Letters from the week of April 25, 2002

Lights Out 

Letters from the week of April 25, 2002

Power failure: I enjoyed Deb Hipp's piece about John Felix ("Get to Work!" April 11). I am also in the throes of attempting to reach a settlement with an insurance company regarding my own workers' compensation claim.

In September of 2000, I was shot three times while waiting for a service vehicle to repair a company-owned vehicle. This was a completely random act. I have had four plastic surgeries to repair the damage to my face and still suffer breathing problems, which may never be fully corrected. I also do not know the long-term implications of the presence of two bullets literally lodged in my bones.

After this, I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. I still have many of the symptoms to varying degrees and will likely have some or all of them for the remainder of my life.

From the injured's standpoint (we without the powerful lobbyists), the workers' compensation system is absolutely horrible. Even though I will very likely have long-term health consequences, my primary need is psychiatric care. My insurance carrier determines who will be my treating physician. This is the same insurance carrier who is my adversary with my claim. This creates a conflict of interest, removes all possibility of privacy and violates the doctor-patient privilege. At the same time, it makes any psychological therapy virtually useless because a core and trusting relationship simply can't be developed.

KCPL offered Mr. Felix only a trivial amount for a very good reason: It can. In Mr. Felix's case, his doctor is working for the company that will have to write the check.
Name Withheld Upon Request


Public futilities: This is another story of many, and of many more to come. Big business is only for the ones at the top. They will do whatever it takes to protect their own income. I have been a firm believer that we should support all the mom-and-pop businesses that we can. In the case of KCPL, they are a utility, and we do not have much of a choice where we can go. But if I could, I would switch in a heartbeat.

People need to start listening to all the propaganda that companies put out about how good they are, how they are so community-minded and how they care about their employees. Look at Sprint. They have laid off thousands of employees. Their top executives will get their bonuses, and they will continue to contribute to causes. If they are so community-minded, why didn't they use that money to keep people in the community employed?
Name Withheld Upon Request


Sick heave: I work for KCPL, and they try to get you back to work before you are ready, despite what your personal doctor says. One thing about this is also their sick-leave program, at least in the 412 Local. Unless you are in the hospital or have 75 percent of your possible sick leave, you get penalized to the point of losing your job if you get sick.

In other words, you cannot get well if you get, say, a cold. You have to go to work not in the best condition, but that is what sick leave is for -- to get well. But not at KCPL.
Name Withheld Upon Request


Correction

Due to an editing error, the Pitch incorrectly reported recently that former Mayor Emanuel Cleaver drew no city salary ("Clever Cleaver," April 4). Payroll records indicate that he received pay as mayor in 1997, 1998 and 1999. The United Methodist minister reportedly waived a salary in 1984, while a city councilman, in response to church leaders' concerns about the demands of two jobs.

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