So as awful as my foot surgery (and being out of commission for 21 weeks) was, I was incredibly grateful for having short term disability available. I was able to rest and heal without the worry of how I was going to pay all of my minimum bills and student loans. Unfortunately, just because I had a disability check saving me while I was healing, doesn’t mean that I can assume I can resume working as soon as I am ready.
How I Prepared To Return To Work
The rule of thumb if you are returning from a leave of absence is to give two weeks notice. I, being the over cautions type A personality, gave my HR 5 weeks of notice of my return to work date. I figured this was way more than enough notice for them to figure out what position I would be returning to.
Before my surgery, I was well aware of the fact that my exact position would not be protected because I would be out longer than 12 weeks. I gracefully accepted this fact (even though I had to give up my dream position) knowing that I would be working somewhere, just not the location I once had. I was considered a “ghost” employee, not really belonging anywhere, but received benefits.
What Really Happened
Well, today is the day that I was supposed to start working again. Today is also the day that my disability status is no longer in effect. I, at this time, do not know when or more importantly IF I will be returning to work. Turns out, I am more naive that I want to admit.
Things didn’t go as I expected them to. I am having to interview for each unit that I am “eligible” for, along with any other applicants for the position. I now have to wait for HR to contact me with offers from the directors I interviewed with.
How I’ll Survive
Its a damn good thing I have a decent emergency fund saved. At this rate, I have already waited 5 weeks for a new position, I have no idea when or if my employer will decide I can start working again. Until they do, no moolah will be flowing in for me.
Hopefully we won’t have to dip into our emergency fund though. My husband has a steady job and we have a bit of money we were ready to use to pay down some more of my student loans. Unfortunately, we won’t get to deploy this money to pay off my student loans until I’m working again.
Hopefully things will fall into place for me at my job this week and everything will be taken care of. I should be done with all of my interviews and hopefully have offers by the end of the week, but I might be being optimistic again!
Have you ever had an experience like this? Any words of advice?