Saturday, November 02, 2013

Oh! So That's Why!

Someone mentioned to me in the comments section that I should give Thomas some space after work to let him find his way to me to talk to me. She was right about that to some degree because I had questioned Thomas after work every night and when I couldn't get down to the bottom of his obvious struggling, I left him alone to come to me if he needed to. What I discovered yesterday was just exactly what's been going on.

We went and picked up his check and when he got it opened I noticed that it was only $75. I was surprised to see it so low since he had worked quite a bit. I expressed that I thought that and he said to me,

"They took money from my check because I had damaged some product."

I took his paycheck stub and examined it for any deductions that looked like they had done that and couldn't find any. Thank God.

What happened was that Thomas had been helping to unload a truck and he went to catch a box and he dropped it and it broke open and stuff spilled out and broke. He had made a mistake, had an accident. I explained to him that they weren't going to charge him for that because he had made a mistake. I went on to tell him that he is new to the job and those kinds of things are to be expected. I said that the store has insurance for those kinds of things or that they eat the costs of things like that because accidents will happen. He was so grateful.

So, that was the source of the rough night at work that he wouldn't talk about, of course he was upset if he had dropped and broken some product. Then it was also the source of his disinterest in his paycheck when I tried to elicit some excitement out of him about it.

True to form, it is always something that we don't think about that happens. Here I was worried that it had something to do with his illness and instead he had just had a bad day at work. I asked him why he didn't tell me that it had happened and I got my usual "I don't know" and I asked him if he thought I might be mad at him about it and he said no. I asked him a couple other questions about it trying to hopefully get him to understand that he can talk to me about stuff like that and it was met with more "I don't know's" and some silence. So, I left him alone.

I guess a couple things come out of this experience. One, instead of assuming it's illness-related, I need to realize that now that he's working he's going to have rough days, just like the rest of us. Second, I need to practice not assuming the worst in all things Thomas. I'm just so used to doing both of those things because he's been actively psychotic in the last few months and so many things that have happened have pointed to that.

Apart from the dropping product incident, he has been doing well and says he likes his job. He got his hours for next week and he only works two days. He's excited about that fact. It's funny, he's been wanting a job for so long so he could earn money to build a gaming computer but now he's excited he doesn't have to work that much. I think the transition from home to work has been a test for him so I think he just wants a break from the day to day grind even if it means he doesn't get that computer built soon.

So, he's good. He's learning and he's working through what it means to hold a job. Personally I'm just happy that he has a job so that he can gain experience in "the real world."

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