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Old 07-26-2007, 11:26 AM   #1
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Rant

Just blowing off some steam here about the changes in attitude towards taking sick days that have occurred in my lifetime.

Long ago, people were ENCOURAGED to stay home if they were very sick so that they don't spread germs all around the workplace and everybody isn't continually SICK!!!

It seems like the more common corporate culture now is to frown at the idea of people ever taking any sick days at all. People are encouraged to feel virtuous about it if they come to work, cough and sneeze all over everybody, and spread whatever they have to everybody else.

Personally, if I stay home for a day or two when I first get sick, I can fend off most bugs right away. When I don't then the bug lingers for much longer and I pass it back and forth to and from my co-workers. GRRRR

To keep this on the topic of "Health and Early Retirement", I will add that I LONG LONG LONG for ER when I am not exposed to all these nasty bugs all day long.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:36 AM   #2
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[quote= I will add that I LONG LONG LONG for ER when I am not exposed to all these nasty bugs all day long.[/quote]

After all my years of Nursing ,I got the worst virus of my life on a cruise last Feb..I was in bed for eleven days and sick for a month .Retirement can be dangerous .
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:41 AM   #3
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After all my years of Nursing ,I got the worst virus of my life on a cruise last Feb..I was in bed for eleven days and sick for a month .Retirement can be dangerous .
Whew!! I'm glad you got over it.

I forgot that ER doesn't always mean no contact with others.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:44 AM   #4
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This is kinda funny. For the first 20 years or so of my working life, I worked thru my days of sickness (sorry just the way I was - young and stupid). There were many days that I should have stayed home but didn't. The last 10 years or so of my working life, I said...I'm not doing that anymore and stayed home with just a hint of the sniffles. It's amazing how my attitude towards work and my health changed over the years after w*rk became a dirty word.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:50 AM   #5
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Before I retired, I always told my employees to use their common sense (yeah, I know, some folks didn't have any -- but still...) and to stay home if they had something that could infect others. For the years that I ran my organization, I didn't have too many instances of abuse and my employees were generally respectful of the policy. More to the point, we never had any cases of office-wide flu or other illnesses!

Then, shortly before I retired, my replacement came in and announced a change in the sick day policy -- employees were expected to come in every day except in case of a medical emergency that could be documented. A few weeks later, I took a week of vacation, and two days after I returned to the office I came down with the absolute worst case of flu I've ever had. I soon learned that while I was on vacation one of the employees came to work with the flu and now just about everyone either had it -- or came down with it shortly thereafter.

My replacement had to close down the operation for nearly a week while the offices were sanitized and the employees recovered. Result: an entire week of productivity down the drain (pun intended!) and a whole bunch of really unhappy people. I don't know what some people are thinking. If you're sick and have something that can infect others, stay home!
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:56 AM   #6
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Before I retired, I always told my employees to use their common sense (yeah, I know, some folks didn't have any -- but still...) and to stay home if they had something that could infect others. For the years that I ran my organization, I didn't have too many instances of abuse and my employees were generally respectful of the policy. More to the point, we never had any cases of office-wide flu or other illnesses!

Then, shortly before I retired, my replacement came in and announced a change in the sick day policy -- employees were expected to come in every day except in case of a medical emergency that could be documented. A few weeks later, I took a week of vacation, and two days after I returned to the office I came down with the absolute worst case of flu I've ever had. I soon learned that while I was on vacation one of the employees came to work with the flu and now just about everyone either had it -- or came down with it shortly thereafter.

