This is not a pitting of the people who get ill. More a pittying of them.
I work in a ‘communal’ type office, where all departments including senior management share the same four (admittedly rather large) walls.
It occured to me just now that periods where nobody has an illness of some sort (seasonal or common, not genetic) are few and far between. Winter or summer there always seems to be at least one person who’s suffering or off ill.
What’s worse is some departments are staffed un such a way that unless you are dead or dying you have to come in (mine!). This isn’t unusual for a typical company in this part of the world (encompasing Britain and Islands that model themselves on Britain)
Well, I’ll go ahead and Pit people who get ill. Not for actually getting ill, but for deciding they’re not sick enough to warrant staying the hell home, and so bring it in for everyone to share. Jerks.
You know, I’d love to stay home when I’m sick. But the thing is, when they do my YE Review, they count up the number of sick days I took. And they’ve never once said to me “Hey, thanks for keeping your germy ass home!”
Word. My customers get upset when I take a day off. Not to bag on my coworkers but they don’t have the knowledge I do and all it takes is one screw up to lose a customer that spends twenty k a month. At least I have an office so I can keep my germs to myself.
I recently started a new job, and I asked my supervisor about the office policy when you’re sick. She said if you have something that is going to spread she would much rather you stay home than bring it in to share with the entire office. I don’t often get sick, but it was comforting to know that.
I have a cough. I’ve had this cough now since mid-October. The cough is not going anywhere. I sit in my cube, work on my computer, cover my mouth when I cough and talk on the phone (with the phone on mute unless I need to talk). No one is going to pay me to stay at home because I caught the Minnesota crud in October and will get rid of it sometime in April - that just isn’t economically feasible.
I once worked for a company whose sicktime policy was “if you’re sick, stay home. You’ll get paid.” Seriously, they didn’t cap sick days. Because of that policy and other policies which made the place very low stress, I was actually out sick significantly less than I had been at other jobs.
Then some fucker had to go and abuse the policy, and we lost it. I tell you, people were ready to lynch the asshole responsible for that one.
I work when I am sick. As a one man show, it would be difficult to do otherwise. If I do not come in, then I do not need my support staff, so they would miss a days pay. Also, I like to take a day off for fun stuff from time to time. I can’t afford to do this if I stay home for illness.
It’s not even a matter of resentment. Shit’s gotta get done, and the more important it is, the more likely it is to be given to a reliable person. If so-and-so is out with a severe cold 3-4 times a year and this other person is blessed with an iron constitution and never misses a day, you’ll give the important, time-sensitive task to the person that’s always there (all other things being equal).
It’s also amazing how little you have to be out before people get a vauge impression that you are “gone a lot” and start to make arrangements around you because of it. --two colds in a season can replace the impression left by years of perfect attendence. Not fair, but true.
As a teacher, I really hate to be out–I teach three totally seperate things (English, Economics, Academic Competition team), so the prep work is intense and chances are there is something I have to be there for in some class–a test or a project due or there is an after school something scheduled that I am supervising. I just stay away from the kids as best I can, use hand sanitizer constantly, and assume that in the festering petri dish that is a school, it’s all floating out there anyway.
Unless I am feverish and vomitting/other severe GI distress, I go in. I have my own office and I avoid others. I use handwashing and hand sanitizer. My job isn’t critical but I can’t see staying out for a cold.
A friend of mine works where I got the job - it’s a monitoring station for burglar alarms. We have to have at least two people on duty at all times. If someone is sick, there are people who want the overtime who will cover for you. From what my friend told me, as long as you call in enough in advance to allow your shift to be covered and don’t abuse it, you won’t get on the supervisor’s bad side. You will get on her bad side if you come in coughing and sneezing so badly you can’t talk and expect to be paid for a shift. If you don’t call in advance or don’t call in at all, you will get fired.
Just to clarify. Nobody here actually insists that you come in, you just know that if you don’t come in then your job doesn’t get done, and the company loses x amount of money and xxxxxx amount of reputation because it’s services were unavailable.
Unless you are able to arrange a replacement for yourself… which isn’t always possible.
I’ve had bosses tell me I would not be allowed sick days (ehm, that’s mighty illegal, want me to quote you the chapter and verse?). Been fired from two jobs for going home when I was too sick to work (it wasn’t even germy, it’s an organic problem from too much stress but by the time I get that sick, they can take their job and stick it up their asses so far they puke it up), but in both cases it was the kind of boss who does tell you you’re not allowed to call in sick and who has the kind of square bollocks required to make fun of people who look like shit on a stick because, you know, they do have gastrenteritis or the flu but they’re afraid to lose the lousy job.
I am on my third write up. See in Feb when I broke my foot, I used up all my sick days. And vacation days.
So when I called out sick with an intestinal bug that kept me on the john most of teh day, I got a verbal warning. In July when I called out to see my doc because I was bleeding out [and yes being on the second period in 5 weeks of bleeding 1 ounce per hour as measured by my Diva Cup I consider to be bleeding out.] got me my first write up. Going home at midday 1 week preop with a head cold and going to my doctor and having a note [which I called my boss about and faxed it over 15 or 20 minutes after the workplace had closed] telling me to specifically go home and stay there for at least 2-3 days to avoid any more germs [and taking meds to keep it from moving down into my chest and turning into pneumonia] got me my third write up. Any more unexcused absences will get me fired.
So when I found out that I now have pseudogout, I got my doc to give me a FMLA letter explaning that when it hits, I am pretty much out of action for from 1 day to 3 weeks and unable to refine it any further than that because flares are all individual … and now they have to suck it up and do without me [becaase they refuse to transfer me to a department where I can telecommute, which I can do from a wheelchair and a hospital bed table] and I just flared yesterday. mrAru is faxing over the FMLA note today.
So instead of me being 1 in 100 generic phone answering CS droids, and not missing more than a day or so on just getting the doc to see me and give me my meds … and 1 in 10 compliance thugs that is now out of service until i can gimp around on a cane [i am no longer going to go in on crutches in a slipper like i did when I had the broken foot or the first flare … i didnt want them to ne so drastically short handed as I knew I was leaving them…] Suck it up, I am being passive agressive right now over their simple refusal to transfer me to my old original department that would be the perfect solution to the issue… and refusing to let me telecommute in my present position [which could actually be done.]
I used to work for IBM as a team leader on the production floor. There was a girl who had been ill three times in a period of 6 months. She was warned about her absences and told that if she had another instance she was in risk of losing her job. She came in one night with a fever and looked like death warmed up. The manager saw her but wasn’t interested when I said she should go home. She collapsed and was then sent home. A large section of the shift then called in sick over the next few days all complaining about the same symptoms. We were in a lot of trouble for those few days due to having so many people out. Management didn’t care. It gave them a stick to beat us all with come bonus time as we missed a few important shipments during that period. The manager had to do a few nights on machines though so at least he put in a good days work for a change