Taking sick days makes me feel sick with guilt
October 19, 2010 7:04 PM   Subscribe

How do I stop feeling bad about calling in sick at work when I'm actually sick? I always ended up feeling guilty, like I should have just went and suffered through it.

This has been the case even when I was in college. Any time I take a sick day I end up feeling so bad emotionally it's almost not even worth it.

Today I called in sick for the first time at my new job. I've had the job for four months now. I woke up with a fever, sore throat, and horrible headache and I knew I wasn't going to be able to go in. But I end up beating myself up, feeling really bad about calling in, feeling like I'm unreliable. I feel awful too because it's a healthcare field so I don't want to put more work on my coworkers because I called in. I'm on my six month probationary period as well so I don't want to be viewed as an unreliable worker, which isn't logical since I have often worked extra shifts to help out when they couldn't find anyone else wanting to cover and I have no problem with this. I love helping out my coworkers and don't mind staying or working extra.

I can't shake the guilt even though I know I was too sick to go in today. I see people who say they haven't taken sick days in 10+ years, etc. and it makes me feel even worse. This isn't guilt brought on by my coworkers or supervisors either. They take sick days. Most of them have taken sick days since I've worked there the four months. It's an issue with me. How can I make myself feel better when I take a sick day?
posted by rainygrl716 to Work & Money (42 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
This way, you're not making everyone ELSE sick too.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:07 PM on October 19, 2010 [31 favorites]

Just know that by staying home you haven't spread whatever it is that's making you sick. Many employers (that I've had anyway) would prefer you stay home than make half of your co-workers as sick as you are. It saves them money in the long run.
posted by patheral at 7:08 PM on October 19, 2010

Speaking as your imaginary coworker, STAY THE FUCK HOME AND KEEP YOUR GERMS WITH YOU!

Seriously, you have sick days, they expect you to use them. If you're sick, stay home, get well, and don't half-ass your job 'cuz your zonked out of your head on cold meds, spreading disease while you do.

The folks who work 10 years without a sick day? Assholes, all of em.
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:10 PM on October 19, 2010 [22 favorites]

How would you feel if you got your co-workers sick?

Generally speaking, your co-workers would rather you call in sick then getting them sick! Don't sweat it unless you find yourself calling in sick too frequently.
posted by Funky Claude at 7:11 PM on October 19, 2010

If you are sick with somethiing contagious, and if you really, really feel that for some reason you MUST go in because the ceiling will fall in without you there, get every single person you will be in contact with that day, and every person they will be in contact with, and so on, and so on [/shampoo], and have them all put it in writing that they really don't mind getting infected by you.

If you can't get the signatures, don't go in.

That said, I taught today with a cold that came on late last night. It was a class that couldn't be rescheduled, every student insisted that they weren't afraid of my germs as they all were around kids, and I doubled down on the hand sanitizer. But I formally called in sick this morning and changed my plans only because the training centre asked me to come in and give the students a chance to risk contagion or reschedule.
posted by maudlin at 7:11 PM on October 19, 2010

No one wants to see their coworkers working while visibly ill. It's horrible for morale for many reasons: they think management is forcing employees to work sick, they become afraid of getting sick themselves and may not have any sick days.

The people who have never taken a sick day in ten years? They're either very lucky or absolute idiots because of whom many, many sick days have been taken by their coworkers.
posted by griphus at 7:11 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

When I was a kid and we were always grousing about this or that ailment to stay home from school, my Mom would try to encourage us to go if we were just bellyaching, but fever was an absolute sign that we were actually sick and a fever one day meant no school the next day [even if you wanted to go] and that's been a general rule of thumb I've always stuck to. I'll try to drag myself into work under most circumstances, but if I have a fever I'm staying home for the next 24 hours. I also think it's the good code word when you call in sick "I have a fever and I shouldn't come to work" [as opposed to "I feel lousy and don't want to come"]
posted by jessamyn at 7:17 PM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

My 8th day of work at a new job, I came into work very obviously sick. I didn't want to take a sick day so soon, still felt I needed to prove myself, etc. My boss/owner of the company took one look at me and very forcefully told me to leave, immediately, no hard feelings but he does not want my germs. It's really important to remember that people care more about not getting your sickness than having to shoulder a little extra work for a day or two.

