OPINION: The medicals are free but damn tougher

Greg Bray.
Greg Bray. Brenda Strong GLA170212GREG

FOLKS, changing jobs these days means enduring a thorough medical check-up, unless you're a CEO or politician. Basically, the application medical is the first step in a long line of future workplace humiliations.

Over the years I've done a few medicals to determine my fitness for work and, as a young buck, these were usually conducted on the workshop floor by some grease-stained boss who would eye me up and down before gruffly asking, "How's your back and knees, and how soon can you get a haircut?"

I really miss those days, and my long hair.

A few jobs later, I had to visit an actual doctor who chain-smoked through the five-minute process of checking my back and knees, then testicles for hernias.

But a couple of years ago I went for a job as a tradesman/handyman/gardener/dogsbody and was subjected to a number of medical tests, starting with a urine sample that had to be done under strict supervision.

This meant with the nurse watching me, well, "go''.

Do you know how hard it is to pee when someone is staring at your nether regions like a hawk?

Eventually, I managed to force enough drops into the specimen bottle to satisfy her, but I nearly blew a gasket doing it. Afterwards I had to repeatedly lift a heavy box on and off a high shelf, contort my limbs into positions they have not been in since I was a baby, then duckwalk up and down a long corridor in my underwear. Thankfully I'd worn a pair with strong elastic.

Finally, I was allowed to dress, and then asked a lot of questions about my private life which I would have been uncomfortable discussing with my own wife.

With mounting panic, I started wondering exactly what sort of work I was actually being employed to do.

Eventually, I was passed as a-okay then shoved into the street. Never I have never been so thoroughly poked or probed.

If you would like a free comprehensive check-up then apply for another job, because employers are leaving nothing to chance nowadays.

Greg Bray blogs at

Topics:  jobs opinion weekend magazine

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