Doctor can I have a note for….

Need a doctors note to get out of writing that big test? Or do you just want a refund on your unused gym membership without the pentaly? The Excused Absence Network has your back. For around $25, students and employees can buy excuse notes that appear to come from doctors or hospitals. Other options include a fake jury summons or an authentic-looking funeral service program complete with comforting poems and a list of pallbearers.

Some question whether the products are legal or ethical – or even work – but the company’s owners say they’re just helping people do something they would have done anyway. The company’s customers receive templates so they can print the notes after typing the name and address of a local doctor or emergency room. Those who choose jury duty as an excuse to miss work enter their county courthouse information on the form.

Though the company’s disclaimer advises the notes are “for entertainment purposes only,” its website shows pictures of people sunbathing and playing golf using the fabricated excuses. One testimonial says: “I’ve managed to take the nine weeks off using these templates! It couldn’t be any easier!”

Actually, for one New Jersey woman it wasn’t so easy. She was arrested this year after using one of the company’s notes to support her claim she was too injured to appear in traffic court for a speeding ticket. She was caught after court officials called the chiropractor listed and he told them he never heard of the woman.

Vision Matters co-founder Darl Waterhouse said people looking to trick their bosses probably won’t get caught because of federal restrictions on the release of patient medical information. But some are concerned about potential problems.

If bosses find out the notes are not authentic, they might think the medical provider helped in the scam, said Dr. John Z. Sadler, a psychiatry and clinical sciences professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Reputations could be unfairly damaged, and accreditation or licence problems could arise, he said.

Many businesses require documentation if an employee misses work. But several companies declined to reveal their specific policies or say whether the possibility their workers might use fake excuse notes is a concern. An annual nationwide survey of more than 300 human resource executives found an absenteeism rate of about 2.3 per cent this year. That’s down from 2.5 per cent in 2006, the highest rate since 2.7 per cent in 1999.

The survey was conducted by the Harris Interactive consulting firm for CCH Inc., which provides employment law information. The executives surveyed said that two-thirds of employees who call in sick at the last minute are really missing work due to family issues, personal needs, stress and an entitlement mentality. Personal illness accounts for only 34 per cent of the absences.

The Vision Matters founders said many employees are fed up with working long hours for little pay, then having no flexibility if they needed to tend to a sick relative or attend their children’s school activities.

Liddell and Waterhouse met about four years ago while working in security for a manufacturing company. After seeing several employees write fake doctor notes, the men launched the Internet business on about $300 each. Liddell runs the company from a laptop in his home in Thackerville, a town of about 400 just north of the Oklahoma-Texas line. He won’t reveal sales numbers, but says the website gets about 15,000 hits a month. Sounds like this business is a big winner and very creative too!

Footsie Fetish gets Guy in Trouble

Here is a fellow with a strange and freaky fetish,  he pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing more than 1,500 pairs of girls’ shoes from area schools in a deal that calls for prosecutors to recommend probation.   Erik D. Heinrich, 26, of Kenosha pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary and was scheduled for sentencing Oct. 23. He told police he did it for sexual gratification.

He was arrested May 24 after a security video showed him entering North High School on May 20 and leaving with some items. Police tracked him through his vehicle registration, searched his home and a rented storage unit and found the shoes.   Police have said Heinrich worked for a cable company and collected keys to the schools as he responded to calls. He used the keys to burglarize three Waukesha public high schools and one middle school six times during the past two years, according to a criminal complaint.

Police discovered the break-in at North High School after several female students reported that the locks on their lockers had been cut and their shoes stolen.   Heinrich has a previous shoe-stealing conviction, in 2005, that was dismissed at prosecutors’ request after he completed a year of probation, counseling and 50 hours of community service.

Oh How the French Love to Love

In France a woman who planted a lipstick-laden kiss on an all-white painting by the American artist Cy Twombly went on trial Tuesday, telling the court she had committed an “act of love” – not a crime.

Rindy Sam, a 30-year-old French artist, faced charges of “voluntarily damaging a work of art.” The painting is worth an estimated $2,830,000 and restorers have tried to remove the lipstick smudge from the bone-white canvas using nearly 30 products – to no avail.

