I have been very angry all week. I got an email to say I had hit a sickness trigger. My initial reaction was ‘no I bloody well haven’t’. It turned out this dates back to seven months ago. Now I have fundamental issues with a sickness policy that doesn’t allow any manager discretion anyway, but I accept it is what it is. What I don’t accept is that seven months late is an appropriate time to have the ‘consultation’ meeting. The idea is that it’s a two way system, on the one hand, you have the ‘don’t be sick so much,’ but there should also be the ‘what can we do to help.’ How exactly does that work seven months after the fact?
I’m also somewhat frustrated by the fact that three of the four instances of sickness were during the peak of my divorce. Not only was I under massive pressure at work on a high profile project, but also in my personal life, a stress which is unlikely to occur again. This led to a couple of attacks of stress related vertigo. And When I say attacks, I stood up getting out of bed and collapsed. I couldn’t stand for hours without blacking out or vomiting. If I had to go to the bathroom I went on my knees. It was terrifying the first time it happened and on the first two occasions I spent the entire day lying as still as possible. On the third occasion I went into work after a few hours, when the spinning stopped. I should not have been standing, let alone driving but I had so much to do so off I went. I never took compassionate leave, I didn’t do what someone sensible would have done and have the doc sign me off for a few weeks after I collapsed the first time. I worked throughout, but I had a couple of collapses and a couple fo colds (being as stress suppresses your immunity) in a relatively short period of time. All the same if they’d called me on it at the time i’d have accepted it, i’d probably have been sent to occy health, stress management would have been implemented. None of which is much help to me now, seven months after the fact. Not that the work related stress has lessened, it’s increased. We shall see whether any support is available for that. Needless to say nearly a week on I am still angry. The meeting is on Wednesday, I have to try to keep my temper. I will be glad of my one on one training that morning.
It’s the same throughout the section, and from what I hear for everyone in local authorities and the NHS. The thing that really upsets me is that with the way things have been lately I no longer want to go to work in the mornings. I like my job, I like the projects and my team so to get to a point where I don’t want to be there bothers me. Seeing other people like me, who like the work, who care about delivering getting to a point where they are hitting the ‘who gives a fuck’ wall is incredibly depressing. I’m pretty much there.