We don’t ever expect you to return
I heard from Stella Asterisk one of my colleagues at Up Up and Away Toronto, that after a year away on disability she and Sally Self never expected me to return. Loose lips sink ships! Boy I thought, what would happen if I did return! Interesting strategic possibilities opened.
There had been minimal contact between my colleagues and I during my disability. A disability insurer must, for privacy reasons, play disclosure very carefully to the extent that they can say the disabled employee is disabled and undergoing medical assessments. For privacy reasons they can’t disclose the exact nature of the disability. At least that is what Happy Insurance Company told me.
Stella had also told me my “replacement” had been hired, Trebba Smaye. Trebba’s presence in my office was no surprise. She was a Canadian lawyer that had worked with Up Up and Away in New York but scuttled back quickly to Canada fearing termination and loss of medical benefits in New York. Socialized medicine in Canada has its attractions. I just knew she was waiting for my retirement to jump into a Canadian position reporting to Canadian management. She jumped at the chance to assume my position with the bonus that it was my disability as opposed to retirement so she managed to grab it a few years earlier than she had originally planned. Stella and Self had always been tight and the timing was right to leap back into Canada.
Sally Self never communicated this to me. I heard about it initially not from Self but from my administrative assistant who sent me a good-bye e-mail after assuming Smaye’s appointment and presence in my office meant I would never return. I checked this out with Sally Self and she vehemently denied it was Up Up and Away’s intent that I be replaced. Sure thing! A slip of the tongue and I knew I was done. An all-female legal department. The perfect clique. Forget about Global Diversity. Old white men over 60 are not included. Old Lives Don’t Matter.
However, this was music to my ears. If I was cleared to return to work, knowing Up Up and Away’s stinginess so well, that would mean there was no budget for me to be hired. And as I had told Stella of my possible cognitive disabilities the comfort level of me handling billion-dollar deals was just about vaporized. I was contaminated and if Up Up and Away Toronto refused to offer me back my job on hidden grounds of disability they were looking at a human rights litigation claim. Finally Up Up and Away was in my crosshairs! It would also be of great interest to the media looking for a public shaming article.
I had long ago realized with help from my medical team any return to work would be extremely detrimental to my health. Not to be crude but I thought it was time for compensation by way of a severance package from Up Up and Away Toronto for how they had screwed me over me over.