A Few Words...

What is written here is my opinion and personal experience only. I am not qualified to give advice - medical, legal, or otherwise. Please be responsible and do your own research regarding treatments, diets, doctors, and alternative therapies.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Riding the Waves of Uncertainty

Yesterday my employer informed us that our company has been purchased by a multi-billion dollar corporation.  This news wasn't entirely unexpected but I think most of us had hoped we would be picked up by another investment group who would allow us to continue along our current business model.   Our manager admits he doesn't know what exactly this will mean for each individual, but there will be some duplication of positions that will need to be eliminated as the merger between "them" and "us" occurs over the next three to 12 months.  My colleague and I are not optimistic about our lot for several reasons.  However, we will heed the advice of management and keep our noses down and our attitudes positive.

I work for a relatively small home infusion pharmacy that has made some steady strides in growth over the past two years.  I've enjoyed being part of a company it's size - not too big, not too small.  I've had the opportunity to work on cases with employees at many different branches and across many disciplines.  Many of the employees have been with company for a long time.  I suspect the feel will not be the same under the new ownership.

On a positive note, if I am retained, the new company is said to have great benefits.  Oh, wait.  I don't qualify for those benefits as I am a per diem employee.  In fact, if I am laid off, I don't think I will even qualify for the rumored severance package.  Given my health and the fact that I have three young-ish kids at home, I have chosen to work part-time.  The only problem these days with part-time work in the healthcare field is employers tend to consider part-time as working 32hours per week.  Yup, four 8-hour days.  Those of us wanting to work a little less, even though we hold a regular schedule, are relegated to per diem employment.  The pros: I set my own hours and only have to commit to work a minimum number of hours per pay period.  The cons: no health benefits, no retirement benefits, and probably no right to a severance package.  It's been a fair trade, I suppose, given the circumstances of the past three years.

It's only been 24 hours since getting the news, but I've been sitting with my feelings and considering the possible scenarios.  If I am retained by Big Brother, there is the possibility it will be with the caveat that I work more hours - or fewer.  I really don't want to do either.  I work about 20 hours a week now and that is perfect.  I may be required to do more work out "in the field".  I admit I have missed face-to-face patient and customer contact tremendously in this position but, given the unpredictable nature of my health from one day to the next, it has been a relief knowing I only have to show up to my quiet, nearby office on work days.  My communication with others is limited to a few office staff and phone contact with patients.  If I am required to spend more time in my car or in the field, I am not sure I can do that reliably.  I know I cannot.  Driving itself isn't always the problem, it's stopping.  Or rather, on a bad-ish day, the sensation that I am still driving long after I am not.  During those times I tend to walk around looking and feeling disoriented.  Then there's the brain fog...

On the other hand, I could be let go.  Unemployed.  God, I love working!  I fear staying home all day, every day.  I've done this and I almost lost my mind.  As much as I admit I am a homebody, I am not mentally equipped to maintain a healthy psyche without outside stimulation.  Yet, as everyone in the Meniere's world will understand, the thought of looking for and starting a new job can be just enough stress to send one into a downward spiral - pun intended.  I cannot imagine having the energy required to be "on" during training sessions and meeting and becoming acquainted with a whole new group of people.  I just cycled through a bad week with lots of dizzies and exhaustion.  I managed to get to work every day, but only because I can do my job with my eyes closed - sometimes literally.

This news has bummed me out in another way, too.  Before Meniere's, I might have been excited about new prospects.  I like a challenge and I enjoy the process of growing personally and professionally.  But Meniere's now significantly limits my enthusiasm to do new things.  I spend an awful lot of my energy fighting my negative emotions.  I have to be mindful.  I have to give myself a lot of positive self-talk just to maintain my status quo.

Ironically, I was recently invited to sit on the board of the local chapter of people-who-do-what-I-do.  My first meeting is tomorrow night.  I will take this as an opportunity to network and put my feelers out for anything I might be able to do should I find myself unemployed sometime in the near future.  I will try to keep an open mind and a positive attitude.  Best case scenario will be that I can stay in my current position with the same general hours and expectations.  But only time will tell and I have to be prepared for anything.

1 comment:

  1. Oh sweetie, I don't know why this post didn't come to my email...or perhaps it got lost...who knows, but I'm just now seeing it on my Reader. (I admit I don't go there often, my favorite blogs I get email notification for...and I've always gotten yours before...

    Oh I'm stumbling over my words because I don't really know what to say.

    This SUCKS!

    How did the meeting go? Meet anyone interesting? Hear any interesting news among your peers?

    I hope with all my heart that the best scenario happens.

    hugs to you!