Can you do any work at home? Not saying you SHOULD, because if you're sick, you should be on the couch watching bad TV and eating soup, but maybe it would make you feel less guilty if you spent a little time doing paperwork or answering your emails or something.
posted by coupdefoudre at 7:20 PM on October 19, 2010

Speaking from an HR standpoint: you have sick days for the same reason you have toilet paper and clothing. Use them when you need them. They don't look good on mantles and in any event, there is no perfect attendance award worth infecting others or doing a lousy job.

And one sick day in four months is not excessive. Do I need to tell you that you aren't that important, too?

Get better soon!
posted by SMPA at 7:20 PM on October 19, 2010 [4 favorites]

If you're in a healthcare field, you're probably more likely to be meeting and working with immunocompromised, ill or otherwise weakened people. You're not just risking your coworkers' health when you come to work sick--you're risking the health of the people you're serving as well.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 7:23 PM on October 19, 2010 [7 favorites]

Here are two reasons that speak towards your value as an employee, which seems to be your primary concern:

1. You have a responsibility to quarantine yourself so as not to make your coworkers sick. Your lost productivity for the day is outweighed by the potential much greater losses of their productivity.
2. If you take a day to rest, you will probably be at full productivity much faster. Working through an illness at minimal effectiveness is less productive than resting and healing.

Here are some other things to consider (take them or leave them):

3. You have a responsibility to protect the public you may interact with, either at your job (in healthcare?) or perhaps on the subway.
4. You have a responsibility to yourself, and the people in your life who care about you, to put your own personal needs ahead of those of your employer.
5. Labor activists fought very hard to give you the right to rest when you need it; you should honor this achievement by asserting this rights without apologizing for it. If taking a sick day is viewed negatively, sick days will slowly fade away; your guilt fuels this. Do your part to make your workplace one where employee's health is genuinely valued, and value your own health.
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:32 PM on October 19, 2010 [45 favorites]

Honestly, some of those people who haven't taken a sick day in 10+ years aren't toughing it out, they just haven't gotten sick. They would if they have, they just ... haven't.

Stay home and feel better!
posted by Xany at 7:38 PM on October 19, 2010

If it happens again, try calling your boss, telling him or her that you a fever, sore throat, etc and ask if there is a way that you could come into work and do something away from everyone else so you don't get your co-workers sick. Your boss will then insist that you stay home.

"Hey boss. I have a fever and some other symptoms. Is there some work I can do isolated from everyone so I don't get them sick?"

"No, stay home, that is why you have sick days."

Things will keep running even if you're not there and no one wants you to come in if you're sick for the reasons others have mentioned. Your immune system also needs you to rest so you can getter better faster. You could be sick and working at 60% for four days or stay home and rest for one day and then be at 100% the next day. You'll be getter more work done by doing no work while you're sick. You job on your sick day(s) is to get better.

If it helps you feel better, is there something you could work on from home or something? Maybe some paperwork you could work on? You shouldn't expose your co-workers to anything contagious but it would probably be okay for you to pick up some project so you can contribute even when you're sick.
posted by VTX at 7:42 PM on October 19, 2010

1. When you don't go to work you don't make money.
2. When you are sick, you have the option of making money by going to work, or losing money by staying at home.

When you stay at home, you are putting the needs of others to NOT GET SICK ahead of your desire to make money.

Thats pretty cool. You're pretty cool.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:43 PM on October 19, 2010

5. Labor activists fought very hard to give you the right to rest when you need it; you should honor this achievement by asserting this rights without apologizing for it. If taking a sick day is viewed negatively, sick days will slowly fade away; your guilt fuels this. Do your part to make your workplace one where employee's health is genuinely valued, and value your own health.

I cannot favorite this any harder.
posted by griphus at 7:44 PM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

I have often worked extra shifts to help out when they couldn't find anyone else wanting to cover and I have no problem with this.

