This will get a little political, but bare with me.
As I mentioned before, I work in a job that doesn’t support me either financially or creatively. If it would support me enough in either regard, then it might be a reason to want to stay.
And I understand that my job as a kitchen worker for a local hospital isn’t something that should offer me either one of these important pieces of a happy workplace, but I understand that. It’s a low-end job, and they haven’t had a cost-of-living wage increase since 2008.
So what bugs me is when the nurses union “renegotiates” their contract every three years. More often than not, this results in them going on strike, costing the hospital (and in turn our bonuses and/or raises) tens of thousands of dollars to fly in traveling nurses for a total of four days.
Now I’m not necessarily disagreeing with their demands, everyone could use more benefits and more pay. What I disagree with is the entire process. It’s demeaning and insulting and makes all other employees in the system feel like third rate citizens.
I’m REALLY struggling with this lack of perspective. At my current level of pay, after being there eight years, I am considered close to poverty. And if you include all of my bills, medical and academic, I am barely able to save two pennies to rub them together.
The insurance we have is structured in a way that if you have any pre-existing condition that requires blood work and specialists, then you’ll be paying out your ass within one check-up.
After a recent call with “Account Services” regarding my newest bill, I was asked whether I ever considered trying for the hospital’s reduced pay service.
This service may forgive some or all of your debt depending on your financial circumstance. Well after submitting the paperwork, bank accounts, bills, and all, I qualified for a 50% reduction to my bills.
God, I wish I was offered this before I paid about $2,500 in medical bills over the past five years since the switch of insurance changed. The reason I never did? I thought I made too much money. HA. What a joke.
So imagine my joy when the negotiations resume and I and many other workers question the morality of their demands. The hospital turns Cold War-esque. Tensions are IMMENSELY HIGH, but no one brings it up. And If it does get mentioned, shouting matches often ensue.
Where are we currently? As of press date, an agreement has been reached, and the fervor will die down. But every three years comes a firestorm of ignorant perspectives and greedy perceptions.
I need to get the hell out of this job. ASAP.
Follow Jamie on Twitter @GuyOnAWire to give him all of the emotional support you can, or offer him a job. He’d probably take anything at this point. The corner? No, not that.