I died in 1991 apparently. You would think I would have noticed.
In 1991 I was working shifts in a chemical factory. One night shift I was recovering from flu but dragged myself to work. Plus I had an unbroken attendance record for 6 years to uphold.
Around 2 am I started having chest pains. Carefully I started walking up the stairs to our break room for a sit down. I did not make it and an ambulance was called. An hour later I was in hospital being prodded and examined. They diagnosed pleurisy and put me on an antibiotic drip. 2 days later my fever had gone and I was discharged. To this day the only time I have been in hospital overnight.
Anyway. Being quickly carted off in an ambulance meant that some of my personal belongings, including my wallet, were still in my locker at work and I had strangely heard nothing from my colleagues. So my wife drove me there to collect them, knowing I would be off work for at least a few more days.
As I walked, looking very pale and sick, through the factory to my department I became conscious that people were doing a double-take when they saw me. I just thought “goodness – I must look really sick”.
I got to my department. My boss went pale when he saw me. Then his eyes slid down to his desk where I saw a condolences card addressed to my wife…
Apparently a rumour had started that I had died in the ambulance three days earlier, and nobody had thought to check!
Addendum: Despite my six years unbroken attendance and the fact that I was taken from work by ambulance my boss was instructed by HR to give me a warning when I returned from sick leave. At least he had the decency to look sheepish.
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