When a coworker calls in sick...


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.
Originally Posted by curlyarca
Yeah, I do feel it's a little different if it's all in one.

But, if it's separate, it's that way for a purpose and should be used appropriately.
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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.
Originally Posted by curlyarca
a very common scenario that happens to many people at least once in their careers is that they've used up their vacation time and have maybe a couple of sick days to get them through the year.

if a person in that scenario had an interview, are you saying that so people like you won't look at her as being sneaky, she should be docked for that time away at her interview? or would you understand why she would use her sick time for a nonsick reason?

what i still can't understand is why anyone would have the inclination to wonder about someone else's personal time balances and how and when they use them, let alone judge them for allocating their personal time as they see fit.

i don't give my colleagues their sick or vacation time. they accrue that by coming to work everyday. and since i don't dole it out to them, i shouldn't care how much they have to use, whether they've squandered their time throughout the year, whether they have so much that they can't carry it all over the next year, or whether they are using it all by the book. how they use their personal time balance doesn't affect what i've accrued in my personal time.

to me, if someone is ready to leave her job, why should it matter to those who are left behind if she covers her interview days with sick time or vacation time? either way, she's still leaving.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
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.
Originally Posted by curlyarca
a very common scenario that happens to many people at least once in their careers is that they've used up their vacation time and have maybe a couple of sick days to get them through the year.

if a person in that scenario had an interview, are you saying that so people like you won't look at her as being sneaky, she should be docked for that time away at her interview? or would you understand why she would use her sick time for a nonsick reason?

what i still can't understand is why anyone would have the inclination to wonder about someone else's personal time balances and how and when they use them, let alone judge them for allocating their personal time as they see fit.

i don't give my colleagues their sick or vacation time. they accrue that by coming to work everyday. and since i don't dole it out to them, i shouldn't care how much they have to use, whether they've squandered their time throughout the year, whether they have so much that they can't carry it all over the next year, or whether they are using it all by the book. how they use their personal time balance doesn't affect what i've accrued in my personal time.

to me, if someone is ready to leave her job, why should it matter to those who are left behind if she covers her interview days with sick time or vacation time? either way, she's still leaving.
Originally Posted by rainshower
Even if one is ready to leave her job, she is still at the old job and still has to follow the rules of the old job. If I were the cupervisor and found out that she used sick time for an interview, I'd dock her. If the time is separate, sick time is for sick time, not for job interviews.
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to me, if someone is ready to leave her job, why should it matter to those who are left behind if she covers her interview days with sick time or vacation time? either way, she's still leaving.
Originally Posted by rainshower
It is actually stealing from the company - if you are leaving you get paid out for your unused vacation. If you used a sick day instead of a vacation day, you're lying and taking money from the company that is undeserved.

That being said, I don't really care what my coworkers do, but for me, that is a reason that I would not lie and use sick time for an interview. That's what vacation time is for, why wouldn't I just use the appropriate designation?
I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but I still keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.
Exactly.

And besides, just because your leaving doesn't mean you want to burn bridges or never come back. I don't leave employers in a bad spot ever because you never know.

If someone else thinks differently, that's fine, and I don't pay attention to anyone else's leave. I just couldn't do it.
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I never used to get sick and would go for years without missing a day of work.
Originally Posted by LoloDSM

Then I had a kid who goes to daycare.

I've missed more work this past year and a half than I have in my life. If I'm not sick, DD is sick. On the truly fabulous days, DD and DH are sick and I have to be home because he can't watch her.

There have been spells were I've missed at least one day of work a week. People with children in daycare all nod knowingly when I explain.

Any doubters can bite me.

Pixie, IMO, it sounds like your husband works with very juvenile and immature people who don't have enough work to do.
Originally Posted by LoloDSM
This is my life as well. I've actually been off of work since last Friday - initially because my daughter had strep & bronchitis. I then developed strep and was provided a note from my doctor to be out through today. I wish I were so lucky to have leave time available to actually take a mental health day, but most, if not all of my leave time is consumed by sick days for myself or my daughter.

