29.12.08

Worker's Comp anyone?

Today, December 29, 2008, while trying to pull a very large and full bin of books out of a room, I strained my back. It was a twinge. The sort where it feels like something just came loose around your spinal cord. Since it didn't continue to hurt that minute I continued to work. Well, it got worse and worse until I was feeling like I could hardly walk. This isn't the most important part of the story, though.

There is something called an incident report that gets filled out at work and requires all sorts of information. Since I wasn't falling down bleeding, I decided to go ahead and fill it out. When you fill in that it's a work injury, it takes you to yet another report to fill out for worker's compensation. How convenient. Again, lots of information to fill out and you most likely will not know all of it because your doctor avoids worker's compensation cases. In that case, you are seeing somebody that you do not know.

(all this information should be on a card with a magnetic strip or something so you don't have to fill it out over and over and so you have access and responsibility to update it, but I guess that would put a lot of people out of work and might decrease room for error)

Anyway, I drove to my doctor's office near where I work to be told that she doesn't take the cases and be refered to another place. In this case it was OSU Occupational Medicine. The nearest location was on East Broad St. and she gave me a phone number to call. After I got somebody on the phone, he mentioned that it would be a two hour wait and that he thought they took walk ins, but "let me put you on hold just a minute".

When he returned he said there was another location that takes more patients and "here is the phone number". Ok, so here I am with my back hurting and I have been passed along twice. I call the number to the, as it turns out, West location and get a recording asking me to leave my name, birthday, and a number where I can be reached. It is now 12:29 and I brought attention to this problem at work at around 10:45. So far, nobody wants to see me...it's hot potato time, and I am sitting here writing a blog post waiting for a phone call that may never come for all I know. The recorded messages keep saying, "if you have a medical emergency, hang up and call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room." It sounds like a hint to me. A trip to the emergency room not only seems extreme, but it costs about $75 in co-pay if you are not a worker's compensation case.

This is a picture of the error message I got when I was looking up OSU Occupational Medicine on the internet because I thought I could at least get good directions for myself. As a matter of fact it was the very first link and there are others that give you the same results. What is really annoying when you get this is that you can't use your back button to get to the list of other links that might get you to their site.

I am on the east side, so I decide to call the east location again and got a recording. I think they are having lunch now. I wait a little while and call using a different choice from the menu for appointments. By the way, they are only open until 5PM, so if they can put you off long enough...well, too bad so sad. I get somebody on the phone and tell them of my prior conversation and tell them I only got a recording at the location out west. I say it would make more sense to go to their location. They say "and endure a two hour wait? Let me give you a back number to the west location, but let me transfer you anyway." I get the phone number and they transfer the call. It rings, and rings, and rings....No answer.

So, it's 12:59 and I haven't eaten and I think there has to be a better way. So, I get some lunch and decide to call a nearby urgent care that I visited last year when I had a very bad, on the verge of walking pneumonia, infection. Yes, they do take worker's comp cases if you haven't been seen somewhere else AND they are open until 7:30PM, but it will be a two hour wait. Seems that two hour waits are compulsory for this sort of thing. I am glad they tell me this time because I am going to prepare myself for a two hour wait. I get a few books, a beverage, and I am tempted to take my camera, but decide to give em a break because they sound very nice on the phone. As a matter of fact I should have taken it to take nice pictures of the kind people at the East Broad Adult Urgent care.

It's after 2PM when I am pulling into the driveway and my phone rings. You will never guess who it is. Well, hello there OSU. They ask me if I have an appointment. I am pleased to announce that, sorry, I am just pulling into the driveway at a nearby urgent care this very minute.

Though it did take a couple of hours to be seen and again, there were more papers asking for very similar information that I just filled out two other times, I was thinking how grateful I was to be this close to home and how helpful it was that they knew just where I should go to get the prescriptions filled. Apparently, if you go just anywhere, you may have to pay for them out of your pocket and then wait to be reimbursed which was a less than preferable option.

It is now 6:17 and I just arrived home from Krogers where I got two prescriptions for my aching back. This is about the time I would have been coming home from work anyway, but I think my back would have been happier if it had been resting peacefully while I was under the effects of the prescriptions a lot earlier.

28.12.08

Mayor Coleman declines raise in 2009


At a time when the government is bailing out big businesses who are taking bonus checks in the millions, a Mayor in Ohio declines a raise. For those whose incomes are in the six digits (or more), you would think declining a raise in hard times would be compulsory and that those who take a bailout as a wealth opportunity would be jailed for treason.

Here is the article from the Columbus Dispatch.

Spending cuts
Coleman rejects raise for self, 400 others
Tuesday, November 11, 2008 3:10 AM
By Robert Vitale

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

"Mayor Michael B. Coleman and hundreds of the city's top-paid employees won't be getting a raise in 2009.

The mayor's office said yesterday that Coleman will forgo any increase in his $152,000 salary next year and will freeze pay as well for about 400 other Columbus employees who help run departments under his control.

The move is a small savings compared with what's likely to come Friday when the mayor submits his 2009 spending plan to City Council members.

Coleman must cut spending or increase fees to fill an $80 million gap between next year's projected income and what it would cost to maintain current services. The pay freeze announced yesterday affects less than 5 percent of city workers and will save about $500,000.

For months, city officials have predicted layoffs and deep spending cuts to balance the budget.

"He's setting his example," spokesman Dan Williamson said.

Coleman hopes others will follow.

His 2009 budget won't include money to raise pay for more than 3,000 workers in two unions now negotiating contracts: the Fraternal Order of Police and the Columbus Municipal Association of Government Employees. Williamson said the mayor will abide by whatever pacts are reached, though.

And although Coleman has no power to freeze pay for other elected officials and their employees, Williamson said "he would not object" if they take the same action.

