When a coworker calls in sick...

Your husband works in somewhat of a dysfunctional work place. To be questioned like that really infantilizes him and just seems unprofessional.

It's a shame that it has come to this, but he needs to be proactive and bring in whatever documentation supports why he was out.
Originally Posted by medussa
I agree. That is a paranoid environment.

He offered to bring a doctor's note for his boss but she said it wasn't necessary, she believes him.
That's bullsh-it. If I were he I would call her on it. She was the one who questioned him. I would have asked "If you believe me, why did you ask if I was faking to take interview time? I feel like there's an attitude of mistrust here. Do we need to have a heart-to-heart about anything?"

Mental health days are just has needed as sick days.
Mental health days ARE sick days. I hate the kind of dysfunctional environments that are filled with suspicious people who have nothing better to do than question motives.

I work in a team sales environment where we have service level agreements with customers to live up to, but the teams are structured with 4+ people so that if one person is sick or has unplanned absence, that's okay. It's understood that unless your are really, really sick, you do not take leave the last week of the month or quarter. Very few vacation days are granted in December.
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Growing up, you didn't have to be super sick to stay home (or go home), but you had to make the choice: stay home and do nothing but sleep and homework, or stay at school. We weren't allowed to watch TV or movies or anything recreational while we were home sick. And we had to be tangibly sick, which was enforced via guilt: Both of my parents worked full time, and if any of the kids were sick enough to be home from school then a parent had to take off of work to be home with the kid. My parents were not shy about explaining that time they took off of work to be home while we were sick (or "sick") was time they couldn't take for vacations or for other reasons. None of us really wanted to be the reason we couldn't take a full week's vacation that year. Even when we got older, taking a mental health day was not a parent sanctioned activity. Not by my parents, anyhow. I had several friends who could do that, though, and I was always jealous. I wish i'd been able to do that, it would have been a huge load off my shoulders in a number of situations.
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I personally feel that it's sneaky to use sick leave to interview but if others do it, I would never lambaste them nor spread gossip that it might be the case. That's just juvinile.
Originally Posted by SpunkyCurls
why is it sneaky? sneaky to whom? a bunch of nosey busy bodies, who probably make it a point to guess everyone's vacation balances, whether they are taking scheduled time off, and whether they are really doing what they say they are doing while they are out of the office? who cares what people like that feel?

i guess if i weren't strong enough to ignore nosey people, i too, might take a sick day in an attempt to throw off the scent that i'm planning to leave soon. i mean, if they suspect you are playing when you are sick, imagine how crazy they'd get if they found out you are planning to leave!

if ever the phrase "get a life" needed to be hammered into a person's head, people like this really need it.
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I think it's sneaky to use sick leave when you are not mentally or physically unwell. That's what annual leave is for. And yes, that's what I used because I just went on a series of interviews.

They can be pretty strict about how sick leave is used in the public sector because we are held accountable for everything and are audited all the time. I've seen coworkers let go for using sick leave instead of annual leave for vacation on a regular basis.
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At my particular work, I assume the person is playing hooky. I work made up of college kids, who I know love to party.
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Last year was my sickest year, because I just started teaching and catching everything under the sun, thanks to parents who send their germ-infested children to get me and my parapros sick as well. I took off probably 4 weeks, due to sickness. Well beyond my alloted sick time.

So I hate people who question other people's sick days. If any one of my assistants call in sick, I am thankful because I don't want them to bring their germs to infect me. And I wouldnt do them that kind of disservice either.

Besides, it's their day to use up. Not mine. And if it goes to no-pay, whose problem is it besides their own???
Oh, and I had an assistant a while back who chronically called out sick nearly every week, either Friday or Monday. Thing of it is, like my job, they're full time jobs for a reason: we need someone here 5 days a week to operate smoothly. If we only needed someone to be here four days, we'd hire someone to be here four days. But if you've got a 5/8 job and you never work a five day week, that has a big impact on your coworkers. And she wasn't using earned days, either. She was just taking the day no-pay.

In the end, she got all the days no-pay. Fired.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
See, people like that annoy me. I think some fail to realize that frequent use of call-ins affect your co-workers. If one of my co-workers calls off, the others have to work harder, and often stay late. Yeah, people need a mental health day now and agian, but at least plan a few ahead so as to not screw everyone else for your own leisure time. If it's that bad, get a cushier job.

