I suspect that because of disability, I’m really wary of working with people I don’t trust. This is a natural extension of how I prioritize people I trust. When I am doing something challenging or “playing hard,” I want to do that with friends that I trust, incase something goes wrong.
Just to give a brief example, when I was younger, I worked at a cheap hotel. One morning, I had a seizure there. The owner of the hotel was there and did everything he could to prevent my neighbor (and friend who got me the job) from calling 911. He was afraid of a workman’s comp claim. But she was a hard nut and told him he was being absurd and called anyway. Its been my experience that under pressure like that, a lot of people do not do the right thing. That’s why its good to work with people you trust.
I have personally had the police called on me to be escorted off the property after calling 911 for a teenager who got hit in the head with a chairlift. It knocked him out briefly and he was vomiting from it, so ambulance response was required and his friend called. But, the ski hill kept calling 911 back and cancelling the call. I had to ski pretty far and pretty fast to get ambulance response for him. There were people in my face, screaming at me that there was not going to be any call to 911. There were people in his face (while he was lying at the bottom of the hill with a head injury), yelling at him about how things were going to work. I just had to ski like hell to get away from there and make that call. I have never done business with them since. He was just a kid and what they did to him was wrong. It was ugly how all of that went down. After that, I would only ski where I trusted the owner and knew them personally.
I find that in ‘blue collar’ work, there is a lot of comradery and I can really trust people’s judgment. In white collar work, maybe I just have less experience & comfort there, but perhaps the jobs are sooo valuable to people, or the environment is so competitive, that I feel a lot less safe, in general.
On top of that, I get a lot of calls for the medical field and that is a can of worms for me. Its possible that I have already accomplished everything there that I ever wanted to without anybody actually letting me into the professional club. It’s very possible that I don’t even want into that club because I have so many trust issues with that field. They drop out of deals, I drop out of deals - We cannot make a deal. Fundamentally, I don’t want to work for people who do harm to people like me. I don’t trust them. Its different than thinking that they won’t call an ambulance - but I know all the things that they have done to you all and to myself over the years. I can’t simply ‘move past’ it.
You all know about what it was like for people to work for employers you didn’t trust during covid. Things got pretty ugly for some of us. For some members of Tu, we saw people with disabilities were the first on the chopping block. It was for totally invalid reasons - they had to get rid of people fast and they targeted those they perceived as most vulnerable.
I think that I don’t want anything to do with medicine. I don’t want to be put in a position where advocacy done by our community with UHG or MT puts my job at risk. I don’t want all the work I do in my free time to make things better for myself and people like me to have direct conflict of interest with my employer.
I’m in a terrible catch-22. The only hope I have left is that in the past couple of weeks, I have gotten a few calls from companies outside of the medical domain. If I can get an offer from one of them, I will take it and disappear into a cloud of smoke from medical. I will be happy to do it. Recruiters have been asking me some challenging questions and I think being forced to address it is helping clarify my thoughts on this.
My rant concludes here. Thank you for tolerating this. I am teetering on the verge of accepting a job as a janitor where I never have to think about patient advocacy, but I know that I will not be able to pay my medical expenses if I do. I will forever be sinking into a deep pit of medical debt and I will regret it.