Calling out sick...Who will do it and who won't do it?

glocke12

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 7, 2008
999
5
Right now I am home, sick as a dog and miserable. Fever, sore throat, sneezing, wheezing and hacking.

Why you may ask ? All this week a co-worker showed up to work sick as a dog. This guy is the type that does not believe in calling out sick even if you are on your deathbed and is quite proud of the fact that in his 7 years with this company he has never called out once.

Now, I can't prove for certain that he is the result of my illness, but since Thursday of last week I have not been anywhere but work, so in my mind this really points to him as the source of my illness.

I work in a lab/office environment, space is limited, and germs spread easily. I personally think it is pretty ignorant to show up work when your sick and risk making your co-workers and/or their families sick.

I understand not everyone has the luxury of paid sick days, but those who do, please use them if you are not feeling well!
 

Vudoo

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2008
763
1
Dallas Metroplex
It's the US culture where calling in sick is frowned upon. I used to not miss a single day of school or work no matter what. In the past years, I decided that it wasn't worth it since there's a reason why I have sick days.
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
It depends on the situation. I have worked places that pool all leave time into one pool of "paid time off". It doesn't matter what it's for: vacation, out sick, whatever, it all comes from the same pool. In those cases, I have to be knock, knock, knockin' on death's door to miss a day. I hate burning potential personal vacation time to be out sick. If I have dedicated sick time, then I will use it.
 

imahawki

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2011
612
8
Same here. Its a double edge sword. The reason most companies don't "sick days" any more is lazy *******s abused it. Now when I'm sick I have to decide if I'm willing to eat into my vacation time to stay home and rest. I come into work sick as a result. If I'm REALLY sick, I won't but I've definitely come in sick plenty.
 

pooryou

macrumors 65816
Sep 28, 2007
1,309
35
NorCal
Just work from home when you are sick. Win-win.

People who go out in public when they are very sick are pretty selfish IMO.

Personally if I were in the OPs situation I would have a serious conversation with the co-worker about it, and if that didn't work I would have to talk to their superiors about it.
 

likemyorbs

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2008
1,956
5
NJ
It may be a part of US culture not to call in sick, but it's a stupid part of our culture. If i feel sick, i don't go to work. It also depends on the company you work for, my company is very relaxed about it. I work at a gym and they don't want your germs all over the place. The only exception is when i have an opening shift. For example, i am currently sick but was scheduled to work at 5:30am. I came into work just to open the pool and left at 9am when the other lifeguard came in, i didn't want to leave them high and dry with no one to open the pool.
 

alust2013

macrumors 601
Feb 6, 2010
4,779
1
On the fence
If I just have something like a cold, I won't call off, because it's generally not that bad, but if I'm feeling really nasty, I'll call off to spare my coworkers and get some rest to get over it.
 

bizzle

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2008
936
36
If I am sick, I don't go to work. That's what sick time is for. It's in the company's best interest to not give you crap if you call out for a legit illness to avoid making everyone else sick.

But, when I worked at Apple, any time I called out I'd get the third degree, no matter what manager I talked to. With that being said, I can see why some people just suck it up and go to work even if they are sick because it's sometimes not worth the hassle of risking losing your job over it. Some places, Apple being one of them has strict attendance policies that use a point system which can easily get someone fired simply for being sick.
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,931
1,606
New England, USA
Since I work on a fee-for-servce basis, not going to work costs me a day's income, and my cut of the billing, after the practice takes it cut, is not terrific. So taking a day off takes a bite out of my monthly take. (No such thing as paid sick time, or paid vacation time, when you work fee-for-service.:()

Nevertheless, since I consult in nursing homes, if I go in with a cold I risk infecting people for whom even a cold can be a serious proposition. So, I tend not to go to work if I am sick.
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
Same here. Its a double edge sword. The reason most companies don't "sick days" any more is lazy *******s abused it. Now when I'm sick I have to decide if I'm willing to eat into my vacation time to stay home and rest. I come into work sick as a result. If I'm REALLY sick, I won't but I've definitely come in sick plenty.
Years ago, I went to work for my alma mater. It being a university, the pay was pretty lousy, but the benefits were pretty nice, including loads of leave time. They actually did have separate banks for sick and personal days, but it had been abused so much they had to implement a special rule. In order to use a sick day, you first had to use a day of personal time. Basically, you couldn't pull a one day sick day. Basically, people had so abused calling in sick that they had to put that rule in to force them to use personal time. And I worked with people who did use every hour of leave available, which blew my mind. We got 3+ weeks of personal and 2 weeks of sick time per year, all cumulative (though there was a cap of something like 240 hours personal time you could bank). Even better: the amount of time earned went up the longer you worked there.
 

KeriJane

macrumors 6502a
Sep 26, 2009
578
0
ЧИКАГО!
I called in sick almost all week. :(

Because I'm really sick.

No "sick days" either, but I can use my "vacation days" if I wish to be paid.

Phoey.

Maybe I'll be better tomorrow!
 

greganpace

macrumors regular
Aug 9, 2011
137
0
While I am in school, I can't afford sick days. If I miss class, it usually moves on before I can get caught up and my work is just a part-time call center, so I definitely don't get sick days and I really have to pay rent. I just carry around hand sanitizer and put it on everytime I touch my face or before I use equipment to try to stop the spreading. I go through about one mini bottle a day...
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,678
1,824
Isla Nublar
It's the US culture where calling in sick is frowned upon. I used to not miss a single day of school or work no matter what. In the past years, I decided that it wasn't worth it since there's a reason why I have sick days.
This.

