Workers Compensation Interview Transcript, Bere, Tchad.
Consultant: Please state your place of employment and job title.
Patient: I work at the river fishing.
Consultant: How long have you worked there?
Patient: Since I was five.
Consultant: You started work at age five?
Patient: I was hungry, wasn’t I?
Consultant: Ok, fine. What is your salary?
Patient: The fish I catch provides food for my family. If there is any leftover, I sell it.
Consultant: What was your injury?
Patient: Left thigh wound.
Consultant: What happened?
Patient: I was bit.
Consultant: You were bit?
Patient: I said I was bit, didn’t I?
Consultant: By a fish?
Patient: By a horse.
Consultant: A horse in the river?
Patient: A horse in the river.
Consultant: A horse in the river bit you in your left thigh?
Patient: A horse in the river bit me in my left thigh.
Consultant: What kind of horse?
Patient: A black horse.
Consultant: A black horse?
Patient: Am I not speaking English? Yes, I said a black horse.
Consultant: You’re not speaking English. This is being translated. What kind of black horse?
Patient: You know, the black horses that go down into the river and become hippopotami.
Consultant: A hippopotamus bit your left thigh?
Patient: I suppose you could say that.
Consultant: You suppose I could say that, or I could say that? This is serious, official stuff. On the record and what not.
Patient: You could say that.
Consultant: Ok, tell me what happened.
Patient: I was minding my own business, wading in pretty deep water. I had only caught a couple of fish so far. I threw my net out again. All of a sudden I saw a huge beast come up out of the mirky water. It’s mouth was WIDE open. It made a deep grunting noise. It was so fast that I could not get away soon enough. It took a big chomp out of my leg, and by God’s grace I was able to get away. It left a gigantic gash on both sides of my left thigh, through muscles and vessels clear down to the bone. I lost a lot of blood. I live in Tchoua, so it’s about 8 km away from Bere Hospital. I got there with blood soaked clothes, but was soon repaired. I’m so thankful that my leg was not broken. The next day, I had a fever of 104.
Consultant: So another typical hippo bite worker’s comp claim. Can you tell me what protective equipment you were wearing?
Patient: I had my shorts on.
Consultant: Were you wearing your safety goggles?
Patient: I was bit in the leg.
Consultant: Please just answer the question.
Consultant: I’m sorry to inform you that your lack of safety goggles is noncompliant with OSHA’s Hippo-Infested-River-Fishing Guidlines Regulation F.3.hh.10.6/3, as updated 06/2010, see version 8.4. Therefore, we will not be able to meet your request for worker’s compensation. Have a lovely day.
Patient: Who will pay my hospital bills? This is a very lengthy stay, requiring surgeries and IV antibiotics and lab tests and many other costs.
Consultant: I’m afraid you and your family will be responsible for this bill.
Patient: Where will I come up with the $40?