Tracey Azzard: continuing the diary of a hard-pressed OH manager

There’s no doubt about it – the Wotcha! Wellness programme is definitely making me ill. Just the sight of the branded orange and yellow stationary, emblazoned with a cheery sun motif is enough to bring on a migraine.

But now is not the time to let this show. Martin Tallow, our revered head of HR, has just bustled into my office, with a smug look on this face.

I have just about finished talking to Vince, the organisation’s leading heart-sink employee, who appears to be on a mission to get himself signed off for the rest of his career. Vince, displaying more energy than he has for weeks, rushes out of my office, no doubt hell bent on sharing his pain with his colleagues. Though what his pain is, exactly, no-one can tell, not even Vince himself.

“Glad I caught you,” says Martin, perching on my desk. “Got a great new incentive for keeping the workforce healthy.” I try not to look sceptical. (I’ve been practising this look for years – it doesn’t go down well in brain-storming meetings.) He hands me what looks like a CD. But it’s not a CD it’s some sort of business card.

On it, against a background of merry business people leaping up and down in pink business suits, is an enormous smile. Suspended in mid-air, Cheshire cat-style. And beneath this floating smile are the words: ‘Nine2Five Nirvana: Happy work solutions for crazy humans.’

Martin nods his head as I stare at it, apparently about to spontaneously combust with enthusiasm. “Fantastic, isn’t it?” he says. I turn it over, wondering whether I have missed something. He waves his hands about in the new, passionate way he picked up at a recent one-day workshop on interpersonal skills.

“It’s the answer to all our problems!” he says. “No more miserable workforce! No more unexplained back pain! No more missing Mondays.” I practice my non-sceptical look again. “They’re coming into give a presentation next week,” says Martin. “OH in this organisation is about to enter the 21st century.”

To be continued…

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