Sense and sensibility?

Tied to the wheel

Tied to the wheel - for life

I wouldn’t want to bore or to lay burdens. I am aware we’ve all got ’em. But I have one example of business faces that should get some air, while I do.

One of my nieces has 6-month-old fraternal twins. they’ve come down with RSV, a virus I’m told is rather common in preemies (these kids were delivered at 29 weeks gestation). Their mother served in the Air Force, in Afghanistan. During her basic training she fractured her pelvis in two places. The Air Force, bless ’em, put screws in these. One held, one didn’t. In addition, the young lady is prone to kidney stones, some the size of ping pong balls. She opted not to have her current crop treated in south Asia, fearing an extension of her tour. The stones could not be bombarded with ultrasound thanks to the presence of the twins, conceived within thirty-six hours of her return stateside.

But wait; there’s more. My niece has also developed pericarditis. I am told the condition involves inflammation of the sac around the heart, plus fluid buildup. She would be undergoing proper treatment were it not for the RSV, which had one twin in a pediatric intensive-care unit for a week. The other, still at “home,” kept my wife’s sister up all night while she came down with the stuff; now this little girl has pneumonia. The bounce to look after these two tykes is stunning to watch. It’s given my sister-in-law what the physicians say may be a “nervous breakdown.” It was originally thought she had suffered a stroke. I’ve never put much truck in the “nervous breakdown” diagnosis of anyone. I think it’s a copout. Needless to say, the stress load on grandma has been beyond imagination as she also tries to look after her husband and mother-in-law a thousand miles away. HER husband would not be there, had it not been for yet another egotistical corporate executive who decided to carry a spear for a long-time (but growing “expensive”), loyal, capable, fair managerial employee. Starting to get the picture?

Enter the father of the twins. He has a middle-executive job with a medium-sized new car dealership located in the south metro area. The pressure quickly grew on him to “be there, and produce, or face ‘plan B’.” Three guesses what Plan B is. Here’s a young man struggling to earn something to meet an astronomical hospital bill, who is being torn from helping with the “bounce,” as both parents, two grandmothers, a family friend, a sister, and even an uncle and an aunt try to assist. It really does take a village …

This young father has received a load of dressing-down and a pile of work as his thanks for attempting to look after his family. No sympathy, only “where’s my profit, pilgrim?” Sounding familiar?

When I hear some business claim to be “family friendly” I must assume that means the CEO’s family counts. But not any underling’s. Deal with it, or else.

Damn, am I glad I’m retired. But I bleed for these youngsters. I wonder how much they can take.

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