It's tea break at work, and instead of going for a cup of tea, I've decided to come to an internet cafe for a quick update. My medical file was sent to the senior boss (thank goodness not HR) as required. I had totally forgotten that the organisation has a right to my medical profile, and since it was a company doctor I saw during and after my miscarriage, he was obligated to send the information to the office... attention management. What happened to privacy?
The boss asked that I see him this morning - that was the first call I received the second I sat at my desk. It was like his secretary could see me through infra-red? lights (what do you call vision through walls?) and was waiting for me to sit my bum then whooosh! Rrring! Rrring!
"Morning dear. The boss wants to see you now."
"What about? Do you know?"
"Not a clue. Didn't tell me anything else but to ask you to come and see him."
"Alright. I'm on my way up."
Walked into his office and he had a warm smile... what a smile to start my day... hope it's an early bonus... good old boss, eh?
"Goodmorning Miss. How are we today?"
"Morning Sir. I am fine, thanks." Keep it short... always the advice when speaking to the boss on something you don't yet know (even what you know, just keep it short)
"I will cut to the chase. I received your medical file from the doctor..."
Darkness. My head is spinning. I lean onto the chair and sit. I can;t hear what he is saying. I struggle to stay upright and slowly regain the little lost conciousness.
"...if there is anything the company can do... any way that we could make life easier for you..." he is saying.
I am fully alert now, and hiding a smile. I am thinking... a good increment never hurt.
"Who else knows," I ask him.
"Such information comes straight to me, and I am the only one privy to the file. Not even personnel has access, unless there is a real need or an emergency. How are you handling it?"
"Not very well at first, but I am getting round to it... slowly. Some days I am fine, trying to have my old normal days, others I am just done in."
"You are aware that the company insurance does not cover for HIV/AIDS related illnesses and treatment due to the high costs?"
"Yes, I know. My only request right now is that this information doesn't go beyond your office. I would rather handle my situation my way."
"Ofcourse. Wish you well."
"Thank-you. Have a good day, Sir."
I went back to my desk and spend a minute going through what I had just been discussing with my boss. I didn't think it was right for information as private as my medical situation being sent around to the office in manila envelopes, and I din't think it was the company's business to know anything that it doesn't intend to take care of, but then I felt lucky that the discussion I had just had was all there is to it. I have read about employees being given the sack after being diagnosed as HIV+ and/or AIDS and, anyway, I had agreed to the company terms when I took up my job. Thinking about my son and my own medication, I cannot start to think of taking up legal issues or quitting... we both need every penny and that's just how it is.