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Born a Texan, but traveled the US extensively.  Now staying on the East coast.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A short Break from boring environmental stuff

Some know that I have in my house 2 disabled persons...This is part of a commitment I mae with several others many years ago, which one day I will get into, but this post is about David.
David is older than I, but was born prematurely and was given either too much or too little oxygen and so has some cognitive defects. He can not drive a car and some times he has trouble adding money, but he keeps a fair checkbook. His father has past and his mother lives with his sister in Vermont, but has some significant dementia. He is not mentally ill, but he volunteers at Laurel House. He is able to work, but is on disability so he can not work too much or he will lose his benefits which include health insurance. At this point his limit is $960/month. Most of the jobs he gets, he gets on his own, his manner is pleasant and very sociable and sometimes his bosses forget that he is disabled. He worked at the front desk of the Y for a long time until it closed down and for the most part, they treated him well, save for one person, who wanted to punish him because he couldn't operate a computer, but that is past.
Laurel House has an employment program which gets people to work at simple jobs for various businesses for a small salary. David has had a couple of those jobs. The last one was at Marshall's and that came after the Y closed its doors. They had agreed to get him to work 4 hours a week on a Saturday and that was it. So he continued looking while trying to work at Marshall's, but the District Manager kept cutting his hours out as not essential. This was a measly $38 a week which was added to his $58 a week unemployment check. State said he made too much money for them to kick anything in except $10 in food stamps. So he kept looking. He loves animals and he takes care of a dog and 2 cats in our house and a bunch of birds of various kinds that he raises from chicks for a friend.
We found out that PetSmart was opening in Stamford and got him to apply, but they would only accept online applications so the Laurel House person helped him apply.
Weeks went on and we didn't hear from them and then they opened and he called, they never received the application, so he applied again went for an interview and has a job at the pet hotel.
In the meantime he still had the off and on again job at Marshall's and it was suggested that he leave it so he could work all his hours at PetSmart.
Most of the time Laurel House is very good, but they wanted this position to be there for other members in the future and were very strong about him keeping the job until August. Meanwhile the district manager was still playing his games with the hours.
Finally PetSmart wanted him to work a Saturday that he was not scheduled at Marshall's and you guessed it Marshall's changed their mind.
As they say, the fur began to fly and I was madder than a wet hen!
No way was he going to say no to a job that was going to give him his $900 a month for some stupid place that couldn't make up their mind.
David has a significant support group and all of us backed him as he wrote a letter explaining the multitude of time he had been removed from the schedule.
So he had a victory. PetSmart loves him, the animals there love him and he gets to make a living wage doing what he loves (its living since he is supported at our household).
Peace to all.
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