If You Go to Work When You Are Sick, You Should Be Fired

There are few things worse than going to work while sick. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some people whose jobs are so important that they do need to go to work even when they are sick. But if your job title doesn’t begin with “President” and end with “of the United States of America,” or something of that caliber, you probably are not in that group of people.

People who come to work sick:

a) feel like crap, thus reduce the efficiency of their own work

b) spread germs, thus make other people sick, thus futher reduce the efficiency of the company

c) suck

I understand that some people are in a position where they are not allowed to call in sick, which is a ridiculous policy in itself. But if you’re not in the upper echelons of your company (or your country), stay the hell home when you’re sick. The common response to this is “but I’ll get behind in my work!” And my reponse is, if missing a day or two of work is going to screw you that badly, your company has much larger problems than sick day policies, and working for such a shitty company probably sucks worse than being unemployed, so quit. Better yet, call in sick, which is the correct thing to do anyway, and let them fire you. It’s easier to get unemployment that way.

People at my last corporate job were always sick. It wasn’t because the work was high stress; it was because they weren’t allowed to call in sick. As a result, the following was a common occurance. I would get a call at my desk from another coworker, and the following conversation would ensue:

Them: “Can you come help me?”

Me: “Sure”

(I arrive at their desk)

Them: *cough* *wheeze* *gag* “Sorry, I have a 103 fever” *cough, cough, sneeze* “and I vomited this morning” *cough*, “can you show me how to do such-and-such in this program?”

Me: “That requires touching your SARS mouse after I’ve breathed your SARS air. I really don’t feel like dying. Sorry.”

If I ran a company and someone came to work sick, I would fire them. The preservation of public health trumps your call center meeting its daily quota.

3 Replies to “If You Go to Work When You Are Sick, You Should Be Fired”

  1. When my dad worked at Boeing as a machinist, it took 3 “points” to get terminated – missing work for any reason was an automatic point. One of his co-workers took a couple of sick days (1 point) came back for a day, and got sick again (another point). So since he tried to come back to work and couldn’t, he got two instead of one.

  2. I don’t think I would want people who are sick and can’t fully concentrate building the airplanes that are transporting people across the country. What Boeing should do is send them home and let them rest and not have any stupid “point” system where people are going to end up coming to work sick and a) spreading germs (thus making more people sick) and b) potentially not doing their best work, because they are afraid of staying home and getting “points” on their record.

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