Decided to rationalise our informatics subscription services. Currently we use Rantger for future industry trends, Crampus for benchmarking, Olsen Enterprises for news, Vireless for public sector stuff and of course Asslic's own service, Incest. The one thing they all deliver is information. Lots and lots of it.
So much in fact, that the reports pile up in the office to such an extent that, in danger as they are of toppling over, they featured prominently in our last health and safety risk assessment.
So we are cancelling all these subscriptions and going instead with the new Info-U-Want. Their research and information resource is useless but, as their brochure makes clear, the all-inclusive gourmet food, unlimited drinks and five-star accommodation at their events is of the highest standard.
Marvin Greasewold, the major shareholder in Incest, did call me to offer to ensure that in future the sandwiches provided at their seminars would feature real mayonnaise and not salad cream, but it was not enough to sway my decision.
The absentee level this week has reached 20% and rising. It is a seasonal thing, the underlying cause being post-Christmas blues. Most people calling in their sickies declare themselves to have flu (which means a cold), or a cold (hangover), or a stomach bug (bad hangover).
Others are most inventive. So far we have had two cases of post traumatic stress and one each of Ebola and whooping cough.
Mavis rang in sick today. She says she has proctalgia fugax and blames me for giving it to her. When she rung off I looked it up. It means pain in the arse.
I met first thing this morning (just after 10) with Dave and Charlie to discuss what we could do to about the absence crisis. Ironically, we three are all actually ill. I have the flu... well, a bad cold. Dave is a long-term alcoholic whose liver and kidneys now work only in fits and starts, and Charlie is being treated for so many diseases and conditions that it is rumoured that Pfizer has taken out an insurance policy against him getting better.
We decide that all absentees will be given a verification interview by their supervisor on their return to work. HR say this acts as a deterrent to absence. It occurs to me that in our case it may be an incentive. It is the only way some staff will ever get to see their supervising manager.
Cold worse, so stayed off today.
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This was first published in January 2007