Best… Seizure… Ever

, , , , | Working | May 24, 2019

(I’m in my twenties. As I walk back home after shopping with my parents, I drop to the ground with a seizure and injure my head on the pavement. My parents call an ambulance and I get taken care of at the hospital. In the middle of it, my dad snaps a picture of me on the sidewalk, bleeding from my head. After spending a night in the hospital, I post the picture in my coworkers’ chat group, informing them I won’t come in for four weeks per doctor’s orders. My coworkers express their get-well-soons, and I get examinations for the cause of the seizure. After a week, my doctor tells me I’m not allowed to drive a car for three months due to insurance reasons. I immediately panic as my daily work commute plan goes out the window, I reach out to my works council to set up a meeting with the CEO and my shift lead. After the pleasantries are exchanged:)

Me: “The reason I asked for this meeting is because I’m not allowed to drive a car at the moment, and I was wondering if we could work out alternative work hours so I can use public transportation or some kind of plan how else I can get to work.”

CEO: “So, wait. You want to get back to work?”

Me: “Well, my sick leave is still in effect for another three weeks, but yeah, I’d like to come back.”

CEO: “Oh, great. I thought you wanted to announce you’d be gone for half a year or so. [Works Council] showed me a picture of you bleeding on a sidewalk; that must’ve hurt quite badly, didn’t it?”

Me: “Honestly, I don’t remember the fall at all. I just suddenly woke up in an ambulance headed for the hospital. Getting that wound stitched together was kind of uncomfortable, though.”

CEO: “You still have some overtime in your account, right? And some leftover vacation days too?”

Me: “I guess, last I checked 10 days vacation and some 60 hours OT.”

CEO: “Let me go to the HR office real quick to crunch some numbers.”

(They leave.)

Works Council: “Hey, [Coworker] lives in [Town near my parents’ town]. Maybe you can carpool with him?”

Me: “If he’s okay with it, that’s a valid option. But isn’t he off the early-late shift rotation and always starts at seven?”

Shift Lead: “That’s not a problem. We can put you off rotation until you can drive here by yourself again.”

(The CEO gets back.)

CEO: “So, HR and I came up with a little plan. We need you to reduce your overtime hours, anyway, so if you take your leftover vacation and some 50 hours, you can stay home and recover properly.”

(It is late-October and it dawns on me they intend to send me home for the rest of the year.)

Me: “Wait. You’re telling me I’d be done with work for the year?”

Works Council: “It would greatly reduce your carpool time, as well. [Shift Lead], are you okay with that?”

Shift Lead: “I’d have to swap some people around, but it is manageable.”

Me: “I don’t know what to say. I was panicking back home as I didn’t know how I could come here, and now you took this huge load off my shoulders.”

CEO: “I’d rather have you here healthy and fit than bleeding everywhere and stressed out. Go home, get some rest, recover, and I’ll see you on January 2nd. Just keep us updated if your doctor finds something serious.”

(My CEO has a reputation of being demanding, but when times get tough they totally have their workers’ backs. I ended up carpooling with my coworker for three weeks, but stopped doing the voluntary night shifts, as my doctor suspected my messed-up sleep cycle to be responsible for the seizure.)

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