Today was my Occupational Health meeting.
It was freezing.
More snow had fallen and the pavements were treacherous.
I packed all my ID, my immunisation records and my NHS card and brought them up there.
The site was cold and unsalted and I picked my way round the building site to the OH door. In the side of a decrepit Victorian building. Modern looking sections had been tacked on to the building to make it bigger, but they too had seen far better days. The corridors were narrow and the accommodation cramped and grey.
I was late.
Anyway, they weren't ready for me.
I sat and waited in an unheated room shivering in a vest, t-shirt, shirt, a thick Aran cardigan and a thick winter coat and scarf, long johns (yes, long johns), two pairs of socks and a thick pair of walking boots.
I was called in to a tiny room where the nurse was sympathetic about peeling off all the layers.
I had been completely honest on the application form and she set about asking me questions regarding my previous employment and illnesses.
I had to confess to her that I had been nervous about filling the previous employment bit
Loud, noisy environments? - Yep
Dusty environments? - Yep
Ionizing radiations? - Yep
Chemicals? - Yep
Mutagens? - Yep
Teratogens? - Yep
Carcinogens? - Yep
Vibrating machinery? - Yep
Repetitive motions? - Yep
Biological hazards? - Yep
And so on.
I impressed her with my smallpox vaccination scar (20/05/1969). Not many people have one of those these days.
Blood pressure (high end of normal), height (short) and weight (too much) and that was that.
As I was leaving, I switched my mobile 'phone back on.
It played a tune, vibrated and beeped.
I had one missed call.
From the HR Section.
I paid them a visit. Leaving the OH side of the building, I walked around to the entrance to the main part of the same building and walked through narrow corridors and up rickety stairs to the HR section.
At the very top of the stairs, I stood on the last step and rang the doorbell on the big front door. Complete with letterbox, this door totally blocks the top of the stairs. The corridor inside is also the landing.
The HR bod answered and was surprised to see me as she had only just called me.
It turns out that one of my former employers STILL hadn't forwarded a reference.
The Big E is going through right ructions right now and.......
Um no....it was previous employer.
Eh? My PREVIOUS employer?
Could I provide another reference because my previous immediate line manager hadn't come through?
As my previous line manager was an absolute sweetheart and had sent me a reference when I was first made redundant, I was at a loss to explain what had happened.
I called my former lab office from my mobile 'phone to be told by the second in command that my PILM had fallen and sprained his ankle so badly, that he was off for the foreseeable future.
Second in Command was fine with sending a reference instead. Oh, by the way, MORE people had been made redundant, it looks like my previous employers were winding the place down and he was going to train to be a teacher.
I thanked him and hung up.
I'd better get a job soon, or else there will no one left to ask for a reference. Jeepers!
I gave his details to the HR bod so that she could formally ask him for a reference and I was off home again.
I didn't get warm until I got to bed.