I’ve written and thrown out this blog a few times now. It’s been very difficult to get all of my thoughts out on one post, but given I’m posting this one you’re reading, it finally broke through my shell of insecurity. My life has made things quite frustrating lately, and as a result, this isn’t as much a blog post as it is a raw nerve.
The short version is, I’m no longer working in healthcare. For those that don’t know, I happened to be working in healthcare in Canada since a few months before the COVID outbreak began. Naturally, when the outbreak happened, hours of work increased and flexibility and the ability to ask for days off disappeared virtually overnight. I got used to this system, understanding that it was where my next paycheck came from, and tried to stomach it as best as I can. This was also why, when so many found extra time on their hands at the beginning of the pandemic, if anything my output was slower than usual.
There are a few rumors and myths about Canadian healthcare. A lot of people who dislike socialized medicine will point at the long wait times and declare our neighbors in the south to have better health care than us. As someone who has lived under and experienced both health care systems, I can confirm that due to the lack of specialists, wait times in Canada for specific procedures can be much longer, but I can also confirm that Canada has a much better health care system than that of the United States, for many reasons. People will often frame health care around how good or poor it is for the citizen, and this is fair, however I wish people thought more about how good or poor the health care system is for the worker, and on this front, I can confidently say Canada’s health care system was abysmal.
I diligently stayed at my job for about two and a half years, enduring grueling overtime and bosses that wouldn’t be able to define ’empathy’ if you handed them a dictionary. The way people that work in health care talk to each other is downright fascinating. On our limited breaks or after hours, we weren’t trading jokes or even complaining to each other around the water cooler like people would around other jobs, it was more like we were soldiers in the trenches. We’d stand around and exchange glances filled with pain, letting each other know that we were going to make it. Occasionally, someone would have a breakdown and not return for a week. If they were a good employee, they’d return. If not, we’d never see them again. Also much like war.
I could write a whole book about the atmospheres of hospitals, especially from the point of view of someone who works at one. It’s bleak, to say the least. Unlearning empathy was part of the job; it’s what kept you sane. Otherwise you’d care too much, and you’d hurt too much. I refused to unlearn, and I paid the price. I had to; I had bills for reasons I’d rather not go into, bills that weren’t truly my burden to bear. This job paid well. So I remained diligent. My one caveat was my refusal to unlearn empathy. I’m a decently sensitive person. I cried, I got angry, and there were days I thought I couldn’t do it. But I knew I had to, so I pushed through. COVID was slowly dealt with, as best as we could with the resources we had (which was sometimes barely anything). Over time, we got through the worst of the pandemic. We nearly got to the end. The hospital was under control, and it was thanks to the people that worked there, including myself, putting in endless hours and ridiculous amounts of work. It was out of our love for people and the desire to persevere, but it was also because our bosses saw us working harder and decided to test how hard we could work, quite frankly. And few of us caved to that pressure.
A few weeks ago, my superior told me I was being let go. In Ontario, an employer doesn’t have to give you a reason, and frustratingly, they never gave me one. Even worse, due to the nature of my work, I’m not entitled to employment insurance either. I was a tool for higher-ups to do menial work; work they didn’t want to do themselves. Grunt work. Then once the worst of it was through, myself and a few others were cast aside. We weren’t needed anymore.
It’s hard to write about it without being angry. I want to make cheap shots and talk at length about this mean thing they did. But at the end of the day, I’m just exhausted. I can’t find the strength to follow through with anything legal, even if I might actually have a case for genuine wage theft if I worked hard enough and borrowed enough money for legal fees.
That also translated into another problem – I went from doing okay to suddenly finding myself in financial trouble. I wouldn’t say my living was comfortable while working in health care, but it was decent. If I had enough time for a social life, I could have had a decent one without fear of financial consequences if I didn’t have my bills, which were almost fully paid off. But now, I’m without a job, without employment insurance, and my current lease is up and I was asked to find another place. Coincidentally, another thing that got worse in Ontario under COVID was rent. It’s fully doubled in my area since 2019. Finding a new place means I have to play by these new rules, and anyone that’s rented before knows you have to pay a double-month’s worth of rent in a deposit.
This is not a cry for help, but rather, an explanation. In a time when I’m unemployed and should have more time than ever to write, I am paradoxically busier than ever. I have to scramble to find a new job that pays something more than minimum wage. I have to scramble to find a new place before my lease runs out in about two weeks. I can only ask for your patience. I will do my best to make sure this does not affect my monthly chapters, but if a chapter comes out a tad later than expected, don’t hate me too much. Know that I’m trying as much as I can to make sure at least this aspect of my life stays sacred.
In times like this, I’m grateful for this outlet existing at all. My job and its long hours effectively murdered my social life, so genuinely, if I didn’t have this, I would have nothing. In a way, that means that my writing and you all are my everything right now. Take from that what you will, and thank you for everything. It means the world, because right now, it is the world.
Luckily, my two commissioners have been immensely understanding about my life situation and my pace right now. I know I can cause a little bit of frustration with my slow output, but sadly, there seems to always be many factors at play. Life is complicated. I’m trying to get wiser about marketing in the wake of this as well, and realized I don’t really have the luxury not to signal-boost my own work by bringing it to other websites. I was neglecting sexstories.com a lot in the recent past (99% of the reason was because their upload system is a little clunky and unintuitive) but I should take a little more initiative in spreading my stories around.
This doesn’t change a thing on the front of price. I don’t care how things in my life get, my stories are free and will remain free. Patronage is optional. Some of you can’t pay, and some of you are casual enjoyers who don’t want to pay. That should be your choice, and you should have the option before you. If you are a new patron, hello and thank you for supporting me, particularly at this time. Sorry that the first blog post you read was me whining.
Needless to say, I’m still exhausted, and have a bunch of house tours and job interviews in my near future, if I can even land them. There are tough times ahead, but I’ll overcome the challenges. I overcame 2019, and that was honestly worse. This, I can do. I hope you’re enjoying the chapter, and of course, there will be more to come soon. I’ll talk to you all next week.