Something didn’t seem quite right about the stories my new boyfriend, Dave, was telling me.
Equipped with the paycheck I found in the computer case, I proceeded to reach out to Mt. Sinai of Queen’s HR Department to find out where exactly department 19 employees were assigned.
“That’s the emergency department”, the woman stated. No further information would be released unless it were requested via an employment verification form.
Well, I needed answers. I needed them that day. Dave had applied for a couple jobs, so they have probably already received some requests, right? What’s one more? I quickly got to work in Microsoft Word to prepare the verification of employment form and get it faxed. Now, we wait.
I had 60 patients scheduled with three practitioners in the office, that should keep me busy and my mind occupied for the day. Before I knew it, time had passed and it was nearing 4 PM. I had triaged the last of the patients and went to check my folder in the back (where any faxes would be put for my retrieval). The cover sheet I had sent to the HR department of Mt. Sinai was in my box, clearly used for the return fax. I picked both papers up, went back to my office and closed the door. The moment of truth.
By law, the only personnel information a company is allowed to verify for a job applicant are name, date of birth, dates of employment, position, starting and ending pay (sometimes optional) and whether the employee is re-hirable. There were a few blanks on the form I received back. The pertinent areas had been completed.
Dave had started working at Mt. Sinai back in 2001 (I don’t recall the exact dates on the VOE) and had left Mt. Sinai in 2009. He had worked there nearly nine years, in the emergency department—not as a medical resident, not as a nurse, not in a provider or practitioner capacity at all—as a registrar, registering patients in the ER.
The rush of blood to my face was intensely warm. I think I sat at my work desk for 15 minutes waiting for my heart to slow. The lie, this lie, why…?! Why did he lie? Why did he feel that holding a steady job for nine years in a hospital system and making $50-$60k annually wasn’t enough? Why did he lie?
Why did he not come clean when he was sitting in a hotel in NYC? I asked if there was anything that he felt he may have misrepresented that he would like to clarify now? He replied with a bit of puzzlement as to what type of information I could be referring to. I explained that I was aware he had a daughter. If he had another child, now would be the time to divulge that information. At this time, it would elicit an ‘Oh’, as opposed to finding out in a year.
Confronting Him on The Lie…
It was an average November day. I had recovered from my initial shock and called Kim, my closest friend at that time. Kim is also a veteran. She was deployed to Iraq only a couple years before we met. We concocted a plan with my parents to get him out from my house that night. My dad came over and stood in the bedroom while Dave packed his duffle bag. Whilst shoving his clothing into his bag, he was begging and pleading with me to not let this happen… Again, I felt sorry for him. When I confronted him, I simply said, “I know. I know everything”. He broke down crying and went on and on about how he wanted to tell me but he felt he had gotten in too deep and was afraid that if he told me the truth, I would kick him out. He was afraid to lose me.
His choice to lie did not serve him better.
In the short time my father allowed for Dave to gather his belongings, Dave handed me a ring that he’d had since childhood. Standing there watching him pack, I was fiddling with the ring and placed it on my finger. It fit. Dave began to tell me that the ring is a “spirit ring”. When the ring is destroyed, he will die. If I tossed it in the river, it would kill him. I truly don’t know how he didn’t think he sounded insane. Regardless, because the ring “had never fit anyone else”, it was destiny! (The only reason the ring fit was because it was cold out and my fingers were cold.) He continued pleading that I should be stopping my dad from taking him to the Greyhound station.
My dad put him on a Greyhound bus back to New York that night, waiting until the bus had pulled out to be sure he stayed on. Remember, this man had no job, no income and no money. He hadn’t bothered to get a job in the five months he was here, how would he have had any funds?
Two Hours Pass…
I receive a call in the wee hours. It’s Dave! He got off the Greyhound and demanded I come pick him up. Sadly, I obliged. The next few months get interesting…