Sorry, I Didn’t Mean to Sneeze On Your Cubicle
I came across an old Business Week article discussing the merits, or lack there of, of heading off into work while you’re under the weather. Basically, the article states that going into work when you’re sick is totally the wrong thing to do. The author points out that it’s unfair to your clients, co-workers and their families, and to corporate health costs. The author states that a prudent and reasonable manager will make arrangements when you call in sick and appreciate your efforts to avoid getting others sick.
Keep in mind that this guy also has a PhD, which means he doesn’t live in reality but rather a world of a theory – a world of how things should be.
Workers shouldn’t have to go in sick for all the above reasons and more. Staying home will allow employees to not only be more comfortable but also recuperate faster. And ask anyone that ever went to work sick if they were productive on the job as they were sneezing and hallucinating with a fever. A resounding “no” would be in order from nearly everybody asked.
So what’s the problem? If it makes so much sense for people to stay home when they are sick, then why don’t people just stay home? A lot of people don’t get sick days and simply cannot afford the financial impact that missing a days pay will have. Others have job insecurity and have tremendous amounts of job-related stress when they call out. That is, they fear that calling out will somehow impact their job security or long-term performance ratings, direly affecting their finances and career.
I know I don’t appreciate it when co-workers come into work sick because I don’t want to get sick. I’m that guy that Purells my hands more than is probably good for you. Shake my hand as you tell me how bad your cold is? Guess where I’m heading? Straight to the bathroom to wash my damn hands as I mutter how much of a jackass you are for sharing your germs with me. I’m that guy that gets into a cold-sweat when I sit in the barbers chair and he starts telling me about his fever as his hands are ALL OVER MY HEAD!
What has this country become? Why can’t people do that old-fashioned thing of nursing themselves when they’re not well? It all boils down to CORPORATE GREED.
Employers don’t want to pay for sick days. Employers do not want productivity to be diminished. And employers don’t appreciate so-called “underperformers” when they call out sick because if they were A-players, they would put the company before their own health, right?
What do you think? Do you have any work-related horror stories about sick co-workers or trudging into work sick yourself? Do share!