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20th-May-2011 10:29 am

I'm sick today. I have a sore throat, a cough, a headache, sore eyes and runny nose. But I went to work anyhow. I could have taken a sick day, but that would have meant more work for everyone else. Should I have stayed home?

How should I know, I'm not you
Something else (what?)

When you have a bad cold, but you're able to get out of bed (with discomfort) do you usually go to work/school or stay home?

I go to work (or school)
I stay home
I'm inconsistent
Something else (what?)

Does your workplace (or school) give you the option of sick days?

Yes, but I never use them
Yes, and I use some of them but not all
Yes, and I usually use my limit
Yes in theory, but those who use them are looked down on by management
No, if I don't show up I might lose my job
No, if I don't show up, I don't get paid
No, if I don't show up I might have my hours cut
Something else (what?)

Imagine you work in a workplace where, if a co-worker is sick, that person's work is divided among the rest of the people present. If a co-worker is sick but able to come in to work, should he or she come in or stay home?

He or she should come in and work anyhow, it means less work for the rest of us.
He or she should stay home (and keep his or her germs there instead of bringing them to work.)
Something else (what?)
20th-May-2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
Seriously? If you have sick time, I recommend to use it if you're ill. Even something as "minor" as a headache can affect productivity and render the time you spent at work to be wasted. I'm not kidding about this.

And then there's the issue of passing it on to others. You may have a good immune system that avoids secondary infections, but a co-worker who is immuno-compromised in any way (or is pregnant or elderly) can succumb to something as "small" as a cold. I read about a pregnant woman who ended up in the ICU from the complications of a bug one of her co-workers brought in... and said co-worker always got "Attendance of the Year" awards. =P

I can understand not wanting people to pick up the slack, but if you have sick time, THAT'S WHY IT'S THERE. Besides, wouldn't you do the same for your co-workers if the same were to befall them? I always do.
20th-May-2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
Not to mention other people you may be around if you go out in public.

I have cancer and I'm on chemo. Somehow I contracted a pretty bad bug when I was out in public, and I'm very careful about washing my hands and all. I was sick for the entire month of January. I lost ten pounds because all I could stomach was broth from chicken noodle soup and I was popping Mucinex like it was candy because I was almost coughing up my lungs. I usually can eat regularly when I'm on chemo (I take the pill form).

21st-May-2011 05:08 am (UTC)
That, too. Even just sharing elevator space, or riding on the same bus with soemone who's ill and hacking up a storm can be risky. To say nothing of all the surfaces we're being compelled to touch more and more these days (i.e. the buses that don't automatically open the doors; they make you push them with your hands, etc.).

And ack. :< I'm sorry to hear you're fighting the good fight, but you have my best wishes and thoughts. <333333 May you prevail over it and get well!
20th-May-2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
unless a huge project is due that day and you're absolutely needed, please stay at home. don't worry about everyone else. do what you have to do. people shouldn't be upset with you for taking care of yourself. i do feel guilty sometimes when i miss work and other people have to do parts of my job, but i stay home anyway. they understand.
20th-May-2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
I fully believe people should stay home when they are sick.

However, I try to drag myself in, because my coworkers act like you should be there unless you are DYING, so I feel guilty if I don't try. If I feel really bad, I don't go in, but otherwise, I do. However, I think the guilt should be gone and that EVERYBODY should stay home when sick.
21st-May-2011 10:42 pm (UTC)
I hate that attitude in an office, and understand how people feel pressured in those situations to go to work.
20th-May-2011 06:07 pm (UTC)
I'd rather people stay home when they're sick, if they can (since I know it's not always possible). I don't want to catch whatever they've got, and I don't mind doing a bit more work because of it.
20th-May-2011 06:13 pm (UTC)
We don't have sick days. However, we do have the ability to work from home on occasion which is what I do when I am sick, but not too sick to function. I would rather that people don't bring their sick-contagious-butts to work if they don't have to.

