Friday, February 6, 2009

ahem...and then some.

Two days ago, I had an employee come to my office with an issue.
He was requesting to leave work, he needed to go to the hospital.
This is the second time in two weeks he needed to go to the hospital, he was not feeling meantally well.
He is young - 19 or so. This is his first REAL job, he makes crap for money, lives with is girlfriend, and they have a baby. The baby is just over 1, and has been having seizures. The baby was diagnosed with epilepsy. See the cloud of the stress forming around this poor young man. I am sure he has more of a history than he cares to share with me...I determine that his home life was prob not the best either.
He sits across from me two days ago, and I want to hug him, I want to scoop him up and take him and his family home with me. I want to make it all okay.
But instead, we chat and I provide him with FMLA papers, to protect him. To protect his JOB, which he needs. Then I ask him, who is taking you to the hospital (mental health division?).
His response - 'no one, I am going to drive myself.'
I have visions of him never making it.
I respond - 'I will gladly take you, just ride with me.'
He seems surprised by my offer, and comforted all at the same time.
He responds 'naw, I don't want to be stranded at the hospital, I want my car there.'
I nodd in agreement, that makes sense to me. I am still looking at this 'kid' (he is a kid to me), and his eyes are distant, he is sweet, but withdrawn, and his heart is heavy. He won't say why, and I don't dare ask.
I then ask 'okay, how about I follow you.'
He smiles, and states 'you'd do that?'
Me - 'yeah, why not. Of course I would do that, just to make sure all is well.'
He responds ' naw, it is your lunch hour and I don't want you to waste it following me.'
But somewhere in there, you can sense that he really does want some company.
So, I push further 'it is no bother, my pleasure - plus, I can do this and eat lunch when I get back.'
Off we go, outside. We continue to chat lightly, about kids, work etc. I get to my car, open my door, I have one foot inside and then I get out, slam the door and walk over to his car. He seems stunned, I am sure he is thinking what in the hell is this lady doing?
I go over his passenger seat, and tell him I will just ride with him and have someone pick me up. He seems stunned, but really at this point, what can he do - I am climbing in his front seat.
I keep it light, simple and don't push.
He seems comforted to have some company.
We get in the parking lot, I ask if his parents are here - he tells me they are not coming. I offer to sit in the doctors office with him, he seems uncomfortable, so I don't push.
I left him at the hospital around noon two days ago.
I have been checking with his supervisor since then and NO one has heard from him.
I track down his emergency contact sheet (believe it or not they really are useful documents).
He has been admitted to a hospital in Springfield......ahem.
Praying that all is well.
I am comforted that he is not a threat to himself or anyone else.
He was not aggressive, just not feeling well. He has been on my mind, and will continue to be.
Growing up can suck, and it must be even worse when you have no one to turn too, or if you feel like you are out of your head.
So mr.man, where ever you are - take care of yourself, and know I am praying for you.

5 comments:

Jennifer said...

You are such a caring person. I don't think I have ever seen a boss offer to do that for anyone. From someone who has been close to a breakdown more than one time. I am sure it meant a lot to him. Has someone filled out his FMLA papers? I hope so. He does not need to get out and not have a job.

Farrell said...

Oh Michelle - this is only ONE of the reasons why I/we love you:) You are so kind -your heart so big. never lose that.

Terra said...

I just want to say, that as someone that has been there, THANK YOU...

Raquita said...

I read this yesterday while I was rushing to get Jerrys bday together and I honored that I know people who listen to their inner voice - that kid is probably grateful too...

wish there were more people who just listen

Michelle said...

As a follow-up.
Yes, his FMLA paperwork is in place. I had him sign it before he ever left my office, and I sent a copy to his doctor.
I just wish there was more I could do...I feel pretty helpless.

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