I returned to work today– after missing a couple hours Friday and all of Monday and Tuesday. I was nervous about undertaking the day with my strapped up tender fingers and sore body. But, to make the transition easier, today was the weekly safety team meeting and we had a special electricity training.
As one colleague said, the gist of it was, don’t touch an exposed live wire, don’t touch an exposed live wire in a puddle, and do not touch a person touching an exposed life wire.
It was a nice way to spend 25 minutes at 7 a.m.
Then at safety team I had the pleasure of hearing about the two incidents this week in the building, one paper cut at women’s outbound stylecarding and a “first aid incident” where an associate lost her balance and fell down the stairs. Yes, that would be me.
After that meeting, the safety manager who administered first aid on the day of the incident asked me how my finger was doing and I explained what the ortho had said, and that it wasn’t broken even though it looked broken on the x-ray… and he looked rather horrified.
“I had no idea,” he said. “I thought it was just a little cut.”
So did I, I replied, until I worked all day and it swelled to twice its size and turned really purple.
The warehouse supervisor who used to oversee our evening shift (the one present on the day of my fall who looked a tad panicked when she saw me after the fall) asked if she could speak with me after my meeting about my incident and the questions it raised for everyone.
Apparently, there has been some discussion among the management team about whether or not my employer should force me to file a workmen’s comp claim regarding the injury. In the end, they decided to leave the matter to me, assuring me their support regardless of my decision.
Technically, because it happened on their property as part of the work day, they bear responsibility, but because the fall stemmed from my pre-existing condition that also caused two more falls since then, no one on the management team wanted to make that decision for me. Because if I file a workmen’s comp claim, the company then controls the treatment of my injury and, in this case, this would mean my finger. But, because the injury is part of a larger whole, that would mean ignoring my balance and recent pain issues.
“You seem to have a really good relationship with your providers,” she said, “so we didn’t want to interfere with the care you receive from your primary care provider.”
Speaking of my primary care provider, I will be speaking to them tomorrow. And I’m assured that any time I miss due to appointments for this incident will not be included as part of my attendance record, even if that means I need physical therapy or hand rehab. Speaking of hand rehab, they have not returned my call.
All in all, it was a good day. I think I did 102%. But I have been encouraged to take advantage of more FMLA intermittent leave. And they are curious to see what legal will say about a service dog, as to their knowledge, no one in a warehouse has brought up the issue of a service dog.