About Me

"Setting the world to rights"...one blog at a time! Plus anything else that comes to mind

Monday, 20 September 2010

Sick leave

A new system has been introduced by the government to reduce the number of people receiving ill-health benefits. One of those is the switch from a doctor's 'sick note' to a 'fit to work' note. The old system was rather black and white, you were either at your job or not. The new system allows for shades of grey.

This is my first time on the new system and so far I approve.

After two weeks uninterrupted sick leave to see if rest will resolve the matter, I'm climbing the walls with boredom. The pain in my arm and shoulder mean I can't do anything for very long whether it's sitting, walking, standing, computer work etc - this post has been written in installments.

On the old system I couldn't have worked at all. My employers' insurance wouldn't have covered me for being at work. On the new system I can go in for amended duties for however long as I can manage. So I keep up to date at work, I manage to help my colleagues at least a little bit and it stops me festering at home until the probelm is sorted. I'm not sure how it works from the employers side since it must make it a little complicated claiming back the statutary sick pay from the government. No doubts the kinks will be worked out as the scheme progresses.

All in all I view it as an improvement.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


I follow a blog that had been quiet for a few weeks and I was a little worried that either something horrible had happened to the blogger or my last comment had offended. Finally I received an automatic email to say my comment had been published. ‘Oh, good’, I thought, he’s ok and back in harness. I enjoy his posts, most of them, some of them go over my head or are outside my areas of interest but he has a sense of humour and turn of phrase that appeal to me so I immediately went to his blog to see if there were any new posts. There were, and part way down I’d been mentioned. At first I felt the thrill of a child being noticed, then of a child being told she’d done well, finally my usual insecurity took over; was he poking fun at me?

“‘Malmesbury’, you constantly enrich my blog with your visits. I’m humbled by your astute observations.”

It was the ‘astute’ and ‘humbled’ that rang alarm bells. I may be many things but I’m pretty sure my friends wouldn’t recognize ‘astute’ as one of them. I checked my dictionary for ‘astute’, just in case, and it gave me…

‘of keen penetration or discernment; sagacious: an astute analysis.’

… nope, definitely not sounding like me!

And ‘humbled’ seemed way over the top.

I had another look at my comment and it seemed innocuous enough but I figured I must be missing something.

Two possibilities then; either a compliment or he was having a dig. Since I preferred the compliment option, naturally, I had a think about that first and remembered an episode during my trip round Western Canada and Alaska.

An American tourist cornered me in an elevator shortly after I arrived, grabbed my hand, shook it vigorously and thanked me for helping them in Iraq. I was completely non-plussed…obviously I wasn’t helping in Iraq, I was on holiday in North America!...I smiled inanely, completely at a loss for words. His father had said the British wouldn’t help but he knew we would; the US had volunteered to help us during World War II so he was sure we’d help them now by way of thanks. Skipping over the ‘volunteered’ bit in the interests of diplomacy, I retrieved my hand and scuttled out of the lift as soon as possible. In many ways I am the typical reserved English-woman and I simply wasn’t prepared for this effusiveness. In the three months I was travelling I unwound quite a lot, meeting and getting to know some truly lovely people and learning to enjoy our differences; perhaps I’ve now fallen back into my old ways and should just accept the comment at face value?

On the other hand, perhaps he was having a dig? It’s certainly not unknown for me to be a tad pompous or miss the point of something completely. So if he was having a dig…? So what? His opinions and the robust way he expresses himself are what makes him an enjoyable read. It would be a pretty poor show if I wasn’t willing to be on the receiving end with good grace.

No, all in all, it doesn’t matter one way or the other and I shall continue to follow his blog with enjoyment.

Oh, and on the subject of not blogging for a while, sorry - poorly arm - just typing the above with one hand took ages…very boring waiting for the hand to catch up with the brain!