As most of you are probably aware, some more intimately than others, nobody actually calls in sick when they're sick. You're coughing up a lung, you go in; sick days are reserved for pretending to be sick so you can have a day off to dick around. Time was, this would fly with employers. Sure, the time spent writing that early morning email was a bit nerve-wracking-- do you list your (fake) symptoms? or is that a give away?-- but in more cases than not, it worked out. Even if your boss was suspect, it would be extremely rare for he or she to call you on the lie. Today brings troubling news that those days are OVER, if guys Rick Raymond have anything to say about it.
Raymond parked his black Kia SUV behind a row of trees and peered out at his target. It was 4 a.m. on a recent morning, and Raymond—a seasoned private detective who has worked roughly 300 cases, from thieves to philandering spouses—was closing in on a different sort of prey. Recently, Raymond has come to occupy a new and expanding niche in the surveillance universe. Corporations pay him to spy on workers who take "sick days" when they may not, in fact, be sick. Such suspicion has led Raymond to bowling alleys, pro football games, weddings, and even funerals. On this morning it has taken him to a field outside the home of an Orlando repairman whose employer is doubtful about his slow recovery from a car accident. Although Raymond tries to be impartial about his subjects, "80 to 85 percent of the time," he says, "there's definitely fraud happening."
So cracking down on your lying, not sick at all ass is Raymond's business and business? Is good. Apparently instances of employees "taking sick days when they're not really sick" is up 20% due to a lack of job opportunities keeping people in gigs they hate. And if you thought you were too creative or stealthy to get caught, think again! Leslie Herneisey probably thought she was in the clear telling colleagues she had "an inoperable brain tumor" in order to take sick leave, until she was arrested and charged like a common criminal.
Another woman had a similar situation:
Earlier this year, Raymond investigated an employee at a Florida health organization who called in sick with the flu for three days. As Raymond discovered, she was actually visiting the Universal Studios theme park. "On some of those roller coasters, they take your picture at a really sharp turn, and then you can buy it at a kiosk," Raymond recalls. "She went on three rides, and I bought all three of her pictures, which had the date at the bottom." When confronted with the evidence by her employers, Raymond says her first response was, "That's not me!" After they played Raymond's video of her volunteering at the theme park's animal show, her only defense was, "I don't even remember that!" She was fired.
Obviously, assigning a dedicated private-eye to each and every employee is a policy the hedge fund community will soon be adopting (presumably many have already). And at the more 'intense' ones it won't be enough to simply stay in your house screwing around all day, thinking as long as you're not caught at Great Adventure, you're good. The alleged fever better be over 100 and it will be doubly verified, via rectal thermometer. If that's not deterrent enough for you, proceed.