One of the retirement casualties was legendary head nurse Sallie Ruttan, who liberally handed out packets of pain relief upon demand. Our inside sources assumed The Star simply would replace Nurse Sallie with a new, younger nurse -- but instead, the paper's entire "medical department" has been amputated.
"Because The Star will not have a qualified medical professional on site, over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol may not be dispensed and medical services cannot be provided -- except for work-related needs as handled through employees' managers," Fran Stowell, vice president for human resources, writes in the company newsletter. Now suffering Star employees have to take a several-block hike to OHS Compcare on Broadway.
For a simple aspirin? "It's either that," the now-resting Ruttan tells the Pitch, "or bring their own."
Or swipe someone else's. Apparently stealing has become so common that one branch of The Star is under lockdown. "We are in the process of having security doors installed in FYI due to high theft in the department during 2000," writes Nikki Tomkinson, an editorial assistant charged with the unpleasant task of informing her coworkers they are all considered suspects. Beginning this month, only individually coded white security cards will open the FYI door on evenings and weekends. But the e-key is also a tattler that tells a computer who has entered the floor. "This will enable the security staff to track the names of employees and the time they enter the department at night or on weekends," Tomkinson writes in her January 26 security memo. "Hopefully, this will deter theft."
It won't, however, prevent FYI from running more stories with such advice as "Line all kitchen cabinets with pretty shelf paper."