Can I file a complaint?

30
Found 6th Nov 2017Edited by:"hearts22"
I have a severe toothache that started on Friday night.
I'm not registered with a dentist yet.
I was supposed to work tonight but I am in a lot of pain as I've got an abscess. I work nights and haven't been able to sleep the last couple of days and hardly ate anything.
I could get an appointment with the dentist today but they can't see me till Friday. Had to look for an NHS dentist as I can't afford to go private.
Been taking ibuprofen and paracetamol together and they're not touching the pain.
Pain is making me want to go to the hospital really but don't think it qualifies as an emergency so I'll make do until Friday I guess.

Anyway, I called and the guy on the absence line was utterly unpleasant.
Saying how I dare not go in for a simple toothache when they have someone with one leg working with crutches and what can't I physically do with a toothache? I explained all the above but he clearly thought it was no big deal and questioned me like a criminal. Even saying if I'm staying in till Friday and not even going shopping. I replied that my partner is doing that.
I was honestly appalled as I've never been treated like that before and I'm certainly not faking as I'm not getting paid if I don't work so it doesn't benefit me not working.
I didn't expect this.

Should I make a complaint or it is something too stupid to complain about?
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Depends who you work for and what job you do but he shouldn't be discussing other people situations with you.
Original Poster
kester763 m ago

Depends who you work for and what job you do but he shouldn't be …Depends who you work for and what job you do but he shouldn't be discussing other people situations with you.


It wasn't my manager. I work in a supermarket and do replenishing all night, so nothing where a tragedy can happen if someone is absent.

The last two weeks I picked up other people's jobs because there were absencies. I am genuinely not well and I don't see how I'm gonna do a physical job for 10 hours with no sleep and in pain.
You can

Whether they doing anything or not is down to if call recorded, and what the actual problem is

Baring in mind some teeth/gum infections can lead to death untreated seems a bit harsh of them to say *just*

Also for self assessment you shouldn't have to say over phone cause, just you are not fit to work.
kester765 m ago

Depends who you work for and what job you do but he shouldn't be …Depends who you work for and what job you do but he shouldn't be discussing other people situations with you.


Agreed. Totally unprofessional. Speak to your HR department if you're not happy. The absence line shouldn't be there to judge - regardless of what company you work for. They should simply make a note that you're not attending work, and pass this on to the relevant parties - if they decide any disciplinary action is to be taken, it should be done on your return to work, face to face.
Original Poster
mrwhitelabel2 m ago

You canWhether they doing anything or not is down to if call recorded, and …You canWhether they doing anything or not is down to if call recorded, and what the actual problem isBaring in mind some teeth/gum infections can lead to death untreated seems a bit harsh of them to say *just*Also for self assessment you shouldn't have to say over phone cause, just you are not fit to work.


I'll remember for next time but they ask what the problem is and I answered honestly.

There is an infection for sure and my jaw and temple hurt too.
Whilst the guy on the absence line was out of order, what are you hoping to achieve by complaining? My advice would be to pick and choose your battles. He's obviously an ******* and any lecture from whomever isn't going to change that.


An abscess is incredibly painful. Have you called 111?
Absolutely, you should complain.
On the pain front you could try getting an urgent appointment with your GP as your immediate need is probably for antibiotics to fight the bacterial infection.
Your doctor can prescribe this as well as the dentist.
If it really is that bad, contact nhs and ask for contact details of an emergency dentist then lay it on thick As for pain, different people have different pain thresholds. I had a tooth taken out and was absolutely fine, someone else I worked with took weeks off work. It is really up to your line manager to question the validity of your absence, not someone on the end of the phone. Oil of cloves is very good for toothache and you should be able to get that from the chemist.
Original Poster
I have tried the usual remedies and can't find any emergency service in my area.

I was fine with extractions too. I normally can cope with painkillers but this time the pain is still there and I'm taking two different ones at the same time at the max dosage and when I eat it hurts as well and I try to eat with the healthy side of the mouth.
I had some amoxicillin that was prescribed to my partner for his teeth a few months ago and took 1500mg of that all at once but will need more antibiotics.
I am gonna phone the NHS direct line and see if they have any details about one.


Thanks.
Original Poster
OllieSt15 m ago

Whilst the guy on the absence line was out of order, what are you hoping …Whilst the guy on the absence line was out of order, what are you hoping to achieve by complaining? My advice would be to pick and choose your battles. He's obviously an ******* and any lecture from whomever isn't going to change that.An abscess is incredibly painful. Have you called 111?


Maybe that he learns to treat people a bit better and not treat someone in pain like a criminal because they can't go and stack shelves for one night...
I suppose no one has ever complained or I don't see how he is allowed to take absence calls and question people.
I don't know what you can complain about.

