Sept 2: I was out of my head today. I just couldn’t think straight and was very distracted. I know part of the reason is that it’s allergy season for me, I have a hard time with Ragweed, but part of the reason was because I was so distracted thinking outside my job that I couldn’t focus. For you see, in my mind, I’ve moved on. Not physically, but mentally. I applied for a banking job last night and I received a confirmation that they received my application today. Just that small acknowledgement has me nervous. Who knows if I get the job but it’s the first application I’ve submitted in ten years and the thought of going through the interview process makes me want to vomit, but this is what I need to do to move on. It’s gotten so bad that I FANTASIZE about putting my two weeks notice in. I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. I’m planning on submitting some more applications tonight. I would rather not say where, but suffice it to say, I’m not too proud to work ANYWHERE at this point in time. I would prefer to make at least as much as I’m making now, (which shouldn’t be too hard since I really don’t make that much, to be honest), but again, I’ll take just about anything if it means getting out of this environment. It’s so bizarre working at the hospital because it’s COVID all the time, and then you leave hospital grounds, and it’s like COVID doesn’t exist. That should tell you something.
I have to confess, it’s sort of fun to look through all of the job openings on Indeed.com (not sponsored). I’m opening the door to something new and different and I’m excited but really nervous at the same time.
Sept 3: Had a talk with the nurse I work with. Her and I are on completely opposite sides of this COVID agenda, erhm, topic. I know she’s desperate to keep me at the clinic, I get her heart is in the right place, but the fact that she doesn’t know half of why I have no intention of taking the vaccine and doesn’t really listen to the few reasons I’ve given her without allowing me to fully explain myself is proof positive that people like her are not truly interested in what I’m saying, only in that I do what her, and the others at the hospital, do. The fact that we can’t have a conversation about this very important issue and that the vaccine is THE only solution to this COVID problem, is a problem. The more my questions are pooh-poohed, or the more trying to talk about alternative treatment options for COVID are immediately shut down and censored, the more I’m suspicious that it’s not really about the disease but about something else entirely. I don’t know what that something is, but it’s creepy and disturbing how adamant the vaxxed have become about this topic.
Not to mention, don’t you think it’s weird timing that the Delta variant came out and was so “contagious” shortly after half the country was vaccinated? I find that coincidence a little timely, don’t you?
Anyway. I semi-promised I would try and file a religious exemption. I heard that about 2,000 people filed an exemption. I don’t know if that number is accurate and I’m betting a large portion of that 2,000 will cave and get the injection before the deadline but whatever, I don’t care what other people do – you do you. For me? I’m moving on. I don’t want to stay someplace that is going to treat me like a 2nd class citizen. No job is worth that stress.
I need to stop telling Kevin some of things that people say, it just makes him angry and he WANTS. ME. OUT. He told me when we were at dinner tonight that he feels so sorry for me when I go to work in the mornings. Apparently, I look super sad and defeated and it crushes his soul. I didn’t realize I looked that way but I’ll be honest, that’s how I’m feeling right about now.
Sept 5: Kevin is working on a “religious” exemption for me. He’s so sweet. He doesn’t really want me to continue working at the hospital, but he knows I want to at least try and see what happens with the exemption. I don’t know even know if you could call it a “religious” exemption though he is combing through the Bible for supporting verses. It’s more of a philosophical exemption, if you want to get technical. At this point, I really don’t care, I just want to give them something and if they take it, great, we’ll go from there, and if not, then I’m out. I’m not really invested in this attempt, I’m sort of going through the motions more than anything else, but at least if I try I can say I tried, you know? We’ll see how it goes.
The boys are heading over shortly to have enchiladas and tacos. We haven’t seen the boys since Brandon had his wisdom teeth removed so I’m looking forward to catching up with them.
Sept 6: Boys came over and we had enchiladas and tacos for dinner. Enchiladas are so much work but worth it in the end. Brandon’s face is back to normal and he’s feeling good so that warms my heart. It was nice to see both of them and catch up.
