"Light Duty" means dead in the water

I have had back issues for years now.

I was around when MIB was keeping track of injuries and claims not that I have never filed a Jones Act or Workers Comp claim in my life.
I have never sued (even when I probably should have) or collected a dime from anybody including our government.

My back finally got to the point that I had to go under the knife.
The ol saw bones did a pretty good job and in 6 weeks I was ready to return to work with a “light duty” chit.

I pre planned my medical time off and saved as much as I could for bills.
I took time off work to heal and paid for the entire surgery myself.

But now that it is time to go back, no one wants to hire me on “light duty” let alone with a “full release”.

I have spoken with a couple former and current port captains and they told me good luck but my back surgery is going to be something that follows me around the rest of my life.
I already knew that and that is why I already have my medical records printed out and ready to go.

But it is not just the hassle of shuffling papers for the pre employment physical but the fact that I have had a “back injury” that I never had.

No one wants to hire someone that is going to step on the boat, slip on water, and say, “My neck, my back, my neck and my back! Give me a couple million and I’ll forget about it.”

I thought I was doing it the right way.

I quit my job and went home. I paid for the surgery and treatment myself. I have recovered and am almost fully released. And were it not for the metal parts in my spine I would lie like a rug about ever having a surgery.

Why should I be grouped in with the rest of the ambulance chasers? I have busted my ass my whole career and a public records check shows that I have never sued anyone for anything in my life.
I am a hell of a good wheelman and was in high demand before I bowed out to get fixed.
Now I am a piece of shit that might sue.
Really?

I don’t give a fuck what “everyone else” did and who sued who.
I want to be “judged” by my actions not the actions of the Jones Act Mafia.

I can’t do anything else either because no one wants to hire me on light duty. By the time I get a full release I will have lost it all anyway.
I stashed enough nuts to get to light duty but it is pretty hard to put enough away for an entire year.

I don’t know a single person in this throw away, easy credit society we live in that can live for an entire year, pay all their bills, and not work.
I am sure those people are out there but they are not the norm.

My light duty has a lifting restriction just to cover my doc’s ass.
I am lifting kids, laundry baskets, going to the Y everyday, and so on.

I am taking no drugs and the most fit for duty I have been in 20 years.
I quit smoking, doping, drinking, whoring, (hard to believe I am still a sailor, eh) and more.

All for naught. No one cares. I am a fuckin ambulance chaser now not a 20 year Captain…for the rest of my life I guess…

I’ve thought about situations like this before. These privately insured companies are a bitch. If I ever have to do that I plan to take leave, not quit. That way when the company dic…I mean doc, won’t clear me it opens up disability. I can live of 60%…

You need to get the ol sawbones to sign you off with no physical limitations. Otherwise you’re screwed.

It might be worthwhile checking into the unions. I won’t start a pissing match here. But I will say I have seen overly obese (300+), old (pushing 80), people limping around, you get the picture. Their physicals are a lot less demanding than the ones in the gulf.

[QUOTE=MFOWelectrician;146754]It might be worthwhile checking into the unions. I won’t start a pissing match here. But I will say I have seen overly obese (300+), old (pushing 80), people limping around, you get the picture. Their physicals are a lot less demanding than the ones in the gulf.[/QUOTE]

beat me to it. I’ll back that 100%.

Shipping companies do not do MRIs and very rarely X-rays. That’s your best bet.

It may mean starting at the bottom again, but it’s better than filing for disability b/c you can’t get hired.

Just like MFOWsparky, I’ve sailed with lots of morbidly obese dudes who’ve been that way for ages and are still sailing today.

I get the impression these days the shipping companies are more concerned with whether you are a walking pharmacy or not.

[QUOTE=Johnny Canal;146763]beat me to it. I’ll back that 100%.

Shipping companies do not do MRIs and very rarely X-rays. That’s your best bet.

It may mean starting at the bottom again, but it’s better than filing for disability b/c you can’t get hired.

Just like MFOWsparky, I’ve sailed with lots of morbidly obese dudes who’ve been that way for ages and are still sailing today.

I get the impression these days the shipping companies are more concerned with whether you are a walking pharmacy or not.[/QUOTE]

The ridiculous physicals with xrays and MRIs are mostly a Gulf thing. I have never seen them anywhere else. Strength and agility tests are rare outside the Gulf

I don"t know where you live. If you live in an area with things like city or state owned ferries, look into that if you’re qualified. You could also look into any government (federal, state, local) ship jobs. MSC comes to mind. Government usually follows laws regarding hiring to the letter, often providing benefit of the doubt to the applicant.

Thanks for all the helpful information all.

I have light duty right now but am planning on getting “fit for full duty” soon.

But even with fit for full duty it is hard to get hired when you have a hardware store in your back.

I have not sailed the GOM in awhile and the whole MRI thing is news to me.
Makes sense though because my Xray showed normal when I could barely walk.
The MRI showed what was really going on.

My job had no benefits that made not quiting an option. I have already applied for disability through the government but it is 4-6 months to get your first “denial” in the mail and then you have to hire a blood sucking attorney to get what is rightfully yours to begin with and then give that scumbag a cut.
Hopefully I will be back to work by the time my first denial comes in the mail.

