Occupational health manager’s diary: Tracey Azzard

What do you want first – the good news or the bad news? The good news is that since our HR supremo Martin Tallow decided to make wellbeing his latest big idea, I have lost weight. He has been my Wellbeing Buddy for just over a month now, and I can almost squeeze back into my size 14 jeans.

The Christmas heffalump look is a dim and distant memory, and I even have something that could pass for cheekbones to complement the haunted expression I have been sporting for the past few weeks. Why haunted? Because the bad news is that the entire organisation is suffering from the worst slump in morale since we delayered and downsized in the same week.

Maybe it’s the small fact that Martin has decided that if the organisation ascends to the level of super-fitness he has in mind, absence will become a punishable offence. Anyone who dares take time off with flu, broken limbs or life-threatening illnesses will have their pay docked. And it will be a brave soul who dares to suggest they need a break due to stress. The ‘s’ word will only be used by malingerers, or people who haven’t strapped their pedometers on properly.

Even Martin – not one versed in emotional intelligence – has noticed that things aren’t exactly tickety boo since he told the accounts department they had all forfeited their Full Attendance Bonus after falling victim to the Norovirus. Now he’s perching on my desk, glowing with health, but exuding concern.

“What’s up with everyone?” he says, looking furtively over his shoulder. “I got the definite feeling that Lucy in reception just gave me the cold shoulder. She certainly won’t be getting any prizes in the upcoming Smile-Athon.”

Where can I start? Sadly, I have given up trying to reason with the man. “Must be the awful weather,” I say, smiling brilliantly just to show how on-message I am.

When he’s gone, I check out the job ads in Occupational Health. Hmmm… more choice than I’d anticipated. Better start honing the old CV right now.

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