Got a call from OHU just after 11 this morning, offering me an appointment at 1300h. Bit of a mad scramble to get there (I had meant to iron a shirt & trousers last night, but didn’t get round to it). OHU Reception is now in G08 – the old Halls Bookings Office, and the main unit is on the 3rd floor. When I arrived, the lift to 3rd floor was out of order – not unusual! It was rather a struggle to do the stairs … although a very kind lady from OHU accompanied me in case I slipped, which I was worried about doing. I made it up as far as halfway up the final flight before having to stop for a bit.
Shown into the waiting area – the room that used to be my office until June 2003! The view from the window hasn’t changed … brought back a bunch of memories (mainly bad ones), so I was in a bit of a strange mood when the Doctor finally called me in (around 1340 – running very late). A new doctor, who hadn’t read my file. Not happy! When I got home I emailed Steve Barton at Unison about it – the relevant parts are:
“OHU have a new doctor – Dr Thompson – who was not familiar with my case and didn’t really seem all that on top of things. I have given her permission to contact both the NHS consultant at the Pain Clinic I have been attending, and the private consultant I saw in April. (This last was an effort to speed things up a bit – although it doesn’t seem to have helped). This may introduce yet more delay – if I need to re-visit the Pain Clinic before the consultant will write a report on me, waiting times are around 4-6 months for an appointment usually.
Dr Thompson informed me (with apparent equanimity) that early retirement on medical grounds can take up to a year, from this point. As I have been discussing this possibility with my line manager (while I still had one!) informally since February, and as you know raised the matter through you with Jane Battye in May, I am not too chuffed that it has taken eight months to get this far, and I face the prospect of an indeterminate but prolonged period without pay. I confirm that I was last paid at the full rate on 25th February, and my understanding therefore would normally be that the last payment of the six months on half-pay would be made on 26th August 2005.
Could I also ask you to try to establish whether I have a line manager, and what my position is considered to be? I have a medical certificate to submit, and it would be helpful to know where to send it. Also, as I gather Halls Services either no longer exists, or will not exist as of the end of the month (some staff now being part of the contact centre, and others transferring to FM next month as I understand it), I take it that I should assume that I am now in a “supernumerary” position? ”
Actually, I was so not happy that when I got out of OHU I went round to see if Steve was free, but he was in meetings all afternoon.
I spent half an hour talking to Halls duty managers (Steve and Pam), and met the guy who is about to take over the final part of my job for the last month that Halls exists. I’ve told him to ring me if he needs to about anything. Dennis – who was brought in as temporary cover for me – is leaving at the end of the week.
Got home around 1700h. Back really acting up (too soon after last weekend to do that much time sitting around, and the Piccadilly line train was a very bumpy one) – both pain and restricted mobility. So I have conceded the point, and placed an on-line Tesco order for delivery tomorrow (Sim & family staying tomorrow night) – bulk catfood, shitty-kitty-litter, flour and all sorts of heavy stuff. Eighty quid ! (including £6 delivery). However, it includes a pack of 100 camel, so about £60 on “shopping” stuff. This is four weeks worth at least, for the non-fresh-food stuff. Must remember to take out much less from the cashpoint on a weekly basis from now on.
I’ve put the fridge on to de-frost (some frozen food on order for tomorrow), with everything piled in the picnic coolbag under a couple of towels, so I hope it will be OK in the morning. Started cleaning the kitchen, but not really up to it tonight (at 2100h), so it looks like a fairly busy day tomorrow.
Nice e-mail from Sean to me & Oli, suggesting we meet up next week. Would be good if it happens. Also an e-mail from Mike – we’ve provisionally agreed to meet for a meal on the evening of Monday 12th September, while he’s over for PLASA. I am both exhilarated and terrified at the prospect – it’s been 3 years since I last saw him, and he’s got married and gone freelance in that time. But we were very close for a dozen years, and he still means a lot to me (in spite of the fact that my feelings were for a while too mixed up to make correspondence easy).
Also a phone call from Toby, asking if he and Chloe can stay on Fri 26th. which they’re very welcome to, of course. It looks as though I’m away that night, as the fishing weekend starts Sat 27th, unfortunately, but if work is still in a state of “might need to see me at short notice”, I might see if I can juggle things to go to Suffolk early on the Saturday, rather than Fri pm. It would also save carrying a day’s worth of clothes!
Freezer defrost happened much quicker than I’d expected (although it’s a warm night) – all melted by 2245, so I was able to mop it out and put the things back. Will save a bit of time tomorrow, anyway.