How Sick Have You Shown Up to Work

When you’re sick, going to work is the last thing you want to do. But, with heavier workloads and fewer employees to help cover for absent employees, for some, staying home from work doesn’t always seem like an option.

When you’re not feeling well, it can be hard to focus on the tasks at hand at work and you run the risk of making mistakes or taking longer to complete assignments. This October, as flu season begins, take the advice of physicians and stay home when you’re too sick to work. Staying home can lead to a quicker recovery that gets you back to 100% faster.

25 Responses to How Sick Have You Shown Up to Work

  1. Kevin Epley October 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    …and when I did arrive at work with a blazing fever, I was reminded, “that’s what Sick Days are for. Go home.”

  2. Jere S. Martin October 5, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    I use to work outside everyday. I’d come in runny nose, sore throat, coughing, a slight fever and sometimes all at the same time, but it didn’t stop me from coming into work. Rain, sun, hot, cold I have to walk close 5 to 10 miles maybe more a day to complete my meter reading route, and during the course of the day I’d take non-drowsey medicine, drink orange juice, whatever it took to continue until my route was completed. If I didn’t finish my route it would put the team behind for the next day. It’s tough going to work sick but I found that because of the vigorous work I performed on a daily basis and at times twisting an ankle I would fell better through the course of the day sweating the cold out. And as for the ankle I was fortunate at times that twisting my ankle would occur towards the end of the week. No matter when it occured I’d ice it down and stay off of it as much as possible. I achieved perfect attendance from 2006 to 2009.

    • Kim October 5, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

      Were you duly compensated for your stellar commitment to your job and employer for achieiving perfect attendance? I sure hope so.

      If you are not around other people when you are contagious then you don’t risk spreading it around, but sometimes you should stay home to do your co-workers a favour.

      My Boss is notorious for coming in sick and inevitably it goes around because he refuses to stay at home when he’s contagious.

      Furthermore for those of us who have a family to care for outside of work, there are still companies that do not help in creating a work-life balance, provide benefits and do not pay to scale. But when you need the job to provide for our families, we do what we has to be done and that is how we get run down and sick in the first place.

      Giving 110% of yourself is not always worth it, even if it is a personal mantra.

  3. Todd Harig October 5, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    I’ve been to work several times when there was no question I should not have been. My logic (at the time)–I can be miserable at home, or I can be miserable at work…Save those sick days for when you need them!!

  4. Cheryl October 5, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    great Jere, your perfect attendance got all your co-workers and their families sick.
    and who knows how many customerss you ran into those days.
    companies that promote perfect attendance are not looking at the big picture.

  5. Leann October 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    I showed up with a dr’s excuse not to be at work for the next two days asked the boss did he want me to work or go home… he winced and said I need you to work if you can.

    So I worked….

    • Mary October 6, 2010 at 9:20 am #

      You should have just went home……and took care of you.

      • Deena December 30, 2011 at 4:35 am #

        The voice of raitnoaitly! Good to hear from you.

  6. john October 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    How sick have you gone to work?

    * Sniffling and sneezing but otherwise fine
    * With a cough that could drown out the most annoying fax machine
    * Burning up with a high fever
    * With the sore throat of a fire eater
    * Temporarily blinded by a pounding headache
    * With an itchy pink eye
    * So sick I was rushed to the hospital

    All of the first five, there is hardly any difference in the options.
    How about working under the influence of Nyquil and drinking coffee to stay awake.

  7. Kirk October 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    One should always go in to work. There is absolutely no reason why someone should not. You do not get paid to stay at home you get paid to work!!

    • Mary October 6, 2010 at 9:40 am #

      You’re either an employer or saying this to get under people’s skin.
      Saying there is absolutely no reason to be off work….that’s a bit extreme.
      With all these different types of flu strains going around…who wants to take a chance and make a whole office ill or make mistakes that could be costly to a company.
      Let people be home, in peace of mind and get feeling well enough, at least not contagious, so that they can function properly.
      And btw….most companies have paid sick days….and if you don’t, then that’s unfortunate.
      But then you have to think….is it really worth going into work and making lots of other people sick or taking your germs home with you and getting better.
      Question…what would you say, if someone needed time off due to a death? Still no reason to be off work?

