Plots And Plans

world dominationWhen I was first diagnosed with MS, a trusted health professional asked me, ‘so when will you be giving up work then?’

An outdated concept perhaps, but it got worse.

By the end of the fateful day I disclosed my MS at work, plans were underway to get rid of me as quickly as possible.

Just over a year later, and after not taking the very obvious hints, I was unceremoniously sacked on a dreary Monday morning.

Work and MS. It hasn’t really been a great story for me so far. On the bright side though, my friend has been employing me for over a year now while I look for a new job. The downside is he doesn’t run a cool cafe or bijoux boutique, but a construction company.

I normally work from home doing boring thrilling admin (pyjamas, toast and cat – hope the boss isn’t reading), but sometimes, if I promise to behave, he allows me on site. This week, I was let out to drive a mini dumper truck. Basically sitting down all day, tootling up a lane and back. Not that different from sitting down all day tootling to the kitchen and back, except I had an emergency stop button and the coffee was lousy.

I was given a quick lesson first, ‘this is stop, this is go and this is a steering wheel.’ Yup, got it. Woolly hat on and I was ready to go. To cut a long story short, it’s not that exciting after the first couple of goes. The highlight of my day was waving to a toddler who was peering through the window shouting ‘Bob! It’s Bob the Builder! But mummy, it’s a girl!’

Anyway, as I was tootling along, I realised I really should get a proper job. I’ve tried, I really have. I’m signed up to all the job sites, I scroll through pages and pages of thrilling career opportunities but still there is nothing out there. I’ve moved seamlessly from being restricted by childcare commitments to being restricted by MS.

I know I’m lucky. I couldn’t ask for a better boss, I’ve learned a huge amount and can now read architectural plans like a pro. I even have my own pink drill (honestly). But plans are afoot. I can’t go far in the construction world when I can’t even go up a ladder.

But you know what? I’ll miss the bacon sarnies, the camaraderie and the filthy jokes. What other job can offer all that? Answers on a postcard….

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12 thoughts on “Plots And Plans

  1. “What other job can offer all that?” sounds like the job i had at a horse racing booth, bunch of old guys sitting around telling really, really dirty jokes :p

    i’m self-employed, dont make a lot of money, but pretty sure no one would hire me when I have a hard enough time getting to college 3 days a week. at least being self employed, if i need a nap, the couch is always there :p i would love a job, but the only jobs i have ever had were fast food related, (not going to happen now because of the heat), convenience and liquor stores, the betting booth and a dog groomers,(couldnt lift 200lb plus dogs anymore 🙁 ). would love to work at an art gallery or museum, or teach art, so thats what i have been working towards the last few years

    its always good to have a good boss, makes the job so much more enjoyable 🙂

  2. If you are disabled because of the MS then you will find it almost impossible to get a job. Take a read of my two articles about this very problem. This might make you feel quite positive This one will make you want to slit your wrists and cut your throat while slurping on a bottle of sulphuric acid. Helping the disabled with a more accessible country – don’t make me larf. This is not a one-off story.

    Also avoid recruitment agencies like the p[lague, ytou have to go to the company direct and so many companies uses a recruitment agency

    A lot of education is still needed

  3. You know, I’ve never had a problem finding a job where people aren’t telling filthy jokes and eating whatever the American equivalent of bacon sarnies is. Or maybe it’s because *I* am the one telling filthy jokes?

    Anyway, best of luck in your job search! Keep us posted!

    • stumbling in flats says:

      *blushes* oops. I think I am the peep who tells the bad jokes too. Way too rude for this family forum. Lol!

  4. stargzrblog says:

    Your stories never fail to induce a hearty chuckle and a heartfelt smile! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    One thing that I have wondered, as I have followed your blog, is why you chose to disclose your MS to your employee? I’ve been uber cautious in revealing my diagnosis to friends, family members and colleagues, partially as a result of having read about your awful experience. On the other hand, I also feel (perhaps naively??) protected by the anti-discrimination laws that are supposed to prevent this kind of thing from ever happening. But maybe there are loopholes(?)

    In any case, I wish you much luck in your future career pursuits! (Although I personally think that being able to operate a dump truck amidst all those construction guys sets a rather high standard for job satisfaction!!!)

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Aw, thank you!
      Please, please don’t listen to my story (in the nicest possible way). I had the misfortune to be employed by dinosaurs.
      Mind you, I have since heard that these kind of things happen across the spectrum. I was naive. I really thought my colleagues were friends. How wrong I was. If I could advise anything, it would be to gather all the information possible before making any disclosure. I too thought I was protected.
      Laws are brilliant and anti-discrimination laws have made great strides, but, in reality it can be very different. Maybe if I had been employed by a bigger company it would have been better, I’m not sure.
      But thank you so much for your good wishes!
      Dump-truck driver Stumbling X

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