Saturday, February 28, 2009

Real Life - Discrimination? And New Work

It has been a week now since I quit my job. I know that sounds crazy with so many people being laid off and so many companies closing. My former employers really gave me no choice. My options were to stay and risk injury and further physical deterioration or leave. Not really much of a choice.

The short version of my physical condition is that I was born with a birth defect that required multiple surgeries and ultimately a hip replacement. I also have constant pain in my back. I don't go very many places I don't absolutely have to go. It about kills me to ride in the car. Every little bump sends waves of pain through my back, head and arms. That's not all but enough to get an idea.

I was with my previous employer 4 1/2 years. During that time I was off 10 months for the hip replacement. I pushed having the hip replacement done until I could barely walk. Some days walking was a gamble, I would take a step, my leg wouldn't hold the weight and down I would go. Almost immediately after I got off the crutches I went back to work with restrictions. No running, jumping, climbing or crawling. I also had to sit down quite often, though much less as time went on, by last week I was only sitting down a few minutes (less than 5 usually) at a time 3 or 4 times per shift and I was generally working on paperwork during those times so I wasn't just hanging out not doing anything. I should mention that I had worked my way up to assistant manager during my first year there so there was not much I didn't know how to do. The only reason there were a few things I didn't know how to do is because we were purchased by a different company shortly after I came back. Same concept, different procedures. When I returned I gave my manager at the time a doctor's statement outlining my restrictions. This piece of paper mysteriously disappeared when a different manager took over and I tried to talk to her regarding my restrictions. Hmmm....

Anyway, she kept insisting I do things that involved crawling on the floor (organization of floor level stuff), and climbing. I made several attemps to speak with her about this. Her response was to tell me that she knew I could handle it. At one point she asked if I could handle an hour by myself every once in a while. While not thrilled we were short a couple people and I figured I could suffer through an hour a week alone. That hour alone every once in a while turned into every day. Then a couple of days a week it was 2 hours alone. Finally on the last schedule it was 2 hours alone every day. I tried to talk to her about it and asked her to fix that because my body couldn't handle it. Her response: No, our labor hours have been cut and I know you can handle it. End of discussion.

I'm seeing a pattern here. Was she just trying to get me to leave? Maybe. Was it discrimination? I'm not sure. Was it just poor management or did it go beyond that? I can't answer any of these questions.

Has anyone else been in a situation like this? What did you do?

On the bright side - there is almost always a bright side - I have more time now to work on art and play with fabric, fibers, paint, beads, you name it. I am even playing with the idea of trying to sell some stuff.

Here is a photo of a bracelet and pendant that I have been working on. The colors are kind of washed out, they are a good bit darker. This is my first attempt at jewelry. What do you think? I really like working with beads, I'm sure I'll be using them more frequently in the future.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Check Out These Babies

These were taken at the Easyrider Bike show in Columbus OH on Feb. 15. Aren't they gorgeous? My apologies to anyone who had a bike in the show that didn't get a picture posted here. My camera is on it's last leg. I took oodles of photos of the bikes and these are the few that actually came out decent.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This is a little (lot) late but I'm finally getting it posted. Better late than never so they say. Anyway Congrats to the following winners of the OWOH drawing. Everything has been sent and is creeping its way to you all.

Michelle was the first name drawn and got the fiberart collage.

Geri, Jody, Mary, Snap, and Martha are the other five (not necessarily in that order) and they each got one of the bookmarks.

I really love participating in OWOH and am already looking forward to next year. Thank you Lisa for all your work in organizing this and inspiring so much sharing.

I want to apologize to everyone who's blog I haven't visited yet. I just didn't have the time to get to all of them. I didn't even make it to 100 this year. Yet. I am still working my way thru the list though and will visit every one as time allows.

If you didn't win and are interested in one of my fiberart collages, Autumn Day has been accepted into Collage Mania and will be available starting on May 5. All the money goes directly to the American Cancer Society. Please stop by and check it out, there are many wonderful artists participating and it is for a good cause.