Diabetes Glycemic Index  

The talk, human resource

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HR bring me in for the talk, to see how I am doing. Offering their support,

‘Is there anything we can do to help? Adjust your working hours? Just let us know. We are here to offer you all the help and support we can. The door is always open.’

HR bring me in for the talk, ‘Will you ever be ill again? If so, do you know when and for exactly how long? It’s affecting the team; they are managing to arrange cover for now but it’s getting a bit much for them to be fair and anything you can do to let them know in advance will be great. In the meantime we are extending your three month probationary period; already two months in during which you received an amazing first month’s review; by another three months.’

This guy should have a placard on the wall behind his desk, reading, “You don’t have to be a spineless, conniving cunt to work here, but it helps!”

HR bring me in for the talk, I’ve been ill again and it’s really letting them down. My Boss has come along to make this an all the more formal affair with no warning to me whatsoever. I’m not feeling so supported now. No one is happy when I request still to be paid for the pre-arranged working from home I did whilst ill. I am informed, ‘This will no longer be an acceptable procedure.’ I inform them of the Bank Charges they owe me resulting from delayed payment.

HR bring me in for the talk, ‘Lilly here – the head of Resource Management – suffers from migraines and she really understands what you’re going through. Would you like us to put a bed in an empty office for you and Lilly?’ I’m trying not to fall off my chair at the ineptitude of this man’s statement. ‘That will make you better. If not, would you like to take a few months off to get better, completely unpaid of course and we can get someone in to cover for you in the meantime, it’s no problem honest – smiles.’ I won’t agree.

HR bring me in for the talk, sending me to see the company Private Doctor to get to the bottom of this. Someone reported back they had seen me drink a full pint of Guinness on Friday after work as I tried to socialise on some level with the team who have been so patient in covering for me. I know who it was, it’s the same guy I caught doing a line of cocaine in the toilets, rubbing off his nose with a buzz in his eyes as he came out of the cubicle in a world of his own; surprised to find me washing my hands. I never felt the urge to tell tales, why did he? Fortunately their Doctor is great and supportive, tells me that I have a legally recognised disability and that he can see I am doing everything I can to get better. He shakes my hand as I leave his office on Wimpole St and I wish he were my GP.

HR bring me in for the talk, they have read the Doctor’s Report and he says I’m fine, so they can’t understand why I have been off seeing my own Doctor again. Two minutes of debate defines what the Doctor has actually said, that he agrees with me entirely and not only am I clearly going through a tough time with my diabetes, a registered disability they cannot sack me for, but that I am also doing everything in my power to get well.

HR send me an email, they want a second opinion and arrange an appointment with a Company Nurse: pretty much now. Do you ever get the feeling someone is trying to trip you up? The hired for bureaucratic, health insurance and staff morale purposes lady happens to be an ex Diabetes Specialist Nurse who takes one look at me and says, ‘You need to go home.’ I explain that I can’t although I’m chalk white with sugar levels fluctuating between the twenties to the twos in the space of any afternoon, ‘I have so much to do and under so much pressure to have it done. I do not have the time to be ill.’ She is looking at me, like this is fucking awful.

The Director, stopping at my desk and giving me the patriotic speech with the main man smile, ‘Hey Paul, we really need you here,’ someone is clearly fresh from eighties yuppie fallout, reading Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War,’ thinking it will give him the competitive advantage in superior Account Management skills. By this late stage I think he will need to be a bit more practiced. – So I pop out to inhale hard every ounce of comfort I can from this desperate deck of cigarettes.

 

 

 

 

HR bring me in for the talk, requesting that I give their Doctor full access to all previous medical health records and to sign the consent waiver form. The form is prepared in front of me with a pen on top; all I need do is sign. They also state that I may, should I choose to, list issues on the form that I do not want him to gain access to. This cheap bullying does nothing but make me want to run and I inform them that I’ll talk it over with the good Doctor before I sign anything. The good Doctor informs me of this being, 'A common strong arm tactic implemented by HR Departments who do not know their boundaries,' and that there is no reason why he would want or need to read, nor benefit in any way from gaining insight to my past medical records. He tells me to stand tall and that I am protected by law.

Seem to be getting better but every time I do I get worse. Touch of toothache one evening and a chunk falls off into my mouth. I pop to the Emergency Dentist and the root of the upset to my diabetes is revealed. Turns out to be none other, and no more than a hidden gum infection. Tooth extracted and it feels like someone has lifted a blanket from over my head. It’s exactly as when I was diagnosed with diabetes in the first place. – Should have come as no surprise, I’ve been up almost every night needing sugar from the age of sixteen, going back to sleep without brushing.

I pass on the Medical Expert’s explanation, that this is what was causing me to be ill for the past months on end: backed up by their Private Doctor. Every time I was getting better, the hidden infection would rear back up and set me off. My body trying to cope with the infection, the fever altering my temperature and this combined to cause massive fluctuations in my blood sugar levels. Compounded by the massive stress I’ve been put under to perform. I explain this as I put my extracted tooth down onto the desk of HR.

My sister calls to let me know my gran is passing away. I’m still recovering from being ill for so long and it’s taking me everything I have to try and arrange to get back to Glasgow. I request that Common Theory, Abbreviation and Dwiddle stop calling; they have called four times today already with dumb questions about websites, all calls starting with, ‘I’m sorry to hear about your gran, but…’ ‘You offer the same solution to all of your clientele, as a company you have not had an original idea in years. How can you possibly have to ask me questions at a time like this?’ All email communication drops, my calls fielded and none returned. Night of the Wake and I explain to my mum that I am falling apart, that I’m falling to bits with the pressure and the stress of my failing health, work and family responsibility. Not managing any of them properly. Train back to London after the funeral and I receive a call from my Boss. I have been sacked. It seems Grandparents are not considered direct family members and as such I had no reason to be upset. HR want to bring me in for a talk.

I know from the silence that the woman was calling me from a meeting room, with no sign on the door but titled in earnest The War Room. What I was really feeling all along but never said, ‘I’m crying out: I’m so SORRY. I’m trying so hard to get here and work hard. I am trying everything I can to get well. I’m doing everything I can to get here in the morning and stay a full day. No one feels as let down by me as I do for letting you down so badly and consistently. I’ve never been this ill before: it’s going to fuck me up even more if I lose this job. Can’t you get cover for me for a little bit longer?’

What catches in my throat, the refusal to return my favorite shirt; sent me a transcript of every Doctor’s note, every correspondence building up their untidy little case, but not my favorite shirt. Broken the Cardinal rule of not being profitable in the first ninety days, what more should I expect? Tribunal? Unfair dismissal? I don’t have it left in me; they know that, they are betting on that. Fucking tooth, bloody infection screwing over my diabetes for I don’t know how long, at least two jobs of inconclusive obviousness.

 

 

 

Chapters

square point Preface
square point Heads, diabetes
square point Tails, diabetic
square point Succumbing to the D
square point How did this happen?
square point Dating, late 20's
square point Love
square point The talk, human resource
square point The three bears
square point Sugar levels ill, sugar levels well
   
   
   
   
   

 

 
 

 

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Blood sugar test strips. Coherent memories.  
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