I didn’t need to see the doctor, but as last week’s feverish cold took its time, I took a moment to check the rules as to when I had to supply a sick note for work.
Fascinating fact #1: it’s 7 calendar days in the UK.
Fascinating fact #2: it’s not a sick note any more. It’s a fit note, supposedly confirming that you are fit to work or, as will be the case in almost all cases when a doctor signs such a document, it will confirm that you are not fit to work on medical grounds. Also known as sick.
I find that pretty annoying. Some political spin doctor thought it important to change the well-established name sick note into fit note. Something about the psychiatry of being positive, I guess. By the time this was discussed in all committees involved, by the time the decision was communicated with all parties and doctors involved across the country, plus the general public, by the time related documentation (and the new Fit To Work forms) was changed and printed, by that time, hundreds of thousands of pounds will have been spent on a change that makes no difference no whatsoever to nobody nowhere at no time.
Thank you for your email, the automatic reply tells me, and continues to assure me that your input is important to us, and similar generic nonsense.
But then, all is revealed: As we are currently exceptionally busy, we may take up to four working days to reply to your inquiry.
Let me tell you something. A few things, actually:
First, you are not currently exceptionally busy. You haven’t changed the auto-responders message in years.
Second, you took not up to four working days, you took six.
Third, you answered in such an incomplete manner that we have to go through another one-week long email exchange.
This was the Open University, but it doesn’t matter, so widespread is this practise.
Hate it, hate it, hate it.
You will not have missed the news that Guy Laliberté, the founder of Cirque du Soleil, has been blasted to the International Space Station on board a Soyuz TM-16 from Baikonur in Kazakhstan earlier this week.
He pays $35 million for the pleasure, apparently fulfilling a life-long dream.
So far, I have no quibbles with Guy fulfilling his dream.
When it comes to reading a poem from space, which emphasises the need for all the world’s population to have access to clean water, he’s lost me, and my sympathy, however. No matter whether he paid 35 million in US, Canadian or Australian dollars, there’s a lot of clean water, water purification equipment and deep well drilling kits to be had for that amount of money.
Guy. You want to ride in space. Fine. You can afford it. Fine. If you feel guilty about the whole thing (which you should), don’t do it. Just spare me the petty excuses.
Sometimes you can’t help wondering if “they” employ complete fools on purpose, or if “they” are complete fools to begin with, thus fail to recognise any further foolishness.
For example, I cannot figure out why Intalink of Hertfordshire advertises the richness of information they provide by showing people who aren’t happy at all about this at all. They are instead, as the text explains, shocked and blown away.
In my naive and amateurish opinion, life is simple. Want to sell positive news? Use a positive message.
I find so much public display of foolishness frightening; laughable if it wasn’t so sad. I can only assume the young lady depicted here thought the same.