I get concerned about whether or not people think I'm playing hooky, but that's just my personality, I'm a worrier. I hope that my work ethic, dedication and demeanor while I'm at work show that I wouldn't just take a day off periodically under the guise that I'm sick. I provide backup to one of my coworkers throughout the day while she takes breaks & things and I feel as if I'm letting her down any time I'm out (other folks can provide back-up as well, but I'm the main back-up).

It sounds like PixieCurl's husband works in a very negative environment. For coworkers to assume & spread rumors about his trustworthiness to the extent that his boss has to question him on it is simply ridiculous. People need to mind their own business. If it's an issue of excess work being dumped on them, then they need to approach it from that angle, don't call someone's honesty & work ethic into question.

Last edited by kimberly j; 02-25-2009 at 10:57 AM. Reason: Was separating quote for some reason....
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.
Originally Posted by curlyarca
a very common scenario that happens to many people at least once in their careers is that they've used up their vacation time and have maybe a couple of sick days to get them through the year.

if a person in that scenario had an interview, are you saying that so people like you won't look at her as being sneaky, she should be docked for that time away at her interview? or would you understand why she would use her sick time for a nonsick reason?

what i still can't understand is why anyone would have the inclination to wonder about someone else's personal time balances and how and when they use them, let alone judge them for allocating their personal time as they see fit.

i don't give my colleagues their sick or vacation time. they accrue that by coming to work everyday. and since i don't dole it out to them, i shouldn't care how much they have to use, whether they've squandered their time throughout the year, whether they have so much that they can't carry it all over the next year, or whether they are using it all by the book. how they use their personal time balance doesn't affect what i've accrued in my personal time.

to me, if someone is ready to leave her job, why should it matter to those who are left behind if she covers her interview days with sick time or vacation time? either way, she's still leaving.
Originally Posted by rainshower

In the last organization I worked for, sick time was separate and there were pretty strict policies on its use and abuse (could be terminated if they were used as vacation/floating holidays). You had to bring an excuse for scheduled days, and you could be asked to bring a note from a health care provider if you had so many consecutive (scheduled or unschedule) sick days. In that environment, sick time should only be used for illness (mental, physical, emotional).

In the current organization I work for, all time is in one big ol' pile (earned time off). I don't care how someone uses it, because the policy is much less strict than the previous organization.

And of course, work responsibilities come into play. Not fair to dump your work on everyone else so you can **** off. I believe in being part of a team when working, and you're not much of a team player if you're "sick" every Monday and Friday and before and after every company holiday (last organization even had a policy against unscheduled absences on days before and after company holidays which I really agreed with....you don't get paid if it's unscheduled as coverage is especially needed on these days).

So to answer your question, it depends on the organization's policies and what your work responsibilities/load look like.

Personally, I don't care if you're interviewing for a new job, starting vacation early, or counting ceiling tiles at home. If you don't have the vacation time, that's when you take an unpaid leave day. If you don't have it, you don't have it.

Also want to say, even if I were suspicious that someone was abusing sick leave, I wouldn't harass that person about it. I'd just document, follow the policy, and move on with life.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

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I agree that Pixie's husband should not have been interrogated upon his return from sick leave.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

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to me, if someone is ready to leave her job, why should it matter to those who are left behind if she covers her interview days with sick time or vacation time? either way, she's still leaving.
Originally Posted by rainshower
It is actually stealing from the company - if you are leaving you get paid out for your unused vacation. If you used a sick day instead of a vacation day, you're lying and taking money from the company that is undeserved.

That being said, I don't really care what my coworkers do, but for me, that is a reason that I would not lie and use sick time for an interview. That's what vacation time is for, why wouldn't I just use the appropriate designation?
Originally Posted by rileyb
if i worked in an environment where people seemed to be poised with scrutiny and ready to investigate or make conjectures about the validity of a person's absense (harassment), i wouldn't even care at that point. and i am being perfectly honest.

