Ryan Hamner is a four-time survivor of Hodgkin lymphoma, a musician, and an award-winning author. In 2011, he wrote and recorded, "Where Hope Lives" for the American Cancer Society and the song for survivors, "Survivors Survive" used in 2015 for #WorldCancerDay. Recently, he published his book, This is Remission: A Four-Time Cancer Survivor's Memories of Treatment, Struggle, and Life, available on Amazon. His website is www.ryanhamner.com
Getting a job while having health issues can be a problem, but don't just take my word for it.
I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop, going back and forth between writing, tweeting, searching for jobs and enjoying a significant coffee buzz. That is when I got a phone call from a recruiter who thought I was a perfect fit for a content developer role. Honestly, at that point, I thought I was the perfect fit for almost any position — even working as one of the furry animal people that wave at you on the side of the road outside of some of these pizza places, although that is a little creepy.
It had been a little over a year since I last worked a corporate job. Since that time, I had worked for myself, writing and doing freelance jobs for small companies, but insurance isn't cheap, ya know? Oh, which reminds me, during that time since my last job, my heart rate had also hit over 250 beats per minute and resulted in a little heart procedure.
As I sat there in the coffee shop, in the same seat, I sit in almost every day while there, I thought, "Hey, maybe this one will pan out."
The recruiter described what seemed to be something I'd be interested in, a six-month contract-to-hire job, with good pay and the possibility of being hired full-time. However, she said the role did not allow for any time off. Seriously? Like in six months, it's not at all reasonable to think that someone might need a day or two off? I mean, people get sick, and not necessarily with cancer, but with colds and stuff — and what about those days where some people want to play hooky? What about parents with kids? They sometimes need days off, too.
"So, they don't allow for any days off at all? Not even for emergencies or doctors’ appointments?" I asked.
"Well, you'll have to ask them about that. Do you need time off for anything in particular?" she replied.
At this point, I just thought to myself, “you know, let me see what happens.” I was honestly just curious about how the recruiter would respond to some of my questions.
"Yeah, I have a couple of doctor appointments here and there," I said.
The recruiter went on to ask me how often I went to the doctor, before finally confirming that the last person to interview wasn't a good fit for the job because she needed to be out during the week for medical reasons. Which sounded to me like, "Hey, a woman couldn't be hired for this role because of her health issues," which might seem like discrimination against certain people, in the legal field.