Let me tell you about the job loss in detail. The date was July 3, 2018. I was employed by a staffing agency, and I was still in my training period, and attendance was critical to maintaining gainful employment. My first blow was being struck with severe food poising.
I showed up for my shift early as usual on the 3rd. I advised my trainers that I wasn’t feeling well due to food posing. I asked to change my seat to sit closer to the door to make a quick exit to the restroom. After struggling until close to lunch, they sent me home. I confirmed that my job would be secure due to leaving the second week of training. They confirmed, yes I would still have a job to come back to.
Early the next morning, July 4th I hadn’t slept due to horrible nausea, which leads to vertigo, vomiting, diarrhea, and a pounding headache. I knew something was wrong because I hadn’t urinated since late Monday. I googled the closest urgent care to call to verify if I needed to go to the ER or if it was something that I could take care of at home. Thankfully, the urgent care I called was a mobile urgent care. It was a real blessing from God because there was no way that I could get behind the wheel of anything. Hell, I couldn’t even stand up.
The mobile urgent care nurse stated that I was severely dehydrated and she started an IV of fluids as well as and meds for nausea. As the nurse was starting my IV, the other nurse began asking me questions regarding my insurance and my full contact information for my registration. The lead RN called a prescription to the pharmacy for Norfran (anti-nausea dissolvable tablets). Since it was a holiday, my regular pharmacy was closed. The closest 24-hour pharmacy was the Walgreens several miles away. It was great that I had the meds, however, how was I going to get them?
My 20-year- old daughter was at the movies with her friends. I called and asked her if she would run to get my meds for me. She blandly stated, ” Uh, no I’m at the movies, and I’m not leaving.” “Please, I can’t drive across town to the pharmacy where they were called in.” I pleaded with her as I began crying. “Why are you crying?” She asked as if it was nothing that I sick and couldn’t do for myself. “Never mind, it’s okay,” I said with so much hurt and pain in my voice that my heart hurt more than my body at the time. “Okay, bye.” She said so coldly.
I eventually got the strength to walk to the 7-11 across the street. I was staggering across the street as a police officer drove by and watched me until I ascended into the light. He was able to see that I wasn’t drunk, that I was sick by the way I was massaging my stomach and crying. I was able to get two bottles of Gatorade. Within a few minutes after sipping the Gatorade, I was feeling well enough to get to sleep.
Things still hadn’t improved enough for me to get off the couch, so get ready for work and attempting to drive was hazard to myself and others. Being the true “trooper” that I had been, I pleaded with God to be with me so that I could make it work on time and safely. This time I didn’t make it past our first break at 10am. I was sent home again. I returned to work on the 6th I wasn’t 100%, but well enough to be in class, sip my water, Gatorade, and nibble on some saltine crackers.
The next two incidents resulting in a tardy were a flat tire. After the first flat tire, I bought two new tires that week. I thought that I was set no more tire issues. Like Murphy’s Law, one of my other older tires went flat, and I had to get some fix-a-flat to get me to work. I was praying it would last until I got paid the end of the next week.
After the 2nd tire debacle, I was written up on a warning. Any other attendance issues I would be terminated. At this point, every day was like a ticking clock of what else could happen. My anxiety was crazy high and was popping Xanax almost every morning to get through the day without any issues. I could practically guarantee that universe was against me as I got stuck in traffic. I was 15 minutes late. I had a meeting with management and said that a decision would be made by the end of the business day regarding my employment.
The business day for August 2, 2018, was closing, and I was asking my trainers as well as my supervisor has there been a decision made. My trainers stated they aren’t privy to that information while my supervisor said that she doesn’t know she has been in meetings all day after our meeting. The day ended, and I let out a sigh of relief until my recruiter called me as I was driving out of the parking lot.
“Natalia, I received confirmation from the client that they would like to terminate your contract due to your attendance. I am sorry to tell you. As of this point, all communication with the client will cease, and you would only communicate through the staffing agency. I understand that you have the company laptop as well as some other company issued materials. Is that correct?” He calmly tried to speak over my loud sniffles and shaking voice.
He assured me that he understands that things happen. He offered to meet up with me the next morning and would treat me to breakfast to figure things out and receive the client’s materials. We talked over our meal, and he stated that I am still able to be placed with the agency and he will continue to look for another placement for me.
It didn’t hit me until later that night of August 2; I was unemployed. I wasn’t able to file for unemployment because I had claimed several months the summer in 2015 while I was working at a minimum wage paying gig to make ends meet. So, I wasn’t able to file unemployment until the almost $4,500 with interest and penalties have been paid back. Not only was I unemployed I didn’t have any source of income.
Saturday August 4th , 2018, after making my way through the fog of shock, I realized the gravity of the situation. Life began to crest up a steep hill that would later take me to a dark low I thought I had left behind many years ago. I guess it is true; old habits die hard…