Author Topic: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!  (Read 48314 times)

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Ginger G

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Wow, this just infuriates me as both an HR person and a working person who has had medical issues in the past requiring time off from work.  If she says anything else, she needs to be shut down immediately.  What Bales said about her not being your physician was perfect.  I would definitely document everything that has been said so far and let your boss know, what she is doing is pretty close to harassment. 

Not quite the same, but she reminds me somewhat of our payroll person.  Since October of last year, she has missed about 12 weeks on and off due to health problems.  She's actually out right now for the 5th week in a row, and I'm the only one who knows her job, so I'm basically doing both of our jobs right now.  I'm rally not complaining about that, I actually like being busy at work and I know her health problems are legitimate.  My complaint is that every time one of our employees goes out on disability, she gripes and complains about it and acts like the employee is "stealing" from the company.  I thought she would stop being like that after she came back from being out for surgery last year, but she still has no empathy whatsoever towards other people.   I had minor eye surgery back in January and was out for 3 days, and it got back to me later that she made snide comments about that to someone.  Of course, she can go out and take all the time she needs, but heaven forbid someone else do that.  I've managed to be polite and professional so far (bean dip!!), but sometimes it's really hard not to tell her how ridiculous and hypocritcal she is.

ebrochu

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Well, I've gotten the date for my Cat scan. It's on May 14, about 3 weeks from now. It's a bit of a wait, given how long I've already been waiting, but I can deal, considering that in the "Big City" near me, people are having to wait MONTHS for a scan (up to 6!)

The only thing that's getting me down right now is the company that's providing me with my benefits. I'm "up for review" since i was only given 3 weeks of benefits. My case was passed along to another worker (I didn't even know that!) and I need to go through a telephone interview. But the new caseworker has had my file for over a week now, and I've heard absolutely nothing from them.

That being said, I can't return to work, because I'm even worse than I was before. And I'm not on benefits, since they are "over" until my review is over. So, I'm not technically bringing in any income. That's got me really worried.

I know that things will work out, since everyone on something like this needs to be reviewed, and my Boss does care about me, so my job isn't at risk (unless someone above her decides to chop me, but we're not an "at will" company, so I would have recourse) And by the next pay, all of this should be figured out.

But given everything thus far, it's just one more thing that adds to the stress and makes it hard to get better.

So I won't have an update until at least mid may. Loads of time to fret and chew my nails!  :-[
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 07:44:06 PM by ebrochu »



MrsCrazyPete

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((((hugs)))) for ebrochu. I'm sorry you have to wait so long! Maybe you can use the time to catch up on old tv programs? I hope all this gets cleared up quickly!
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Corvid

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I've known people who were emotionally invested in an identity of "the fragile, sick one" and didn't like any competition for the title.  Could that be contributing to your coworker's attitude?

Has your coworker gotten comfortable with calling in sick because you've been there to cover for her and she has, perhaps subconsciously, started to think of  covering for her as part of your job?  If that is the case, she might feel your being out sick is a personal inconvenience because, even though there is another person who could cover, calling in won't be quite as carefree as before.

Just a few ideas off the top of my uncaffeinated head.

Stormtreader

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I've known people who were emotionally invested in an identity of "the fragile, sick one" and didn't like any competition for the title.  Could that be contributing to your coworker's attitude?

Has your coworker gotten comfortable with calling in sick because you've been there to cover for her and she has, perhaps subconsciously, started to think of  covering for her as part of your job?  If that is the case, she might feel your being out sick is a personal inconvenience because, even though there is another person who could cover, calling in won't be quite as carefree as before.

Just a few ideas off the top of my uncaffeinated head.

Exactly what I was thinking as well.

ebrochu

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Mrs CrazyPete: I've been very busy at home catching up on fave movies, books and crafts. I've finished a few paintings, scrapbook pages and drawings that have been floating around. I've also been doing all chores that my husband will let me do that don't involve standing for long periods, lifting or bending over. I've become the queen of folding, and online bill management.

Corvid and Stormtreader: I'm not exactly sure if that's how she sees herself, but I do agree that she likes to be the centre of it all. If it's not with sicknesses, it's with the work we do. When she did actually come back to work, she wouldn't step back into the job initially, because it was too much for her. She was able to do other work, but I was still the only one doing this specific job, and not able to take any other days off, or have a break from the work. But she had no issues with telling me how I was doing it all wrong, and how she would have done it differently. Even to the point of throwing some of what I did out.

After 8 weeks of working like I did, I was getting burnt out. I was tired, and beginning to really feel the negative aspects of my cyst. I wasn't performing my best, but I was exhausted. I did (very politely) tell her that she was more than happy to take over. I got a "no, I'm just not ready!"

*Well, then maybe you should have just stayed off until you WERE ready, so you're not making me feel like scum then!* said evil ebrochu mentally when she said that.

Yeah. I've not returned to work since I've been off that much. Only to talk to my boss, and hand in paperwork. But i've made sure to go in when she's not there.



