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When a coworker calls in sick...

PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
...do you believe them or assume they're just playing hookie?

My poor husband and son were both really sick last week with bronchitis, and an ear infection for my son too. My husband went into work Mon/Tues/Wed but ended up working from home on Mon and Wed afternoons. Thursday he called in and I took them both to the doctor. He got his diagnosis and started antibiotics Thursday night. He called in again on Friday because he still wasn't feeling well and because he hadn't been on the AB's a full 24 hours so he could have been contagious.

He returned to work on Monday, as did his boss who had been out of town last week. Apparently, there had been rumors flying around the office that he was off interviewing for other jobs! His boss called him in to ask him about it. He assured her that he really was sick and he has no intention of going anywhere - he recently even volunteered to be the Treasurer of the Office Association or whatever it's called.

The same thing happened a few months ago when our friend's mother died and he took an afternoon off to attend the memorial service. It was a nice day outside and his boss accused him of cutting out early to go golfing (my husband HATES golf!). He offered to even bring in the pamphlet from the memorial service for her.

It's a shame so many people abuse the calling-in-sick thing so that people who really are sick aren't trusted.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
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Comments

  • RichardHeadRichardHead Banned Posts: 629Banned Users
    I assume my coworkers are playing hookie. I've worked with a guy for the last 4 years who has called in probably 200 times in that span. No joke. He even called in yesterday and I don't expect I'll be seeing him today either.
  • redcelticcurlsredcelticcurls Posts: 17,502Registered Users
    If someone calls off frequently or almost always calls off during busy periods, I'm assuming you're playing hooky.

    On the upside, (at my job anyway) one can get terminated for too many call-offs that don't have a Doctor's note, so it cuts down on that a bit.
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  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    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.
  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Posts: 10,771Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    The staff I have now, I totally trust. They are always at work early and stay late, and I know they really like their jobs! If they're sick, they call early and are always back the next day, if not they offer to bring a Drs note - which I have never asked for.

    In the past I have had staff I didn't trust, but it was based on overall performance rather then a one time call in.
    I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
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  • cymprenicympreni Posts: 9,609Registered Users
    I've never put any thought into it. I don't care either way.

    I've learned to hate other people doing this. DH got in trouble at work for that once. His stupid boss didn't even stop to think how plausible it was
  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    Another thought is that in some industries, doctor's notes are required. In others, you're taken on your word and what you do with your alloted sick time is your business.

    btw, I always had a hard time calling in sick when I was legitimately sick. I was always paranoid that people thought I was playing hookie. So I'd schlep into work with my nasty germs. It's a catch-22. :dontknow:
  • xcptnlxcptnl Posts: 15,678Registered Users
    medussa wrote: »
    Another thought is that in some industries, doctor's notes are required. In others, you're taken on your word and what you do with your alloted sick time is your business.

    btw, I always had a hard time calling in sick when I was legitimately sick. I was always paranoid that people thought I was playing hookie. So I'd schlep into work with my nasty germs. It's a catch-22. :dontknow:

    Exactly! That is why I love that our company just gives you a bank of days that you can use however you want. You just have to input it 24 hours in advance - if you don't that is called an unscheduled one and if you have a lot of those then there might be an issue. Due to this change I now have 26 days a year I can use!!!! I try to hold out and keep 5 just in case I am sick but I love having all those days! And that does not include our paid holidays.
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  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    In the past I have had staff I didn't trust, but it was based on overall performance rather then a one time call in.

    That's the thing - my husband is a really good employee who works hard, plays by the rules, and hits his numbers (he's in sales). I think there's a lot of jealousy/competition among him and his coworkers so that could be part of it too.

    He offered to bring a doctor's note for his boss but she said it wasn't necessary, she believes him.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    And technically all of my husband's days count as "Flexible Time Off" so there's no different between sick and vacation. Just "planned" vs "unplanned" FTO. So in theory, if he called in and said "I'm taking an unplanned FTO day" and never claimed to be sick, I don't think it would be against the rules even if he wasn't sick.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • Anthro IncarnateAnthro Incarnate Posts: 555Registered Users
    I share an office with a bunch of workaholics. If they call in sick, they must be oozing out of every orifice and physically cannot move. Sometimes people come in, and they clearly aren't in a state to be touching things that other people touch or breathing air that other people breathe, and I'm like, GO HOME! (I realize this isn't feasible for many people who are hourly and don't get paid when they don't work, but everyone in my office is salaried and gets plenty of sick days).

