By Juliette K., Alachua County
I'll be 57 years old next month. I'm having all the usual age issues with my knees and back. I’m having some arthritis. I came to the Equal Access clinic today because I’m having an issue with my thyroid. I’m also dealing with major depression and anxiety from various life situations. I’m dealing with COVID, losing my job, and my mother having cancer. Being on Medicaid would be really helpful because I don’t even know how I’m going to pay for my prescription. But I’ve learned that sometimes, things are out of our hands. Sometimes we just can’t afford to have health insurance.
I'm really seeing age discrimination in the job force right now. I'm really feeling it. I'm having a hard time finding work. Nobody wants to hire me because of my age. I'm also having a hard time finding a place that I’m comfortable and feel safe to apply to because of COVID. My mother and I live together, and she can’t be vaccinated. She’s still getting chemotherapy, so I have to be careful with all the places I go.
I had a temporary position last year, and, after it ended, I found another job and started the training. I was doing customer service from home. The pay was supposed to be $15 an hour. After four weeks of training, we were put into what they call transitional day or training day. This is when you actually start receiving calls from the customers. I asked the recruiter if this was a sales position and he said no. I don’t do sales. After about two weeks of training, I asked again and was told that I was going to be doing a little “upselling.” They said it’s not really sales. Well, after four weeks of virtual classroom training, I was told that we would be paid on a sliding scale, based on sales. This is not what I was told when I was hired and even after I asked several times. Turns out it was truly a sales position because your ability to sell affects your pay. So, I quit the job. It was far too much stress for me. I have enough stress going on right now.
If Florida expanded the Medicaid program, I’m sure it'd be a lot better. I’m currently suffering from insomnia, acid reflux, and pain in my back and in my knees. If I had Medicaid, I'd be on top of all this stuff. I wouldn't be having these issues I'm having now. And like I said, next month, I'm going to be 57 years old. It's not going to get better. Other things are going to start to go. Your body is like a little car. Everything starts to go when that warranty goes out.