I have an idea / lead or two to get back to work soon hopefully but it is not in the oil field.

Yes, shipping is where I will end up but not overseas and definitely not starting at the bottom again.
That is how I blew out my back to begin with.

I guess my overall point is if I pay for my surgery, don’t file a claim on anyone, and can return to duty with no limitations why should I be discriminated against in the pre employment process?

[QUOTE=Veslog;146830]I have already applied for disability through the government but it is 4-6 months to get your first “denial” in the mail and then you have to hire a blood sucking attorney to get what is rightfully yours to begin with and then give that scumbag a cut.
Hopefully I will be back to work by the time my first denial comes in the mail.[/QUOTE]

The most that anyone can get for assisting you with getting SSD is right around $6000.00. I know some people that have been fighting for YEARS, so I wish good luck dealing with them.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;146771]The ridiculous physicals with xrays and MRIs are mostly a Gulf thing. I have never seen them anywhere else. Strength and agility tests are rare outside the Gulf[/QUOTE]

NOT true. While I did NOT have to submit to an MRI, Strength/Agility tests aren’t so uncommon with the East Coast tug companies.
I’m not all that surprised that ‘Light Duty’ gets you no where - why pay for a body that can’t perform?
‘FIt for Duty’ ought to mean just that and if you encounter resistance THEN, then I think you have something to pursue

I’ve had one really rigorous strength and agility test, that I passed, on the East Coast, and one much milder test on the West Coast. Both tests within the last two years. Never saw a test before these.

It use to be pretty common to get a call and hop a plane directly to the boat without a physical, but I haven’t bypassed a physical for awhile. Some companies let you go to your own doctor. Some send you to a work safe clinic close to home. Obviously, I’m not talking about Gulf companies.

I hear the physical thing is starting to get bad in NY.

[QUOTE=Veslog;146735]I have had back issues for years now.

I was around when MIB was keeping track of injuries and claims not that I have never filed a Jones Act or Workers Comp claim in my life.
I have never sued (even when I probably should have) or collected a dime from anybody including our government.

My back finally got to the point that I had to go under the knife.
The ol saw bones did a pretty good job and in 6 weeks I was ready to return to work with a “light duty” chit.

I pre planned my medical time off and saved as much as I could for bills.
I took time off work to heal and paid for the entire surgery myself.

But now that it is time to go back, no one wants to hire me on “light duty” let alone with a “full release”.

I have spoken with a couple former and current port captains and they told me good luck but my back surgery is going to be something that follows me around the rest of my life.
I already knew that and that is why I already have my medical records printed out and ready to go.

But it is not just the hassle of shuffling papers for the pre employment physical but the fact that I have had a “back injury” that I never had.

No one wants to hire someone that is going to step on the boat, slip on water, and say, “My neck, my back, my neck and my back! Give me a couple million and I’ll forget about it.”

I thought I was doing it the right way.

I quit my job and went home. I paid for the surgery and treatment myself. I have recovered and am almost fully released. And were it not for the metal parts in my spine I would lie like a rug about ever having a surgery.

Why should I be grouped in with the rest of the ambulance chasers? I have busted my ass my whole career and a public records check shows that I have never sued anyone for anything in my life.
I am a hell of a good wheelman and was in high demand before I bowed out to get fixed.
Now I am a piece of shit that might sue.
Really?

I don’t give a fuck what “everyone else” did and who sued who.
I want to be “judged” by my actions not the actions of the Jones Act Mafia.

I can’t do anything else either because no one wants to hire me on light duty. By the time I get a full release I will have lost it all anyway.
I stashed enough nuts to get to light duty but it is pretty hard to put enough away for an entire year.

I don’t know a single person in this throw away, easy credit society we live in that can live for an entire year, pay all their bills, and not work.
I am sure those people are out there but they are not the norm.

My light duty has a lifting restriction just to cover my doc’s ass.
I am lifting kids, laundry baskets, going to the Y everyday, and so on.

I am taking no drugs and the most fit for duty I have been in 20 years.
I quit smoking, doping, drinking, whoring, (hard to believe I am still a sailor, eh) and more.

All for naught. No one cares. I am a fuckin ambulance chaser now not a 20 year Captain…for the rest of my life I guess…[/QUOTE]

If you have been a captain for 20 years, if you have local knowledge, if you can climb aboard and get back and forth to the wheelhouse, and if you have a decent reputation, there are plenty of small companies that would be very glad to have you, notwithstanding “light duty” status.

I recently took a pre employment physical that consisted of stairs, weights, carpet crawl, if you are 50 and a smoker I doubt you would make it. We have a yearly strengh and agility test now, which has already forced 2 guys into early retirement. The girl who did mine was very cute, took her time when she cupped my balls for the hernia test. :wink: I almost wanted to tip her.

[QUOTE=BargeMonkey;147121]I recently took a pre employment physical that consisted of stairs, weights, carpet crawl, if you are 50 and a smoker I doubt you would make it. We have a yearly strengh and agility test now, which has already forced 2 guys into early retirement. The girl who did mine was very cute, took her time when she cupped my balls for the hernia test. :wink: I almost wanted to tip her.[/QUOTE]

"I better cough again. . . . . "