Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fire on the keyboard......

I used to exist in a perpetual state of outrage. There is so much injustice slapping us around on a daily basis, and the world can be a cold, heartless place. My letters to the editor of whatever publication I was nearest at the time were filled with pleas to City Hall, our legislators, even the dog catcher if he got out of line. No one was safe from my scathing keyboard.

I am still a believer in the power of the individual. And, as a teacher, I passed that torch to teenagers who struggled with the same kinds of feelings I had, but they had no clue how to make themselves heard. They know now.

But I don't get too involved any more in the daily turning of the planet. My shoulders are worn down from all the burdens I carried for myself as well as others, and I have to say that I don't see that much has improved during my lifetime of speaking out. So, today I write creatively and professionally, and I dance. Those of you who are regular followers of my journey know that I'm happier for it, too. The aging process tends to mellow us out a bit, and provides some perspective in many ways.

But every one in a while, something happens that really smacks me between the eyes. And I can't stay silent.

A young woman I know was recently told by her employer (who was also supposedly a friend) that the business had to cut back. No surprises there. Millions of folks are in the same situation, laid off through no fault of their own, put out on the street to line up, applications in hand, to compete for very few job openings. I've been there, and you probably have, too.

But this employer took a despicable action to prevent the employees from filing unemployment. They are kept on the company's books with the designation "as needed." And ever since this young woman has been "as needed," which has been over three months, she hasn't been needed once. Not once. She has really been laid off, but is being prevented from filing for some help while she looks for work in a damaged economy. Is it any wonder cities across this country are being occupied?

My daughter was laid off yesterday, too. She has been working one full time job and two part time jobs to make ends meet, and has been happy to do so. She grew up watching me work from before dawn until I literally couldn't stand up any more, and has inherited that work horse gene.

She lost the full time job yesterday, but she filed for unemployment before the sun went down.  That's the way it's supposed to work, and it's what we pay taxes for.

But the other young woman is sinking fast. Her "employer" won't release her, so she can't file for help. Get a lawyer, some folks advise. And pay them with what?

My keyboard is  on fire again.

How do people like that sleep at night?

Delay in justice is injustice.

1 comment:

  1. Makes me wonder if her employer paid in unemployment to start with and is using this little legal trick to avoid prosecution by the state. I hope there is a limit to how long they can keep her in limbo, if they did pay in unemployment. Never heard of this trick before.

    You're right. Some of us out here are still waiting to be hired again so we can rebuild our lives. Not holding my breath. Just hoping I survive. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!