Sick at Work or School

Person sick, going to work - Person sick at work
@ossie16d (11825)
Australia
December 10, 2006 9:54am CST
Do you go to work/school when you are sick? For example, you have a very bad cold or flu, do you stay at home or go to work/school? Many people do go to work/school when they should actually stay at home, instead of being out spreading the germs around for other people to catch. I think it can depend on where you work because if you have no contact with anyone then perhaps it is okay to go to work, unless of course you are really sick and so are ineffective at doing your job properly. Do you think it is correct to go to work/school when you are sick? Have you ever done this and if so why? When someone else is sick, would you prefer that they stayed at home instead of spreading their germs around, particularly if you work in an open office or classroom?
6 people like this
87 responses
@Bunny2 (2102)
• Australia
28 Dec 06
I have teenage twins. They will be 17 on Wednesday. They both work at a large fast food chain. The older twin was supposed to start at 9.30 a.m. the younger took up a shift as a favour to the (nice) manager and was starting at 2 p.m. This morning the younger twin was ill with a high fever, achy bones, a sore throat and a cough, and feeling generally blah. So I rang the office from 8.30 onwards but no one picked up until 8.45. The person said she'd pass on the message,. At 9.30 one of the (not nice) managers rang his mobile and told him off for not going in! (I told my son he shouldn't have answered his mobile!) The nice manager rang at 1.30 asking if someone could pick up a shift, she'd forgotten the younger twin was already going to do it. I told her the older twin was ill and throwing up. When the younger twin went in he got in trouble for his brother not going in and the (not nice) manager was really hard on him. Now the guidelines they get when they join clearly state they should not go to work if they're ill and should phone up - admittedly it says two hours before the shift - but if no one answers the phone it's not our fault. And it's neither twin's fault. I am not impressed.
2 people like this
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
28 Dec 06
I don't blame you for not being impresses Bunny and I am equally glad that your son didn't go in to work when he was sick, particularly when working with food. I think that both boys should talk to the nice Manager and explain what happened, i.e. you phoned till you got someone and left a message etc. Some people are just plain ignorant really and why tell one employee off just because another didn't come in to work, even if they are brothers/twins.
1 person likes this
@Bunny2 (2102)
• Australia
26 Dec 06
Logic (and sanity) tells me I should take the day off but I tend to go in. It's easier to plough through when sick than pick up the pieces the next day when everyone has done it all wrong. LOL. The only time I took any length of time off was when I had a threatened miscarriage. Nothing was more important to me than the life of my baby. Luckily he is now 18 years old :) But still i go in to work with a cold, though I try not to cough and splutter on people.
2 people like this
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
26 Dec 06
Cover Your Cough - Cough/Flu
I think that a lot of people actually do go to work when they have a cold but I was pleased to read that you try not to cough and splutter on people Bunny. LOL Thanks for your response. :)
1 person likes this
@pookie92 (1714)
• United States
11 Dec 06
I don't send my kids to school if they are sick. I keep them home until they are better. If you put sick people out into the general public, you are just spreading the sickness around to everyone. Elderly and asthmatic people can really suffer just from the common cold. If we ever have a pandemic, it would be spread even more quickly by those who go out in public while they are contagious.
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
12 Dec 06
I agree that people who are popssibly contagious should not be out in public, because not everyone has an immune system that can easily cope with infections. It is good that you keep the children home when they are sick, and not only does it stop them spreading germs but they probably recover quicker from the combination of bed rest plus parental affection. Thanks very much for responding pookie.