And this. When you are NOT sick, you contribute to the team. What were those people doing who couldn't come in to their own shift? Likely they were sick. Now it's your turn. When you're well again, take another turn covering for those others. We all work together.
posted by CathyG at 8:08 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Rest up partner and enjoy the time off.Really if you are sick stay home. Recharge and in the long run you will get more productivity when you feel better. I work at a place that doesn't have sick days and we can use a vacation day instead or take it unpaid. Need a union but I digress...Take care
posted by Upon Further Review at 8:20 PM on October 19, 2010

You're more likely to make mistakes when you're sick. Please don't be working on my health in that state!
posted by amtho at 8:20 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Read up on presenteeism (and don't cough near me).
posted by pompomtom at 8:33 PM on October 19, 2010

(a better link)
posted by pompomtom at 8:35 PM on October 19, 2010

5. Labor activists fought very hard to give you the right to rest when you need it; you should honor this achievement by asserting this rights without apologizing for it. If taking a sick day is viewed negatively, sick days will slowly fade away; your guilt fuels this. Do your part to make your workplace one where employee's health is genuinely valued, and value your own health.

YES. Damn, PercussivePaul, you said exactly what I wanted to say, except you said it so much better than I would have.
posted by the_blizz at 8:36 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Some of us got raised to have Perfect Attendance. I wasn't ALLOWED to stay home sick from high school, whatsoever. My mother is a "never take a sick day" person, she only used hers to take care of my handicapped dad. My high school made a HUGE STINKING DEAL if you missed a day (it ran on a "block" system, if you've ever heard of that. "Missing one day is like missing two days!"). In one of my majors, my college made a BFD if you missed so much as an hour of any class (note: that major tended to have 4-hour long classes). I missed one class for a hangover (okay, ONCE) and oh, the guilt.

So when I got to working, I had a whole lot of brainwashing to overcome that was implanted in me about how you can NEVER stay home sick, no matter what, for any reason. I had to be driven home with the flu to get that message in.

However, I do currently have a job that has a good number of paid sick days and doesn't give me crap about being out sick. A good chunk of people out there do not have jobs where being out sick is an option, and I still feel kind of bad/like a spoiled brat being out when those people have to work.

But... they'd rather have the option to, right? And you work in HEALTHCARE. Working while sick in HEALTHCARE, of all fields, should not give you crap about that. It's fall. Sick happens.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:11 PM on October 19, 2010

STAY AWAY, plaguebearer!

Seriously, it is so much better to be down one person on a team for a couple of days, than have the entire team sick for a week ... and then someone's kids get it ... and then it comes back, rinse repeat.

I've seen this cycle many, many times. Unless it is something totally noncontagious which you can tough out, stay home - and even then, think twice. How useful are you? You may be causing extra work by your lack of focus on the job at hand.
posted by ysabet at 9:28 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

How do I stop feeling bad about calling in sick at work when I'm actually sick? I always ended up feeling guilty, like I should have just went and suffered through it.

This took me long, long years to do. One of the sadnesses of coming up in the family I came up in was working for the family construction businesses -- and there wasn't really any choice about that -- there was NO getting off work, ever, and if you DID take off work -- even my father -- you were expected to feel terribly guilty, and you DID feel terribly guilty, even if you're hurt, even if you're sick.

Thank god for Texas, such a forgiving place to run to.

So it was hard to learn to take *any* time off, much less a mental health day, just taking off to enjoy myself. I finally learned it when working at a state agency, here in Austin, it was sortof expected that you'd do whatever you wanted, or maybe not expected but no one minded, unless the legislature was in session, and even then if you were really sick, hey, you're really sick, we've got it. I'll never forget the first day I took off and wasn't really sick, I went out, to Texas French Bread on Congress Avenue, I'm sitting there eating toast and expecting, I don't know, the sky was going to fall. I kept looking around, thinking I was gonna 'get caught'. This was in 1992 maybe, I'm 37 years old and I'm just learning to be like so many others.

