Scared of Bees at Work…
Yet again, I, in my capacity as Director of Human Resources at Breitman Bros Financial LLC, have to deal with the endless tide of bullshit that washes up at my office door. If the issues related to work performance, if I could help an employee do his/her job better and thereby benefit the company, I would feel like I had accomplished something with my day. But that is rarely the case. Generally, I am forced to mitigate complaints filed by employees regarding inappropriate comments made by coworkers, food being stolen from the break room refrigerator, toilets not being flushed in the restrooms etc. One manager was stopping by the room designated for breastfeeding and asking for “a drop” for his coffee. We had to have a Notice of Complaint meeting about that one.
Andrew Fuller, who works in Accounting, filed a Workman’s Compensation form about the bees that are supposedly tormenting him. We work in a what is basically a hermetically sealed office. The place is so antiseptic it’s creepy. People are constantly smearing themselves with Purell; I cannot imagine a germ getting in here, let alone a bee. However, I had to deal with Mr. Fuller’s complaint because that is my job.
So, we, myself and Lisa Andrews, the other HR rep, had to have a meeting with Andrew Fuller and, as per regulations due to paranoia about lawsuits, record it.
The following is a transcript of the Workman’s Compensation Hearing recorded on July 15th, 2016.
Noah Hegely: Associate Director of Human Resources
Lisa Andrews: Director of Human Resources
Andrew Fuller: Accounts Associate
Lisa Andrews: Good morning Mr. Fuller. Thank you for coming to this meeting.
Andrew Fuller: Good morning.
LA: And I would like to note for the purposes of this recording that Noah Hegely, Associate Director of Human Resources, is also present.
Noah Hegely: Good morning.
LA: Okay, so now I’d like to proceed to the matter at hand. The purpose of this meeing is to address the Notice of Workman’s Compensation that you have filed with this office.
AF: Yes, I have.
LA: And this is in reference to an injury you claim that you sustained while working for Breitman Brothers LLC.
AF: Yes, it is.
NH: I’d just like to clarify something: was the injury sustained while actively performing your duties as outlined in your job description for Breitman Brothers LLC?
AF: It happened within the context of working here.
NH: Okay, I just wanted to clarify that.
AF: And I’m happy to clarify it.
LA: Okay, so I see that you are wearing a cast on your right wrist.
AF: Yes, I have a very bad sprain. I hurt it really badly when I fell.
NH: Right, and where…
AF: I fell and used my hand to brace myself and that’s when I hurted it.
NH: Yeah, okay, I’m just trying to ascertain where exactly you fell. Was it in the building?
AF: Ah, no, not exactly. But it was on company property.
LA: And where was that?
AF: In the parking lot.
LA: Okay, I’d have to look into the exact nature of the company’s oversight capacity of the parking lot. It goes to liability.
AF: Well, I fell in the parking lot on my way into work. So, it was work related. The company would be liable.
NH: How exactly did you hurt your wrist?
AF: I told you, I fell and used my hand to try and break my fall.
NH: Okay, well, we have done some homework on the situation. I believe there were some other people in the parking lot when this happened?
AF: I’m not sure.
NH: Right, well, there were. We interviewed a couple of your coworkers who were in the parking lot and they claim that you were running.
AF: I don’t know why they would say that.
LA: Were you running, Mr. Fuller?
AF: No, I wouldn’t characterize my movements as running.
NH: We also have video surveillance from the security camera that overlooks the parking lot and it pretty clearly shows that you are running on the morning in question.
AF: Okay, I was running. I was being chased by a very agitated bee. There is a hive of bees somewhere in the parking lot and one was chasing me. I was terrified and I started running to the office door. And then I tripped and fell.
LA: And that was when you sustained the injury to your wrist.
AF: Yes. I’m not sure what I tripped over because I was just trying to flee to safety. But I definitely tripped over something.
AF: I was just so scared.
LA: I can appreciate that Mr. Fuller but I’m just not sure that the company is going to assume any liability for this.
AF: But they’re terrifying. I am highly allergic to bees. I get stressed just thinking about having to walk to and from my car because I might be attacked. I’m getting hives.
NH: Everyone has to walk to and from their car. I’m not aware that anyone has complained or been bothered by bees.
AF: I can even hear them when I’m in my office. The buzzing. It’s unbearable.
LA: Okay, we seem to be straying into other areas here. What I am going to do is recommend a review by our Oversight Committee and they will make an assessment as to the validity of your claim based on this interview and any other relevant evidence. So that is where we stand.
AF: But I’m just so stressed that I don’t know how I can work. My hand hurts and I can’t stop thinking about the bees.
LA: You are welcome to file another report. If you feel that you cannot perform your duties you will be asked to submit a doctor’s report stating the reasons why and that would go to supporting any claim for compensation.
AF: Fine, I will.
NH: Have you been to see a doctor?
AF: No, not yet.
NH: Because if you are claiming a specific injury a doctor would have to sign off on that.
AF: My wrist is very badly sprained. Even the person behind the counter at the CVS thought it looked swollen.
LA: Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention, Mr. Fuller. We look forward to helping you with any other situation that may arise and making your work experience with Breitman Brother’s LLC as rewarding as possible.
AF: I just want to say for the record that I am very uncomfortable and I need someone to address this issue.
NH: That has been duly noted, Mr. Fuller. Thank you.
End of Recording