Many places frown upon missing work for any reason and its silly. Things happen, people get sick.

The last company I work for luckily would send you home (well, back to your living area since we lived where we worked) if you came in sick and make you take a sick day. I wish more businesses were like that, it keeps everyone from coming down with something.
 

Gregg2

macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
6,051
499
Milwaukee, WI
I have have never actually heard it called "calling out sick." :)
...nor calling off sick, as someone else put it above.

I guess if you're calling in, you have to also be calling out, unless you're calling the place you currently are.

I just missed a day because my back locked up. I wasn't able to drive myself anywhere. But if I have a sniffle, I'll still go to work, run errands, whatever. A constant cough will keep me home though.
 

iJohnHenry

macrumors P6
Mar 22, 2008
16,532
18
On tenterhooks
Nevertheless, since I consult in nursing homes, if I go in with a cold I risk infecting people for whom even a cold can be a serious proposition. So, I tend not to go to work if I am sick.
Some of the people I interact with have no immune system, at all, so if I get sick I call in/out sick, that I don't actually kill someone. :eek:

Same reason I get a flu shot every year. Just had this years on Monday. :)

I have been very, very lucky in this regard. :cool:
 

Iscariot

macrumors 68030
Aug 16, 2007
2,627
3
Toronteazy
If I'm sick enough that a cup of NeoCitran and a lozenge won't get me through the day, I'll cancel all appointments with anyone who works with kids or is over sixty. If I'm sick enough to need to see my doctor, I don't go back to work until he tells me to.

As I work billable hours I get dinged, but I'd rather be responsible than wealthy.
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,931
1,606
New England, USA
Some of the people I interact with have no immune system, at all, so if I get sick I call in/out sick, that I don't actually kill someone. :eek:

Same reason I get a flu shot every year. Just had this years on Monday. :)

I have been very, very lucky in this regard. :cool:
Exactly ^^^

I get a flu shot every year, too. Unless you're allergic to eggs, I don't understand why folks avoid them. Possibly the reason is the myth that you can "get the flu" from the shot. If I'm not mistaken, it's a a "dead virus" vaccine, so you can"t get flu from it.

Going to work when ill is supposed to show your commitment to your job. Rather, it is a thoughtless act putting others at risk of illness.
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,182
15
London, England
For some reason I find myself very resentful and angry with anyone who gets me sick, especially when they knew they were sick and just decided to gamble with my health. I think it's totally selfish. I'm very prone to sinus infections so these acts of selfishness can mean antibiotics and weeks of misery for me.

That being said, in SOME jobs I know people carry a feeling of obligation, perceived or not. I lived in the US and had a couple crappy jobs where not only were you NOT paid if you called in sick, you received a mark against you for it. At one place if you had 5 consecutively a doctor's note was required to return. The kicker was that they didn't offer health insurance either. I got the flu, couldn't afford to see a doctor and lost that job. WOOHOO, freedom! :rolleyes: Granted, not all jobs are so lousy but I never shook the feeling of shame for needing a sick day here and there. It's absurd. People shouldn't contribute to spreading their illnesses around and workplaces should accomodate for that.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
51,722
35,312
The Far Horizon
I have noticed that the ambience or atmosphere of the place you work in (and I'm not simply talking about the possibility of infection from colleagues) also contributes hugely to your health, or ill-health.

I have taught for over twenty years at a number of universities - most (but not all) of the time it was poorly paid work, but again, most of the time, I really enjoyed it, got on well with interesting colleagues, and only had one or two poor bosses; in those days, I found I was rarely ill - perhaps a total of two-three weeks over twenty years.

However, I have also worked for the Government and in one of my jobs as a public servant - an interesting, well-paid and challenging post in the actual Parliament - precisely because the atmosphere at work was so toxic, and a culture of bullying was tolerated, my health suffered. I was out sick (with what was diagnosed as shingles) for nearly two months, and I realised then, that no job, irrespective of how interesting, was worth my health.

In the year I worked in that section, eight of my colleagues at my grade (including myself) resigned. Two individuals who worked with me in that section have subsequently died of brain tumours. Sometimes, a company with a culture of sick leave may need to examine its own work practices; while abuse of the system does exist, my experience is that most people only call in sick when they have to. Companies experiencing problems with excessive sick leave may need to look at managerial practices, and not simply berate sick staff.

These days, I take sick leave when I need to, - infecting colleagues is not a good idea, and you are far less productive when sick - whereas in the past, I used to struggle on if at all possible.

Cheers
 

einmusiker

macrumors 68030
Apr 26, 2010
2,974
286
Location: Location: Location:
Right now I am home, sick as a dog and miserable. Fever, sore throat, sneezing, wheezing and hacking.

Why you may ask ? All this week a co-worker showed up to work sick as a dog. This guy is the type that does not believe in calling out sick even if you are on your deathbed and is quite proud of the fact that in his 7 years with this company he has never called out once.

Now, I can't prove for certain that he is the result of my illness, but since Thursday of last week I have not been anywhere but work, so in my mind this really points to him as the source of my illness.

I work in a lab/office environment, space is limited, and germs spread easily. I personally think it is pretty ignorant to show up work when your sick and risk making your co-workers and/or their families sick.

I understand not everyone has the luxury of paid sick days, but those who do, please use them if you are not feeling well!
I agree with you 100%. It's irresponsible on his part
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.