1 person likes this
@feralwoman (2199)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
Germ Mask!! - Picture of a germ mask
Personally, I've been known to turn up for work with a broken wrist! But that is completely different to spreading germs around. All it seems to take these days is one person coming in with a cold, the germs get into the airconditioning system and then there is an epidemic of it in the workplace. It would probably be for the best if these people stayed at home and got some rest. LOL
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
12 Dec 06
Hygiene prevents germs - Prevent germs spreading
I do agree that having a broken wrist is totally different to spreading germs around the place. Yes, air condition systems might be great but they do tend to allow the quicker movement of germs. Also some people do not wash their hands etc, so we have the combination or airborne germs plus from handling things that other have. Thanks for responding feralwoman. :)
1 person likes this
@sherinek (3321)
• United States
11 Dec 06
I agree with you its not fair to go to public places when you are sick. But there can be variations. Last week, my son had to go to school even he was having caugh and cold cos they have 3rd term tests. I sent him for the test and picked him up as soon as he finished it. I of course, have not fallen sick for as long as I remember. But my hubby goes to work whether he is sick or not. He just cant stay at home (LOL)
2 people like this
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
Of course you would collect your son as soon as he had finished his tests sherinek but a lot of parents do not do this, but instead leave the child at school for the whole day. I like the fact that your husband goes to work whether sick or not, and that makes him unusual for a male. LOL Thanks for your response sherinek. :)
@caramello (4381)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
In the past I used to go to work when unwell, mainly because there was no staff to replace me, but then I finally decided that this is not the go as you are only spreading it around, blow what the Employer thinks and so would take the time off, but things have changed so much now, am glad not to have to confront it anymore!
2 people like this
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
Sneezing spreading germs - Spreading germs
You are right caramello in that sometimes you have to decide that your own health plus that of your co-workers is more important than what the boss thinks. It is annoying when someone is at work, sneezing, sniffling etc and passing their germs onto everyone else around them. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. :)
@caribe (2465)
• United States
10 Dec 06
I always struggled with that when I was working, knowing that at times it was better germ-wise, if I stayed home. But sometimes the "good" of you being there outweighed the "bad" of you spreading germs. I think it partly depends on the job you have and also whether you can still function. One job I had, my supervisor told me to come in sick and lay my head on the desk if I needed to, as long as I could look up parts locations for machines that kept a factory running; because for every minute the machines weren't running it cost the company thousands of dollars. At another job, again, things didn't run as well and there were losses on days I wasn't there so it was always a difficult decision for me to make as to which was the greater good of all concerned.
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
This is the worst thing sometimes, placing someone in a position where they have to make a decision whether to go to work sick. If they do go, there is a chance that they will pass the germs onto others but on the other hand if they don't go, other people will lost money because there is no work for them. Thanks for your response caribe. :)
• United States
10 Dec 06
Please people PLEASE keep your runny nose kids at home. If you're sick stay the hell out of the stores. Oh you have that and that and it has to get done. How fair is it for you to bring your gemrs out into the world and infect them rest of us?
2 people like this
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
Now this is as honest as a person can get. LOL I think that a lot of people would like to say just these words to people who come into a shop, cough, sneeze and then touch everything within sight. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. :)
@sweetie88 (4559)
• Pakistan
11 Dec 06
Plz ossie16d do n't mind. I did n't like urs offensive tone on this discussion. Listen!! off course, no one wants to become ill but if someone becomes then its n't his/her own falt. Health, wealth and sickness r blessed by God. I think that u should n't say that "spread germs". A sick person spreads germs but we should n't say to him/her straightly that u r ill and be in distance from me plz so that urs germs may n't make me ill too. I did n't go to school when i was sick and sometimes in college too do n't go due to my headache. I think that sick person should stay at home so that he/she may take rest and recover soon instead of thinking about that i am sick and my surroundings'll too become sick due to me.
• United States
11 Dec 06
Sweetie, I have no problem in telling people who are sick to keep their distance from me. None of them have ever taken offense and have been polite enough to stay as far away from me as possible. I also try to stay away from people when I'm sick and not make them sick also. It's just being courteous to others. I enjoy your posts in discussions, and I just wanted to let you know how someone else might look at the situation. I don't want you to think I'm just picking on you. I look forward to reading more of your posts, and I'm sure ossie didn't mean to offend anyone.
1 person likes this
@sweetie88 (4559)
• Pakistan
11 Dec 06
U r too right but actually, it seems bad to keep distance from a sick person. Sick person already does n't feel well but when u keep a distance from him/her then more sense of deprivation takes place in him and this situation can make him/her more ill.
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
Stop germs spreading - Washing hands to stop germs
First sweetie88, I am sorry that you thought my tone was offensive because it was not meant that way. I do feel that people who are ill, and infectious, should not pass germs onto others who might not be as fit or young and their bodies cannot necessarily recover as easily. Unfortunately, there are people in this world who do not cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze and that will spread germs. Also I have been to places where the staff do not use good hygiene practices when handling food. Someone can be told tactfully that they should cover their mouth or wash their hands to protect others from germs and most will not take offence is this is done tactfully. I have a special friend who has a medical condition and what is just a bad cold or flu for other people, often ends up as pleuresy or pneumonia for her. So, she takes good care of her health but also expects that others will not put her in a position where her health might detiorate. Thanks for responding sweetie88.