But I did learn it. You can too. Be patient with yourself. Believe what every one of the others in this thread wrote -- you ought not go in for any reason, esp as a health worker. You're a good worker, I've no doubt you're wanted on the team. This is your guilt, your doubts, no one elses, and maybe it won't really ever go away -- I'm pretty much convinced I'm not good enough, any job I've ever had, that I'm always about to get fired, even as I'd get these great reviews -- but you can act correctly regardless, relax into a different way of being.
posted by dancestoblue at 9:30 PM on October 19, 2010

Ok. So I got a chest cold. It started out not-too-bad, and I didn't have any PTO left (beginning of Dec.) So I tried to tough it out. Instead of getting better, gradually I got much, much worse. It ended up with me coughing so hard for so long that I actually dislocated one of my ribs. Believe me it hurts as bad as it sounds. I spent four days (unpaid vacation!) flat on my back doped up on vicodin, antibiotics, and codeine. I wasn't better until after Christmas. So...I could have taken a day or two off at the beginning of the month and slept it off, and saved myself a lot of pain, misery, doctor visits, and money. Ounce of prevention and whatnot.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 9:51 PM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Apply the golden rule. How would you feel if one of your coworkers was 10 feet away from you snuffling and coughing when they could easily have taken a sick day? Would you be glad they came in, or annoyed that they were exposing you to whatever they had? How would you feel if this was happening two days before you were scheduled to take a vacation you'd been planning all year?
posted by zombiedance at 10:28 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm sick right now because two of my coworkers didn't want to take time off. I'm not very happy about it either- stay home!
posted by fshgrl at 10:56 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you are worried about the effect on your reputation as a hard worker, think of it this way: you are not just getting a benefit you're entitled to when you take a sick day. You are actually being an excellent employee and colleague because you are putting the needs of your boss and co-workers (to stay healthy and not catch what you've got) ahead of your own emotional needs (to go to work because you feel guilty about taking days off). Trust me, people are grateful for it, because most of us have a story like this one:

I once had a student who insisted on coming to class even though he had a stomach bug. When I found out that he had been vomiting right before class, I insisted that he leave. Two days later, I got the same thing he had--I was feverish, threw up all night and literally could not get out of bed the next day. Naturally, I ended up having to cancel all of my classes, inconveniencing 50+ of my students. Did I think, "Gee, what a diligent guy, coming to school even when he was sick!"? I'll let you guess.

Additionally, as lots of other people have mentioned, if you work in healthcare, you have an obligation to stay away from those with compromised immunity while you are contagious.

Percussive Paul makes another excellent point. People worked hard and risked a lot in the past so that many of us today are able to take time off for illness. Respect their sacrifices by having the grace to use sick days as they were intended.

And ultimately of course, you DO deserve to take care of your own needs--it is better for you to rest and recuperate than force yourself to work and let your illness drag on.

I hope you feel better soon.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:12 PM on October 19, 2010

Don't feel bad about staying home when you're sick! Your co-workers will THANK you. I can't tell you how many times I've harbored resentful feelings towards co-workers who have come to work sick, regardless of whether or not they got me sick.
posted by I_love_the_rain at 11:42 PM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I call people who insist on coming in when they're sick 'Mucus Troopers'. It really, really doesn't help. Sick people do poor work, they can't concentrate, they infect everybody else and their sniffing, coughing and red eyes are absolute poison for a productive working atmosphere and staff morale. Stay home, get well, come back better.

Also, consider that your HR team are most likely using a variant of the Bradford Factor scoring system to keep tabs on sick days. This formula allows HR teams to identify patterns that may indicate abuse of sick days through 'throwing a sickie'. Suspicious patterns include lots of Fridays and Mondays off, lots of single days and so on.

So, let's run you through the factor:

The Bradford Factor is calculated as follows:

B = S2 x D


* B is the Bradford Factor score
* S is the total number of spells (instances) of absence of an individual over a set period
* D is the total number of days of absence of that individual over the same set period

Set period is usually a year (i.e. 52 weeks). Let's guess that you might take one more sick period this year, of two days, and that you're going back to work on Friday of this week.

So, that's (2 x 2) x 2 = 8 (4 right now if you exclude the hypothetical absence)

Congratulations, that's a really low score! You are most likely, in the eyes of your HR team, not abusing your sick days. This is a far from perfect system (it's really tough on people with certain disabilities or people who are prone to depression) but it's almost certainly a hard metric being applied to you.

Stop feeling guilty for successful application of self-quarantine, which is the factor your work cares about most. And most certainly stop feeling guilty about not working a day or two because you're sick. Go to bed.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:06 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

More anecdotal evidence here. I was managing a design studio when a flu epidemic broke out. We were under pressure for staff and the amount of work so people kept coming in and infecting everyone else. Over a two week period half of staff were missing which led to no end of mistakes, high-pressure situations and general screwups. Not a good thing. I ended up losing money because I had to take time off sick and was getting paid hourly.

