As those who read me know I haven't been posting for a while and now I will share some of that with you here.
I became unemployed back in February of 2012 and applied for unemployment. My job objected to me getting the money and wanted a hearing. I wrote about that job when I first came here, it was a hellhole of a job that I hung onto for a little over 3 years, even though I hated every minute of it. The bills have to get paid so one will allow themselves to be belittled, spoken down to, elevated in one moment to be deflated in the next just to get a check. Well all of that takes a toll on your soul and in my case I was so dejected and depressed that I couldn't even defend myself to the state of Georgia.
In the months that followed Georgia told me that I owed them over 1000.00 for the benefits I received and then I had no income. I lost my car, my heat and lights were turned off, and the only thing that kept me and my pets from the street is my mortgage is in my brother's name.
I owe my life to my neighbor who sensed something was very wrong in Denmark and invited me to dinner then insisted I spend the night for months. While I was there I helped her with her grandmother and her kids. I cooked and drove them in a car loaned to me by another friend to and from daycare or school, when I was asked to.
I finally found another job and this job was right up my alley since it was with young thoroughbreds. I was happy as a lark as I earned enough to get my utilities turned back on and began paying my mortgage myself. Then my boss hired a young Irishman as a foreman, and things took a turn for the worse. When they announced he was coming they asked if anyone knew of a room for rent because he and his wife live in Camden, SC. I have a three bedroom and this seemed like a great opportunity for me to really get back on my feet, but I decided to wait and meet him before making any offers. Am I glad I did that. For me our first conversation was an opportunity to get to know him, and then decide if we would be compatible. I found him to be rude to say the least, in the middle of a sentence he turned away from me and walked out of the barn. He didn't even bother to say I really need to get to the other barns or anything just turned and walked away.
After maybe a week he began to harass me for no known reason. One day he demanded I take an unlit cigarette out of my mouth. I'm 58, you don't demand that I take an unlit cigarette out of my mouth I like to chew on them when I work, because I can't smoke them in the barn. The thing is the boss himself had talked to me while I was in a stall chewing on my cigarette and said nothing, this kid said something when I was in an open paddock and it still wasn't fired up! I said something to the boss about it and he told me that I should talk to the young man because after all we were going to have to work together. I did speak to him, I told him to never speak to me in that manner again. Later in the day we both met with the boss. He lied and told the boss he never said that, but I kept insisting that he did. I should tell you I was a personal friend of the boss and had even done housesitting for him 2 years in a row while he went on vacation with his family. That means that he left me with his worldly possessions and his pets for 2 weeks, which in my mind is a sign of trust. Now he is standing there telling me we aren't friends in this instance and that he doesn't know who is telling the truth. What? You just met this guy a week ago you've known me for over a decade, are you serious? I didn't say it but I surely thought it.
Well things never got better and Ifinally came to the conclusion that this man never wanted to work with me, he treated me differently from the other grooms and he made me miserable whenever he got the opportunity to do so. But I wrote every incident down, even the time I happened around the corner of another barn and caught him talking to a White exercise rider under the shed while the rider smoked a cigarette. I called Human Resources at one point because it was just too much to have to put up with. The handbook states clearly that when you think you are being discriminated against YOU ARE REQUIRED to bring it to the attention of your manager or Human Resources. I did both and got nowhere. The boss came to me that afternoon and insisted I fire myself. Yeah he told me to quit! I refused. He dropped the whole thing when I told him about the retaliation clause in the handbook. A week later I went to him again about this young man and he again insisted I quit. I refused, this time he told me not to come back to the barn but that he didn't fire me.
So once again I called Human Resources but it was Saturday and everyone knows they don't work weekends. But on Monday I heard from the woman who started by telling me I had been fired, then that it was mutual, then that I was laid off. I recorded our conversation and then filed a claim with EEOC. Saturday I mailed off the form that will bring government investigators to the jobsite. I am hoping for justice, but in this world who knows what I will get.
As for Georgia, they are taking half of my measly 243.00 dollars leaving me with less than my mortgage and certainly not enough to pay my utilities. I've written the Secretary of Labor; The President, a local news station, I've spoken with different department heads to request a waiver of the over payment to no avail. At this time I'm looking to lose my home. What really pisses me off is President Obama who likes to talk about how he reads correspondence every night hasn't responded to my call for help, but his campaign is still asking me for money to help him. I would laugh if I didn't want to personally punch him dead in his mouth.