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Thread: Boss Comes To Work Sick

  1. #1
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Boss Comes To Work Sick



    Ok, it is a funny cartoon, but raises a relevant point - i.e., the stupidity of expecting people to go to work sick. It delays recovery, and gets other people sick, and in both cases reduces productivity in the long run. Most people not only cannot afford to use the sick time unless it is practically an emergency - assuming there is any PTO to begin with - and sometimes it figures negatively into performance reviews upon which raises, bonuses, &c., depend. I was even asked once in an interview (I forget what the job was) how much sick time I thought it was appropriate to take in a year. I told them I literally could not answer the question, because it was not an issue of propriety, but quick recovery and not spreading something around. Plus, of course, even a moderately serious illness (e.g., pneumonia) could require something longer than a day or two (I once had it for 1-1/2 months, but was self-employed, so I was working anyway, just at home).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sick_leave

    Sick leave policies in the U.S. are rather dismal, and mere use of sick leave - even assuming actual illness - diminishes one's utility in the employer's eyes (which can affect future prospects as well). What should be an appropriate sick leave policy, in terms of benefitting society as a whole?
    Thanks from bajisima, Babba, labrea and 9 others

  2. #2
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    What bugs me even more is when people do have sick time and STILL come to work! lol Its like "go home" and they feel like the office will stop if they arent there. These are the same people who never take a day off or vacation...Saw where the US has the most workers with time available but dont take it. Crazy.

    "It’s become a perennial story: Americans are terrible at taking all of their allotted vacation days. That was true again in 2016, with 54% of employees ending the year with unused time off, collectively sacrificing 662 million vacation days, according to a study the U.S. Travel Association’s Project Time Off released Tuesday."

    Vacation Time: Americans Are Still Terrible At Taking Time Off | Fortune


    As far as actual sick days, I think 5 or so days would be decent. Not part of vacation but separate days. However, I do think the issue with that is often parents take them for their kids not their own. So thats a problem. Its a hard one since I think if companies were to offer two or three weeks of sick time, it would come out of vacation. Maybe a possibility is to offer a bunch of weeks broken up into hours that one can take for anything they want?
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    Dick with my Buzz...Try DebateDrone's Avatar
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    What I can't believe is that an employer can force you to work any hours he chooses.

    No one should have a problem with working 8-10 or even 12 hours but to force a worker to work 14 or more 7 days is not cool.

    I was working two projects, 12 hours daily, 10 on saturday and 8 on sunday for 3 months.

    Everyone, unplanned and without the knowledge of the others, took the same weekend off.

    We came into work on Moday with the boss going ape shit. He called all of us into a meeting where he went off on us.

    He stated to everyone, that from that day forward would work 14 hour days...7 days a week was mandatory until the main project was complete.

    After the meeting, I went to my desk, packed a box with my junk and rolled my chair and junk out the door.

    I never knew that an employer can force unlimited hours work from an employee.
    Last edited by DebateDrone; 14th May 2018 at 05:22 AM.

  4. #4
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    I do think the issue with that is often parents take them for their kids not their own. So thats a problem.
    How do you mean?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post


    Ok, it is a funny cartoon, but raises a relevant point - i.e., the stupidity of expecting people to go to work sick. It delays recovery, and gets other people sick, and in both cases reduces productivity in the long run. Most people not only cannot afford to use the sick time unless it is practically an emergency - assuming there is any PTO to begin with - and sometimes it figures negatively into performance reviews upon which raises, bonuses, &c., depend. I was even asked once in an interview (I forget what the job was) how much sick time I thought it was appropriate to take in a year. I told them I literally could not answer the question, because it was not an issue of propriety, but quick recovery and not spreading something around. Plus, of course, even a moderately serious illness (e.g., pneumonia) could require something longer than a day or two (I once had it for 1-1/2 months, but was self-employed, so I was working anyway, just at home).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sick_leave

    Sick leave policies in the U.S. are rather dismal, and mere use of sick leave - even assuming actual illness - diminishes one's utility in the employer's eyes (which can affect future prospects as well). What should be an appropriate sick leave policy, in terms of benefitting society as a whole?
    I agree in principle, but the issue is tougher than it sounds, because people remain infectious for so long. The flu, for example, is contagious from 24 hours before symptoms start to three to five days after they go away. There's not much that can be done about the bit before people are symptomatic, but think what it would take to stay out of work until after one was no longer contagious. Flu symptoms typically last two to seven days. So, if you were to stay out for five extra days, every time you got the flu, you'd be out anywhere from one two two weeks. Even the common cold has a similar timeline, and the average adult gets about four of them per year. So, you'd wind up staying out four to eight weeks per year, to prevent infecting others.... and it can be a lot more for those with young children.

