Work problem

jinger Member Posts: 15
I think I've got myself in a bit of a pickle at work and am not sure what's going to happen. Please bear with me as it may be along one!

I have OA in my feet, one of them is very swollen and this hot weather we've been having doesn't help. I called in sick last Thursday and Friday as my feet were playing up, it wasn't comfortable to wear my usual foot wear and if I did, I got pins and needles in my feet. I'd also had a bit of a hectic week - Monday I was moving office equipment about on my own for a few hours (although I took regular breaks). Tuesday morning I had to move a few computer monitors from one part of the building to another and didn't do much walking about after that as I was still having problems with my feet from the day before. On Wednesday I ended up showing someone round as they wanted to see where all the printers and copiers were in our building and I ended up on my feet for 3.5 hours with no sit-down (apart from a loo break). When I let my manager know that I wasn't happy about it and that I knew I was going to suffer for it he just said "You know you love it really!" :x That made me sooo cross!

When I got up on Thursday, my foot had swollen so much that I couldn't get my shoes on and wasn't going to walk to work bare-foot so I called in sick. My manager wasn't in the office so I let another manager know. That afternoon I'd noticed something had been splashed down the side of my car so I went to wash it off in bare feet. Whilst I was outside, I'd been seen by another member of staff with a bucket and sponge in my hand. I'd only been out for a short while.

On Friday my foot was still swollen and when I got up, my toes were numb. An hour or so later, the feeling started to come back but was hit with a horrendous bout of pins and needles in both feet. I was hoping to go back to work but had difficulty getting my footwear on and so called into work again to advise them I wouldn't be in. There were no managers available when I rang so left a message with a collegue to let them know I was still having problems. I had an appointment with my GP that day which my manager already knew about, so when it was time to go, I squeezed my feet in my sandals and walked to the doctors with my hubby. (The car had gone into the garage to have some bits fixed on it). I couldn't get my prescription from the pharmacy next door so had to walk a bit further into town to get my prescription. I had to wait for an hour or so for it to be ready so we thought instead of walking back home to walk back again, we'd nip into a couple of shops whilst waiting. I was seen by another member of staff in ashop and spoke to her. I mentioned I'd called in sick that day and said to her "You haven't seen me here".

Anyway, I get back into work this morning and one of my work colleagues mentioned that he'd seen me walking into town on Friday with hubby and I said I was on my way to collect a prescription. I then heard the colleague that I spoke to on Friday say "bullsh***er" quietly but loud enough for me to hear. At that time I didn't make anything of it. A while after, she was talking to someone in HR in front of me about if she had her way, to save the company money they'd need to get rid of all the people who took sickies just to enjoy the nice weather. I had spoken to someone else at work this afternoon to find that this person had been going round work on Friday saying I was skiving because of the good weather and it wasn't anything to do with my feet at all! I am sooo mad!

Anyway, I was due to have my 'welcome back' meeting with my manager today but it's postponed as he'd taken today off. But I'm so worried what's going to happen to me now as I have a feeling my colleague mentioned to my manager that I had been spotted doing something I shouldn't have whilst off. I don't get warnings when I'm off when my feet are playing up but I'm already on my stage 2 warning and have seen Occ Health due to other time off sick and am still in my 'review period'. Could I end up being dismissed over it? Is it worth speaking to my union (who are pally with the colleage who's bee saying things about me who just happens to be a rep of another union!)? Or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?


  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,300
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jinger, I'm no expert on work issues ... others on the forum are much more knowledgeable. The stupid comment your boss made is the sort mine would make too. Since the probs with your feet were caused by moving office furniture and not taking adequate breaks - it could be argued that you have work related illness. You should fill in incident/accident forms at work. Might be worth ringing union explaining facts and asking for advice so you are well informed also say you might need them for support if boss not understanding.

    As for mindless colleagues saying hurtful comments ... they are probably only saying that because it is the sort of thing they might do themselves ... if they had the choice of day off with arther or work and no arther .... which do you think they would choose!!! Could always leave some arther leaflets in staff room.