      • Ron December 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

        I don’t know the dynamics bniehd your cats’ interactions, but they usually try to establish a pecking order in the house. If the sick cat was dominant before, the heathy cat may be using this time to become the alpha cat in the house. Sometimes, animals are just like people and bully ones who are sick, abnormal or different looking. Time sometimes helps this to work itself out and in a couple of weeks, they will probably get along together again. Good luck on your dream of residential harmony!

    • Cheryl October 6, 2010 at 11:06 am #

      nice. why don’t you ride your horse & buggy back to the days of ‘my way or the highway’.
      look at the big picture.

    • Suz October 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

      I tried that…came to work after throwing up blood all night.
      Made it through half the day, went home only to be rush to the ER after I couldn’t stay conscious.
      I lost half of my body’s blood and would have died in another hour…all because I’m the department head and I thought that would send the wrong message to my staff.
      We have folks with walking pneumonia in our small office!
      If one person gets a cold, we’ll all have it by the end of the week.
      STAY HOME till you’re not contagious!

  8. Lorilee Rufener October 6, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    To succeed in life, you require two things: ignorance and self confidence

  9. Sher October 7, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    I send people home for being sick, and I certainley accept
    “Sick” as a reason to stay home. What I can’t stand is 2 things…..They Drive me nuts!!!! Am I alone????
    1)People who email me to say they are sick and won’t be in.
    I have never would I ever Email my boss……I will call him personally, or leave him a message(because I am Always in before him)
    2)”I didn’t get any sleep last night”
    To me, That’s not an excuse to not come in…..If your not sick, and you can’t sleep, get your ass into work will yah!

    I am far from a hard ass Boss, But come on !

  10. Kay October 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    The list didn’t include throwing up. I’ve worked when I’ve had to dash to the bathroom or have to clean up the floor. I was the boss in that location, it was a corporation that didn’t have sick days, and even if they had offered them I didn’t have anyone to replace me for the day. Closing the store would have amounted to quitting.

    • Dee October 19, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

      Kay, I’m right there with you! I threw up in my wastebasket once in front of my regional VP (not planned), which I had just met five minutes earlier! Needless to say, next time I’m queasy I might come in late, if at all.

  11. Jackie October 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    I think the question here is not so much whether or not YOU feel like its ok for you to be at work, but rather how do your co-workers feel about you being there. The last thing I want is to be sitting next to someone for 8 hours who is hacking up a lung and dripping wet with sweat from a fever. Have some consideration for the people you work with… and if you are truly sick.. STAY HOME.

  12. Patrick October 19, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    Unless I’m contagious, I am encouraged to be at work and stay at work. I have been reminded that we do not have sick days, per se, and that we do not have Workers Comp. The five days I have taken in the last nearly three years met with grumbling – except for one day when there was the fear that I was contagious. Less grumbling that day.

  13. Ozzy October 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    Once when I was a superintendent for a construction company I was so sick that I could not stand up or walk but I was needed to supervise some framing and roofing projects. I had someone drive me from project to project while I was laying down in the back of a pickup truck with a camper shell as my shelter. Reminded me of sultans being carried about in Arabia.

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  15. CeCe December 17, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    Stay home if you are sick. My company doesn’t have sick pay. For that reason we have all kinds of illnesses floating around the office. People dragging themselves in just because they won’t get paid is a horrible idea and I would abolish it in our company if I could. Instead I spend cold and flu season bathing in antibacterial gel and spraying lysol on all door handles etc.

    Where there is incentive coming in sick but keeping to yourself would be acceptable. Getting on board with a Company Wellness Program would alleviate a lot of these problems.

  16. Matt Hebb January 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    I agree with CeCe and the Company Wellness Program. People really can’t afford to get sick but they do nothing to prevent themselves from illness. Simply taking a daily multi vitamin can make a big difference, but most don’t do it.

  17. Lori Hallenbeck June 18, 2018 at 9:16 am #

    I am a nurse and though they tell you to stay home when you’re sick,try calling out. They can’t replace you. During the winter,I came down with a stomach virus and had been throwing up all night. I tried to call in and was told they didn’t have anyone to cover. So,naturally,I got to work and spent half the time in the bathroom with my head in the toilet,and twice,even threw up in a patient’s bathroom. Embarrassing as the nurses station is faiy small and everyone could hear.

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