered. It isn't even a family plan for my fiancee (baby-momma) will not be married until March. Not to mention, all I want covered is Dr. visits and prescription refills. That's it. I'm not worried about anything else. Anyone have any advice?
Sorry in advance for any disorganization... I didn't proofread and didn't intend on rambling about as much as I did.