Darwin Blog

Darwin and the Flu
Tuesday, 22 April, 2008, 1:12 am
Filed under: Observations

What is it with the need of people to come to work when they are sick, especially when they are highly contagious with the flu virus.

I work for the government and here in the Territory, whilst it is the largest employer, going by size of Governments here in Australia and the smaller countries of the world, we are tiny.  So why would anyone think they are so fundamentally important to the Territory staying afloat, that they need to come to work sick?

Well they do.  As a result, approximately two weeks ago I got a small head cold – I fought it off as I was about to go on leave.  How did I get the cold?   People I work with came to work coughing, sneezing and spluttering all over the place.  Last Tuesday, I attended a meeting in town (still on leave) and when I returned home , fell into a heap on my bed and then moved very little for the next five days.

I was struck down by the flu.  I don’t get sick that often and when I do, it really has an impact.

Then comes the next dilemma, try getting into a doctor in this town, while you are actually sick – oh please.  My regular doctor, which I am lucky to visit more than once a year was booked up for a week.  I explained I needed a sick certificate and would they be able to assist since  (1) I have been going there for nearly 20 years and they know me; (2) I only every visit the doctor when really ill, therefore me calling them means something is really wrong; and (3) I wasn’t bludging time of work, I was really sick and I sounded it on the phone, wait till they saw me.  No go.

I rang another surgery and since I hadn’t been there before, they were taking no new patients. I rang another surgery and there were no appointments, you need to call from 8am (of which the phone is constantly engaged for the first hour as all the appointments get booked out!) and if you get through, you will be allocated a time, if there are any appointments left – yeah right!

On Friday, I was at my wits end.  I wasn’t getting better and I needed to get medicine as well as a sick certificate for my absence from work.  I finally got through to a new surgery located out Casuarina way.  Whilst they were booked out, they had a number of people call and the receptionist took my details and said she would call back.  What they were going to do is call in one of the doctors who had the day off to assist.  They did call back and I got in.

What did annoy me, apart from looking and sounding as sick as I was, the doctor wanted to know why I didn’t come in earlier.  I said I had tried a number of surgeries with no success and finally was able to get in here.  He replied with “Palmerston had available appointments yesterday”.

I looked at him and replied “I was not driving to Palmerston, when I live in town to see a doctor, when I can hardly get out of bed as it is”.

Is this guy mad?  Anyway, I was given a course of antibiotics as the infection had become quite bad and sent on my way for more rest – I was a bit tired from the whole ordeal.  Oh yes, I did get a sick certificate and the cost – $65.

As for those of you who continue to go to work when you are sick – stop it.  It just makes everyone else around you ill and miserable – this is one thing that you shouldn’t share!


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Just proof how ‘considerate’ Darwin has become. Just like the big smoke from down south, don’t care about each other, as long as you feel ok, that’s it.
Idiots is the only word that fits here.

Comment by blogmaster

This annoys me to no end as well.

I also work for the NT government, and figure if you are sick, stay at home. The world won’t screech to a holt if you arn’t there for a couple of days. I get peeved at people who come to work with a flu because I have a tendancy to get bad chest infections that take weeks to fully recover from.

Luckily I live very close to my doctor that I have been seeing for around 10 years now and rarely have trouble getting an appointment.

Comment by ninjagrover

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