@juicemilk (2284)
• Australia
10 Dec 06
It would depend on how sick I am I guess, I always take Codral when I have a cold/flu so that helps lessen the symptoms. If it's really bad I will stay at home, or if I know I won't be missed. but sometimees if its really busy then I'll have to drag myself in. I've had 2 sick days in the last month or so though, mostly because my job is so boring and I'm kinda over it at the moment, so have just stayed home when I felt a little off-colour.
1 person likes this
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
You are right juicemilk, and often how we feel about the job will influence the decision as to whether to go to work or stay at home. Thanks very much for your contribution to the discussion. :)
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
20 Dec 06
You have the best response for this discussion juicemilk and I hope that you stay well in future. :)
@tentwo67 (3382)
• United States
4 Jan 07
I do try to continue working even when I'm sick, but I am reasonable about it. If I believe myself to be contagious, or if I'm so sick that I'm making myself worse by being out and about, then I'll stay home to recoup. If we all stayed home when we were less than 100% well, I wonder if there would ever be a day at any workplace when everyone was there. When I worked full time I worked sick because it would put me too far behind to miss work and I would get occurrences on the attendance system. Now that I work part time without benefits (including no sick pay), I try to work as much as I can because I won't get paid if I don't work. I do try to be sensible about it, though.
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
4 Jan 07
Yes it is good to be sensible in that if contagious then do not go to work but if just a bit "off colour" then by all means go to work, if you are able to perform the duties required. Thanks very much for the input to this discussion tentwo67.
1 person likes this
@cripfemme (7710)
• United States
3 Jan 07
I think everyone should stay home when they are ill. It's impossible not to contact anyone when you are at work no matter how hard you try. Plus your germs will get on your desk and the chair, not to mention the air. Stay home! Get better! Your coworkers will thank you!
1 person likes this
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
3 Jan 07
You have hit the nail of the head here because no matter how careful people are, they will still spread some germs around if the come into contact with other people. Although once I asked someone who had taken a sick day why they came into work a couple of weeks earlier when they were obviously sick. The response was "oh sick days aren't for when you are sick but for taking the day off to do something you want to do". I think that might be the feeling of a few people. :)
1 person likes this
• Italy
11 Dec 06
I never went to school when I was sick. But for me sickness is when I've fever..XD I can perfectly remember then when I had bad colds (most of the time..ò.ò) I went to school and my math's professor said me that I was crazy, 'cause going to school I'd spread germs XD While if I stayed at home, I'd be fine in a few days..
1 person likes this
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
Fever - Fever
Your professor was right that you would spread germs when you have a fever or a very bad cold. Is it best to avoid passing on germs to others you come in contact with. When you have a fever it is best to stay home in bed, as you will recover much sooner. Thanks very much for your response. :)
@rosebug23 (1909)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
I do not work now but when i did i usually stayed home if i had something that was going around like flu ,bad cold,or some other virus. If i was just sick like headache, upset stomach i would usually go to work.I have a lot of back trouble and have had to have many months off work so if i wasn't sick enough to go to the doctor i would go to work
1 person likes this
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
That makes sense in that if you are sick enough to take time off from work, then you are sick enough to go to the Doctor. I agree with you on that one rosebug. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. :)
• United States
11 Dec 06
i dont think its good going to work sick, but what if they threaten your job??? i worked with the public and i lost my voice and was coughing and all gross. they told me if i didnt find someone to cover me to find another job. and i needed that job at the time. and since i worker 3rd shift no one want to cover you.
1 person likes this
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
It does make it difficult if you are threatened, but do they still do that if you have a certificate from your doctor to say you are sick?
@alienstar (5143)
• India
11 Dec 06
It's alway's better to take rest if you are not feeling well.I don't think working is prefered if there are no people around....even doctors advice rest.They don't say, you can work if there are no people around or even if the surroundings are healthy...do they? instead of agrivating your sickness, it's alway's better to get alright first.wWhat do you say....am i right here?
