Monday, October 9, 2017

Polly Was Over Paid With Flu - May 2012!



I’ve just found this un-published post written back in May 2012. I thought I’d publish it today in celebration of my freedom as I’ve since been retired on health grounds due to my fibromyalgia and the effect it was having on my ability to offer my best in the work place...

“Somehow or other, I have to find the time and energy to work my twenty hours at the hospital. In reality this is more like twenty-five each week as I struggle to complete the administration work on top of clinical duties. I manage this by ensconcing myself in the office when everybody thinks I've gone home and dealing with much of it during that time - of course this is entirely unpaid and unofficial, but who cares about that? Certainly not hospital management!

This week I'm recuperating from a nasty dose of viral influenza, which I mistook for hayfever last Friday when I gaily spread my germs to patients and staff alike. When Matron called me into the office to discuss something I took my box of tissues with me and probably infected her too. The reason I'm able to post today is because I'm resting, obeying doctor's orders and keeping my fluids up, taking paracetamol for any fever and a prophylactic course of antibiotics standing on guard in the medicine cabinet just in case!

It's a sad state of affairs to realise in the middle of all this rest that my next payslip will be docked €400. I've been overpaid again and have to pay the health board back yet more money, out of the very little that I'm earning during my twenty hours each week. The poor payroll clerk who delivered this news by telephone probably felt as though he'd bitten off more than he could chew as I let off just a little steam about this, after all none of this is his fault, so I was careful to remember this while steaming!

On call - circa 2005 before fibromyalgia really became a problem...
Believe it or not since the health authority entered into the current payroll arrangement I've been overpaid to the tune of almost €10,000. In the life of the multinationals this is a drop in the ocean, in the life of small fry like me this is catastrophic, as every damned cent has to be repaid. Presently I have two incidents of being overpaid to deal with, one was outstanding from approximately two years ago when someone kindly overpaid me one month and then decided to recoup the amount the following month, which resulted in a loan that I wasn't aware of and a letter advising me about it some eighteen months later! Annoyed? You bet!

So, the same thing has happened again. This time it's over the course of three months. That's a lot of money to be repaid! How this went un-noticed by me isn't that much of a mystery. The first big one occurred shortly after I returned to work, while I was paying off the previous balls-up, due to the fact that I'm not working my contracted 37.5hrs per week, rather just 20hrs per week. There were plus and minus signs all over my payslip and the gross salary was the same as anticipated, so I assumed that things were good and carried on regardless.

This latest episode is somewhat similar, in that I've been paying tax on a schedule 1 or emergency tax basis for a few months and once having come off that didn't notice the discrepancy in my gross salary as it wasn't much different from what I was expecting! Fuming, I ought to be as apparently this is all my fault... (at least this is what was suggested by a certain senior authority figure when they came barging into the office to shout at me about it!)”


Reading this un-published post from five years ago has made me realise just how much I didn’t like what I was doing for so many years which is unsurprising. As much as I miss being in gainful employment I don’t miss the constant stress of being prevented from performing my job properly in what was already one of the most stressful environments in healthcare. 

In spite of the good times, ie the ones my rose tinted memory glasses tend to remind me of when I’m lamenting my current financial & employment status I’m glad I’m out of there but sometimes I need to be reminded of the reasons why and this post is just one of many...