23 August 2009

What's my line?

Dr Grumble's youngest son James has a summer job. It's quite a responsible job looking after the disabled. He gets paid £4.59 an hour. Young James does not consider this to be good money but he says that it is all to do with supply and demand. Apparently quite a lot of people want to do his job. He has a friend who has a better paid job. His friend gets £16.00 per hour. Both James and his friend are just 17. What job do you think a 17 year old can do that brings in £16.00 per hour? Perhaps you have guessed. He mans a phone in one of the swine flu call centres. At the age of 17, with scarcely any training, he decides whether the caller has flu or meningits or otitis media or pneumonia or pyelonephritis or one of the many other conditions that can masquerade as flu. It is incredible.

Do you think he works hard in the call centre? The answer is no. One day he received just one call. On that day the government paid a 17 year old £128 to advise a member of the public on their symptoms. It really is amazing how taxpayer's money can be wasted.


Anonymous said...

Supply and Demand, plenty of people would have done it for the minimum wage

GP Informed said...

Buts let not forget the intensive half -day training involved and the glossy flow chart. Let alone learning how to use the computer decision software:
Sniffle -> Tamiflu
Cough -> Tamiflu
Headache -> Tamiflu
Sore throat -> Tamiflu
"I have swine flu" -> Tamiflu
"I may have sat on the bus with someone with a cough" -> Tamiflu
"Just in case"->Tamiflu

Nikita said...

Gosh! I'm in the wrong job! I am a nurse and I don't get paid £16.00
a hour and I think what I am paid is quite reasonable. Even so, I don't think I have the knowledge, nor would I, diagnose swine flu over the phone. Funny old world, isn't it?

Dr Grumble said...

They needed somebody quickly for a very short period of time so maybe that was why they needed to pay so much. It was not exactly a secure job.

Nikita said...

Your right of course. Still must be annoying to some folk out there though.

Dr Grumble said...

Dr Grumble now has some more information. £16 per hour was the Sunday rate. Other days were paid at £10 per hour.

Anonymous said...

Dr Grumble,

I understood that it was a criminal offence to pass yourself off as a doctor if you did not have the necessary qualifications.

How can this be legal?


Anonymous said...

As an F1 doing nights and weekends I was earning the equivalent of £5 per hour. I'm in the wrong job

Anonymous said...

I hope it's not illegal to pass yourself off as a 'doctor' since the title is purely honourary for the vast majority of medical doctors! Thus, if it were most of the medical profession would be committing the offence.

In any case, I am aware of a law that makes it an offence to pretend to be a policeman and a solicitor. Not aware of one that makes it a crime to claim to be a doctor.

Anonymous said...

"In any case, I am aware of a law that makes it an offence to pretend to be a policeman and a solicitor. Not aware of one that makes it a crime to claim to be a doctor."

I am sure there are laws covering claiming to be a physician or surgeon when you are not one. Someone misrepresenting themselves as any kind of doctor could also fall foul of fraud.

£16 an hour? Surely the while point of employing under 18s is they are not entitled to minimum wage? Or at least their minimum wage is really low.

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