Kevin did a REALLY good job putting some stuff together for me for the religious exemption I plan on turning in tomorrow. He found quite a few verses that back up what I’m trying to say. Now the question is, will my employer accept it? I read an article today that companies are challenging religious exemptions and I anticipate quite a few lawsuits around the country as a result, but for me, they can take it leave it – I don’t care enough to put up much of a fight. I will halt my application process in the meantime though if the bank I submitted an application to calls, I will go on that interview for a few reasons. 1. I’m curious to see what they offer and the bank itself is gorgeous – I’d like to have a reason to see the inside of it and 2. I need to practice my interviewing skills because it’s been a HOT minute since I’ve been on an interview. At any rate, we’ll see what the hospital says. I’m hoping they are so desperate to keep people that submitting an exemption is just an excuse to please the people out there that are pressuring the hospital to pay the mandates and keep the people who are vehemently opposed to it, like myself. We’ll see.
Sept 9: Why are short weeks so long? I feel like I’ve worked two weeks in three days.
Dr. M saw a patient in between surgery cases today and we had the patient in a room and waiting for him when he arrived. He seemed to be in a better mood today and he actually smiled and talked to us today. I hope this means he’s getting over his funk. It was nice to see a glimpse of the old Dr. M. I felt like saying, “There you are! I missed you!”
Talked to my manager today and told her I submitted an exemption on Tuesday. She was relieved. She said she had received a list of all of the people in our clinic that submitted exemptions and she was worried when my name didn’t appear on that list. She said that from all of our neuroscience departments, there were about 36% of employees that filed exemptions, which could mean, potentially, 30% of our staff leaves by the deadline. So – to give you some perspective – we have 24 employees in our clinic when we’re fully staffed. We’re currently down to 20. She said that if we lose the people that she’s projecting to lose, that will put our clinic down to 14 people and there is no way we can run our clinic on that few people – they would have to shut the doors and our physicians would only have enough staff to run one clinic per week instead of two. Maybe. For some strange reason, I’m lifted up by that information. Not because I want to see the clinic fail but because I’m proud of the people that are against mandatory vaccines standing strong and not giving in to bully tactics.
In addition, my manager told me how much my hourly wage would go up after the hospital announced it was raising the minimum wage – over $2.00 an hour!! Um … that’s pretty good. Not good enough for me to get the vaccine, but definitely good enough for me to consider being subjected to weekly COVID testing, assuming they accept my exemption request. My manager said the hospital will be mailing something to me soon letting me know if they accepted, or rejected my request. In the meantime, I’m in limbo and again, just taking one day at a time. We ended up canceling our upcoming camping trip – partly because of the crap that is going on at work and partly because Kevin’s truck is at the shop.
Speaking of Kevin’s truck – we haven’t heard a peep from the garage. They have had the truck for two days now and they haven’t reached out once to give us an update. Kevin is starting to suspect they are scamming him. He’s driving out to the place tomorrow to find out what’s going on.
Biden announced he’s pulling an executive order to mandate all employers with more than 100 employees to mandate the vaccine, except for Postal workers and illegal aliens. Biden is an evil man and showing his true colors – a dictator. I hope if you voted for Biden you have buyer’s remorse because this lunatic is going to go down in history as the worst president we’ve ever had – and we’ve had some really bad ones!
But hey, no more mean tweets, right?
Sept 10: Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse …
The dictator in the White House, aka the weasel in charge, the yellow-bellied cockroach, the dog poo on the bottom of my shoe, made an announcement that “his patience is running thin” and it’s time to take the unvaccinated by the short and curlies and FORCE them to get something they don’t want. And because these lions won’t bow to his idiocy, he is going to hit them where it really hurts, in the pocketbook.
He is mandating that ALL employers with more than 100 employees (why the random number?) will be forcing their employees to either take the experimental injectable or get tested weekly for COVID.
I don’t even have words to express my anger and frustration right now. And that’s saying a lot coming from a person who is generally pretty wordy.
On top of that, the first round of religious exemptions came back today – DENIED. I can’t help but wonder if they were emboldened by the DICK-tator’s announcement. And if that’s not bad enough. I was called into my manager’s office and told I was getting $2.66 more an hour beginning October 1st, because you know, the disease is not serious enough for me to get the vax, so now they’re trying to bribe me.
I admit, I’m SORELY tempted.
So I don’t have much faith that my religious exemption will be accepted. And that’s fine. When I get my denial letter in the mail, Kevin and I will look it over and determine whether it’s worth fighting for an appeal. Or, more likely, if I have to get a weekly COVID test anyway if the exemption IS accepted, I won’t waste my energy on an exemption and just go for the weekly test. However, I WILL fight to use a test that is NOT a PCR test, since those things are faulty.
