47-year-old Debbie Stevens, a divorced mother of two from Long Island, donated her kidney to help out her boss. You’d think the least she could receive in return was some gratitude, but instead she was promptly fired. The behavior of the boss in question truly seems unfathomable. Stevens now contends that she was being set up and used by her 61-year-old boss, Jackie Brucia.
Stevens and Brucia met as co workers at the billion-dollar Atlantic Automotive Group. At the time, Stevens was a clerical worker, while Brucia was one of the company’s controllers. Later, Stevens left the company in June 2010 and moved to Florida, but she happened to meet Brucia again on a visit to Long Island. It was then that she came to know of Brucia’s illness and difficulty in finding a kidney donor. As a ‘naturally generous’ person, Stevens offered to donate her own kidney if the need arose. To which Brucia replied, “You never know, I may have to take you up on that offer.”
Photo: ABC News video caption
A few months later, Stevens moved back to Long Island and asked Brucia if she could have her old job back. Within a few weeks she was rehired, this time to work under Brucia. After two months, in Jan 2011, Brucia called Stevens into her office and asked her if the offer for the kidney was still good. Stevens was still willing to go ahead with it. “She was my boss, I respected her. It’s just who I am. I didn’t want her to die,” Stevens later told the media. But she now realizes that Brucia had only been “grooming her to be her backup plan.” Stevens wasn’t a close match for Brucia, so she instead donated her kidney to someone else, so that Brucia would move up the waiting list. Eventually, Stevens’ kidney went to someone in St. Louis, while Brucia got hers from San Francisco.
After the procedure, Stevens experienced serious pain, discomfort in her legs and digestive problems. However, she was pressured to return to work just three weeks after surgery. When she finally went back to work on Sep 6, 2011, she didn’t feel ready; even her boss was still recovering at home. Three days later, she was so sick that she had to return home. She then received a berating call from Brucia. Her words apparently were, “You can’t come and go as you please. People are going to think you’re getting special treatment.” Even after Brucia returned to work, Stevens got yelled at in front of co-workers all the time. When she went to visit a psychiatrist and had her lawyers send a letter to the employers, Stevens was quickly fired.
Stevens’ lawyers now plan to file a discrimination lawsuit against the company. “Brucia turns on her, and she should have been kissing her feet,” one of her lawyers said. In spite of the bitter experience, Stevens does not regret what she’s done. “I have no regrets I donated a kidney because it saved the life of a man in Missouri.”
via New York Post