Jerks who have sick days and come to work sick anyway!

I just got back to work after being sick for almost a week! Why? Because someone who didn’t have to be here insisted on coming in and infecting me with her disease. I hate that! It wasn’t dire for her to be at work, there was nothing major that required her presence, and several times she has taken days off just because she “didn’t feel like coming in.” But when she’s actually sick, does she take one of her sick days? NNNNooooooo, she drags her wheezing, coughing, hacking, sneezing snot-headed, disease-ridden self into work and spreads the love. Gack! So I had to kill all plans for my weekend, plus use 3 of my sick days sleeping (lousily) breathing (lousily) and trying to take care of a very painful headache. I tend to catch colds, etc. from people rather easily, so it really sucks when they purposefully bring their disease to me. It especially sucked when I was a temp and permanent people with paid sick days would come into the office and get me sick. Then, I would either have to come in ill, because I wouldn’t get sick time off, or I would have to stay home and lose money. AAAUUUGGHH!!! If you’ve got the paid time, use it! Show some consideration! If people are not going to die by your absence, by all means take your leave! I don’t need to see you!

Heloise, you are obviously not a supervisor.

I’ve had a boss tell me “You can’t use another sick day. You only have 3 left. Your suppose to save them.” Save them for what I always wondered.

Another boss at a different job: When did you run out of sick days?
Me:I haven’t.
Boss: You must have.
Me: No, I didn’t use any sick days when I fell down the stairs (at work, by the way). I didn’t come in and you didn’t pay me.
Boss: Well, don’t get sick again!


The American work ethic makes being out of work because you are sick a sign of laziness. It stigmatizes you. Even your co-workers begin to resent you if you take too many sick days.

Nope, definitely not a supervisor. Your supervisors make me realize (again) what great supervisors I have had. Mine does not even want to see me if I’m sick. They are also susceptible to illness and are of the opinion, “Don’t bring it here.”

But, I also understand the concept of having to be at the office because of fear of resentment or from nasty supervisors. I’m not including them in my rant. The girl who came into the office was under no intimidation to be here and would have had no problem using that same sick day for a free day off.

Sympathies to you, Heloise.

Several years ago the company that I worked for was bought out by EDS. I’d been with the company for years and had hundreds of hours of sick leave built up, but since I so seldom get sick, it didn’t matter to me that all of my sick leave was being discarded.

Instead of tracking sick leave, EDS implemented their policy that goes, “If you’re sick, don’t come to work”.

What we found was that the company actually had LESS absenteeism due to illness. Plus people actually took off when they were sick.

On rare occasion someone would abuse the policy. Their manager would sit them down and have a chat about it. That usually cured the problem.
I know that this doesn’t help you, but maybe it’ll cheer you up a bit to know that some sick leave policies really do work out as intended.

Hey, where’s Heloise?

Oh, she called in sick?

Guess she’s got a hangover…

(I had an assistant a couple of years ago who was pretty sick day-happy…used one or two a month, anyway. After a while we used to nod significantly to one another…“Hung over again.” Now if I wake up feeling crummy, I usually drag my sorry ass into the office, because I worry that everyone’ll think I was dancing with the pink elephants last night. I DO try not to actually vomit on anyone’s telephone receiver, though.)

Thanks, I needed this thread. I am one of those people who feels guilty if I stay home sick. I feel like if I’m not on my deathbed, I should be in contributing. A lot of it might be residual guilt from haveing 18 weeks of morning sickness and missing LOADS of work. Then missing for maternity leave. Then missing when my kid is sick.

BUT, I too have had coworkers remind me that coming in sick does no one any favors. I got that horrible Christmastime flu and wasn’t fully over it by the time we all came back to work. But I came back anyway (I wasn’t contagious anymore, I’m sure) and I ended up staying sick for SEVEN WEEKS. It took three doctor visits. Finally I acknowledged that I would never get well if I didn’t stay home and get some sleep. And I did. But I work in an understaffed office, and we were busy…

Thanks for the kick in the ass. And the interesting EDS anecdote. I’ll take that to heart.

It wouldn’t have mattered if she did call in sick. She was probably contagious for 2 to three days BEFORE she started showing symptoms. So you were already infected.

I have yet to meet ANYONE who was so necessary that they HAD to drag their infected carcass to the office. That’s not a strong work ethic - that’s just STUPID!!!

Ditto for parents who send their kids to school just to get that silly “Perfect Attendance Award” at the end of the year. Your germy rug-rat cost me MY sick leave to take my kid to the doctor, and it cost me $$$ to buy the antibiotics to take care of your hand-me-down disease. If the award certificate is so important, I’ll print you up a gross of 'em!!

Thank you for your support…

Hey, Ike:
that’s what this girl normally does on Monday mornings. She calls in sick quite frequently, but it’s not when she’s sick, it’s just when she doesn’t feel like coming in. Now that she’s sick, she comes in.

I love having a job where I get sick days, I don’t see the sense of coming in to work when I feel like shit and won’t be productive anyways. My sick days can also be taken if I have to stay at home and tend to sick family members.

I used to manage a restaurant and a couple of the daytime staff were constantly calling in sick on short notice. I went out to the bar after work one evening and saw these two girls whooping it up. The next day I got a call at 10am saying that they had both called in sick. We opened at 11. Was I pissed?