also, some companies make it difficult for their staff to take unplanned time off. and since you can't predict a sick day (and i'm not talking about a scheduled doc. appt.), how else would you explain an interview that you may not want anyone to know about, but that is planned for the end of the week, when you know that you've already turned in your planned personal time off for the year? i've been fortunate to mostly escape working for employers like that. but my sister, a friend's mother, another friend's husband, work for companies that make it difficult not only for them to take an afternoon off for a discreet interview, but even to leave for other pressing reasons like childcare, car problems, family matters, etc. my sister went months trying to get her car fixed on the weekends because she couldn't take off during the week to get a mechanic to look at it. and it wasn't that she didn't have time accrued (she had plenty of unused vacation time); it was that if she wasn't sick and ready to produce a doctor's note, it would have been difficult to convince the "powers that be" to let her take an unplanned day off, car problems or not. these are very real scenarios that people have to make allowances for. not everyone can work for considerate corporations or work around coworkers who respect your personal affairs.

so when someone has used down her vacation time and has a couple of sick days left and needs a mental health day to relax at home or run leisure errands, that is none of my business and i wouldn't think she's sneaky or dishonest for doing it. i wouldn't even know about it to have an opinion about it.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb

so when someone has used down her vacation time and has a couple of sick days left and needs a mental health day to relax at home or run leisure errands, that is none of my business and i wouldn't think she's sneaky or dishonest for doing it. i wouldn't even know about it to have an opinion about it.
Originally Posted by rainshower
That is a totally different thing altogether from using sick leave to interview. I never said this was sneaky. I said using sick leave to interview was sneaky and I wouldnt' do it.
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so when someone has used down her vacation time and has a couple of sick days left and needs a mental health day to relax at home or run leisure errands, that is none of my business and i wouldn't think she's sneaky or dishonest for doing it. i wouldn't even know about it to have an opinion about it.
Originally Posted by rainshower
That is a totally different thing altogether from using sick leave to interview. I never said this was sneaky. I said using sick leave to interview was sneaky and I wouldnt' do it.
Originally Posted by SpunkyCurls
they are different scenarios, but the same in that neither sick day is being used for a medical-related purpose. i could come up with all kinds of real-life scenarios where a person is justified in using a sick day for a nonsick reason and that would look unethical to a person who has strong convictions about only using sick days for related reasons. some of them deal with the employers making it virtually impossible for staff to take unplanned time off and others involve nonmedical/nonemergency yet important enough situations that require a person to have to call in, leave early, etc. some people are forced to play the sick card just to be able to take the day off to handle nonmedical affairs that pop up and that an employer wouldn't otherwise let them have the day off to take care of. again, i'm glad i don't work in a place like that, but i know people who do and that companies like that exist.

and i cosign on having witnessed people change their minds about how they juggle and use their personal time off once they have kids or an aging parent move in with them or other household-altering events.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
Just wanted to jump in and add that since my husband is in sales, his coworkers do not have to pick up any slack when he's not in the office. If anything, they should be happy because it means more leads go to them.
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Where I work, they generally don't question sick leave or vacation time, as long as there's office coverage. Each department at the university may handle these things differently, although it maybe should be more uniform. The procedure is that you call in the morning if you're going to be out sick. If you want to take vacation time, you are supposed to request it in January and first come first served.

However, my office doesn't enforce that, and allows us to ask for vacation time as little as a week in advance. Usually I will tell them what it is for, so they realize I'm not just wanting a day off. For example, I will use vacation time for dr. appointments, and take the whole day off. I do that because I have a lot more vacation time (I earn 2 days a month) than sick leave (which is some weird fractional amount that comes out to about 1 day per 1.5 month).

Some people think taking a vacation day for a dr. appointment is not right, but as someone else pointed out, vacation time is yours to use as you see fit, and is no one's business. I only tell them what it's for so they realize it's not just a whim. As long as I don't call in that day and say I'm taking a vacation day today, it's fine.

Certain job titles are unionized and have 2 personal days. My job is not, so theoretically I have no personal days. Personal business days would be days you could just call in that morning and say "I'm taking a personal day today," and have a day off. However, some offices will let their employees take those days anyway.

It's hard right now because we only have 4 people in my office, my supervisor, another administrative aide, and a student worker. We have to coordinate schedules carefully for office coverage, but the supervisor doesn't really count when it comes to that (mainly because she is out of the office at meetings most days).