Please stay at home, for other people's benefit as well as your own.
posted by i_cola at 2:27 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think I'm going to print PercussivePaul's comment and stick it in my medicine cabinet, because I get sick-day guilt too.

However, last time I went to work despite illness, I was absolutely useless. I was exhausted and couldn't concentrate on anything for more than a minute. I contributed maybe an hour of okay productivity for a normal eight-hour day, all of which could have easily been done by someone else or me on a healthier day. I realized my zombified presence was not giving my employer any better value for their money - they'd pay me whether I was there or not, and even though I showed up, I might as well have taken the day off for all I contributed.

If you're not contagious, but still trying to figure out if you're too sick to come in, I've found visualizing the commute to be a reliable deciding factor. If just getting to work sounds physically exhausting, you're probably not up to being there for eight or nine hours.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:40 AM on October 20, 2010

How can I make myself feel better when I take a sick day?

Hi, I'm (potentially) your coworker. I have asthma and a poorly functioning immune system. If you have an active cold and come to work anyway, I will get it. I may get it anyway, but if you come into our shared space and sneeze and cough over everything, I will get it. You will get better in a few days. I will develop bronchitis and be sick for weeks if I'm lucky. If I'm not lucky, well, holidays in the ER are always cheerful.

You are sick. Please stay home and take care of yourself. Your coworkers will appreciate you keeping your germs to yourself.
posted by crankylex at 5:49 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Some jackass came to my workplace with "just a cold" when I was five/six months pregnant. He's all, "It's no big deal, and I never miss a day!" all proud and everything. I ended up with FOUR WEEKS of a stomach virus and bronchitis that the workplace plaguebearer gave me. I was losing weight like it was going out of style, which is NOT GOOD when one is pregnant. I LITERALLY MISSED CHRISTMAS because I was too sick to get out of bed, and my family was looking forward to celebrating my pregnancy with me. And let me tell you how much I enjoyed coughing up a lung while carrying all that extra weight on my front. (And let me tell you how much the fetus enjoyed it, who kicked me in the damn ribs every time I coughed and woke him up.) The only reason I didn't have to take medical leave was because I teach so I ended up missing my entire winter break and had enough sick days to make up for the other days I missed.

SO DON'T BE THAT JACKASS. Not only did he ruin my Christmas and make me miss my entire break, but he put both me and my baby at serious risk. And cost us quite a bit in medical costs, too. I missed work, my husband had to miss work when I was too sick to care for myself -- it was some bad shit, dude.

I mean, not only are you risking getting your healthy coworkers sick, but you have coworkers who are pregnant. You have coworkers with compromised immune systems. You have coworkers with small children at home (my nightmare, when I had an infant, was that someone would expose me to whooping cough, which isn't a very big deal in adults but can be deadly for infants, and most adults don't know they have it).
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:13 AM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]

I can't say this enough - STAY HOME!!! One of my coworkers came in sick as a dog and wouldn't leave (I had to send her home by taxi when she came in the second day sick as hell). Turns out she had swine flu. I'm immunocompromised. Needless to say I would have preferred for her to stay at home and me not have ended up in coma. YMMV.
posted by playertobenamedlater at 8:23 AM on October 20, 2010

I think crankylex may work with me.

I used to feel guilty about going in sick. I went into work with a sore throat and runny nose and toughed it out for three days.

My immunocompromised, asthmatic coworker caught it and wound up in the ER. He was out for a couple of weeks.

Please, don't be me. I still feel guilty staying home, but then I think of my officemate and I feel guilty for having considered going in.
posted by rednikki at 8:31 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, other people hate it when you come in to work sick, and most of your coworkers won't mind covering for you if needed -- just like you don't mind doing the same for them. One thing that helps me feel better when I call in sick is e-mailing my team about anything I'm responsible for that may need to be addressed by someone else. Or if I have a meeting that I feel bad about missing, I might ask if I can call in to it from home. Basically, I try to project the attitude that I need to take a day to rest, but I'm aware of how that affects the work and have a plan for how it can be handled in my absence. Sometimes there isn't anything pressing like that, though. You can always imagine what you would say to a sick coworker in your shoes. You would encourage them to rest and get better, and you should encourage yourself to do the same.
posted by spinto at 9:14 AM on October 20, 2010

I'm with you, totally.

