While I attended college full time down South, I worked various jobs just trying to scramble enough money to pay my car note and rent. I picked up the skill of being a server pretty early on, so that was pretty consistent, but I needed more money!!!
This one time I “lucked up” and got the opportunity to work as an attendant for a gentleman who couldn’t move his arms or his legs. It was an overnight position like 20 minutes outside of the city. (I was a little skeptical about that anyways because the further you go out in the woods, I feel the more unwanted you become. I mean for some of us anyways.)
But anywho, I got hired to work for him doing most of the things he could not do on his own: like feeding (they trained me on how to give him food through his tube), washing his clothes, cleaning up his bathroom, making sure his dog ate - all of that.
I did this for a couple of weeks.
So it was this one morning, actually unbeknownst to me - my last day there, that I stayed afterwards and talked to the girl who relieved me of my shift. She seemed like a cool girl. You know, the non-judgmental type.
Welp, you know me! HIV ain’t a thing ... so I’m all like, “So yea, after here I’m going to go to the AIDS clinic to go intern. I started this after I found out I was positive last year...”
(Don’t hold me to these exact words. I mean, it went something like that. At the very least and for sure, I told her I was HIV positive.)
I left that day and went right on my little happy way. Do you know the darn agency called me no more than two hours later saying that they are letting me go because it wasn't working out!?!?
My first instinct was to say okay and hang up. So, I did. But wait! Hold up!? How are they just going to fire me and not tell me why!? So, I called back. The same woman picked up the phone. I asked her if she can tell me why I had been fired. She said no.
Like wtf! You have to be kidding me! I disclosed just earlier to this one girl and all of the sudden I'm fired now. But no one would believe me if I told them why.
So, I didn't say anything.
I just picked up some more shifts at the restaurant where they weren't scared of me.
What not to do: Think that you can catch HIV by any of the ways that I was helping this man who couldn't help himself.
What you can do? At least check google for a quick reference.
This blog was originally posted on Healing is Voluntary.
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Sorry you had this experience, I have been rejected from jobs because of my status and it hurts. We have so much work still to do. Angel S.