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That sucks for your husband. When I first started my job, I got really sick(as I used to around every winter) and called in sick for a few days. My boss thought I wasn't happy and has brought up jokingly later how I took days off when I started. That hurt and I never felt right that they didnt believe me, but oh well.

I don't care when other employees call in sick, since I'm not their manager and it doesn't affect my work. And if I was the manager, I wouldn't care as long as they were getting their work done on time and didn't do it too often.
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I don't care when other employees call in sick, since I'm not their manager and it doesn't affect my work. And if I was the manager, I wouldn't care as long as they were getting their work done on time and didn't do it too often.
Originally Posted by Josephine
basically.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
I don't care when other employees call in sick, since I'm not their manager and it doesn't affect my work. And if I was the manager, I wouldn't care as long as they were getting their work done on time and didn't do it too often.
Originally Posted by Josephine
basically.
Originally Posted by rainshower

When I worked in the store it did piss me off if one person was constantly calling in sick. Basically being a small store we only had 6 employees. 2 for each shift. If someone called in sick and the two who were off couldn't be reached, either me or the other person who had worked our hours already would be stuck. Usually the other person would stay because it was overtime for them. Me on the other hand would be basically working for free since I'm on salary.

We instituted the doctor's note requirement about 3 years ago. If you miss more than two days in a row you need a note to come back. Some folks complained because that a doctor's visit is too expensive. But it cut down on the folks who would decide to play hooky on the nice summer days.
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I don't care when other employees call in sick, since I'm not their manager and it doesn't affect my work. And if I was the manager, I wouldn't care as long as they were getting their work done on time and didn't do it too often.
Originally Posted by Josephine
basically.
Originally Posted by rainshower

When I worked in the store it did piss me off if one person was constantly calling in sick. Basically being a small store we only had 6 employees. 2 for each shift. If someone called in sick and the two who were off couldn't be reached, either me or the other person who had worked our hours already would be stuck. Usually the other person would stay because it was overtime for them. Me on the other hand would be basically working for free since I'm on salary.

We instituted the doctor's note requirement about 3 years ago. If you miss more than two days in a row you need a note to come back. Some folks complained because that a doctor's visit is too expensive. But it cut down on the folks who would decide to play hooky on the nice summer days.
Originally Posted by YolyC
i'm not minimizing or debating the reality of your experiences. i agree that when people abuse absenses of any sort (sick, vacation, or just time without pay) that is wrong and unfair to those who are left behind to pick up their slack.

i'm not totally in agreement of a doctor's note either. sometimes a person can be sick enough to need to be home and away from others, but not sick enough to have to go to the doctor just for him to tell her that she's sick and to continue to do what she's already been doing to treat her illness. that's a waste of money on a copay or office visit just to prove to someone at work that you really were sick. i think that punishes the good people.

i had a really bad cold at my old job, complete with a slight fever and a mucousy sinus flare up. i didn't need to go to the doctor just to be diagnosed with a bad cold. i had everything in my kitchen cabinet that my doctor would have recommended that i take for it. but i did call in for 2 days. the worst symptoms were gone by day 3, but i still had a residual mucousy cough that would not only have distracted me and caused me to make repeated trips to the bathroom, but would have grossed out my colleagues. i wouldn't have wanted to be forced to pay a doctor to confirm my illness to my employer so that he could be satisfied that i was really sick during those days. but again, i know a lot of people have strict employers like that. i'm just glad i don't.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
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

Same with my daughter. She hates school with such a passion. I used to let her stay home when she started her period because she had severe cramps and vomiting. With time her cramps have gotten bearable but she, trying to be slick didn't say anything. She messed up though when she got it on a day she had plans with her friends and miraculously her cramps were "not too bad" Now I give her the bottle of Advil, remind her to take extra pads and send her lying butt to school.
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I assume they are sick unless it just so happens they are "sick" every Friday. But I really don't think about it unless it's a chronic problem and impacts my work negatively.

I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
Where I work...the same people call in on a weekly basis...I have a family emergency and I get interrogated like I was a criminal..the last time I called in was November and I had strep throat...SO right now I think my co-workers are playing hookie.

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