Sick Day

(Current weather in the Bogs. October 25, 2006.)

It’s been a rough week.

Yes, I know it’s only Wednesday. I’m hoping the fact that I was barely half way through the week when I decided it was a rough week bodes well for the rest of the week.

This back pain with sciatica is the pits. I don’t know how people who live in chronic pain manage it. I’ve had this for about a month and I’m ready to have myself shot. Seriously. This. Just. Sucks.

I had another PT session last night. Mike the PT Guy revamped the exercises in an attempt to go at this a different way. I hope the new and improved exercises help.

In the meantime, I called off sick from work today. This will give me one black mark on my record with the Evil Empire now that they’ve instituted a new attendance policy. You know about the new attendance policy, don’t you? It’s been in the news. Here’s a bit of the Wall Street Journal article (which I nicked from the Wake-Up Wal-Mart website):

Critics Say Plan Is Designed To Pare Unhealthy Workers; 1-800 Number for Sick Days

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has enacted a new attendance policy that penalizes workers for multiple unexcused absences and requires them to call an 800 number whenever they get sick, changes critics say are part of a bigger effort to nudge out unhealthy and long-tenured employees…

The policy change comes at a time when some of Wal-Mart’s 1.3 million U.S. workers are riled by fears that the retailer wants to cut costs by attracting healthier employees and a greater percentage of part-time workers. Some employees and Wal-Mart critics decry the new policy as a way for Wal-Mart to discourage unhealthy employees by tracking sick-time use more closely, setting stricter guidelines for authorization and making the process of applying for sick leave more onerous.

“I guess they’re just trying to see how many people they can get rid of,” said Ramiro Gonzalez, a 49-year-old full-time worker in the produce section of a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas. “They’re trying to make ways that you can mess it up so they can let you go, especially if you’re a full-timer.”

Wal-Mart’s concerns about its soaring health-insurance costs came to light last year, when an internal memorandum authored by a top Wal-Mart official was leaked. The memo offered numerous suggestions for corralling benefits costs by luring healthier workers.

The new policy “just sends another terrible message that this company looks at its workers as a commodity,” said Chris Kofinis, spokesman for Wal-Mart critic WakeUpWalMart.com.

I’m looking forward to finally leaving the Evil Empire. Working as one of their minions has never sat well with me. The interesting thing about all the recent changes that have occurred within Wal-Mart is the way it’s brought the disgruntled (probably 99.9% of the associates) out into the open. Associates are now openly talking about unionizing. I heard three associates discussing it in front of an assistant manager. That rarely happened in the past (and certainly didn’t happen without repercussions). The walk-out in a Florida store last week, the release of the confidential memo showing Wal-Mart for what it is, the new attendance policy, and the wage caps may well lead to a unionization of the Evil Empire. I hope it happens and I hope it’s soon.

In other news…

The weather here has been cold and cloudy with the occasional snow flurries and showers. The ground is too warm for the snow to stick and accumulate so it hasn’t been a problem or even an inconvenience just yet. We should be out of here before that happens.

No news on the apartment front, but it’s too early to tell. M Fed-Ex’d our lease application and fee yesterday. It’ll probably be a few days before we hear anything.

That’s about it from the Bogs for now. I’m off to do some more exercises.

“I don’t know specifically what a living wage is.” — Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott who made $23 million in salary, bonuses, and stock awards in 2004.

This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy. ~Douglas Adams

Life shouldn’t be printed on dollar bills. ~Clifford Odets

Looking for that 1-800 number to call off sick?  Visit 1-800-I’M-SICK 

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