Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My pneumonia and corporate ethics

A labor job, that I recently started as a form of therapy for carpal tunnel in my neck ("geek neck") and frozen right shoulder, ailments caused by my computer abuse, this "therapeutic" job, nearly killed me Sunday night.

When I told the boss, two hours into my shift, that I came to work with a flu, but thought I could gallantly "work through it", and was now very feverish, delirious, and nauseous (vomit-prone), his noble reply was a dead cold, empty-eyed "I'm already one person short tonight".

I finished my shift, and did not take a single break, while Illinois state law states that a worker deserves a 30 minute lunch/rest break after 5 hours of continuous labor. Like many companies in Illinois, they violate state labor laws.

When I got home, my wife was alarmed.

I could not talk, my throat was so dry and sore, and I could not cough, without experiencing severe lung pain. I shivered violently all night long, as I swam in rivers of sweat pouring out of me like geysers. Since Sunday night, I've been trashed, exhausted, sleeping all the time.

Coughing, sweating, shivering is the body's pathetic, desperate attempts to get rid of poisons, disease, and waste matter. WebMD wisely recommends avoiding cough suppressing medicines.

No wonder they have so much turn-over, workers quitting and needing to be replaced. I have heard workers at this rotten establishment boast pridefully that they're been there a whole 3 months.

This is Amerika. Home of the Mediocre and Land of the Wage Slaves. Absolutely no compassion for workers who sacrifice mental and physical health, and family life, just to please a sadistic corporate cabal who, as CEOs, make about 600 times, on average, what the front-line worker makes.

Friends, no freaking CEO is worth even 60 times what a front-line worker makes, maybe 6 times, but not 600. And the number is escalating each year.

Here are the symptoms of pneumonia, according to WebMD:


Symptoms of pneumonia caused by bacteria in otherwise healthy people younger than 65 usually come on suddenly. They often start during or after an upper respiratory infection, such as influenza or a cold, and may include:

  • Cough, often producing mucus (sputum) from the lungs. Mucus may be rusty or green or tinged with blood.
  • Fever, which may be less common in older adults.
  • Shaking, "teeth-chattering" chills (one time only or many times).
  • Fast, often shallow, breathing and the feeling of being short of breath.
  • Chest wall pain that is often made worse by coughing or breathing in.
  • Fast heartbeat.
  • Feeling very tired (fatigue) or feeling very weak malaise).

I had pneumonia Sunday night. I had all those symptoms, and more, to an intense degree, including nausea, delirium, and headache.

When I called the company today to explain my serious, near-death experience, and said I was still trying to recover, and could not come in to work tonight, they got angry and said it didn't look good to call in sick so early in a person's employment.

Notice, Vaspersians: no "get well soon", no "sorry you're feeling lousy", no "thanks for working your entire shift Sunday night, even though it damn near killed you."

I will be a "no call/no show", the best retaliation. I mean: I will not "quit" this job, I will simply not show up for work. And I know something--they cannot get people to work there, much less cover a shift at the last minute.

You know what I want to say to them, so I will spare your tender ears and not say it. Use your imagination.

I keep thinking about a quote I read somewhere recently "Being dead is bad for business". In other words, my health, my very life itself, is far more important than any job, or even my excessive computer usage.

If I die, it will be bad for my family, my self-fulfillment, my business, my volunteer work for the Boy Scouts, my friends, and maybe even my country.

Don't die for your boss. Make him suffer for you, if he treats you bad.


carrie said...

yeah! stick it to 'the man' ;-)

sorry you've been ill.

MARYBETH said...

take good care of yourself. Pamonia can be a real stinker to get rid of completely.

steven edward streight said...

As a Violent Pacifist, I thank you all for your gentle concern for my health.

I'm the Sick Blogologist, always bitching about geek neck, etc.

Hmph. It is great being Vaspersian.