Life at Up Up and Away Investment Management International: Chapter 40 Last stop on the bus travelling the largecorp route

Chapter 40

Last stop on the bus travelling the largecorp route

I can be quite determined when I want to be. I was determined upon hearing from Dr. Wong that I was suffering from workplace stress and anxiety that I wanted to make Up Up and Away pay. In my opinion Up Up and Away had used and abused me at far below market prices.

Being a lawyer, I knew the importance of evidence in winning any sort of claim. I treated my disability from the sidelines as if an imaginary lawyer was advising me what steps I should take to ensure my potential disability claim was successful. I had taken advantage of a referral to a psychiatrist for two reasons. The first was that I thought I was under a tremendous and unbearable load of stress and was suffering from it. I needed some validation of this as not being an overreaction. I needed to be healthy again and for that a psychiatrist was indispensable. But I also needed evidence that I was suffering from a form of mental disability. With this evidence I had some form of ammunition against Up Up and Away. A psychiatrist on your side is a powerful evidentiary tool.

The immediate use of this evidence was to establish a claim for short term disability. Up Up and Away had to pay me 20 weeks of salary and continue my benefit plans. That was a tiny payback, but I wanted more. I wanted revenge. Perhaps you could say I was more emotional than rational. Given the size and power of Up Up and Away I thought I could never really win any battle against it. I started thinking a buyout might be doable. However, that possibility was unlikely once I converted into long term disability as I was being paid 70% of my salary out of the disability insurer’s pocket. As far as Up Up and Away was concerned they were no doubt happy they weren’t footing the bill and they’d be happier if I stayed on the books of Happy Insurance Company until the disability policy expired upon me reaching 65.

My only hope was to pass the MRI of my brain and the cognitive testing and then happily show up at Up Up and Away’s doorstep bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to work. I was certain this would totally take them by surprise as both Asterisk and Self were certain I would never return. They were so certain that I would never return Sally Self had gone and hired a replacement for me. Where would Up Up and Away find the funds the pay my salary? And even if the medical reports came back clean there was still that EEG showing microangiopathic disease which 15% of the population suffers from but is only marker for possible dementia and Alzheimer’s. I had let Asterix know this a couple of times and I am sure she flew to Self with the news. Any way you sliced and diced it I was a potential liability at some unknown point of the future. As I handled millions and billions of dollars in complicated transactions Up Up and Away’s paranoia played me right into their deep pockets.

It so transpired that the MRI and cognitive testing showed no significant cognitive decline. Any decline or impairment was consistent with a man of my age. According to Happy Insurance Company I was fit to return to Up Up and Away and Happy Insurance Company contacted Up Up and Away Toronto to discuss my return to work. I said to Happy I couldn’t wait to return to work. Happy Insurance Company was delighted I would soon be off their books.

Sally Self was no doubt mortified with the biggest miscalculation in her career. Possibly a game ending one. She did call me and express her “delight” I was returning but cautiously probed whether it was the best choice concerning my health. She professed her “concern” for my health. A suspiciously different attitude than Self had exhibited in the past. I was upfront with her and said if working conditions did not improve or had not improved Dr. Wong was warning of a possible trigger back into depression. I could tell in her tone of voice the last thing an increasingly stressed-out Sally Self wanted was to deal with was a mentally ill employee.

In what I could sense as a moment of desperation she tried to convince me to work part time. That would be a lot cheaper for Up Up and Away. My heart and soul were conflicted. On one side I was telling myself get out of this hell hole once and forever. The other side was press on for a full time return to work knowing there was no Legal Department budget surplus for me to be hired back but there was an unlimited downsizing budget that could be tapped into.

At the return-to-work meeting with Sally Self, myself and Happy Insurance Company Self was squirming like a toad on a fishhook. We set a staggered a return-to-work schedule. Within 24 hours of the back to work meeting I received a call from Up Up and Away’s Human Resources Department to “further discuss” my return to work. Self was not at that meeting. Apparently, she had been terminated right after our return-to-work meeting. Self made the biggest miscalculation of her selfish little life.

In any case the head of the Human Resources Department placed a termination agreement in front of me. In short it was two years of severance with all benefits untouched and a nominal amount of pre-set and calculated bonus payments. There was also a release against any human rights claims I was to make. I am certain Up Up and Away was looking to avoid any claims for termination based on mental illness. After a couple of back and forths with our respective lawyers the deal was done.

Looking back on all this as I have related to you I will say be very cautious about working with largecorp. It often requires you to sacrifice your life and that of your family. It cares nothing for you. The only thing largecorp craves is profit and each employee is a cost and deterrent to profit. The goal of largecorp is to replace all its employees and replace them with super artificial intelligence.

After my less than blessed life with largecorp and battle with depression I can say as a sequel I am a better and wiser person. I paid a hell of a price. I often look up in the office towers of Toronto and I hear stories of the remaining colleagues I have at Up Up and Away and just bless the escape I engineered. The depression, stress and anxiety have now disappeared along with a host of scarring largecorp memories.

To you that remain in the office towers of largecorp I dedicate this book and may largecorp have mercy on your soul. Its end is near.

We should conclude with my thoughts on how the current COVID-19 plague will affect largecorp.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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