12 June 2015
Guest Blogger: Simon J Green
Thinking you’re going to die at 20 makes you driven. Like a runaway train heading for a cliff at top speed. It can make you ambitious, a Macbeth cutting through obstacles not because of witches and Ladies, but because your destiny is an early grave.
Australians living with chronic illnesses that in all likelihood will turn into terminal illnesses are given a unique modifier to their life. In video games, there are buffs and debuffs. The Crimson Gem of Cyttorak will give you ridiculous strength, and that’s a buff because it has a positive effect. A debuff has a negative impact. You may cast a spell on your enemies, such as Valkyrie’s Blessing, which drains your victims over time. For those poor sods, you’ve placed a debuff on their health.
An early natural death sentence can act as one or both, a buff or debuff. You can figure, “What’s the point?” and do very little, relax, enjoy what time you have; or, like me, you can turn it into a race against time, trying to get as much done as superhumanly possible before you shuffle off.
Stay with me on this, but as a boss, I’d love my employee to be the driven person with a chronic illness. The grim reaper whipping at their heels is a powerful motivator. They’d smash through work! Yes, it creates a mental image of a slavemaster cracking cat o’ nines, the emaciated sickie dragging himself forward in fear, but stay with me a little longer!
Whether they’re dying slowly or simply being sick, people with disabilities want to work, in some cases need to work. They need the money, sure, but they also need the validation, the purpose. You know that feeling you get when on vacation too long, itching to get back and be useful? Surprisingly, people with disability feel that, too. It’s human nature to want to be part of society, contribute towards the greater good or just a greater home.
If you have or gain a disability, you’re far less likely to be employed. However, statistically, you’re a better worker. Job Access dropped this fact, “People with disability take fewer days off, take less sick leave and have a higher retention rate than other workers.” Rad. In my more personal, non-government view on the subject, we wanna work because we’re acutely aware of death, and finding a meaningful job can give the time we have meaning, too.
I’m a boss. I run companies, and in pointing out the above, I’m speaking to you, my fellow employers. Taking on a person with a disability, a PWD, can reap huge rewards for the loyalty, the trust, the awesomeness we bring. Normies - non-disabled folk - won’t have the same attitudes we bring to work, unless they’re wearing a Crimson Gem of Cyttorak. As their boss, of course you’ll need to take a few measures to ensure your level 50 tank of an employee with a disability is given the tools and environment to work. That might mean a little leeway friday night to go home early after they spent all week crushing their to-do list. Maybe getting a ramp or a rail in the toilet that your power player uses only for bodily functions (rather than playing Candy Crush for half an hour like the rest of the slacker normies and two-legs in your employ). These little things, adjustments to the office, are part of a well functioning, flexible work place. It gives you access to a workforce to be reckoned with. Confront death and disability and tell me you won’t come out a radder person ready to kill it in the work place? As a boss building a business, you want the Avengers (or the Suicide Squad), and any good team is a diverse mix. Add some PWDs to the roster and you’ve got a massive buff for your organisation, friend. We’re the gems and spells and radioactive super-serums you’ve been missing.