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need some advice

fedester
Posts: 737
Joined: Jul 2004

hi guys hope all is well with everyone. i sorry but i need some advice about my job. i went back on 3/1 after being out from a total of 9 months. i am a store manager for walgreens in nj. since i have been back i have been very stressed, alot of deadlines to meet, and no excuses like not being there because i was sick. seems like no support from my supervisor. i guess because i look okay everything i went thru doesn't matter. i have inventory in 2 weeks and i came back to a mess and a i am trying to get 9 months of problems solved in 1 month so i am getting very stressed, which i don't need. will any company hire someone who has had cancer???? i have 17 years in but it looks like that doesn't matter. please guys i need some advise.
thanks
all the best
bruce

johnom's picture
johnom
Posts: 86
Joined: Jul 2004

Hey, we may need to rename you Bob Cratchett! Who is this Scrooge you are working for?

I would prepare a writing of some kind, say a memo or email or letter, documenting what you found on March 1 when you returned to work. That has to be someone else's problem, caused while you were gone. Then I would submit a time line that you can live with to get the inventory done eventually. You might point out there is some slippage because of the state it was in when you returned. You can't be the only Walgreen's where the inventory and 9 months of other problems exist, but you may be the only one with you returning from a life threatening illness. In your memo I would detail the problems and the solutions you have arranged already. In any employment situation it's best to document everything. Ebeneezer may not appreciate your paper trail, but like the cancer treatment, he is stuck with it.
I'm sure someone else will have some other or better ideas as well. Hang on. No stress results in bordeom, too much stress results in confusion and inaction. Try to modify your stress to the appropriate level for your comfort and push on, with or without your supervisor's empathy. Good Luck!!!

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

Bruce..the big question would seem to be health insurance..is your coverage with Walgreens, and would it carry over into your new job? Your question stimulates another interesting question..could there be jobs out there for cancer survivors who might be hired by other cancer survivors..(another forum?) Nanuk

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Bruce -

johnom makes a very valid point about documenting the status of the store when you returned. Nanuk's comments made me wonder something else... Is it possible that Walgreen's is trying to push you out? You may be able to build a case for wrongful discharge. I would also check with an attorney and verify if you don't have some protection under the Americans With Disabilities Act - I honestly don't know, but it might be worth $30 to find out.

Just a couple of thoughts.

Hang in there buddy.

- Bob

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004

So you do still have that butthead boss. I am so sorry for that Bruce. Follow the advice aleady given but document, document, document everything and give your HR dept. a call. Do it from away from work so you can talk freely. I think they can call it harrassment. Discrimination of any type is against the law!!!!!

Big hugs to you and be strong. Be smart too!!!!

Beat them at their own game.

Lisa P.

HowardJ
Posts: 484
Joined: Jan 2005

Hi Bruce,
I think I understand the emotions of what you're going through. I went back to work only 5 weeks post surgery (no chemo). I've got a very stressful job and thought I was ready to go back. Afterall, I was friends with my boss and a couple of my immediate co-workers so it would be an easy transition back. My boss even said to "take it easy". WRONG! By the third day I was already back to 10-11 hour days with my boss giving me tight timelines. Also some very tough issues to deal with as soon as I returned to work--which would have been difficult to deal with without cancer. I thought the same as you...they weren't giving me any breaks...don't they remember I had cancer? I'm seeing a therapist to learn to cope with a diagnosis of cancer and we talk at length about fitting back in at work. For me, I realized I just don't have patience anymore for some of the stuff I used to routinely deal with. I don't think they are treating me any different from before my surgery, and I don't think any of the issues I'm dealing with are any different. I'm in a differnt frame of mind these days and find my response to things is different. Your job may not be any different from before you left--your boss and co-workers cannot possibly know what you've been through. They see you as yourself and assume you can handle everything the same as when you left. But just in case, you might want to follow the advice the others posted.
Howard

timlou
Posts: 60
Joined: Jul 2004

The only thing I can think of to add to the wonderful advice you have already been given is make sure you send a copy of all documentation to your corporate office all the way to the top. My husband is worried about the same thing as his company is downsizing and he is worried with all the time off he may be on the chopping block. We are in Florida a right to work state and no union to help, are you in a union? That might be another avenue. Louise

Btrcup's picture
Btrcup
Posts: 287
Joined: Jun 2004

Bruce, my hubby is the Director of Maintenance at a golf club. It is very stressful, but his company has been very understanding. While he was going through chemo, a lot of his decisions were made over the phone.

From what I know, a company cannot discriminate because of illness. But like Nanuk said, there could be a problem with insurance. Good luck to you.

By the way, what part of Jersey are you from? I am originally from Belleville/Nutley area.

Linda (now in Baltimore)

madu
Posts: 53
Joined: Mar 2005

Bruce,

If you do decide to leave, keep in mind that you are not required to tell future employers about your cancer - it's against the law to ask questions about your health nor can they ask your former employer about it without you potentially suing them. I've had two jobs post diagnosis and it never came up. If you keep your insurance through COBRA and don't let it lapse, you will be accepted into the new insurance program WITHOUT questions about pre-existing conditions - Clinton put this into effect and I know it works. Been there done that but NEVER let your insurance lapse!

Good luck and take a deep breath every once in awhile. Your health is soooo much more important than this job!

Heidi

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Bruce,
It stinks to be in the situation you are in; takes me back to my old job. I took nearly 6 weeks off after surgery, then took another 2 months off during chemo and went on short term disability. I had completed the paperwork to have my Family Medical Leave approved for 3 months after I used all my sick and vacation time. I had worked for this non-profit health care company for 5 years, excellent performance evals, thought my boss and I got along well....she called on the afternoon of my last chemo treatment (the week my leave was up; I had asked for a 4 week extension for additional, unrelated thyroid surgery) to tell me that they would not be able to continue to hold my position open. As SB suggested, I consulted a labor attorney, who said they were within their legal rights, but ethically they stunk. I did have all my requests for leave and letters to my exec. I then wrote to the head of the company, asking why I was not able to be accomodated in my request for 4 more weeks. Turns out the key word is "accomodate" as the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that any person with a disability be reasonably "accomodated". My lawyer thinks the language scared them; I was offered another position in the company with a new boss and with no break in service. I thought I would work there while looking for another position.Turns out it is actually a better job than I had, and I've since gotten a pay increase!
What did I learn? Not to count on my employer understanding or looking out for me; being clear about my need to look out for myself, and being willing to settle for some type of employment as it is easier to find a job when you have one and have less explaining to do. I was also able to build back my own strength at my own pace. Not sure if this helps, but you have my sympathy. Hope it all falls into place for you. Judy

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