    In practice, I haven't had a sick day in 18 years, at least. I've seen that sick days do tend to get held against people, so I just don't take them. Usually, if I'm sick, I come into work, close my office door, and avoid physical contact with anyone -- asking for conference calls, rather than meetings, etc. Sometimes, if I'm really symptomatic, in recent years, I'll work from home, since the technology is now there for me to do so fairly seamlessly. I'm also careful to wash my hands a lot, cover my face when coughing and sneezing, etc.
    Last edited by Arkady; 14th May 2018 at 06:00 AM.
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  6. #6
    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    How do you mean?
    (When your kid is sick a parent usually has to take a day off to be home with them...PTO)
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  7. #7
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    How do you mean?
    Meaning if one is a parent and their child is sick, the parent uses their own time off to care for the child. So by the time the parent gets sick often times they have no sick time off. For example, I remember my daughter getting chicken pox and I had to take 5 days off, that was all the sick time I had at the time so I had 0 days left when I got sick.
    Thanks from labrea and MaryAnne

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    Quote Originally Posted by DebateDrone View Post
    What I can't believe is that an employer can force you to work any hours he chooses.

    No one should have a problem with working 8-10 or even 12 hours but to force a worker to work 14 or more 7 days is not cool.

    I was working two projects, 12 hours daily, 10 on saturday and 8 on sunday for 3 months.

    Everyone, unplanned and without the knowledge of the others, took the same weekend off.

    We came into work on Moday with the boss going ape shit. He called all of us into a meeting where he went off on us.

    He stated to everyone, that from that day forward would work 14 hour days...7 days a week was mandatory until the main project was complete.

    After the meeting, I went to my desk, packed a box with my junk and rolled my chair and junk out the door.

    I never knew that an employer can force unlimited hours work from an employee.
    When I was a young lawyer, I worked some crazy hours. There's a culture in the field where young lawyers are seen as paying their dues, and it's almost a form of hazing. I had one three-month stretch where I averaged 85 hours per week. Add in about 10 hours per week driving to and from work, and it was about 95 hours devoted to work. I had no other life, six days a week, and still was working partial days on Sunday. The predictable result is a lot of really low-quality work. Humans aren't designed to be sharp all the time. At this point, I'm good for about four hours of real, high-quality work per day, and the rest is just surfing to keep my mind sharp, and I still think that works out better for my employer than if they were getting 85-hours of garbage from me.
    Thanks from Ian Jeffrey, syrenn and MaryAnne

  9. #9
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkady View Post
    I agree in principle, but the issue is tougher than it sounds, because people remain infectious for so long. The flu, for example, is contagious from 24 hours before symptoms start to three to five days after they go away. There's not much that can be done about the bit before people are symptomatic, but think what it would take to stay out of work until after one was no longer contagious. Flu symptoms typically last two to seven days. So, if you were to stay out for five extra days, every time you got the flu, you'd be out anywhere from one two two weeks. Even the common cold has a similar timeline, and the average adult gets about four of them per year. So, you'd wind up saying out four to eight weeks per year, to prevent infecting others.... and it can be a lot more for those with young children.

    In practice, I haven't had a sick day in 18 years, at least. I've seen that sick days do tend to get held against people, so I just don't take them. Usually, if I'm sick, I come into work, close my office door, and avoid physical contact with anyone -- asking for conference calls, rather than meetings, etc. Sometimes, if I'm really symptomatic, in recent years, I'll work from home, since the technology is now there for me to do so fairly seamlessly. I'm also careful to wash my hands a lot, cover my face when coughing and sneezing, etc.
    I do think working from home isnt used nearly as much as it could be. Certainly not all occupations can do this but many nowadays can. It helps numerous other issues as well. Companies should allow more to work from home.
    Thanks from labrea

  10. #10
    Cat-tastic Babba's Avatar
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    Too often, it's the service sector, lower paid jobs that don't offer paid sick leave at all and those people are usually in contact with the public. Paid sick leave should be mandatory.

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