Budgets for City Council, City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr. and Auditor Hugh J. Dorrian automatically include increases for workers' salaries, according to Finance Director Joel S. Taylor. Their offices employ about 125 nonunion workers.

CMAGE President Teresa Langer and FOP President Jim Gilbert said little about Coleman's action beyond the obvious: Pay is definitely an issue at the negotiating table. CMAGE, which represents professionals and middle managers, has been without a contract since August. The contract for Columbus police officers expires next month.

City Council members will begin hearings next week on Coleman's budget. Because one annual ordinance sets pay for all nonunion workers, Council President Michael C. Mentel said he's unsure whether different policies are possible for those outside Coleman's departments.

Coleman and council members rejected pay raises for themselves in 2003."

24.12.08

What is a Yule Log?

I participated in a "gag" gift exchange recently and this is what I picked (minus the candles). I just thought it was a candle holder until I was informed that it is a Yule Log. Somebody else remarked that it was "kitchy" (not sure of the spelling) and that's another new one on me, so we'll leave that for another time.
The Yule Log came in the lovely Este Lauder bag you see in the photo. That's what really caught my attention. Anyway, I have been looking around on the internet to find out what a Yule Log is;

"The history of the Christmas Yule Log originates in the ritual known as Yuletide, a pagan festival of fire. This festival uses the burning of a log on the eve of the Winter Solstice to usher in the power of the sun. The day traditionally falls on December 20 and is the shortest day and longest night of the year. Thereafter nights will grow shorter and the sun will grow stronger in the longer days. However the name Yule derives from the Norse words "Yul" or "Jul".
The earliest known burning of a Yule-style log was in ancient Egypt in about 5000 BC to honor Horus, their sun god. The Sumerians had a similar ritual"....per The History Of The Yule Log

Prior to this gift exchange, I had mentioned how I picked an interesting gift that was a perfect fit when I was involved in one before and how I thought it was strange that it worked out that way, not just for me, but for many other people. You see in these exchanges, it is supposed to be a secret who donated the gift. It happened again this time because it just so happens that my birthday is December 20th. This date is on the Sagitarious side of the cusp and Sagitarious is a fire sign. Get it...festival of fire and fire sign? Interesting and true story.
Merry Christmas Eve folks!!

21.12.08

Oglebay Festival of Lights



...


We visited Oglebay's Wilson Lodge this weekend. Oglebay advertises it's festival of lights every Christmas season. So, we finally made the trip. Accomodations at the Wilson Lodge were adequate and our room was equipped with a small coffee pot, flat panel TV with cable, small refridgerator, and a balcony.
Arriving early in the afternoon, we still had some daylight to kill before the lights would be glowing all over the grounds. We decided to visit the Mansion Museum and the Glass Museum. The glass museum features Crystal, carnival, colored and opalescent glassware made by the Ohio Valley glass manufacturer H. Northwood Company which is the focus of the new display of valuable glass. A glass blower/worker was present to show us how glass was melted and shaped.

By the time we had walked through the museums, the Holiday lights were shining. Noting that the traffic was already running slow, we decided against creeping along to view the lights from our vehicle and decided to go back to the lodge where our room overlooked many of the light decorations. There are trollies available, but just like the museums, the ride comes at a price and we were hungry. We couldn't get into the main restaurant that required reservations, so decided to order through room service. We were suprised when the staff told us that it would be around 20 minutes since the lodge was packed with people. After about 50 minutes, we decided to call down and find out if our order was on it's way. It arrived "in a jiffy", luke warm and without silverwear which we discovered were missing after the staff were gone who had delivered our meals.
Which reminds me, we enquired about where we might purchase beverages besides through room service since the pop machine on our floor was sold out. The staff told us to go to other floors and that if we ordered from her, it would cost around $2 per small cup for beverages.
This is the point where I really didn't think too much of Oglebay's as a good destination to stay over the Christmas Holiday. Our room cost just over $300 and there wasn't much included with that price. There weren't enough staff to really take care of the crowd and even one of the things that was supposed to be available, wireless, didn't work well.

Still, there is a very nice indoor pool and jacuzzi. The lodge was decorated nicely. The bathroom included a towel warmer and we did have a breakfast buffet and a free newspaper with our room. Oglebay's seems to be a pretty good place for families because there were a lot of kids there and Santa visited, but for us, it wasn't a value and the few little things; a hot meal, a filled pop machine, a working coffee pot, and silverwear seemed to rank as less important than people collecting money for this museum, that museum, a trolly ride or to view the light decorations.

6.12.08

Texas Road House Restaurant




This evening, we decided to go out for dinner and we were headed to Don Pablo's near Reynoldsburg, Ohio, but it was closed. On the same hill as Don Pablo's was a restaurant called Spaghetti's which we loved and has been closed for a while. So, we drove out and heading east on Main Street, we spotted the Texas Road House.
Although the parking lot was fairly full, we were seated quickly and our hostess brought some nice rolls along with us for our muching pleasure. In addition, there were peanuts in the hull on the table.
Yes, there are steaks and plenty of other selections on the menue. The point I want to make, though, is that the food was excellent. I chose prime rib and had a sweet potatoe and salad for sides. The salad was terrific and included hard boiled egg as well as tomoatoes. We really enjoyed the place. SEE Texas Road House

2.12.08

VOTE Open Web Awards Finalists


Mashable is proud to present the second annual Open Web Awards.

"Open Web Awards is the only multilingual international online voting competition that covers major innovations in web technology. Through an online nominating and voting process, the Open Web Awards recognizes and honors the top achievements in 26 categories."
SEE: The Second Annual Open Web Awards



VOTE NOW: One Vote Per Category Per Day
You have until midnight PST on December 14th to pick the winners. The winners will be announced on Tuesday, December 16th.