    I had a cold a couple of weeks ago. I suppose I *could* have gone to work, but I knew I wouldn't be very productive, so I called in sick and spent the day watching DVDs. The next day, I still felt crummy, so I called in sick again. Then it was the weekend. When I returned to work the following Monday, I had emails from my boss sent on the first day I was out sick with a list of things to do the next day (apparently he did not expect me to be out for more than one day). I felt bad because it was a busy period and I was physically able to sit at my desk and work, but I would have been miserable. But we are a "for the greater good of the mission" type of an office, and I don't think calling in sick is seen as a legitimate use of a day.
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  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    in all honesty, i don't care how my colleagues use their sick/vacation time. i don't care if they call in sick to have a day of leisure. and while i don't wish for anyone to be sick, if they are really sick and at home/doctor's, i don't give it much consideration when they are out or when they return. and i don't expect others to be focused on my comings and goings, as it's none of their business.

    my sick/vacation and personal time off is mine. if i want to use a sick day to have a day of leisure, that is my business. my job doesn't micromanage us and doesn't require us to show proof of doctor's visits or anything like that. so i don't have to lie or exaggerate about my intentions when i request a day off. i just say that i need a day/afternoon/morning off and leave it at that. and when it's time to fill out my time report, i document those periods/days the way i want to.

    i think it's juvenile to be in someone else's business to the point where you make conjectures about what they are doing when they are away from work, start rumors based on those assumptions, and then have management interrogate them as if those conclusions are true.

    personally, i'd be more miffed that my supervisor would believe "interview" talk and actually call me in to ask me about it, than i would be with the busy bodies who actually started the rumor.

    ok. mini rant over. hope your family feels better. :bom:
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users
    I can't stand this mentality either. I grew up in a household where we kids were allowed to take what my mom called "mental health" days if we wanted to, 1, maybe 2, times a year. This meant laying around and watching TV, but not needing to be physically sick.

    Someone needs a day off, for whatever reason, it's really nobody's business. Unless it's a persistent abuse of the situation.
  • SpunkyCurlsSpunkyCurls Posts: 1,523Registered Users
    PixieCurl wrote: »
    And technically all of my husband's days count as "Flexible Time Off" so there's no different between sick and vacation. Just "planned" vs "unplanned" FTO. So in theory, if he called in and said "I'm taking an unplanned FTO day" and never claimed to be sick, I don't think it would be against the rules even if he wasn't sick.


    Yeah, I wouldn't worry about it, especially given this and that his boss trusts him.

    We have actual separate sick and vacation leave. When I interview, I take vacation leave just so that I don't leave people wondering. It's just sort of sneaky.
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  • AmandacurlsAmandacurls Posts: 6,252Registered Users
    Well from knowing my coworkers so far, if one of them called in I would believe they were feeling pretty dang bad, they aren't the type to play hooky. On the other hand I've worked at places where people called in sick at least once a week. One place this lady would call in sick every other Monday (and sometimes Tuesday) because her husband worked one week and then was off for one, so every Monday he was home, like clockwork she was "sick". I would have had more respect for her if she would have called in and said why she was really staying home.
  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    ...so every Monday he was home, like clockwork she was "sick". I would have had more respect for her if she would have called in and said why she was really staying home.

    but why should she have to say anything to anyone? if she planned to use only vacation time to be home with her husband on those mondays, would you still prefer that she say how she plans to spend her day off? why does she have to satisfy anyone's curiosity about what she plans to do away from work?

    to me, it goes back to those things being none of my business.

    most people earn their sick and vacation time based on actual continuous hours worked. so once they've earned it, no one should even bother to wonder why or how they use it, sick or vacation. that's just me.
    "Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
  • Aphro-DeeziacAphro-Deeziac Posts: 983Registered Users
    wild~hair wrote: »
    I can't stand this mentality either. I grew up in a household where we kids were allowed to take what my mom called "mental health" days if we wanted to, 1, maybe 2, times a year. This meant laying around and watching TV, but not needing to be physically sick.

    Someone needs a day off, for whatever reason, it's really nobody's business. Unless it's a persistent abuse of the situation.