The next say I took these two ladies aside and told them that sick was one thing and hungover was another. The next time I got called in at 10am because they were partying would be the day I posted a help wanted ad.

End of problem.

I never go to work sick - not anymore.

I used to be a manager for a large clothing retailer. I have never been treated worse in my life. I would have to stay sometimes until 1 or 2 a.m. and then come back in at 7 a.m. for a “corporate walk-through.” Anyone who has been through one of these knows that there is nothing more totally horrifying. At any rate, managers were expected to NEVER call in sick. We’d be coming in sweating with fever, running back and forth to the bathroom to puke, you name it - we were there spreading it around.

One day I went to work with a mild fever and wheezing in my chest. By that afternoon my fever had risen to 105 and I was wearing 3 borrowed sweaters and not perspiring at all. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t even see. Did anyone tell me to go home? Did anyone express even the slightest genuine concern? Those assholes could not have given less of a shit. They didn’t want to sympathize and risk me requesting to go home. I finished my shift and ended up in the hospital that night with severe dehydration and kidney failure. The DAY I got out of the hospital the fucking wackjobs I worked with called to ask when I could come in and could it be as soon as possible? When I went back I was snubbed for being out of work for a week and a half.

Thank god I got out of retail. Sorry for the long post.

When my crummy car pool partner calls in sick, the first reaction is: “Must have had a late night at the casino.”

If she’s coughing: “Must have been in the smoking section again. You know God told her the slots are looser there.”

If she’s throwing up: “Something in the casino buffet must have been off; gave her a touch of food poisoning.”

I worked in a factory for twenty-five years. The policy there was:

1. No excused absences. (One sickness, if you missed
    more than one day in a row, was still only one
    unexcused absence.)

2. Three days in a row missed due to illness required
    a doctor's excuse.

3. Three unexcused absences in six months would incur
    a verbal warning. A fourth would incur a written
    warning, and a fifth was grounds for firng.

4. No sick pay.

For a while, they allowed you to use your vacation if you needed to call in sick. Then they changed it to personal days, of which you were given five. These were to be used if something unexpected came up and you hadn’t asked the supervisor for time off the day before. These personal days previously had been paid holidays for the day after Thanksgiving, extra paid days on Memorial and Labor Day weekend, and extra paid days at Christmas. So if you needed to use your personal days, you either lost pay when the plant was shut down for extra paid holidays, or you used your vacation on them.

I believe this type of policy encouraged people to come in to work sick. Lots of people did it, and I caught almost every germ or virus. Three or four times during my employment at that place, I was given a verbal warning and once a written warning (I protested the written warning and it was later rescinded).

On every performance review, my weak spot was absenteeism. Now I am looking for a job since mine got sent to Indonesia, and I am hesitant to use my supervisors as refernces, because they would count me as weak on attendance.

From FairyChatMom:

My father is so goddamn proud of his work ethic. He smugly brags of how rarely he has called in sick in his life. He’s retired, but works a part-time pocket-money job now. He recently worked through a bout of flu or some fucking thing. My mother tried to get him to stay home. I mean, the groceries are going to get bagged just fine if he takes a couple of days off. But no, he hauled his sneezing, coughing, germ-infested ass to work and proudly suffered. PROUDLY! “Aw, it’s just a little cold, and I’m so tough and such a fine worker.” This drives me BAT SHIT!! And it has for some time. So thank you for this topic. I feel a little better now.

You’re welcome. :wink:

At my previous job, it was a badge of honor that someone was sick, and still came to work. The sicker, the better - “Wow, Mr. VP really cares about this company to come to work so obviously sick.” And of course everyone in his department would come down with the same cold, and hey! They can’t stay home: the boss didn’t, and he was just as sick, wasn’t he? Grrrrrrrr… I always stayed home if I was sick, and we didn’t get sick days at all, we just didn’t get paid for it. Luckily I could afford to miss that pay.

I’m lucky now. I’m on salary at my current job, and although we don’t have sick days or personal days here either, I still get paid.

Proudest Monkey: I used to work with a woman whose dad was just as you described yours. She used to describe how he would not let her or her sisters stay home from school if they were sick, and how he would root them out of bed and send them to school, saying that they were just lazy.

Unfortunately, she didn’t see this as abnormal, and acted just like her dad. She would come in to work as sick as a dog, describe her symptoms as she was coughing and sneezing, and ALWAYS finish up with the line, “. . . but I’m all right, though.” IT DROVE ME CRAZY! I finally told her, NO, you’re not all right. You’re sick!

I just don’t think there’s going to be a better place in heaven for people who work through an illness. Pah!

Actually FairyChatMom, I just came in to work on Monday sick because it was that necessary. I am working on a project that has a tight deadline (which, by the way, for all you GD and GQ readers is why I’ve been posting less of late) and HAD to get done. Believe me, I would have rather called in sick. But, I promised to have this project done on time. I simply stayed as far away from everyone as possible and did my work.

Zev Steinhardt

nice to meet ya, zev, and I stand corrected. Hope yer feelin’ better…

zev: I guess we are all glad you made it, and civilization did not come to an end. So what would have happened if you had NOT gone in, and the deadline had not been made? Would enforcers been sent over to break your kneecaps? Your family was being held hostage, with gus to their heads? :smiley: