What defines me?

Cancer , A Dozen Kids , Life, Struggle

As I have never reached out to gain any type of closeness with family their have been friends that have come into my life and easily filled that void. Some who faded out and then there are those who I felt like took a piece of myself with them when they went. I don’t think that there has been a moment that I had felt more success then while I was employed at Aj’s bar and grill. Even before it had become Aj’s I felt a closeness with the Wolf’s crew as well. I started as a wolf’s employee I was asked if I would be okay making minimum wage. ¬†At the time I was desperate and vulnerable. Chuck had just injured himself. I was working for one of his friends at a job he was incredibly uncomfortable with me having. I needed to provide. This was a close enough job I could walk to. I would not be taking from my family for gas or anything. It seemed perfect of course I could start at minimum. It was two weeks before pay was brought up again. Two pay periods and I hadn’t been given any w2 forms. Then my boss comes to me and says. Can we pay you cash. There was this large inductive argument where he tried to peruse me that being paid cash benefits me. Which in some cashes may have proven to be true but in mine I had very little taxes taken out so it really was more of a hindrance for me. But there were promises that once we did the remodel I would no longer be paid as such and I was working very part time. So I agreed. I was already there two weeks I needed money waiting for paperwork at this point was not even feasible financially for my family. I stayed through the remodel they paid me for clean up and painting and enough to get me thru till the reopen. Reopen time Chuck became employed too on crutches unable to walk washing dishes in the kitchen with a quickness. He was employed at $5 a hour! Again we were desperately trying to recover from his foot surgery and thoroughly enjoyed being employed at Aj’s. I remember wanting to speak up a few times about the pay. Then the owners would do something spectacular for my kids. Something I was unable to do. Like buying my highschool son a 100$ calculator I was unable to afford. Or purchasing bunk beds for my boys and decorating my new home. How could I say that we should be making more when they did so much.. My pay finally became a paycheck. I was making minimum wage at last. Chuck begun cooking and he started making the $7 I once was making. Still under the allowed pay by law. He was back to work at this point at Rise and Shine as well. He worked at AJ’s to have more time with me and bring in extra and get us caught up. Eventually the person above me was let go. Chuck and I stood before the owners with a offer on the table of the kitchen being ours to run. $13 a hour on paycheck for me and `$12 for chuck. Chuck was already making that so it wasn’t a raise but it was a job closer to home and with me. He had no choice but to quit the other job. There was no time for much notice as we now were running a brand new kitchen by ourselves. A new menu to create and the restaurant to run open to close. For a long time it was just the two of us. I was in the building some days from open to close. Even sooner if there was soup to be made or a truck to be checked in. I missed Chuck’s grandma’s funeral and then a close family friend’s funeral. I raised out of concert’s and from cooking dinner back to the bar for every need there was. I made no excuses to not be there I gave them my all. I was honest and hard working. In fact I can say without a doubt it was the hardest I had ever worked in my life. I was there 90-100 hours a week but told there was no way to pay for overtime. So I worked off the clock there was not enough hours to get everything on the clock done. There was no over time allowed and on the few occasions it was allowed it made no difference since the pay was less then regular time hour pay. The pay I received for all over time that I was allowed compensation for was paid at a rate of 12$ cash. Again at the time I thought this was my family I thought they were paying me all they are able. They are good to me I can’t stand up and say this isn’t right. Besides the owner had stricken fear into me from the very beginning. As I cried when he would verbally reprimand any of the other employees. I worked my ass off to give him perfection so he would not do so unto me. And I was successful rarely did he have a negative thing to state on my performance. Then in March I found out about my cancer. Stage 3b this is serious. I told those at work but I think they took it very casual as they said oh surgery will fix that. They can go clear that right on out. It was not that simple of course. Doctor apt time came and there was no one to cover me at work. The health dept arrived that morning there was no way I could leave. Another missed apt. Woke up with my stomach completely covered in bruises one morning. The leg pain increased significantly. My exhaustion made me irritable and I was stretched entirely to thin. Since I wasn’t going to the doctor I found myself googling stage 3 b and of course google is the scariest thing in the world to search on when you have a aliment. Chuck and I were fighting and on edge all the time. HE was constantly in pain from his foot myself from the cancer that was spreading the more I ignored it. I had a complete mental meltdown. There is no other way to explain what happened. I was in a closet I couldn’t bring myself to go to work to face the world to face myself nothing. I don’t know what triggered it that day but I didn’t go to open the building. The day prior was the first day I had taken off in a entire yr. Outside of Sunday when the building was closed I was there every single day. Even some Sunday’s you could find me there cleaning and prepping. I had given this restaurant and every single employee in the building all I had. I had thought they were my family. I held them in my heart as so. Chuck and I escalated the fight that day far beyond anything I ever care to relive. As 11 am hit the messages started flying in to my phone. Threats and slander and pure ignorance since none of them had a clue what I was suffering through alone. This sunk me into a depression I had never felt. There was no way I could go back to this job ever again. Weeks went by text still continued. You will regret this they said. Do you know who we are. I considered all the times I turned an eye to the pay I didn’t receive to the lies told to the health dept. to the corners that were cut. The liqour bottles I came in at 8 am to stiffen out the gnats from the night prior. The extreme cold and heat I barred through because I thought this was family. The same employees I held so high now sending me messages how awful it would be of me to take any action. That my own slander of what they were putting me through was effecting their income and their pay. I hide and hed in my feelings. I never pressed the legal action I rightfully should have. In fact the messages and text I received made me feel guilty even thinking I had deserved to be rightfully compensated for the work I had done. Messages came in that they were coming to take back the bed and the things they had decorated my home with. Post were made that me walking out of the job which really I just didn’t show up that day during my anxiety attack made it clear why people would call cps on me. Can you imagine my lack of appearing at a job I had never missed time from now was validation on false cps calls. I think the entire event changed me forever. Since I can no longer socialize at all. I find eye contact overwhelming and crowds to be suffocating. I find it hard to place trust. I can’t count the number of days I cried myself to sleep over the message that came from those employed or owning of this business I was dedicated to making great. I was proud to be employed at. I had found so much happiness it could leave me so depressed and empty.2017 Michigan Labor Law Poster – State & Federal Compliant – Laminated

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