Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Hi everyone,
I have a lot going on that I want to tell you about but the conclusion to Mondays story is too good. So I will wait a couple of more days to write to you.
But in the meantime you are going to love this one.
My friend is jaded. Trust me when I tell you he is not always this dark but I think this situation he is in is effecting (is it affecting or effecting, I don't know, I figured I had a 50/50 chance) his personality. Like most of the stuff that goes on in our day. I know we try hard not to bring it home or let it bother us when we walk out the door of the office but sometimes you can't help it.

The man. Not sure who the man is. Do they refer to the government as the man?
If so then I’m angry at the man.

I had previously blogged about my obligation to be on federal jury duty. Then I had blogged about my pending telephone hearing with the unemployment compensation officer.

My hope was to confront both issues this past week and have them behind me. Here’s what happened.

For a week I called the courthouse past 12:30 PM and navigated through their telephone prompts. I would enter a nine digit code and they would confirm my last name. Then the most frightening part was the delay right before the computer told you whether I was actually being called or not.

I managed to go unscathed for a week. Unfortunately on Friday afternoon they requested my presence the following Monday morning. My morning patients were all cancelled and I went in.

Prior to all of this I had sent them emails pleading my case as to why I really couldn’t afford to sit around a courtroom for a few days while my life was put on hold.

While there for an hour and a half I did not utter a word or complain. Then the court clerk approached me and asked me why I didn’t make a last ditch effort to get out. I was in disbelief that she had singled me out of a room of 40 people. My emails and calls must have resonated with her. So she gives me another form which I fill out with all the reasons why I can’t serve and she makes me a deal.

This is my deal. This summer when I was suppose to be relaxing during my prescheduled week off I’ll actually be in jury duty. The alternative was that they would select TWO weeks at random and there was no wiggle room then.

It is a serious blow to a practice to be shelved for “civic duty”.

Maybe worse than all of that was getting back to the office to open mail and discover that the telephone hearing on whether my former employee was due compensation from the state funds for being unemployed went the way of the claimant. Meaning that I had lost.

I do not have the paper in front of me but certain words on it resonate in my mind. One statement was that the story of the claimant was more ”credible” than that of the employer.

I had another employee testify that she had the claimant STEAL from her purse. Then the claimant admitted to this and admitted to taking a prescription for a controlled substance to a pharmacy as she posed as my other employee.

The letter further states that the claimant used POOR JUDGEMENT but since the incident did not interfere with her duties as a dental assistant and she had received no prior warnings for this that by law she was ENTITLED to unemployment compensation.

So what I now understand is that employees can do virtually anything and because there is no prior warning when you fire them they can enjoy getting paid later without actually earning that money.

That is the moral of the story.

Keep in mind that I presented a compelling story that was told in a calm voice. It detailed her addiction problem as an additional reason for her termination. Of course I am no expert in labor laws or in the area of substance abuse but this is a person who would have periodontal surgery on a Friday. She would be prescribed a 5 day supply of painkillers. The very next day I would hear her calling the periodontist’s on call guy for more pills while she was visibly doped up and barely coherent.

I witnessed this behavior for a year through neck surgeries, root canals, extractions, and periodontal surgeries. She had multiple practicioners and overlapping of prescriptions.
Based on the observations in behavior, witnessed by many around her, she was told to get help and to try to eliminate her need for narcotics.

There were other reasons for her being let go that maybe I could go into but the point of the whole thing was that here is a person with a history of poor decisions in her personal life. She had moved 4 times in a year with her young son who had to be dragged through all of this. A person who I later learned had been run out of another state for the same reasons. A person with a reputation for suing former employers. An irresponsible individual who made errors at work that were constantly needing to be corrected and who made stupid purchases only to complain about money later.……………Her story was more credible than mine???????

The man or the system or the government is a massive abusive uncaring and unfair beast.

I told you it was good. Man OH Man this stuff is unbelievable.
Have a great day.
See you Friday,
Do you miss me?


Mike Fennema said...

Dr. J, you are always missed, but this stuff is too unbelievable. Keep up the good work.

Katherine said...

Yes you are missed.....

Anonymous said...


I have yet to ever win an unemployment challenge case. All the laws and cards are stacked against the employer. Similiar situations I have had and the most frustrating thing is you do all the "right" things but in the end, it seems all for naught.

The easy thing to do is to cave in and "accept" the system as is. If one does this then we all lose, so tell your friend (or I am now right? )to keep the chin up and move forward.

As for me missing you John...were um, you away? Ha, ha!

Buckeyedental said...

I feel your pain and frustration with the system. I have had a mad employee get me for workers comp. The review is against the employer. I also had jury duty with the local court last month same poor customer service never can talk to a real person but they did allow me to get out because of the employees. I am like you small single doctor office and if I am not working there is no work for anyone.
Keep your head up and keep moving forward.

My God's Blessing be on us all.
Kim Shaw

PS we do miss you John.
PSS John what do you think about a Final in the NIT THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY vs university of florida?


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