    *guano*

    my mom did this for us and I do this for my kids. Do you get flack for it from other people? Some folks think because kids dont have adult concerns they dont get stressed and need days off.

    sorry to guano your thread.
    26560_1412644406072_1531382664_31035658_3971206_n.jpg
  • cymprenicympreni Posts: 9,609Registered Users
    rainshower wrote: »
    ...so every Monday he was home, like clockwork she was "sick". I would have had more respect for her if she would have called in and said why she was really staying home.

    but why should she have to say anything to anyone? if she planned to use only vacation time to be home with her husband on those mondays, would you still prefer that she say how she plans to spend her day off? why does she have to satisfy anyone's curiosity about what she plans to do away from work?

    to me, it goes back to those things being none of my business.

    most people earn their sick and vacation time based on actual continuous hours worked. so once they've earned it, no one should even bother to wonder why or how they use it, sick or vacation. that's just me.

    ITA

    Mental health days are just has needed as sick days.
    I'd much rather someone take a day off to recharge the batteries, then have someone snapping at me all week because they're stressed out. Stress kills! Not only physically, it can destroy you mentally if you don't keep it in check.

    In that situation, I would wonder more about why her boss didn't make that her day off under the circumstances.
  • MichelleBFTMichelleBFT Posts: 4,812Registered Users
    It depends entirely on the person. I have about a dozen people who, when they call out, they call out to me directly. I know those guys well enough to know who would and if they're bullishing me. And as long as they're not completely screwing me and my schedule, then I don't care. They're adults, and I'm they're supervisor-- not their mother. If they have the days and they want to use them, I don't really care what their reason is.

    Personally, I wouldn't ever take a day off without actually needing it or scheduling ahead of time, just because I would be racked with guilt over the possibility of someone else having to pick up the slack left by me not being there. A big portion of my job is the kind of work that can't just sit and wait for me to get back, someone has to fill in for me. So when I'm not there, especially when I'm not there and it's unexpected, it's a burden on someone else so some degree. I'm not really cool with that.

    I will, however, take scheduled days off to do nothing. If I schedule for it then I can make sure that the person who's picking up my slack in my absence is fully prepared for it and has everything hey need in order to operate smoothly. I did this right around New Years; I took two days off which, coupled with the one day of holiday we get and the weekend, amounted to five straight days of not having to haul my arse into the office. It was awesome. I will absolutely do it again.
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  • cymprenicympreni Posts: 9,609Registered Users
    wild~hair wrote: »
    I can't stand this mentality either. I grew up in a household where we kids were allowed to take what my mom called "mental health" days if we wanted to, 1, maybe 2, times a year. This meant laying around and watching TV, but not needing to be physically sick.

    Someone needs a day off, for whatever reason, it's really nobody's business. Unless it's a persistent abuse of the situation.

    *guano*

    my mom did this for us and I do this for my kids. Do you get flack for it from other people? Some folks think because kids dont have adult concerns they dont get stressed and need days off.

    sorry to guano your thread.

    That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Kids have plenty of stress, it's just different. If anything they could have it worse, because they probably haven't learned the skills needed to take care of themselves yet or the life experience to put it all in perspective. Adults can handle the big stresses because we survived the stress of growing up.
  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users
    wild~hair wrote: »
    I can't stand this mentality either. I grew up in a household where we kids were allowed to take what my mom called "mental health" days if we wanted to, 1, maybe 2, times a year. This meant laying around and watching TV, but not needing to be physically sick.

    Someone needs a day off, for whatever reason, it's really nobody's business. Unless it's a persistent abuse of the situation.

    *guano*

    my mom did this for us and I do this for my kids. Do you get flack for it from other people? Some folks think because kids dont have adult concerns they dont get stressed and need days off.

    sorry to guano your thread.

    I don't know if my mom got flack for it. I think she just told people we were sick!

    Right now I freelance, so if I need a day off, I take it. OTOH, if I really am sick and there's a deadline or I've been hired for a special project, well, too bad for me.

    Hey, how's your ankle? [sorry to double guano, Pixie]
  • MichelleBFTMichelleBFT Posts: 4,812Registered Users
    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.
    "And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
    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."
    Stolen.
  • Aphro-DeeziacAphro-Deeziac Posts: 983Registered Users
    wild~hair wrote: »
    wild~hair wrote: »
    I can't stand this mentality either. I grew up in a household where we kids were allowed to take what my mom called "mental health" days if we wanted to, 1, maybe 2, times a year. This meant laying around and watching TV, but not needing to be physically sick.

    Someone needs a day off, for whatever reason, it's really nobody's business. Unless it's a persistent abuse of the situation.

    *guano*

    my mom did this for us and I do this for my kids. Do you get flack for it from other people? Some folks think because kids dont have adult concerns they dont get stressed and need days off.

    sorry to guano your thread.

    I don't know if my mom got flack for it. I think she just told people we were sick!

