Infecting the Workplace

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Sick Days Infographic

This infographic has been provided by Masters In Health Care

Where I work, we don’t get sick days, technically. We get a seemingly random amount of Paid Time Off (PTO). Which is use it by the end of the year, or loose it. Oh and, don’t wait till the end of the year to use it, because not everyone who requests off in December is going to have their PTO approved.   Since you can’t exactly pre-plan your sick days, everyone plans their vacations and tries to leave a few days for emergency’s and sick days.

This results in a lot of people coming to work sick.  For the most part, everyone tends to keep to themselves in the offices, but out on the production floor, there are lots of shared machines and computer stations. There are hand sanitizing stations in hallways and near the shared computers but you can guarantee that everyone is using them. Stomach bugs and colds spread like wild fire. Nobody can afford to take a day without pay, so everyone keeps coming to work sick. Its a vicious cycle.

I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to work sick. There are only three of us in our building that can run the particular machine I run, and we all work opposite each other.  If one of us is out, someone else has to cover. So we try not to be that last minute, “hey I’m not working today, I’m sick,  can you cover for me” phone call, that we all dread.  I’ve gone to work with migraines where I couldn’t even think straight. I’m sure my productivity was so low, it wasn’t even worth me being there.

Pretty much the only time I stayed home from work was when I was 24 and had chicken pox and a urinary tract infection at the same time.  It wasn’t pretty.  I was at a different job at the time and they didn’t believe me that I really had chicken pox until I sent them a picture of my face and stomach. Then they were like , “ew, stay home”.  They then called every day for TWO WEEKS to see if I was still contagious. Finally I got cleared by my doctor and returned to work  with all kinds of notes.  Due to HIPA my boss never told anyone why I was out or when I was coming back, so naturally my co-workers thought I had quit.

Nobody wants to go to work sick, everyone would rather lay in bed watching TV and eating soup, but nobody can really afford to miss work either.  So many people live paycheck to paycheck that they literally can’t afford to have a smaller paycheck!

Does your company provide sick days? Have you gone to work sick?

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