"Mom," my son said and then paused.
I could hear his breathing....my heart raced...was he hurt? in an accident?
"They fired me."
My turn to pause.
My son, my son with special needs, lost something so important. His job, his slim paycheck, his ability to feel useful and wanted and in a way...normal.
He had mentioned a few problems....a supervisor who was rough with him....who stopped talking to him because he didn't like that he was slower and not as agile as the rest of the workers.....a client complained in the assisted-living facility that a table wasn't clean...crumbs were left behind.
I don't doubt it.....sometimes he just doesn't "see" what he's really doing....sometimes he thinks he did fine when in reality....the job could have done better. It's how it is.....he is a young adult now....and the deficits are obvious and set. Not that he can't improve....but it's almost like having a ladder 4 feet tall when normal ladders are 5 feet tall.....at some point you realize you just can't stretch it that extra foot and you have to accept it or work around it.
I didn't get mad or upset....I asked what happened...but his speech grew fast and hard to decipher and I thought I would let him talk for a minute and then just saod...."come home...we can talk about it."
He came home and was so full of grief and shame and unhappiness....all I could think to do is get him moving and doing something.
"You best get car washed since your home early.....all that pollen ...need to detrash your car."
So he took a rag....some car soap....a trash bag and went to work.
Sometimes when you're hurting movement helps.....inactivity makes the heart throb.
I called my hub....we didn't say much.
This is the second job he has lost. Our hope....that after vo tech school he might find a stable long-term position....has been getting chopped up. Jobs are not like pillars...there are more like kites....hard to nail down....moving erratically at times....and not created equal.
There's supervisors to contend with.... few benefits in his line of work....so you're making minimum wage....maybe a nickel above that....and jobs offer no or very limited health insurance.
So how do you get your teeth cleaned and a cavity filled....where do you get 500.00 to do that? You're working full time...you even work overtime....but it's such a significant part of your income you have to choose between rent, gas or health. Luckily Pete lives with us....but I often wonder how his fellow co-workers made it....and what choice they have to make.
A friend of mine....who has a thick Spanish accent..... (when I told her what happened) simply said..."so there is a reason for this....something else ....something....will come for the better."
I don't know if I believe her but I her quick optimism was soothing.....like salve on my wound.....even if it's totally unrealistic.
It took months and months for Easter Seals to place him in this job...and now we have to petition to re-open his files...do this// do that...wait wait wait....and then roll the dice again.
That's what it feels like....like rolling the dice....will he find another job? will the supervisor be supportive? can we apply for this or that ...which might help him get extra job coaching or support?
Roll of the dice.....another roll of the dice.