Problem is, if the business wanted a nice guy on the sickness line, they'd have one on there. They have a bulldog because they want to avoid absences. It's not about stopping people scoring paid leave - it's about keeping staffing at the levels management require, which doesn't happen when people are allowed to take days off at short notice.

You can't complain about this guy because you complaining is you confirming to them that he's doing the job they're paying him for.
hearts229 m ago

I have tried the usual remedies and can't find any emergency service in my …I have tried the usual remedies and can't find any emergency service in my area.I was fine with extractions too. I normally can cope with painkillers but this time the pain is still there and I'm taking two different ones at the same time at the max dosage and when I eat it hurts as well and I try to eat with the healthy side of the mouth. I had some amoxicillin that was prescribed to my partner for his teeth a few months ago and took 1500mg of that all at once but will need more antibiotics. I am gonna phone the NHS direct line and see if they have any details about one.Thanks.


Don't take anything prescribed for other people and don't mix painkillers ! It can be fatal. I read about someone who did that today, she died.
Original Poster
dxx5 m ago

I don't know what you can complain about.Problem is, if the business …I don't know what you can complain about.Problem is, if the business wanted a nice guy on the sickness line, they'd have one on there. They have a bulldog because they want to avoid absences. It's not about stopping people scoring paid leave - it's about keeping staffing at the levels management require, which doesn't happen when people are allowed to take days off at short notice.You can't complain about this guy because you complaining is you confirming to them that he's doing the job they're paying him for.


That's not the case. Never had someone question me like that and making me feel like a liar.
They just asked the reason for the absence and that was it.
The business goes on about treating colleagues with respect... Didn't look like he was showing much respect.
Original Poster
psychobitchfromhell1 m ago

Don't take anything prescribed for other people and don't mix painkillers …Don't take anything prescribed for other people and don't mix painkillers ! It can be fatal. I read about someone who did that today, she died.


NHS says it's fine to take ibuprofen and paracetamol together as they don't interfere with each other. I checked but thank you for your advice.
hearts226 m ago

NHS says it's fine to take ibuprofen and paracetamol together as they …NHS says it's fine to take ibuprofen and paracetamol together as they don't interfere with each other. I checked but thank you for your advice.



Get some Corsodyl mouthwash as well (not the daily kind, the proper stuff). It won't fix the problem but should alleviate it somewhat.
psychobitchfromhell27 m ago

If it really is that bad, contact nhs and ask for contact details of an …If it really is that bad, contact nhs and ask for contact details of an emergency dentist then lay it on thick As for pain, different people have different pain thresholds. I had a tooth taken out and was absolutely fine, someone else I worked with took weeks off work. It is really up to your line manager to question the validity of your absence, not someone on the end of the phone. Oil of cloves is very good for toothache and you should be able to get that from the chemist.


Agreed everyone is different.
I too have had abscesses on the roots of my teeth - some are not so painful and will clear up after a few days or can be treated by antibiotics others.....

On one occasion (about 30 yrs ago) I was trying to survive taking my partners aunty's bombs (massive yellow painkillers) together with paracetamol and sometimes whisky. My cheeky was rosy red from the swelling and finally I went to see the dentist and had the tooth plus massive abscess removed.

On another occasion a few years ago within a couple of hours I'd gone from living a normal life to taking excessive painkillers (paracetamol and codeine) screaming to myself, calling 111 and getting nowhere, unable to sleep or rest - finally at 8.30am I was able to call the dentist and get an appointment for 1.30pm that day.

I can drill a screw through my finger and laugh off the pain with "You stupid pillock" then put the drill into reverse and unscrew the screw, walk into the home, rinse it under the tap, dry it off, wrap a piece of A4 around with some sellotape and go continue where i left off. I can put a garden fork through my trainer into my big toe, hobble around the shed and shout "Get an ambulance" to which the Mrs replies "I'm making it" (a cup of tea) and laugh that off.

I have a high pain threshold except for...it seems my teeth.

Oh and I hate dentistry (dentists are fine I just hate what they do)
philphil611 h, 2 m ago

