Depression, Harrassment, etc. (WAS: RE: What a predicament!)

Subject: Depression, Harrassment, etc. (WAS: RE: What a predicament!)
From: Rick Kirkham <rkirkham -at- seagullscientific -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 12:26:31 -0800

I can't believe I'm going to be tougher on this that Andrew P, but . . .

Anonymous wrote:

> Yesterday morning
> I had an appointment with a psych counselor and he
> put me on disability for major depression caused
> by work. I'm out of work for at least a month.
> So, now at least they cannot fire me and I have
> my medical insurance.

What?!?!? You can get a month's paid vacation for "major depression caused
by work"? I find *that* depressing. Our society shouldn't be so wimpy.
Disability insurance should be reserved for people who are physically
incapable of working. The fact that there was some time lag between the
onset of your depression and your diagnosis, during which you were working,
proves that you are capable of working. Heck, your job is writing and you
wrote a post to this list. Obviously, you are capable of doing your job.

Who hasn't had "major depression caused by work"? That's a part of life.
It's never occured to me that I should stop working (and get paid for the
privilege to boot).

> Disability payments are
> a little more than unemployment

That's even more disheartening with respect to our society: A depressed
person with a job can get more money than a person without a job.

> is directly contrary to copyright
> and intellectual property laws!"
>"We don't care, do it anyway!"

Sorry, but I just don't believe this is what they said. Only one-dimensional
villians in bad movies say things like this (in between twirling their
mustaches). The fact that your product does not compete with the product the
manual is about means that the content of the other manual is irrelevant to
your product, so your employers are only asking you to copy the
look-and-feel of the other manual. There's nothing illegal about that.

> the VP said "Now, go
> make it look like <productname>!"

Exactly! And there's nothing illegal about that.

> The phone book is open to the employment attorney
> page.

Wow. You really know how to work the system.

> Certainly I have a harassment and hostile
> work environment suit against them.

No you don't. As terms in employment law, "harrassment" and "hostile work
environment" refer to actions your employer takes because of *your sex or
race*. There's no such thing as a generalized ban on "harassment" for any
reason at all. Not that anything your employers have done could be called
harrassment anyway. (Putting a PIP in your file when you refuse to carry out
legal instructions is not harrassment.)

> I could also
> be a whistle-blower, either through the lawyer or
> by calling the other doc manager directly.

No. You can't do that either, because your employers aren't doing anything

> Advice, please!

(1) Suck it up.
(2) Spend your month doing volunteer work with the physically/mentally
handicapped. You'll learn what a disability really is. And you'll learn that
people in far more depressing circumstances than you manage to cope without
month-long paid vacations.

Now's a great time to buy RoboHelp! You'll get SnagIt screen capture
software and a $200 onsite training voucher FREE when you buy RoboHelp
Office or RoboHelp Enterprise. Hurry, this offer expires February 28, 2002.

Have you looked at the new content on TECHWR-L lately?
See and check it out.

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