My boyfriend works in retail (which puts him in the last situation frequently) and only calls in sick (no sick days, just loss of a shift) if he is too weak to stand or in that bathroom constantly.
21st-May-2011 10:44 pm (UTC)
I recently wished I could work from home (which we can't legally do for privacy law reasons) because I felt like crap but was able to think ... it's just going out and commuting and all that would have left me tired, but I could have worked at home if I'd been able.
20th-May-2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
I'm in college. One of my teachers says we can only miss two days with a doctors note and if I have a cold, going to the health center is way too much effort (and time) than just going to class. All my classes are grouped together, so it just works out to go to all my classes.

I think a person should determine if they're sick enough to go to work or not.
20th-May-2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
That's just so wrong of your school. =/ I feel your pain. I once had an instructor that told me to drop the class because I would be out with the chicken pox for almost a week. I even had a doctor's note and everything. She didn't even care that I was contagious and there was a pregnant student attending the same class.
20th-May-2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
Hey, are you copying me? :) I wrote something very similar in the fortysomething group for our Friday Four.

I feel like death warmed over today myself. I hope we both feel better.
(Deleted comment)
20th-May-2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
A cold IS a virus. =/
(Deleted comment)
20th-May-2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
No worries. ^^

But even a cold can knock someone out, depending on their overall constitution and other factors. If you're running a fever, are aching all over, and are spending more time blowing your nose, hacking, and hawking up snot than anything else, I'd much rather you stay home. Someone in that state won't be able to give their 100% and would likely waste time at work feeling ill while exposing other people to it. Trust me, I know from firsthand (and secondhand) experience. I've had co-workers and supervisors ORDER me to go home when I had cold symptoms and thought I could swing it.
20th-May-2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
I checked the "something else" because I have the option (most of the time) of working from home. So if I don't feel well, I can usually work from home, skip the 3 to 4 hour commute and get some rest. Today I feel like dirt but I had to come in for reasons I won't bore you with.

My feeling on coming in when you're sick (your first question) is if you think you might be contageous stay home. But if it is just allergies and you can manage, get your work done. But as always, your mileage may vary.
20th-May-2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
I have two jobs. One doesn't offer sick time, so I always go in unless I have bad nausea or a fever + massive headache.

That's carried over a lot to my other job, where I just got sick time starting about 6 months ago but haven't used any of it. Of course, I don't get very sick often, so it's not usually much of an issue.

I'm on the fence for the last question. It depends on how contagious/bad the illness is and also what type of work you do. Usually I feel that unless you're bedridden or vomiting you should suck it up and come in. If you're in a job where you don't just sit at a desk all day, though, sucking it up is gonna be a lot harder, and if you're in food service or a health industry, where contagion is even more of an issue... In those situations it's really probably better to stay home.
20th-May-2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
I work at the CDC. They WANT us to stay home when we are sick. Seriously, people -- keep your germs to yourself. No need to take down the entire department with you!
20th-May-2011 08:26 pm (UTC)
The notion of paid sick days seems like a mythical dream to me...it is my highest aim to someday have a job that offers those.

Edited at 2011-05-20 08:26 pm (UTC)
20th-May-2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
If I didn't work in a kitchen I might be more open to people showing up sick but I still say no matter what, take the time- the rest of the employees can handle it.
21st-May-2011 12:55 am (UTC)
I don't want to catch anything a sick person has. Besides, sickies are usually not up to full working potential. They should just stay home.
21st-May-2011 03:30 am (UTC)
I'd much rather do extra work than catch a nasty cold. Stay home!
21st-May-2011 03:53 am (UTC)
I stay home if I have a fever or vomiting, but otherwise I go to work. I've only ever called in sick once. I teach preschool though, so I basically work in a petri dish. If I called in for every little sniffle, I'd never work!
21st-May-2011 10:41 pm (UTC)
I had glandular fever (mono) the other year so I catch most things that are going around - we get paid sick days but I usually also end up having to take a lot of unpaid leave too, in order to cover my sick days. And we can debit our holiday leave as sick pay too, and I still end up with unpaid days.

I don't see the point of going to work sick. I believe in just saying home, resting and getting better. Then you'll be more productive, less likely to make others sick... so many reasons to just deal with it by staying home.
22nd-May-2011 11:01 am (UTC)
I prefer if people didnt share their germs with all other people in the office.
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