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
I agree that generally doctors do advise rest but it appears that this isn't possible for everyone. This means that for some people who work alone, they can do their work although they won't be as effective, but also the chance of them passing on germs to others is minimal.
• United States
11 Dec 06
You don't get paid if you don't go, so yes I would go to work if I were sick. Unless I was too weak (which happened once). The places I worked at--well we were a dime a dozen. And I get sick often and stay sick for long periods. I would have lost my job if I stayed home every time I got the flu. And since I didn't have health insurance for a few years I couldn't even go to the doctor to get better. You just suck it up, take lots of over the counter cold medicine and do your job. When I was working on a college campus we had a flu outbreak. It pretty much shut the town and school down. There were, I believe, 8 strands of the flu going around and in a small college it just kept getting passed back and forth. Every single person at work was sick but we couldn't all call in. Someone had to cook for the kids (who were also sick). I remember going in at 6:30-7am to work for one lady who missed a whole week because of it and staying until 5pm (or later). I was doing her job, my job and 2 other people's jobs all at one time. I was filling the silverware, trays, soups and desserts. Then I would run back and help the other ladies serve food, make sandwiches, etc then I would run back and work the dishroom for 20 minutes. Just until I was needed back in the dining room to fill the salad bar. It was crazy and tiring. That one day we had 10 people out sick, several of them were in the hospital.
1 person likes this
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
Flu - Sick with Flu
You have highlighted what can happen when people do go to work when they are sick, i.e. it takes longer to recover and others go off sick which adds to the workload for those who are left to cope. Many years ago a bad flu virus was going around and many people came in to work unfortunately. I would see them because of my position in the company and so eventually I caught it, well actually 3 strains of it. Then I was off work for about 5 weeks which was not nice and the only time I went out was to see the Doctor, then straight home. Also I could not have any anti-biotics for some years after that till my immune system recovered. The following year I quit my job because once again I got sick and without medication, I knew it would take me ages to recover. Actually took me 4 months to fully recover. Thanks for responding to the discussion.
@Pigglies (9335)
• United States
11 Dec 06
If I have a minor cold, I'll still go. But unless I very desperately must go to work or school (like for a final or something), I don't go if I feel pretty sick. If I've just got a bit of a stuffed up nose, but not bad, I can't afford to stay home for every little thing. And if it's non-contagious, I'll almost definitely be to work or school. I'd prefer others to stay home, but I know that not many people can afford to (for work at least, school is a different story). I think going to school or work when you're like throwing up and stuff is horrible though. I'd never do that. I've seen someone at school that came in and had the flu. And at work I've heard that before people have come in and kept having to run to the bathroom.
1 person likes this
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
The minor ailments and those which are non contagious are okay, but it is when people are coughing, sneezing, vomiting etc that the problems occur. Thanks for your response. :)
@Mitraa (3187)
• India
11 Dec 06
Yes, it is a good topic. Whether it may be school or work or any sort of major involvement at home, no doubt, health and hyegine are prior to everything. By staying at home with rest and medicines, we not only care to improve our health but also isolate us from many others in our environment and reduce the chances of spreading of infections from us. This ultimately controls the disease. This is not the process of medicine or counselling, rather an application of our common sense. We must not ignore it anytime. Thanks.
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
Thanks for responding to the discussion. Your response is excellent and well thought out. :)
• Janesville, Wisconsin
11 Dec 06
I will only go to work or school sick if I am 100% knowing that what I have is not contagious, and that I can still get the job done. I very rarely fall extremely sick other then from, my Depression, or asthma... Usually for me I get over colds and flus within a day, or anything else. If it is contagious I will not go to work or school with it. As I believe it is best to Quaranteen myself from spreading whatever it is around, unless I can go without spreading it... Like if its a contagious infection on my skin, and As long as no one touches it they will be fine, Keep it covered then, and if it's safe to do so I will resume work or school. Otherwise the world would be a healthier place if people did miss work and school if they knew what they had was contagious stayed home in their rooms to heal, and then basically cleansed the room well. - DNatureofDTrain
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
11 Dec 06
I agree that people should stay home if there is any likelihood of them passing on germs to even just one other person. However this does not happen often enough as I have been shopping and more than once someone who has served me has a cold or flu, sniffing and sneezing. Thanks for your response. :)