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Just a Number

Have you ever felt like you are just a number in a system? Like you are caught up in a tidal wave of flotsam, carried along by the whims of others into a whirlpool of dizzying pointlessness?whirlpool-266123_1280 (1)

While I love living in the age of technology where I can be in quick contact with friends and receive immediate photos of my grandson, I am not enjoying the modernization of communication systems that seem designed to keep me from emailing or speaking with a real person.

I have been on medical leave for about thirteen weeks now, and all appropriate paperwork was submitted and received by the pay center before I left. I received a Case Number at week eleven, but as of today the paperwork has yet to be processed or even assigned to someone.

This means my employer is still paying me as though I am at work – which has helped pay the extra medical bills; however, this means they have overpaid me and will be asking for that significant over-payment back when I return to work.

I will still be off for a bit yet, so at thirteen weeks should be transitioning to disability leave. Paperwork for that should have been started eight weeks ago, but the insurance company cannot process anything until my employer does their part.

So, I call my pay office and encounter a busy signal. Every time I call. Only once did I get through to the menu, was able to choose an office and be on hold for over an hour (when I needed to leave for a medical appointment).

banner-1183443_1920I also email. First I received an automated response that a certain form was to accompany the email, which includes my employee number. They need this number because my name is not sufficient for them to know who I am; to them, I am the number. I fill out the form and resend. Receive an automated response that the form has been updated and I need the new one. Fill out the new form and resend. No response. Send a request to an email that is supposedly the next level up. Receive the case number, but nothing further.

Today, I tried phoning throughout the morning, and emailed again.  Can I not just correspond by email or phone with a real person? Surely, there must be a way for technology to help rather than hinder when we need to use systems. The stress is not helping my healing!

chrome-103695_1920I must remember to take a deep breath and call out to God for peace in these circumstances. I am not a number to God. He calls me by name. He knows how many hairs are on my head. He knows the most intimate inner parts of me.

Funny how people say they pray but don’t receive immediate answers so they stop talking to God, yet they are persistent in trying to get an answer from a system that only considers them a number.

I will continue to be persistent in my pursuit of my paperwork. And may I also be persistent in my prayers. I may not always receive the answer I want from God, but I know he at least hears me. So I’ll keep talking to him and leaning into him as his peace calms me.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6 NASB)

*photos CCO License, courtesy of

Categories: Marnie

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Marnie has recently retired to Saskatchewan, Canada to write and be with her grands. She shares from her heart, drawing from both painful and joyful life experiences, where she believes God's presence makes all the difference.

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