Wife walked to the hospital to visit me while I was hospitalized for seven days for the second surgery. I don't think that she was working, because she had not received her work-card yet. I had found her a job working as a volunteer for a nice young Chinese man named Roger in Oakland Chinatown at the Asian Cultural Center. Roger helped her feel comfortable and learn a little bit in a new environment where she didn't know anyone.
We bought a condo close to Chinatown Oakland in an not-very nice neighborhood, the homeless people were quiet but the thieves were not. My wife had been told in China by the smugglers that there were no homeless people in the United States and no unemployment, but there they were every morning, sleeping on the grass in the nearby park that we passed-by walking to work. Oakland was good for us, we walked everywhere, to work, to Chinatown each Sunday to go shopping for Wife, to the Social Security office to apply for a number for her, etc. On weekends I rode my bicycle to a big shopping store for my food. We took the subway to San Francisco for I.N.S. stuff.
After she received her work-card from I.N.S., Wife first worked in a San Francisco sewing factory because they did not require previous experience, she saw the ad in a Chinese newspaper. After only a few months of working there, the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) union went on strike and Wife could not get to work, so she applied again to a sewing factory in Oakland that had turned her down before because she had no experience. She got the job; it was a straight walk from our Condo to the sewing factory, and I could walk with her and then go on to my job. Her boss was a very smart chinese lady who ended up liking Wife very much. I would just keep working at my desk in the evening until Wife called me, then I would walk to her sewing factory to meet her and walk home together. Walking to and from work together was the only time we seemed to have to talk, and I miss it now.
We walked so much that my nice red 1988 Honda Civic Hatchback sat in the garage until the battery died and the disk brakes rusted to the rotors. Wife would get terribly seasick just driving a few miles to the grocery store, even if I drove very smoothly. For longer trips we would get some seasickness patches from our HMO doctor.
Walking from her job to the dentist once, we had to go diagonally across town. I went left at one corner, right at the next, etc., mostly to make the best time at the traffic lights at each corner in the city, and Wife complained that I was making her dizzy, she wanted to walk in a straight line!
Unfortunately, everytime I find a little stability and success disaster strikes.
A woman in my department viciously attacked me in my office on a day when my manager was out,
for turning a printer off, which I had been doing every night for three years. I had
accidentally interferred with her computer card games. I reported this to my boss,
Polly Miao, the next day and was told that Spring had every right to play cards, no
support for me. The stress caused extreme pain in my intestines, similar to that caused
by I.N.S. which landed me in the hospital and resulted in my disability in the first place.
I ran for my life, to end the stress and the pain. It was the wrong thing to do but I had
noone clear-thinking to advise me.
I quit Kaiser despite my love of my job and the company. I need
a supportive boss; I learned from IBM that I was better off leaving the company than
working for an unsupportive boss. I am a good employee, loyal and hard working, and I
just will not accept abuse. I never, at any of my jobs, asked for a raise, benefits, a
better office, or anything else, just the opportunity to do my job with a minimum of
harrassment. Such is not the climate in corporate America. Office politics and abuse
are the mainstay of office labor. We sold our condo and moved to New Jersey because my
father had had several strokes and my family wanted my help, and my wifes family was
nearby in New York City and she wanted to be close to her family.
Years later I decided I should have called in sick indefinitely and gone to the hospital/doctor every day for medical help, but I am slow, mentally damaged and noone else thought to talk to me or advise me. Dad usually talked to me the best, but he had had some strokes and wasn't as sharp anymore. I did try to get thru to Kaiser upper management that I needed help but it was as useless as I had learned from IBM. Corporate culture supports bad managers against good employees.