    Could tell nicer office members about car and chemist etc so they know the truth.

    Don't drop yourself in it with the boss -wait to hear what he has to say first ....

  • bertyboy
    bertyboy Member Posts: 1,860
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hello and welcome
    just a thought but if you are not being believed about your feet being swollen , take photoes , yes i know it should not be nessesarry , but it is in this day and age , i dont think you have to give up going into the chemist to get meds if you need them , but be honest about it , you dont have to explain your every move to all xx hope you get it sorted you maybe should not be hummping office stuff about on your own ,health and safety and all that x
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 14,911
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    being fit enough to pop to docs and chemist is different from full day at work . what was she doing in town and not at work??
    you should never have said to her not to say anything as this makes you look guilty when you are not. they can conract your gp if they do noe belive you do not give in and go let them get rid of you on ill health if need be. just remember you have done nothing wrong when you do have your meeting and if you have a union use them if only for information on how work has to do things good luck
  • ailsamary
    ailsamary Member Posts: 38
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    i would agree with whats already been said, going out to do minor things is NOT the same as doing a full day at work, but folks are so not understanding,
    part of the problem is as has been said before pain/discomfort cannot be seen, what also is not appreciated is how exhausting pain is

    the swelling in my leg is so obvious at times, but today when they phoned to see if i would be back was the first time anyone asked if i had any help ( i live by myself)

    anyway i digress, you have done nothing wrong, dont go in immediatly justifying everything wait for them to ask and then explain, might also be worth suggesting if they would like some of the literature on the effects of arthitis to help in their understanding, not in a nasaty way you understand :D
  • oneday
    oneday Member Posts: 1,434
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00 sound a bit like me!.....
    First the manager saying, you love it, really isnt on.
    You need at some point to say that comment made you feel uncomforable and you probably carried on when you should have rested because of the way it made you feel.
    Second..all your colleagues seeing you is typical isnt it. There are always some rotters out there. However, you can say if questioned about the car that at that moment your pain had eased off and if you hadnt got the muck off the car then it would have been harder to get off...say you felt awful afterwards due to standing if you did etc.
    Chemist what if you were seen, how are you meant to get well without prescriptions.
    Also, tell Manager that comments made my colleagues are against disabilty discrimination law and if you hear anything like that again you will make a formal complaint, that should shut them up.
    Yes, yes, yes, take a Union rep with you and speak to them straight away. If rep friend of one grasser uper doesnt make a difference as union/member discussion is confidential. if you think rep wont keep information private seek another rep,same union, mayve from a different office.
    Careful what you say in Welcome Back meeting...less said the better or you will dig yourself a hole...infact delay this meeting..say you are taking union advice etc etc...
    stay isnt right the way you have been treated..fight em!!
  • jinger
    jinger Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi all

    Thanks for all the comments.

    Had my meeting with my manager (without my Union Rep) and all went well. He was more understanding than I thought he'd be! Basically I told the truth about being spotted doing various things/going places whilst off work (expecting to be disciplined for it) and he took my side saying that he understood why I did what I did and he doesn't expect me to stay in the house when my feet play up as he wouldn't if he was off sick - we've still got lives to lead. We've discussed me working from home on bad days and he's going to look into it a bit more to see if it can be done. He's suggested I see the OH Clinic that is held once a month at work so he and I can have a more definitive list of what I can and can't do at work, proper breaks (as at the mo, the only official break we get is lunch time) etc. Unfortunately I'm still working out what my limits are and don't realise I've done too much until it's too late.

    Anyway, he'd also heard what my colleague had been saying at work about me. I told him that I was so angry and disgusted with what I'd heard her say, thought it was childish and could be construed as bullying/harrassment etc and she should have spoken to management or HR if she thought I was skiving and not gone gobbing off round work about me. He said he'd talk to her and she could be subject to disciplinary action over it.

    So all in all, I was making a bit of a mountain out of a molehill!
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,300
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jinger - glad meeting was a positive experience,

    Start keeping a diary to try and work out what triggers your pain/ what combinations of activities make it worse ... might help.