Friday, January 19, 2007

Sick Notes

Liz and I got talking the other day about people having time off sick these days for a broken finger nail. I guess it's just the way we were made but I don't get sick and have had about 4 days off in the last four years. Only my back injury (three weeks) spoils my record in the last twenty years which probably amounts to about a total of five weeks off. Mind you I have given a lot of people colds in that time.

Liz, probably influenced by her Father's army background, would describe her arm hanging off by a thread as a bit of an inconvenience and would apologise she might arrive at Wokingham a little late. She had half a day off sick last week so I'm worried she may have something terminal.

It got me thinking back to my pre PC days when HR departments were called personnel and a training session before I took a managment role at Eagle Star Insurance (now Zurich). We were told always to examine sick notes carefully and were given two to check.

One employee, off long-term with a whiplash injury, provided a note which said 'This patient is suffering from a pain in the neck.' We noticed the doctor had lightly crossed out the words 'suffering from.'

Another had proudly handed over a sick note describing his condition as plumbioscillation, presumably delighted with the technical name by which the doctor had communicated to us that he was lead-swinging.

Those were the days.

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