Threads like these make me realize that I spent way too long in the military. Calling in to play golf or just to sit around and take a long weekend seems so mind boggling.
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I personally feel that it's sneaky to use sick leave to interview but if others do it, I would never lambaste them nor spread gossip that it might be the case. That's just juvinile.
Originally Posted by SpunkyCurls
why is it sneaky? sneaky to whom? a bunch of nosey busy bodies, who probably make it a point to guess everyone's vacation balances, whether they are taking scheduled time off, and whether they are really doing what they say they are doing while they are out of the office? who cares what people like that feel?

i guess if i weren't strong enough to ignore nosey people, i too, might take a sick day in an attempt to throw off the scent that i'm planning to leave soon. i mean, if they suspect you are playing when you are sick, imagine how crazy they'd get if they found out you are planning to leave!

if ever the phrase "get a life" needed to be hammered into a person's head, people like this really need it.
Originally Posted by rainshower
If the time is split, it should be used accordingly. If you (gy) don't like the rules, tough ish. Get another job where you can be lazy and call off whenver and whyever.
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I generally don't care what people do with their sick time. I usually take two mental health days a year and I feel just fine about that. That said, I had an employee that was sick on many Mondays, just because he was hung over. When he was gone, I had to do all his work.
I didn't say so earlier, but thought I would mentioned that I would not call in a mental health day late in the morning, on a day when a bunch of ish was due.

Similarly, our mental health days as kids were not to get out of taking tests or extending deadlines. If anything major was going on, it was not an option.

I'm actually kind of at all the people here who work or worked with people who called in sick or "sick" so regularly and when it meant others would have to do their work for them.

I don't know how anyone gets away with that. In my line of work, I would not last very long if I did that. Next time a project came up, they'd just hire somebody else.
Guano:

With regard to mental health days for school-age children, I think parents need to really know their child and figure out if something like that will work for them.

I have never done anything like that with my son. In fact, I didn't even know other parents did this. I know my son and I would never set a precedent like that with him. Luckily for me, he manages stress really well, loves school and is very good at decompressing when he gets home. But every child has different coping skills and may not try to take advantage of the situation and expect mental health days (like my son would).

The only thing I can compare this to is the time I introduced donuts to our home. They were meant to be a special treat. Well, my son came to expect them for breakfast and was very adamant about it (he was about 5 at the time). I regretted even buying them and the dang things have been banned from my house. If I give my guy an inch, he will take a mile. No mental health days for him. I won't even put the idea in his little head.
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The people in my group are very hard-working and I never doubt they are really sick if they say they are. But one summer I had an intern who was a college student, and I knew that her sick days were too-late-partying-hungover days. It wasn't really a problem for the lab to run without her, and as an intern she was there mostly for her own education. If she didn't take full advantage, it was her own problem.

Years ago I had a manager who was really tough on parents who took days off (vacation days, to which they were entitled) unexpectedly because of a sick kid. Once he had kids, his tune changed!
Last year was my sickest year, because I just started teaching and catching everything under the sun, thanks to parents who send their germ-infested children to get me and my parapros sick as well. I took off probably 4 weeks, due to sickness. Well beyond my alloted sick time.
Originally Posted by kindredspirit1983


Do you think there's a make-the-teacher-sick conspiracy?

School children have a limited number of sick days they can take too...especially in high school. The system encourages kids to come to school sick. Since teachers are part of the system, perhaps you could work to change it from within.

Edit: changes made to please the mods

Last edited by RedCatWaves; 02-25-2009 at 07:46 AM.
Guano:

With regard to mental health days for school-age children, I think parents need to really know their child and figure out if something like that will work for them.

I have never done anything like that with my son. In fact, I didn't even know other parents did this. I know my son and I would never set a precedent like that with him. Luckily for me, he manages stress really well, loves school and is very good at decompressing when he gets home. But every child has different coping skills and may not try to take advantage of the situation and expect mental health days (like my son would).

The only thing I can compare this to is the time I introduced donuts to our home. They were meant to be a special treat. Well, my son came to expect them for breakfast and was very adamant about it (he was about 5 at the time). I regretted even buying them and the dang things have been banned from my house. If I give my guy an inch, he will take a mile. No mental health days for him. I won't even put the idea in his little head.
Originally Posted by medussa

I think you're absolutely right, it's completely dependent on the kid and whether they'll take advantage of it or not. When I was younger I was a pretty compulsive underachiever. My parents had to push me a lot, and I'm fairly certain if they'd set the precedent that I could not go to school on a day when there wasn't anything major going on, I'd have taken HUGE advantage of it. I was seriously unmotivated when I was in school, and I think my parents knew that. I had friends, however, that were bigtime achievers, very good students (not just good grades, but participated, applied themselves, etc) who were allowed the leniency of mental health days because they'd use them responsibly.
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Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
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By the time I reached high school, mental health days were better known as "cutting class."

