30 November, 2006

Stay Home, Sickos OR The Problem With Perfect Attendence

If you're sick, please stay home from work.

A survey by tax and business law information and software provider CCH says 56 percent of employers now report that "presenteeism," when sick employees show up for work, is a problem for them. ... CCH says sick people reporting for work not only have a lower rate of productivity, but they pass their illness around to other workers and customers.

I cannot stand having sick coworkers in the office. You know the type. They come in, stick their mucousy head in their boss' door and then sit in their cubes sniffling, sneezing and complaining. Halfway through the morning you trip over them in the breakroom digging through the first-aid kit for those two-packs of generic pills or nuking mugs of tea. They leave sheets of paper on the copier and make the rounds to all the cubes of other friend coworkers (yourself included) to moan about their misery.

A few days later they're in fine form, but others have caught the krep they brought with them on their "good attendence" day and decided (wisely) to stay home. The former sicko then spends a good portion of the day letting everyone around them know that they are a much better employee because THEY showed up when they were sick. The former sicko will corner you in the ladies' room and gripe about how all the others don't deserve their higher salaries because they'll take a sick day.

I can't vouch for all jobs everywhere, but in my experience most of them are not brain surgery. Very few people are actually inexpendable on a grander scale. If you were my employee I would much rather you stay home for one or two days and get well. It beats having you unproductive around the office for twice that amount of time and losing several other people to sick days as well.

I've always thought "perfect attendence" was a bit of a joke. I mean, for crying out loud Robots can show up every day. People are human and it's normal to take time off work.


At 2:50 PM, November 30, 2006, Blogger Slartibartfast said...


[Sheepishly gets ready to go home...]

Of course, if my face is on the fritz tomorrow, I certainly won't be in.

At 2:51 PM, November 30, 2006, Anonymous Kate O' said...

Yeah, but it's a weird dynamic sometimes. Everyone treats sickness and attendance a little differently, and it can be hard to know what the best (i.e. most acceptable) approach in your workplace is.

I stayed home sick from work yesterday, and then thought I would be well enough to go in today, realized by noon that I was wrong, and came back home. Sucks being sick.

At 2:51 PM, November 30, 2006, Blogger jag said...

Well said.

My boss stayed here for an entire day, even though he was in the bathroom for 90% of it. He lives 5 miles down the road and could've made it home between 'sessions'. All this in the name of 'setting a good example'.

At 3:12 PM, November 30, 2006, Blogger dolphin said...

I'm fortunate that I can not take a sick day and still avoid infecting the office. While it's not preferred, I can and occasionally do work from home.

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At 9:48 PM, November 30, 2006, Blogger Lynnster said...

I've worked places where to take a sick day, you were treated as if you'd just committed a felony. Fortunately, my current boss is extremely understanding about such things and, in fact, will chide people for working when they're sick and not taking better care of themselves. Not that it applies to me too much nowadays since I work from home anyway, but the rare day I really am too sick to even be out of bed, it's nice to not have to go thru the Spanish Inquisition about it anymore.

At 3:17 AM, December 01, 2006, Blogger newscoma said...

If you work for me and you're sick, you are going home.
Case closed.
I won't even boot your attendance. Sometimes I think some of my employees do it as a martyr sort of thing.
I don't mean to be callous, but there is no reason for it.
Now if one has a case of the sniffles that is an allergy, that's a different story.
I'm talking about the infectious stuff here like the flu, colds or viruses.

At 8:49 AM, December 01, 2006, Blogger Sonia said...

unfortunately, many employers don't make it easy taking sick days. I guess the slackers make it hard for us who are really sick to take off.

At 3:01 PM, December 01, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Lynnster, I've worked for similar environments, and that's something I'll never understand. Some people do get sick.

NC, you've got a great point about allergies.

At 6:38 PM, December 01, 2006, Blogger melusina said...

My husband goes to work when he is sick, as do all the other doctors he works with. So doctors, seeing patients, start the spread of illnesses through the masses. Sounds like a con to me!

I don't know about you, but I'd be really annoyed being treated by a doctor with an obvious cold or flu.


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