Why don’t I just go ahead and quit? Well, I still might, but I’m hanging on to this job by my fingernails and giving them every opportunity, other than taking the poison, to work with me here. Also, I can’t help but be nervous – if I quit the hospital, who’s is say I won’t be expected to take the vax and/or test weekly for COVID somewhere else and if that’s the case, why did I quit a job where I will make decent money, am familiar with it, good at it and is easy for me as opposed to taking a job in a new environment doing work I’m not familiar with and getting to know a whole new team of people and personalities.
I have so many emotions right now I have a migraine. Truly. I don’t know my head from my ass right now because I want to fight but I don’t even know where to start. Not to mention, I HAVE to work. We need health insurance and we have bills to pay, though Kevin assures me we would be fine if I had to quit and wasn’t able to get another job right away and there’s always, *gulp* Obamacare if push comes to shove.
AARRGH. I can’t STAND not knowing what to do or where to go from here. This whole thing is just insane. Sometimes I wonder if WE’RE just making a mountain out of a molehill and why not just get the damn thing, you know? But no, I will not comply.
My heart goes out to those out there in the same boat. I understand and I empathize. We MUST stand strong and not allow this DICK-tator crap all over this country.
And just think, we have THREE more years of this hairy, disgusting pig scrotum.
Sept 14: My religious exemption was DENIED. I’ll be honest, I really hoped the hospital would accept it. I was thinking maybe the hospital would want to extend an olive branch, maybe use the exemption as a way to please both side of the aisle – show the public that they are taking steps to protect people and yet, find a way keep all of their employees. So when I received my denial, I was a little surprised and disappointed. I was also mad at myself for once again holding out any hope that it would work. I hate being disappointed. That’s why I’m a realist. I would rather be prepared for the bad and surprised by the good than hope it turns out good and it’s bad.
Does that make sense?
Sept 15: I turned in my resignation. I was so put off and disgusted by the hospital’s response to my “sincerely held belief” that I just ripped that bandaid off and took the plunge. I couldn’t justify, in my head, sticking around a few more weeks, until the October 15th deadline, when I. WAS. DONE. I’m tired of thinking about it, worrying about it, feeling like people are looking at me differently, almost with pity … No. It was time to move on. Why prolong the inevitable?
Sept 17: I had no intention of telling anyone anything until the very last minute. And the reason I wanted to do it that way was for purely selfish reasons – the EMOTIONS of it all. I didn’t want the whole clinic to come to me and make me rehash my reasons why I was doing what I was doing. My leaving is NOT A HAPPY THING. I’m angry, bitter, sad, disappointed, disgusted and all the feels, honestly. I can’t believe it’s come to this. I can’t believe I’m going to leave a job that I truly love, and am confident and thrive doing, because I won’t succumb to an injectable that has been out less than a year and no one knows a whole lot about.
Anyway, you can read all about my resignation and the day I told my peeps at work here.
Sept 19: Happy work anniversary to me! Today is exactly ten years since I’ve worked for the hospital. It’s sad that I won’t be there another ten years, which is what I had planned on happening, but in some ways, it’s a new beginning. I’m closing a chapter in my life and at the same time, I’m starting another chapter. It’s scary, daunting, but somewhat exciting, as well.
This month has been hot and mostly sunny. It’s been beautiful actually. I’m glad for the beautiful weather as that has made this past month at least bearable. I can’t imagine having to endure the stress of this past month with dark and gloomy weather on top of it. I wish we could have gone camping, it’s perfect camping weather but Kevin’s truck is still out of commission and it’s looking like it’s not going to get fixed any time soon. He’s thinking about selling it, as is, which is less than ideal and we won’t get as much money for it, but he’s a little out of his league when it comes to a diesel engine. It’s not that he couldn’t figure it out, but the way the truck is designed, it needs to have the cab lifted off in order to get to the area that needs to be worked on and he obviously doesn’t have the tools necessary to do that so … plan B is to sell it and buy an F150, or maybe an F250 gas truck so that we can pull the cargo trailer. I think he should get an F250 as that will EASILY pull the trailer and since we are wanting to spend some time in Colorado we won’t have to stress about the truck not being able to navigate the steep mountains.
