Dear Aunty B,
I need your help urgently. One of my managers has just come to work with a terrible summer cold. He is pale, perspiring, sneezing and walking around dangling this disgusting looking dirty blue handkerchief. It is obvious from the sheen that he has a temperature and he can only croak.
I told him to go home but he says he is too busy and has to see a client this afternoon. What should I do?
Bizarre isn’t it? People take sickies when they are not sick. And when they are really sick, go to work.
Diane, what are you asking me for? You know perfectly well, and you must do it on behalf of all of us.
First spare the client. Find out who the client is, reschedule, walk over, look your manager in the eye and tell him he is not going to see the client. Clients have sacked for far less. Then call a cab and shove him in the back. (Wash your hands afterwards.)
I looked around for some Aussie stats on how many people come to work sick and couldn’t find any. But I found this from the US, printed in Fortune magazine.
It was a poll by ComPsych a major provider of employee assistance programs. The firm surveyed 1000 employees of its client companies nationwide and found that 83% plan to come to work even if they are sick, up from 77% the last time.
ComPsych asked this question two years ago. More than one in three (37%, up from 34% in the earlier poll)) said their workload is just too heavy to allow for time off, and 21% (up from 17% in 2005) said they plan to save up their own sick time for when their children are ill.
But of course you know where all this is going. Next time you come into work sick because you are simply indispensable, you will be looked at askew by staff who will dub you a hypocrite. So make sure you practice what you preach.