Agreed everyone is different. I too have had abscesses on the roots of my …Agreed everyone is different. I too have had abscesses on the roots of my teeth - some are not so painful and will clear up after a few days or can be treated by antibiotics others.....On one occasion (about 30 yrs ago) I was trying to survive taking my partners aunty's bombs (massive yellow painkillers) together with paracetamol and sometimes whisky. My cheeky was rosy red from the swelling and finally I went to see the dentist and had the tooth plus massive abscess removed.On another occasion a few years ago within a couple of hours I'd gone from living a normal life to taking excessive painkillers (paracetamol and codeine) screaming to myself, calling 111 and getting nowhere, unable to sleep or rest - finally at 8.30am I was able to call the dentist and get an appointment for 1.30pm that day.I can drill a screw through my finger and laugh off the pain with "You stupid pillock" then put the drill into reverse and unscrew the screw, walk into the home, rinse it under the tap, dry it off, wrap a piece of A4 around with some sellotape and go continue where i left off. I can put a garden fork through my trainer into my big toe, hobble around the shed and shout "Get an ambulance" to which the Mrs replies "I'm making it" (a cup of tea) and laugh that off. I have a high pain threshold except for...it seems my teeth.Oh and I hate dentistry (dentists are fine I just hate what they do)


I don't mind dentists. I guess I have to say that as my sister is a dentist. Hairdressers scare me though. And bananas. My hairdresser loves my hair. I think she sees it as something of a challenge. It is naturally very curly and she loves straightening it and making it go I to loops and things that are beyond my capability. I hate that. Feel so out of control.
I had an abscess in my gum last year (3 sets of X-rays and a buzzy vibrating test thing couldn't connect it to any tooth) and it lasted a few weeks, the first set of antibiotics didn't work do they gave me super strong ones that are given to drug addicts and alchoholics (can't remember the name but I was warned that it's really strong and you can't even have one drink when you are on them because it will make you sick)

anyway my point it is that you should ask for the strong ones as the standard Ones didn't have any effect. As it wasn't attached to a tooth the pain wasn't too bad, more a pressure feeling and I had a big cheek, but the constantness really started to get to me so I understand how you feel.

if you have followed procedure for calling in and you aren't the sort to do it regularly, then there is no reason for your work to have an issue and there's no reason to be guilted about it. If you want to raise a complaint then that is up to you, but it could be a big hassle with meetings etc and sometimes it's easier to let things go if you don't want the extra stress and to prolong a situation, but on the other hand nothing will ever change if no one speaks up.
its up to you if you raise an issue, but either way I hope your tooth gets better
I googled the strong antibiotic, I think it's called metronizadole. Ask for that, the standard ones had no effect after a week of taking the tablets, but after two days these had almost cleared it
Original Poster
farmlama3 m ago

I googled the strong antibiotic, I think it's called metronizadole. Ask …I googled the strong antibiotic, I think it's called metronizadole. Ask for that, the standard ones had no effect after a week of taking the tablets, but after two days these had almost cleared it


Thanks!
Man up, dose up ang get into work. keeping busy will help take the pain away.

I broke my tooth recently and only took a day off to have the tooth out even though I was in a lot of pain.

Emergancy trip to the dentist and it only cost about £20.
Original Poster
markvirgo22 m ago

Man up, dose up ang get into work. keeping busy will help take the pain …Man up, dose up ang get into work. keeping busy will help take the pain away.I broke my tooth recently and only took a day off to have the tooth out even though I was in a lot of pain.Emergancy trip to the dentist and it only cost about £20.


I doubt it and I didn't sleep so I really can't face working on my feet for 10 hours lifting up stuff. I'm not being a drama queen. I'm in severe pain. It's not a mild toothache that painkillers can keep at bay. I've had toothache before and managed fine with painkillers.

I'm currently sitting down in bed waiting for when I can take my next 2 lots of ibuprofen and paracetamol and wanting to bang my head against the wall. I took some around 8 and I'm in pain still.
They can't give me any emergency appointment same day if I'm not registered. I booked an emergency one and I've got to wait till Friday.
farmlama40 m ago

I googled the strong antibiotic, I think it's called metronizadole. Ask …I googled the strong antibiotic, I think it's called metronizadole. Ask for that, the standard ones had no effect after a week of taking the tablets, but after two days these had almost cleared it


I've had that before for wisdom tooth infection

It's one of the ones you CAN NOT drink alcohol with, will make you vomit
hearts222 h, 28 m ago

That's not the case. Never had someone question me like that and making me …That's not the case. Never had someone question me like that and making me feel like a liar.They just asked the reason for the absence and that was it. The business goes on about treating colleagues with respect... Didn't look like he was showing much respect.


Well, it's up to you if you want to complain. I suspect all you might do is tell senior management how less senior-management is so successful at deterring sick absence, though.

Regarding your comments about painkillers, are you taking your paracetamol and ibuprofen at the same time? You can usually get better results from them by taking them in staggered doses, eg. ibuprofen at 8am, paracetamol at 10am, ibuprofen at 12pm, paracetamol at 2pm, etc. It means that you can keep a relatively stable level of pain relief throughout the day.
Original Poster
dxx18 m ago

Well, it's up to you if you want to complain. I suspect all you might do …Well, it's up to you if you want to complain. I suspect all you might do is tell senior management how less senior-management is so successful at deterring sick absence, though.Regarding your comments about painkillers, are you taking your paracetamol and ibuprofen at the same time? You can usually get better results from them by taking them in staggered doses, eg. ibuprofen at 8am, paracetamol at 10am, ibuprofen at 12pm, paracetamol at 2pm, etc. It means that you can keep a relatively stable level of pain relief throughout the day.