I didn't miss much. I don't know if I will condone MH days with my own kid, I just know when I went through it, there were definitely days when I felt like my time was better spent elsewhere. I'm glad I work at a job where it is okay to call in if you're physically sick or just need a day away. I think it's horrible when people are monitoring you so closely that they are speculating what you're doing on your time away from work.
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it should go without saying that if a colleague takes days off (sick or vacation, scheduled or not) when she is leaving unfinished work for others to decipher and complete for her, or when her absenses create an ongoing, increased, and unfair workload for others, that is wrong. and the workers have every right to stand up for themselves and express their concerns and have things resolved.

however, in the context of this topic, i still believe that when someone is out of the office, that is her business and no one else's, even if someone else may have to cover some of her tasks for the day, even if she called in sick and is really at a day spa, even if she took an unplanned day off to go to an interview. that is her time that belongs to her and that she can use however she wants. that's assuming that she works for a company that doesn't make it policy for employees to show proof of sickness by way of a doctor's bill/note. i have worked in places like that and it was humiliating for adults to have to explain a sickness that was bad enough for them to stay home, but not bad enough for them to go to the doctor. i couldn't work in a place like that.
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My mother let me have mental health days from school - she would also call me in sick once in a while and we would go do something fun... go to a museum or one time she took a friend and me to the Louisa May Alcott house and out to lunch (we were in a Little Women phase). Never if there was a test or anything at school...

My dad on the other hand would send me to school if I was bleeding out my ears - in fact he once slapped a band aid on my head and sent me to school after I split my head open on a bureau. My mom made him come get me and take me for stitches after she convinced him I would have a huge hideous scar on my face for life.

I think mental health days are important - I took them from work once in a while if I just needed a day to regroup. I would never do it if it meant someone else had to do a bunch of my work that needed to be done that day, I was responsible about it. It's not as much of an issue now that I work from home. Even if I took a mental health day, I'd probably still end up working.
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I agree with michelle, sarah, riley, and gekko.

Spunky, I also think it's sneaky to use sick leave to interview....I always used my vacation days or floating holidays.

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Oh, and I had an assistant a while back who chronically called out sick nearly every week, either Friday or Monday. Thing of it is, like my job, they're full time jobs for a reason: we need someone here 5 days a week to operate smoothly. If we only needed someone to be here four days, we'd hire someone to be here four days. But if you've got a 5/8 job and you never work a five day week, that has a big impact on your coworkers. And she wasn't using earned days, either. She was just taking the day no-pay.

In the end, she got all the days no-pay. Fired.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
See, people like that annoy me. I think some fail to realize that frequent use of call-ins affect your co-workers. If one of my co-workers calls off, the others have to work harder, and often stay late. Yeah, people need a mental health day now and agian, but at least plan a few ahead so as to not screw everyone else for your own leisure time. If it's that bad, get a cushier job.

Threads like these make me realize that I spent way too long in the military. Calling in to play golf or just to sit around and take a long weekend seems so mind boggling.
Originally Posted by redcelticcurls
Good points, also agree.

I've had staff in the past that NEVER worked a 5 day work week. It could get very annoying and frustrating.

Overall though, I don't care about staff taking time off....when it's gone, too bad, so sad. I appreciate well planned time off.

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I personally feel that it's sneaky to use sick leave to interview but if others do it, I would never lambaste them nor spread gossip that it might be the case. That's just juvinile.
Originally Posted by SpunkyCurls
why is it sneaky? sneaky to whom? a bunch of nosey busy bodies, who probably make it a point to guess everyone's vacation balances, whether they are taking scheduled time off, and whether they are really doing what they say they are doing while they are out of the office? who cares what people like that feel?

i guess if i weren't strong enough to ignore nosey people, i too, might take a sick day in an attempt to throw off the scent that i'm planning to leave soon. i mean, if they suspect you are playing when you are sick, imagine how crazy they'd get if they found out you are planning to leave!

if ever the phrase "get a life" needed to be hammered into a person's head, people like this really need it.
Originally Posted by rainshower
If the time is split, it should be used accordingly. If you (gy) don't like the rules, tough ish. Get another job where you can be lazy and call off whenver and whyever.
Originally Posted by redcelticcurls
thank you.....i'm a hard ass like that, i guess.

if it's all in one, don't really care.

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