Brandon came over to get their water today. He’s pretty dissatisfied with his job. Not because of any vaccine issue, (yet – and thank goodness), but because they have scheduled him for the next eight Saturdays in a row when they are supposed to be rotating with the other tellers and his third anniversary came and went without a review and potentially a pay raise. I encouraged him to speak to his manager as it could have been an oversight and his manager deserves to know how he’s feeling as I’m sure they don’t want to lose him, too. In addition, he talked a bit about how he’s fed up with cranky, difficult customers and he’s tired of being yelled at. I get it. People are on edge and stressed out right now but you can’t take it personally because it’s most likely it has nothing to do with him. But still, I get it. It’s exhausting dealing with jerks. So – reminder – please be nice to your fellow humans.
Sept 20: I had been dreading this day for weeks. This was the first day of clinic that I had to work with Dr. M and H since I announced my resignation date. I knew it was going to awkward but I tried my best to keep a smile on my face and not allow it to sour my mood or my work performance. The morning was underway and I had a brief break between patients and I sought out another girl, M, is was in the same situation as me to just blow off a little steam when she told me something that literally changed my life.
Her religious exemption appeal had been approved.
. . . . . . . .
I was literally gobsmacked. I had to sit down because I suddenly felt weak.
She explained that she talked to a friend who encouraged her to submit her appeal and to use certain keywords/phrases that would increase her chances of getting accepted. So she did, and it was. She said she submitted it the Thursday before and had an answer by Friday. She was actually out of the office that Friday so I had no idea what was happening otherwise I wouldn’t have put myself the emotional torture of announcing to everyone in the clinic September 29th was my last day.
Now I know what you’re thinking – keywords? Really Karen? But that’s not that unusual. When I was a scheduler and I dealt with insurance companies concerning authorizations for diagnostic testing, I knew there were certain keywords they were waiting to hear before they would approve something. And as long as those keywords were SOMEWHERE in the doctor’s documentation, I could use them and had great success getting things approved. So when she told me there were keywords the hospital was looking for, it didn’t sound too far fetched to me.
I immediately emailed Kevin and forwarded him an example of what M submitted to give him ideas. I would have done it myself but I was working a clinic and didn’t really have the time to just stop what I was doing and write something. So Kevin, being the awesome man he is, went to town and put together an appeal. I read it over when it sent it back to me and made a few changes and hit send.
Now, it was a waiting game. I was truly hoping I would find out, either way, the next day since M got her answer to quickly, but you just never know with this kind of stuff. All I knew was that it wouldn’t hurt to try. I hadn’t planned on trying before because I didn’t think I had a snowballs chance in hell that it would be approved and I didn’t want to give myself false hope – again.
And I tried very hard not to have too much hope this go around but I knew that if mine came back denied I was going to march my butt into my director’s office and ask why.
Speaking of my director – the director of Neurosciences summoned me to his office after clinic that day to tell me that he was sorry to see me go and gave me his card offering to give me a reference if I needed it at my new job. I thought that was SO SWEET! He said he could tell my entire team was stressed out and that things were tense and though he and I didn’t agree on the issue, he thought I was an outstanding worker and would be happy to offer his two cents if I wanted him to. I told him I submitted an appeal and he perked up a bit.
I also told Dr. M that I filed an exemption but he didn’t act too enthusiastic by that news. He was probably thinking there would be no way I would be approved either.
The rest of the day was sort of a blur. All I could think about was … what if?
Sept 21: The next day I worked Dr. S’s clinic, which I was really grateful for because I knew I would be on edge waiting to hear back from human resources about my appeal. Almost exactly 24 hours later, I heard back.
IT WAS APPROVED!!
I. Was. ECSATIC!! I couldn’t believe it! They actually accepted my appeal!! I immediately text Kevin the good news then went to find my nurse. She was in our office since she wasn’t covering anyone that day and I walked in, gave her a huge, goofy grin, held my arms out and told her she needed to hug me. She immediately screamed and we hugged, hard. I can’t even tell you the HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders by that news!!
I could stay! Which – on the surface sounds crazy that I had to fight for the right to say no to something pertaining to my body, but whatever – they approved my appeal!
Now, for reality. It’s only good until August 2022. I’m not sure what that means, exactly, but I guess I’ll deal with that when the time comes. Also, I will be expected to take a weekly COVID test. I’m not sure how that will work out, exactly, but again, I’ll cross that bridge when it’s time to address that. In the meantime, all I wanted to do was savor the moment, the small victory, though I guess to me, it’s not a small victory but pretty major, and BREATHE. I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for months and for the first time I would BREATHE.
You can read more about this here.