    Right now I freelance, so if I need a day off, I take it. OTOH, if I really am sick and there's a deadline or I've been hired for a special project, well, too bad for me.

    Hey, how's your ankle? [sorry to double guano, Pixie]


    healing but still a pain, lol. thank you so much for asking. :)
    26560_1412644406072_1531382664_31035658_3971206_n.jpg
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    I think it quickly becomes apparent who the sick-fakers are within a given working environment...and the assumptions usually turn out to be true.
  • LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
    I never used to get sick and would go for years without missing a day of work.

    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.
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  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    Last year I was teaching high school, and I hated my job. I was going to be leaving that job after the school year was over, and I had some sick days built up, so I used them a bit more liberally than I would have otherwise. I was pregnant and I had regular doctor's appointments, and I usually took the whole day off when I had an appointment. I also took a few days when I wasn't feeling great but I probably could have gone in. With teachers, there's a system in place for calling in and getting a substitute for your class. I always left lesson plans and materials that were needed, and I never called in on "sub alert days," which were days that all the substitutes in the district were already assigned, which meant they would have to have regular teachers cover the classes on their planning periods. That job stressed me out so much that I don't really feel guilty about it.
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  • LisaF1163LisaF1163 Posts: 1,079Registered Users
    It depends on the co-worker. If it's someone who's reliable and is very rarely out, I tend to believe them. If it's someone who's out all the time, I would think they're playing hookie.

    And I totally understand about having kids - when they're sick, you generally have to be out. But I used to work with a girl who's son juuust haaappened to be sick every single Monday. Every single Monday without fail. "Poor kid" managed to stick his Mom with a three day weekend for the whole three years we all worked together. :scratch:
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  • goldygoldy Posts: 5,455Registered Users
    I think that sucks for husband. Maybe he should think about making it a practice to always bring documentation in for unplanned FTO days.

    I normally assume the person is sick. Of course as a child I was taught you better be pretty sick to not go to school/work, a little cold is not enough.
    Unfortunately I'm home this week on sick days. I get the feeling my boss doesn't exactly trust that I need to be home, but I have a coworker who I know is backing me up. My healthcare providers office offered to write me a note, and I think I'll be taking them up on that offer. Similar to sarah42 though, I'm miserable in my current job, so if boss wants to fire me then she can just go ahead and do it :angry5:
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  • AmandacurlsAmandacurls Posts: 6,252Registered Users
    rainshower wrote: »
    ...so every Monday he was home, like clockwork she was "sick". I would have had more respect for her if she would have called in and said why she was really staying home.

    but why should she have to say anything to anyone? if she planned to use only vacation time to be home with her husband on those mondays, would you still prefer that she say how she plans to spend her day off? why does she have to satisfy anyone's curiosity about what she plans to do away from work?

    to me, it goes back to those things being none of my business.

    most people earn their sick and vacation time based on actual continuous hours worked. so once they've earned it, no one should even bother to wonder why or how they use it, sick or vacation. that's just me.

    Well, the frustrating thing was Monday was our busiest day of the week and even at full staff we would have been swamped, so one less person, who was in a co-leadership position with me and was supposed to be helping train others and check their work, and then it all fell to me every other Monday, well I got a little bit frustrated. If she would have picked any other day of the week it wouldn't have been a big deal, but Mondays were horrendous. AND she ended up using up all her vacation AND sick hours doing the every other Monday thing and then she started coming in all the time. And so then when she got sick, she infected the whole office because she had no sick days to use. And yeah, it was none of my business, but it was definitely a frustrating position to be in, as her coworker.
  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Posts: 8,002Registered Users
    wild~hair wrote: »
    I can't stand this mentality either. I grew up in a household where we kids were allowed to take what my mom called "mental health" days if we wanted to, 1, maybe 2, times a year. This meant laying around and watching TV, but not needing to be physically sick.

    Someone needs a day off, for whatever reason, it's really nobody's business. Unless it's a persistent abuse of the situation.

    *guano*

    my mom did this for us and I do this for my kids. Do you get flack for it from other people? Some folks think because kids dont have adult concerns they dont get stressed and need days off.

    sorry to guano your thread.

    I did this for my daughter, too. I think it's really important for kids to be able to destress.
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  • gekko422gekko422 Posts: 4,869Registered Users
    My employees tell me up fron when they are taking mental health days, but even then, I don't care. It's their leave not mine, use it how you want. The only time I would be concerned, and this has not happened in my office, is if an employee took off so much time that it began to effect the workload on the other employees.
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