QueenfaninCA

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That being said, I can't return to work, because I'm even worse than I was before. And I'm not on benefits, since they are "over" until my review is over. So, I'm not technically bringing in any income. That's got me really worried.

Wait a moment: You worked insane hours to cover for a colleague until you worked yourself sick for a company that doesn't even give you decent health benefits?

Lady Snowdon

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That being said, I can't return to work, because I'm even worse than I was before. And I'm not on benefits, since they are "over" until my review is over. So, I'm not technically bringing in any income. That's got me really worried.

Wait a moment: You worked insane hours to cover for a colleague until you worked yourself sick for a company that doesn't even give you decent health benefits?

I'm guessing ebrochu is on short term disability, where you are approved for a certain amount of time and then additional information is needed to continue approving you.  You don't just get approved for large amounts of time off - I work in the short term disability side of things, and I still have to request medical information and approve for a short period of time even for people who clearly need to be off!  It sucks, but it's the way the system works.  That being said, my company has a policy that we reach out to people within a day or two of their current approval ending, so the over a week with no contact doesn't fly with me. 

ebrochu

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Lady Snowdon:

I've NEVER used the short term disability for the whole 11 years I've been with this company. I have no idea what Is right and wrong with procedures. I knew that my review needed to be done, and I was OK with having to wait. But I am glad that I'm not the only one who finds 13 days of waiting (at least; hopefully I'll hear from them after the weekend!) a bit off.

My benefits had ended April 9Th, which was right around Easter. I wasn't able to get my specialist appointment until April 5Th. I told them this, and had the information all faxed off by the 10Th. I don't know if this means that I'm not considered "valid" for benefits anymore or not, since I didn't get my info in before the cutoff date. But it was the first day everything was open after Easter, and my appointment was the day before Good Friday, when everything would be closed! Not a good situation, all round.

 If I haven't heard anything from them by Monday, would it be OK if I sent an email or phoned to my initial case manager asking if I can have a e.t.a on when I might get my review? I don't want to seem like a pest, or negatively affect whether I get my extension, though.

QueenfaninCA:

My company does have some awesome benefits, thankfully! 80% coverage on dental and prescriptions, 70 to 80 % coverage on "non medical" visits, like physio therapy, massage therapy, psychiatrists, etc. semi private to private rooms.  Which I will be taking full advantage of when I finally DO get my surgery!

I'm again so glad to know that my issues aren't snowflakey or prissy of me. It does make me a bit calmer. Now if I get a call from my new worker on Monday, I'll be ecstatic.



kkl123

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Yes, it would definitely be ok if you call and ask for the eta on your review.  We just had a similar situation here (I was a family caregiver), and the company would call about two days before the expiration of the disability period to see if the new paperwork was here, and if it had gone to the MD for signature.  Sometimes there were additional questions about progress, but all in all, it was pretty seamless.


Bales

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I work for a company that processes STD (short term disability!) claims and it's definitely OK to call them for an update and ask if there is anything else they need.  Perhaps they didn't get the fax from your doctor or needed additional clarification / confirmation on something and are waiting to hear back from your doctor.  If that's the case, you can help facilitate that.  If it's just the information is there and hasn't been reviewed, then definitely push back on that - typical review times for STD once the updated medical is received should average 5 business days (and that's generous.)

To help the process go smoothly in the future, be sure you tell them - and your doctor's notes and anything s/he sends to the disability folks also state - why you are unable to perform your job duties (level of pain, unable to sit for extended periods, medications and their side effects of x,y,z, etc.)

Good luck to you!

ebrochu

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My computer ate my last post, so I'll be a bit more short and sweet with this one.

I've been completely antsy about getting the extension on my Short Term Disability coverage. After a little bit of praying last night, what ended up in my mailbox this morning? A form from my insurance company, asking me to call them for the telephone interview!

I grabbed the phone and dialed right away. After some back and forth,she asked me the needed questions, and then asked how I've been dealing with this for so long. And then the blessed words I needed to hear: "Your extension is going to the end of may for now, with another interview scheduled for then. And let's get you paid, my dear!

Sweeter words never spoken!

It's not necessarily all about the money (although I need to pay the rent and bills, so it's helpful!) but more the fact that I've been validated by the insurance company as being legitimate. That someone other than a friend or loved one has said "my goodness, you need help, and I believe you!"

Thank you SO much to everyone here who was so helpful to me,both publically and privately. Your suggestions and advice was instrumental in helping me find the paths i needed to move along.

Next update will be when I've gotten the cat scan.



stargazer

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GREAT update!  I'm so glad for you that they approved you with no problems.

Winterlight

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Hurray! What a relief for you.
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Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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Gyburc

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I'm glad that your insurance issue is sorted! I just wanted to add as well that I think your co-worker sounds very unpleasant, honestly. I wouldn't pay her any more attention than you need to in order to do your job.

I hope you are soon recovered!

best,

G
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