I had surgery to repair a hernia, one small tear on each side actually, on the fifth of April, and didn't return to work until two days ago, Tuesday the seventeenth, twelve days after my surgery. I returned to find out that the person who sits next to me at work was in a minor car accident late the week before and had been out for several days. She showed up at the start of her shift, though, and said something about coming in only because she heard she was likely to be fired that day and didn't want to get the news in a phone call. She seemed fine to me, behaved like she normally did, the day went on as normal, she didn't get fired, and I didn't think a whole lot of it.
I went in to work the next day and quickly heard that she was going to be out for the next two weeks on medical leave because of the accident. Everyone who sits near me was talking about this. None of them were happy about it. As they talked, the picture became clear.
She's off because of the accident, claiming headache, claiming neck pain and injury. She's having an MRI done. She's having all sorts of tests done to see how badly she's injured. She's also suing the driver who hit her. If she's actually hurt, okay, take the time. But I have to say, she didn't look that badly injured on Tuesday. In fact, she looked to me to be 100%. She came into work and looked fine, turning around in her seat, craning her neck, getting up and moving around, to all appearances perfectly healthy.
The car accident she was in was nothing major. She and someone else had both come to a complete stop at a stop sign, and as she was driving through the intersection the other driver pulled forward too soon and hit the side of her car near the back. That was Wednesday or Thursday, I forget. She wasn't seen at work again until the day I returned.
She was seen elsewhere, though. She was out drinking most nights. She was seen at a male strip club. She's been out and about all over town, and word is there's photographic evidence. She is, in short, not acting at all like a person injured badly enough in a car accident that she needs to take a medical leave from work, a leave longer than I took for hernia surgery.
The general consensus is that she thinks she's going to make some easy money out of this if she plays it up enough. I'm inclined to agree based on what I've seen, and the second-hand reports of her going out drinking and partying every night are damning. If she's hurt, she wouldn't be in any shape to do that. I don't believe for a second she's hurt, and apparently no one else does either, and I honestly don't think she has any idea what she's getting herself into.
As it stands now, she is committing fraud against the person she hit, some kid who had the bad luck to make a mistake and hit a greedy conniving liar instead of a human being with a soul. She's committing fraud against the company we work for, taking medical leave pay for an injury that's questionable at best. She committing fraud against the insurance company, taking up medical resources for tests to track down the cause of the pain that is keeping her out of work but not out of strip clubs. This is a big one, too, because insurance fraud can result in prison time. As a bonus, there are rumors that she doesn't have proper auto insurance, and if she pushes this into a court of law, that little detail, if true, will come out.
The cost of my surgery, pending insurance company payments, is just over $9000, and I was only in the building for five hours. Part of the reason it's that expensive is that companies need to cover the costs of fraud committed against them. My co-worker's actions are a perfect example of this. She may think she's going to make some easy cash. We all think that she's not going to survive in this job until Independence Day. It is my genuine hope that the truth of this matter comes out, and that the people she's using the legal system against and the companies she's abusing turn the tables on her and nail her ass to the wall, just as she so richly deserves.