I initially took them alternated then I thought they weren't doing much like that and switched to taking them all together. Still not doing much.
Just gargled some salted water and it's almost time for my next round of tablets.
I think this might be the worst one I've ever had. Usually can cope with painkillers.
I would have gone in if painkillers gave me some relief. I should have probably said tooth abscess rather than a generic toothache but I did explain painkillers weren't doing anything and so on.

I think I'll leave it. I have proof I am not faking anything.
Original Poster
During the night I called 111. Of course no dentist operates at night.
Was called back by a GP who said nerve pain like in this case is one of the worst pains. He said painkillers can't really do much in this situation but to try taking cocodamol (which I was going to get already).
Initially they thought I had taken too much ibuprofen but the GP said taking 3 at once was ok as they sometimes say to take 600mg at once instead of 400.
He advised me to ring the dentist again and to try getting an appointment today as dental treatment is the only option to get rid of the pain.
Jaw looks swollen as well.
I would definitely complain about that guy on the absence line. I agree with the others that he is probably being paid to try and get/persuade other staff members to come into work and avoid taking time off. But he definitely should not have questioned you the way he did and should not have guilt tripped you by mentioning about another member of staffs disability.
Complaining might not make much of a difference, but that doesn't mean that he shouldn't be questioned about his approach/attitude. Total lack of empathy is not good for moral.
The guy is just doing his job as there are many people taking sickies so I wouldn't take it personally. Just answer his questions and state that you are in too much pain to come in. That he can speak to the dentist next week if he doesn't believe you.

I tend to drag myself to work even when I am at death's door only to show them that I am really sick, then I call in sick or go home that day as I am genuinely so ill. As they have seen the state that I am in, there is never any question over my being ill and they are often more sympathetic as they can see how ill I am and yet I still try to come to work. Reverse psychology so to speak

Tooth absess can be very bad. The tooth needs to be removed, which makes the pain even worst! Gargle warm salt water regularly to calm the swelling down. Ibuprofen helps with the pain. I don't bother with paracetamol for pain as it doesn't do didly squat for me.

As someone has already said, your GP can prescribe antibiotics as well as the dentist if you can see him earlier than Friday. Most dentists will have an emergency slot where you go in and sit and wait until he has a few spare minutes between appointment. Ask your dentist for this and explain the pain is too unbearable.
Original Poster
I'm in agony really.
My face has swelled up more.
Only managed to move the appointment from Friday to Thursday but since I can't take it anymore I got an appointment with a different dentist this morning by going private. Will cost me more but I don't care as I need to find some relief.
Original Poster
mutley121 h, 54 m ago

The guy is just doing his job as there are many people taking sickies so I …The guy is just doing his job as there are many people taking sickies so I wouldn't take it personally. Just answer his questions and state that you are in too much pain to come in. That he can speak to the dentist next week if he doesn't believe you.I tend to drag myself to work even when I am at death's door only to show them that I am really sick, then I call in sick or go home that day as I am genuinely so ill. As they have seen the state that I am in, there is never any question over my being ill and they are often more sympathetic as they can see how ill I am and yet I still try to come to work. Reverse psychology so to speak Tooth absess can be very bad. The tooth needs to be removed, which makes the pain even worst! Gargle warm salt water regularly to calm the swelling down. Ibuprofen helps with the pain. I don't bother with paracetamol for pain as it doesn't do didly squat for me.As someone has already said, your GP can prescribe antibiotics as well as the dentist if you can see him earlier than Friday. Most dentists will have an emergency slot where you go in and sit and wait until he has a few spare minutes between appointment. Ask your dentist for this and explain the pain is too unbearable.


I had 3 extractions done at the same time a few years ago and I was fine after.

An abscess instead is knocking me out completely .

I find paracetamol doesn't do anything for me either on its own, even for a simple headache.
I purchased Cocodamol, Paramol, Nurofen Plus, and more ibuprofen.
At the moment I am taking 3 Ibuprofen with 2 Paramol and they just about help me not to bang my head against the wall. Have to take them together because alternated they seem to have no effect.

I kept self-medicating for tooth pain the last 3-4 months (obviously pain wasn't severe or persistent at the beginning) and postponing seeing a dentist and now it has completely got out of hand so serves me right for not doing anything earlier! Lesson learnt I guess.
Edited by: "hearts22" 8th Nov 2017
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