Recently, I had to take *two days off* in a row to treat an infection. My husband (who not only has the work ethic of a thousand horses, but used to work in finance where people were definitely fired for less) flipped out and was sure I'd lose my job. (I'm a nanny - so, calling in sick is a BIG. DEAL. since there is literally no one who can cover for me. If I stay home, one of the parents has to stay home.)

The first day, there was no question. I had to stay home. The second day... well... I was on antibiotics, but I hadn't slept, so it seemed like maybe I could suffer through it. So I called and explained my situation to my boss. Who flat out TOLD ME to stay home.

That really put it into perspective. There are times when if you don't stay home, you'll get sick*er* and then have to miss MORE time later on to recover from an illness that may not have gotten so bad if you'd taken a day to rest. Even if you tough it out and work through it, you might be operating at less than full capacity for a hell of a lot longer than you would have had you just taken a sick day.

Certainly you shouldn't be abusing the privilege, but if you're sick - take care of yourself so that you *can* do your job. Working half-dead isn't doing yourself, your coworkers, or your boss any favors.

I also follow my mother's mantra for sick days: If you're sick enough to stay home, you're sick enough to stay in bed. If I'm *capable* of getting out of bed, I try to work. Conversely, If I really can't get moving at all, that's a sign that I'm sick enough to stay home.
posted by sonika at 9:27 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Here is what you are going to do after you (stay home!) and get better. You are going to record/pirate/buy a couple of old feel-good movies. You are going to stop at the store and get some Emergen-C powder, some tissue with lotion, some pain reliever and maybe cough syrup. Then you are going to get a six-pack of ginger ale (easy on the tummy) and maybe some Gatorade and a few cans of chicken soup or whatever and you are going to put all of that in your little cold cabinet. Oh, and print out PercussivePaul's post about the labor movement.

The next time you are sick, you're going to crawl on the couch under a blankie, watch a movie, sip your chicken soup or maybe have some of that Stouffer's creamed spinach you stashed in the freezer. You're going to honor your body and the health of your coworkers and make things as comfortable and pleasant for yourself as possible.

You can do this, and you should do this, and eventually you won't feel guilty. (And hopefully your sick days will be few and far between!)
posted by cyndigo at 9:50 AM on October 20, 2010

Don't call in sick unless you're sick. Hating work isn't sick. Hungover is not contagious, but might be sick. If you call in more than once for a hangover, assess your potential for alcoholism. If you have a chronic illness or a bad back, take care of yourself because you should, and also so you don't miss work, so don't lift that heavy box above your head, while on a rickety ladder. Is it fair to go to the beach, work in the garden, and party all weekend, then call in sick Monday because you're tired?

If your kids are too sick for school or daycare, take care of them. Ideally, that burden is shared by 2 parents. Realistically, my employer takes the hit because we allow staff to use sick time for sick kids, and the other parent's employer doesn't, or there's no other parent.

When you call in sick unreasonably, it costs your employer money. It places a burden on your co-workers. Eventually, people realize that you are undependable, and they resent you. They take extra sick days. The atmosphere at work gets poisoned.

If you have a chronic or serious illness, and miss tons of work, you owe your employer a mild sense of gratitude for accruing sick days, but it's no big deal. Sick days are like insurance - there if you need them, and some people need more than others. A few individuals will cheat, but the system only works if people treat it honestly.

And like everybody else said, don't come to work sick and/or contagious.
posted by theora55 at 10:12 AM on October 20, 2010

Healthcare has a very frustrating double standard when it comes to calling out sick! Taking sick days when sick, though logical, is NOT encouraged like it is in other fields. Sounds crazy, but it's true. Somewhat similar: when roads are covered in snow and ice, most workers are encouraged to stay home...however, healthcare workers are required to come in to work even when all the roads in the state are shut down for a state of emergency. Healthcare is the exception to a lot of other very wise rules.
posted by lovelylucy at 4:45 PM on October 20, 2010

The Doctor Is In, But Shouldn't Be

Just what lovelylucy was talking about...
posted by cyndigo at 5:18 PM on October 20, 2010

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