I’ve been working in retail off and on most of my adult life, I’m 36 years old so that should give a brief introduction into my years of experience in retail.
I personally believe I have gone through almost every piece of bullshit retail can offer you; I was completely fucking wrong and there’s no other way to put it. Let’s talk about FMLA’s and Medical Leaves Of Absence, if you’ve never gone through this process at a retail company then this will not only possibly scare you but hopefully educate you as well. And if you have gone through this process I hope it wasn’t to the extent I’ve had to go. Either way, this should be an interesting process story, as it is not finished quite yet so bear with me and stick around for Part 2 because I’m sure the fuckery of what I have been going through gets more interesting.
August 21st 2021, I decided to try out for the Fast & Furious franchise and drive off a completely unfinished off-ramp 30+ ft. down “head first”. I even drove through the damn warning signs telling me not to drive through there. How did I do this to myself? It was around midnight, dark and I was lost and exhausted from running my store (I am a Store Manager by the way). I don’t actually remember much of anything as I believe I fell asleep at the wheel, to be honest. The result from this off-road derby accident was a broken chest plate, broken ribs, a shattered ankle (that is actually the worst of it), and a totalled SUV.
The police told me the seat belt saved my life, which after seeing the vehicle and observing all my injuries, I believe he’s absolutely right; so wear your seat belts!
Anyway; I was immediately in an ambulance and put in ICU and had surgery on my ankle where they put rods through my foot, ankle and shin. I was in the hospital for about 15 days. In the meantime while I’m in the hospital, I obviously cannot do much of anything, so my Mother called my District Manager and he “sort of” guided her on how to put in my FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)
My mother said he was a @@!@# and did not help her much at all and didn’t return any phone calls knowing I’m in the hospital pretty helpless. The FMLA gets started and also the Short Term Disability but nothing could really go further until I was able to make the phone calls and get online and fill out the forms myself.
I did most of this when I was finally home. I was on the phone with at least 13 different people daily being transferred and on hold and told I need to call this office instead of that office and the President needs to be notified(I’m kidding obviously but that’s how it felt).
Now I’ve been on an FMLA at other companies that are not retail-related, are it’s as simple as this; HR does their job and the Doctor does his job and together they both have the information needed and I’m not involved at all but to show back up to work on the date I’m supposed to.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that with these retail companies, or at least the one I work for. I am the middle man in this entire situation. I’m having to fax over documents to a company claims holder, that gets paid to obtain these documents, not having a handicapped employee find a way to go fax paperwork daily.
Also, I have been having to make all the phone calls to my Surgeon’s RN and ask them to fax over records to this paid employee that can’t pick up the phone and do it herself. I’m fucking secretary for my own FMLA case. I have screenshots of being on the phone over 2 hours from transfers and being on hold while my case manager is supposed to be doing that work.
Meanwhile, I’m getting documents informing me that my medical leave exhausts soon and I won’t have a job at all.
I obviously immediately call my District Manager for information, he told me to contact my case manager handling my leave to get an extension.
This again, is where I’m in the fucking Matrix again having Deja vu of the same shit show. By the way, I’m also trying to make it to doctor appointments and actually walk so I can make it back to hell on time, yes I’m actually trying to stay in retail longer, the heat in hell is just right for the winter weather I suppose.
Whether or not I will still be in retail has yet to be notified to me. I’ve been fighting for my position in this company for 4 months, fighting for medical leave extensions, short term disability pay, every little thing you could imagine for 4 months at the moment. Being the secretary for a billion-dollar company for my own medical leave case; trust me I deserve every penny I get from my 50% cut of salary disability/secretary checks.
The whole obscene situation may actually seem petty to some but not knowing your future being handicapped in bed while knowing if you don’t call or fax something it determines a small piece of your future outcome, can definitely be overwhelming while the company is paying people to do absolutely nothing but collect your countless efforts daily for your own claim so you can figure out what kind of future in this retail establishment you actually have.
It’s all been a shit show that’s sold out and I’m still headlining lost in thought of this retail game I’m trying to win at; is it even worth the migraines and irritation?
We’ll find out what happens next sooner rather than later, hopefully right?