Prosecutors, want Sam to pay a $6,400 fine and take a class on good citizenship. The verdict was set for Nov. 16.   Sam was taken into custody after she kissed the painting July 19. It was part of a travelling exhibition on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Avignon.  The painting is owned by collector Yvon Lambert. He was asking for $2,878,000 in damages, which included the value of the painting and the $47,000 restoration cost.

Twombly is known for his abstract paintings combining painting and drawing techniques, repetitive lines and the use of graffiti, letters and words.  Born in Lexington, Va., in 1928, Twombly has lived in Italy for nearly a half-century. He won the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale in 2001.

Tuesday’s trial came as police in Paris jailed five people in connection with the weekend vandalism of a noted painting by French Impressionist Claude Monet, “Le Pont d’Argenteuil.”  Intruders, apparently drunk, broke into Paris’ Orsay Museum early Sunday and punched the renowned work, leaving a nearly 10 centimetre tear. The five were tracked by evidence from museum security cameras, police said. One person admitted to putting a fist in the painting under the influence of alcohol.

The intruders had entered by a back door. Culture Minister Christine Albanel said that apparently one in the group had information about access to the museum for professional reasons and used this information to enter. The minister did not say if any of those detained worked for the museum.  Why am I not surprised this happened in France, the land of love!

Man Gets Screwed

I must confess that this strange story was posted just for the fun headlines it could possibly generate.  German police have arrested a man for stealing more than one million screws from his employers and selling his booty on the Internet, authorities said Friday.

The man – a 33-year-old assembly worker at an unidentified company – squirrelled away screws in a specially designed hiding place and spirited up to 7,000 of them home every day when he left work, police said.   Over a two-year period, he stole some 1.1 million screws with an estimated value of C$155,000, police in the Bavarian city of Wuerzburg said in a statement.

The man allegedly sold the screws over the Internet at discount prices – ultimately alerting police, who wondered where he was getting them.  The man was arrested Wednesday at his Wuerzburg apartment. Police said he acknowledged stealing the screws and was in custody awaiting formal charges

Free Poker Decks for Inmates

poker_cards

Here is something weird, strange and quite interesting.  Poker cards to help solve cold-cases!

On July 24, 2007, Florida’s 93,000 state inmates started getting one of two decks that between them highlight 104 of the state’s most troubling unsolved murder and missing persons cases.  It is an effort to get inmates talking and gossiping about these cases, hoping it will lead to getting some of them solved.

These are of course inspired by the now famous most-wanted deck of Saddam Husien and other fugitives issued to U.S. troops shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. 

For the state program, authorities printed 85,000 decks featuring the first 52 cases, and started handing them out Tuesday to inmates at Wakulla Correctional Institution in the Panhandle town of Crawfordville.  In a few weeks, 15,000 decks with 52 different cases will be distributed.

The King of Spades in one deck is Tiffany Sessions, a 20-year-old UoF sophomore who disappeared on Feb. 9, 1989. The Queen of Diamonds in that deck is 12-year-old Jennifer Odom, a girl whose body was found on Feb. 25, 1993, six days after she disappeared.

Sessions’ card features her smiling face. Odom’s card has a picture of a sweat shirt and her book bag because authorities didn’t want to give the state’s sex offenders pictures of children.

The state attorney general’s Crime Stoppers Fund is paying the $75,000 cost of the program — about $68,000 to produce the cards and $7,000 for rewards, an agency spokeswoman said. The Polk County deck was produced with help from the local Crime Stoppers program.

Working there is Enough

Walmart_humor

Here is a bit of weird news involving WalMart.  Judge Kenneth Robertson of Attalla, Ala. recently ordered two convicted shoplifters a bit of a embarassing sentence.  They are to stand outside of the WalMart store they stole from with signs reading “I am a thief, I stole from Wal-Mart.”

In a strange decision WalMart is arguing that this type of sentence is not good for business and if they really want to embarass these criminals they should just have them work as WalMart greeters.