There are so many great diaries and diarists on DailyKos, who put things so much more articulately and succinctly than I. I finally registered not long ago so I could comment, but have read for years. Now that I have the option to write a diary, I had no idea what to write about. The things I am passionate about are covered so much better by others, and I work two jobs/seven days a week and I hardly have time in addition to the other things I fill my little free time with (admittedly I hit up DailyKos during my M-F job because there is very little work to do, I just have to be here for whenever it does show up because it's always urgent). But then something happened at my weekend job this past Sunday, and now I think I know what I want to write about.
It started with a box.
A crate, really. You know, those hard plastic things with the lids that overlap across the top with teeth to hold them shut. They're often used to ship stuff but are also great for storage because they are sturdy and stack well. This thing (except the one I got to know very personally is black).
We met each other suddenly, when this crate, full of about forty pounds of stuff, fell from about thirteen feet up (maybe higher? I don't know) to land squarely on top of my head and knock me to the floor. It still kinda hurts thinking about it.
I don't want to say anything about the company I work for, because while my weekend job doesn't pay the bills I really love it and I love the people I work with and I don't want to lose it. I will say this: we're not talking about a mom and pop operation. It's a very large company.
A coworker went to look for an item for a customer stored in one of these crates on a shelf about thirteen feet from the ground. He got a ladder to go up there and look. He didn't find it and came back down, put the ladder away, and I continued my work the entire time--standing next to the ladder. Ten minutes later the same coworker came back to my area (I was not working in a customer-facing area of the store) to check again for the item for a very adamant customer--who happens to be a PI who investigates worker's comp fraud. Go figure.
The second time he was up the ladder, I joked with my coworker, "Just don't drop anything on my head!" and we both laughed.
I guess I tempted fate.
I wasn't looking up because I was doing my work, but as he was moving the crates around (where there is not enough room to do so but we make do with what we've got I suppose), one of the crates fell straight down directly onto the top of my head. I feel lucky, because this crate was full and weighed about forty pounds--I know this because I helped another coworker put them up there a few weekends back. I was lucky however, that the crate fell in a cartoon-like fashion and the middle of the bottom of the crate stuck me and NOT an edge or, god forbid, a corner--I'm sure I would still be bleeding now if that were the case.
It was strange, my body stood in place and convulsed a moment before I just fell over (and hit a few shelf corners on the way down). I didn't get knocked out, I was aware of what was happening, but for several excruciatingly long seconds I couldn't move.
And then I bawled like a baby. Because that thing freaking hurt.
So the highest boss in the place, the one who runs the show--let's say general manager because it's a fairly vague term--happened to be working that day and was able to come over with another employee who showed a lot of training for this sort of thing (I think) and took charge of everything. They made me stay still, they kicked everyone out of the area and called 911. The EMTs checked me out, and beyond a little bit of dizziness and a really sore skull, I felt fine. So I said "Nah brah, I don't need to go to no stinkin' ER." and they left.
I only had another two hours on my shift, so I bailed. The EMTs did ask if I lived alone, and I do, and they told me to go stay with someone tonight just in case. Sure, I'd drive out to my mom's house and stay the night there. No big deal. Mom's house is about 22 miles away but it's not a long trip, only about thirty minutes.
I got ten miles behind me when I had to pull over because the dizziness had gotten progressively worse and I could no longer see the road in front of me properly. Well, crap. So my older brother drove my mom out to me, she then kicked me into the passenger seat and drove us to the hospital. It was a miracle, we were in and out of the ER in just under two hours! That never happens, even at this hospital that is never busy.
So at the ER, my symptoms are getting worse--migraine headache, sensitive to light, really dizzy, nausea, skull still hurts LIEKWHOA, etc. They did a CT and there was no bleeding, no cracks in my skull, nothing showed up on it. But the ER doctor (a hilarious guy by the way, loved his jokes) diagnosed me with a concussion. He said mild, but when I got home and did a little research my symptoms put me closer to mid to severe.
Especially since today is Tuesday and I am still feeling dizzy and nauseous and I can't talk properly. The words sound fine, I just can't get the words--it's like seeing something blurry and you squint super hard but you still can't make it out at all? Yeah, it's like that with words. Typing isn't as bad but I'm about 1/3 the speed I normally am.
But Silvia, you say, why do you have "worker's comp" in the title of this diary? You haven't even mentioned them yet?
Good point. I do tend to ramble a bit.
Anyway, at the ER I filled out one of the first report things about the injury. I don't know how other states do it, but I'm in Ohio, so it was an Ohio BWC form where I wrote down when, where, who, what, how, what hurts, who do I blame (God), etc. relating to the incident. It was hard to write (and still is); it felt like my hand was trying to move through molasses or something. The sad thing is, the slow-down made my handwriting look nice and pretty. Damnit.
So yesterday the GM of the store called our company's worker's comp people to report what happened. Are they lawyers? I don't know. I'm waiting on them to call me. I missed a call this morning here at work because I walked away from my desk (I shouldn't even be here wtf but I don't get sick pay or vacation time at EITHER job so when I have to go I have to go). So I called the number back, some 800 number, and was finally transferred to their division in Columbus (where my M-F job is even though I live 50 miles southwest of Columbus). Of course the guy doesn't answer, that would make things nice and easy.
Mom was all "Don't sign ANYTHING until you look it over, and even then don't sign it." I'm confused, I'm not trying to get a big payday or anything, but then again as much as I like my job, I don't know if the company I work for will try to "screw" me. Nobody I know personally has ever had to file a worker's comp claim. The guy I'm dating works for an insurance company that only handles worker's comp claims, so he told me not to fill out any state forms until he had a chance to help me--not to defraud anyone, but make sure everything is documented properly or that could delay payments to the hospital, doctors, etc.
To summarize for those playing at home: having no experience in worker's comp and work accidents, I thought it might be interesting to diary about my experiences as they happen and see where this goes. I hope it doesn't suck.
Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 2:19 PM PT: Update: Part 02 of this ongoing saga can be found over here: http://www.dailykos.com/...?