My replacement had to close down the operation for nearly a week while the offices were sanitized and the employees recovered. Result: an entire week of productivity down the drain (pun intended!) and a whole bunch of really unhappy people. I don't know what some people are thinking. If you're sick and have something that can infect others, stay home!
That's what I think, too!!! It is miserable working in an environment where people are constantly trading bugs back and forth. Yet organizational culture often causes people to feel guilty and defensive if they stay home a very few days a year when they are sick.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:58 AM   #7
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Ah, yet another reason I'm glad I no longer go into an office. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:00 PM   #8
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Many companies have a PTO days (for which the unused portion gets paid out upon termination) rather than sick days (which are generally not paid out). Some people look at using PTO as dipping into their bank account, so they hold on to their time for as much as they can get away with. Even it means getting everyone else infected. I'm not one of those individiduals, by the way. I'm just pointing out an observation.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:02 PM   #9
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Ah, yet another reason I'm glad I no longer go into an office. Thanks for the reminder.
Oh, there are SO many. I probably don't need to remind you about petty office politics, or being docked 15 minutes if you are 3 minutes late coming in for a position that is ostensibly a salaried, professional position (and for which you are expected to work late if necessary, without pay).
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:05 PM   #10
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Many companies have a PTO days (for which the unused portion gets paid out upon termination) rather than sick days (which are generally not paid out). Some people look at using PTO as dipping into their bank account, so they hold on to their time for as much as they can get away with. Even it means getting everyone else infected. I'm not one of those individiduals, by the way. I'm just pointing out an observation.
It's not that way at my job, but I can see how that would just enforce that nasty attitude that people shouldn't ever take sick days! glad you don't do that. I can see how it would be hard not to, though, if we could get paid for them. Our sick days just vanish on retirement, yet I feel pressured not to use them.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:10 PM   #11
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Oh, there are SO many. I probably don't need to remind you about petty office politics, or being docked 15 minutes if you are 3 minutes late coming in for a position that is ostensibly a salaried, professional position (and for which you are expected to work late if necessary, without pay).
Stop it... I'm getting teary eyed with pleasure.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:10 PM   #12
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Back in the day when DH & I both worked for Ma Bell (pre-1984), calling in sick for any reason was a super big no-no. You came to work unless you were on death's door or faced the wrath of the big, bad supervisor. As a result of that pressure (being the good doo-bees that we were), we both had perfect attendance records that went on for years. And for what?? DH's pension at the end was exactly the same amount of $$$$ as the guys who abused the attendance "policy" their whole working careers.

I could never understand why companies couldn't be reasonable about sick days. But there were always people who always managed to be sick on really nice Fridays, or take advantage of the policy. Where I work (PT) now, it's such a grown-up place to be. The boss trusts us, and none of us take advantage. If we're sick, we are expected to stay home. Why is that so hard

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Old 07-26-2007, 12:24 PM   #13
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I have been in departments at Mega Corp where taking a sick day was like killing the pope! I was out once for a week....nasty stomach bug and wasn't able to keep any food or liquid down for 3+ days. When I came back, my supervisor (spawn of the devil) took away my projects and started making my life hell because I was not performing up to par. I had a doctor's note for my time out.....I had to threaten her with taking her to HR and seeking the advice of a lawyer to back her off.
Today, I have an amazing boss in the same Mega Corp who expects us to stay home and keep our germs to ourselves. I also haven't gotten sick either.....probably because I am not so stressed out!
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:53 PM   #14
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I have been in departments at Mega Corp where taking a sick day was like killing the pope! I was out once for a week....nasty stomach bug and wasn't able to keep any food or liquid down for 3+ days. When I came back, my supervisor (spawn of the devil) took away my projects and started making my life hell because I was not performing up to par. I had a doctor's note for my time out.....I had to threaten her with taking her to HR and seeking the advice of a lawyer to back her off.
Today, I have an amazing boss in the same Mega Corp who expects us to stay home and keep our germs to ourselves. I also haven't gotten sick either.....probably because I am not so stressed out!
Yep what your first boss was doing was Illegal to the extreme.

We had a case where I live, where a guy was hired and didn't show up his first day due to sickness (he did have a doctor's excuse), the manager fired him, just for the general consensus that you show up your first day no matter what. Long story short, they got sued, court fined them, and ordered them to re-hire the person.

Thankfully the guy they re-hired did not ask for damages he just asked to have his job back, and turned into a good employee.
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Old 07-27-2007, 09:25 PM   #15
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I'm afraid that unless I'm really sick I go to work. I don't expect the folks that work for me to turn up for me to work if they are sick but I will notice notice folks and take appropriate action for those who are habitual "sickers". It was how I was brought up - rarely a day missed at school unless it was measels, chicken pox and the like. I just happen to believe that trying to stay isolated from all the stuff floating about just doesn't work.
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Old 07-28-2007, 11:52 AM   #16
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In ER, our biggest exposure to germs is flying. We have stopped using those overhead air blowers because they contain the concentrated germs from all the other passengers. Recycling the air has created an enormous soup of germs.

The other source is the public bus but we can often sit near an open window to limit the downside.
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Old 07-28-2007, 05:12 PM   #17
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When the megacorp I toiled at switched from informally tracked paid "sick days" to PTO days, I was very pleased. We were given a generous amount of PTO days which we could use for any reason - no questions asked. Flu - use a PTO day. Fishing trip - use several PTO days. Hung over from last night's party - use a PTO day. Again, no questions asked. They're your days, use them as you wish.

If you were seriously ill, you could switch from PTO days to short and, if necessary, long term disability payments after five days off. Disability pay did require documentation.

Yet, some employees would come in sick because they wanted to save PTO days for vacation time. Yuuuch. It was certainly a case of employees, not management, making bad choices.
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