[Spoiler] Question about The Office (UK) Season 1 Finale
February 2, 2005 9:14 AM   Subscribe

Britons of AskMe: question about the end of The Office Season 1 [spoiler inside]

This medical exam that David flunked... is that a standard requirement for certain levels in businesses? Or is it for everyone, with different outcomes dictating what jobs you can take? Would any signs of ill health be enough to flunk it, or just those that would predictably be exacerbated by the presumably greater stress of a more senior position? Are there any policies against medical discrimination, or is that considered reasonable and expected?
posted by Zed_Lopez to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
Dunno about your q, but as an ignorant American I got the sense that he might have been lying.
posted by selfnoise at 9:41 AM on February 2, 2005

Personally, at the time, I remember thinking that it was weird. I've never experienced anything like that over here in the UK. It jarred with me, because it was just about the only thing in the entire series that I couldn't relate to in some way.

So, to answer the question, as a UKian, I've never heard of it occurring in real life.
posted by veedubya at 10:09 AM on February 2, 2005

selfnoise, David wasn't the one who said he flunked the test; he told his staff that he turned the job down voluntarily.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:33 AM on February 2, 2005

Oh, that's right. Sorry.
posted by selfnoise at 10:38 AM on February 2, 2005

While it isn't standard practice for companies to require a medical before a promotion it's entirely feasible that a company might. Promotions can be pretty expensive to get wrong. More importantly I think it was important to the script writers that Brent didn't fail because he was an incompetent idiot or his dismal personality, but because of some external factor over which he had no real control.
posted by dodgygeezer at 12:39 PM on February 2, 2005

Ooops. Obviously he was some control over his health but what I was emphasising is that it isn't him as a person stopping him from getting the promotion. Imagine the guy you hate most at work being stopped from being your boss, not because he's stupid, unprofessional or murderous to staff morale but because he failed a medical. Galling.
posted by dodgygeezer at 12:45 PM on February 2, 2005

No, its not standard. In fact, unless the safety of others depended upon his health (bus driver, lifeguard etc), I suspect this would be illegal under British law (right to prvacy under Human Rights Act).
posted by prentiz at 9:16 AM on February 3, 2005

That was a very odd moment in the series. As Americans we just assumed that it was "some British thing." But we could never figure out how a company could keep him from getting promoted for having high blood pressure yet allow him to continue working in his old job.

It would have made more sense to base his failure on a psychological test.

Perhaps the executives are covered by a life insurance policy (common practice, with the company being the designated beneficiary) and he could not pass that physical?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:26 AM on February 4, 2005

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