Sept 22: Now that the COVID hurdle had been jumped, I still had another hurdle to jump – the flu vaccine. It’s time. So of course, I submitted a religious exemption for the flu vaccine. Who knows how this will work out. For one, I think I might have submitted it after the deadline to do so because when I went on our Intranet at work to fill out the form, it was no longer there. So, a co-worker searched for “flu vaccine exemption” and the form popped up. I filled it out, then wrote out my supporting documentation and submitted it to the same email address I received my COVID approval from.
Maybe I’m pushing my luck, but I’ve NEVER felt right taking the flu vaccine and now that I’ve committed to not taking the COVID vaccine I feel hypocritical not submitting an exemption request for the flu vaccine. I have no idea if they will accept it and I have no idea what I will do if they don’t.
I know I will be expected to do certain things, like get tested weekly for COVID and wear a mask throughout the flu season as a condition for my approval and I’m assuming that will be the case if they approve the flu vaccination exemption request.
But I don’t know. I’m not as worried about the flu vaccine as I was for the COVID vaccine, but again, I’ll just take every day as it comes and cross that bridge when I come to it.
Sept 23: Kevin text me to say he needed a ride to pick up his truck after work. Which meant, HE BOUGHT THE TRUCK. He had been looking at a Ford F150 for a bit and he went to test drive it without my knowledge. Not that he needs my permission to buy a new vehicle but I think the reason he didn’t tell me he was seriously thinking about buying this truck is because he knew I would try and talk him out of it.
And he’s right. I would have.
He listed his Ford F250 diesel on Craigslist and had a few people bite, but no buyers yet. Now that he has this truck, he’s thinking of keeping the diesel and putting more research and effort into trying to fix it. He was told, by a guy that worked at O’Reilly’s, that the truck is likely worth $20,000 if it’s driveable. So now Kevin is on a mission to make it driveable. He has to be careful though, because he doesn’t want to put too much money into the truck because A. he’s not sure what he does to it will be successful and B. who knows if the $20,000 estimate is even accurate. But it’s a challenge and Kevin doesn’t shy away from challenges, so we’ll see how it works out. I have to admit, he got a pretty good deal on the F150 and it’s nice to see him smiling again. He’s just a man that NEEDS a truck given all of the projects he does and how he needs a truck to haul materials for said projects around. I get it. I just hope he can figure out what is going on with the F250 so he can sell it for a profit.
It looked pretty nice when we picked it up. I drove him to the guy’s house to get it. He had already paid for it and had the key, so I didn’t even have to get out of my car when I dropped him off.
Sept 25: I’m bummed. We were supposed to be on vacation right now and we had plans on staying at this super campground by Meramac River up by St. Louis. But with everything going on at work, that sort of disappeared. After submitting my resignation, giving my two weeks, you can’t take vacation time in that time period so I had to forfeit the time. And when I rescinded my resignation I felt funny to turn around and demand my vacation time back. It felt a bit rude, truth be known.
I asked off for some time in November, but who knows if it that will happen. I’m planning on being pretty stingy with my earned time off because if I test positive for COVID during one of my weekly testing sessions, (yes, I will have to test every weekend to see if I can come to work on Monday), and if I happen to test positive, then I will need some earned time off to pay for the time I HAVE to be off to give myself time to “get over it.” *eye roll* But whatever, I’m just thankful to have a job at this point. Talking about vacations seems pretty trivial when you think about it that way, but still, I am bummed about having to cancel our plans.
Sept 30: Today was supposed to be my last day of work. Weird. I called a meeting with all the other medical assistants, (we have seven, we’re supposed to have nine and have been two short for a while – no applications – imagine that!) and we just talked, caught up on each other’s lives and talked about various work-related issues we want to bring up to management. It was nice to just get together. Our clinic is so spread out, our offices are so isolated, that it’s nice to just get together sometimes and SEE one another. It made me thankful that I wasn’t leaving them. It was an odd feeling, to work my last day, only it’s no longer my last day. I’ve never quit and then rescinded my resignation before. This is new territory and I still feel like I’m taking one day at at time. But at the end of the day, I’m just thankful to still have a job. I know there are a lot of people in the country right now that don’t and that just sucks. However, I’m also realistic – who knows how long my current situation will last. I would like to think I will be with the hospital until I retire in ten years, but with the way things are going, who knows. And especially for the next three years with the bumbling DICK-tator in the office. It’s been a roller coaster month and I’m ready to get back to boring, thank you very much.