Should You Come to Work If You’re Sick?

Picture this: you wake up in the morning and you don’t feel too hot. Or maybe you do feel too hot. You’ve had a little bit of a sniffle the last couple days, but this morning, it’s at a whole new level. Your stuffy, you’re coughing. Your eyes are red and all the color has flushed out of your face. Then, the question pops into your head: should I go to work today?

With that, an flood of thoughts inundate your mind. We’re so busy this week! What if I just take some medicine and power through? They’ll be mad at me if I call in. What if I end up feeling better halfway through the day? 

Listen here and listen closely. Err…Read here and read closely.

If you want to call in sick because you’re not feeling good, CALL IN SICK BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT FEELING GOOD. 

I really shouldn’t have to explain this. I really shouldn’t have to waste my time and tell you how being a human works, but in light of recent events in a certain office **cough cough**, I’d like to vent my frustration.

I don’t care about you if you’re sick. I care about me if you’re sick. I don’t want you coming into the office with the flu, a cold, or some iteration thereof, and getting ME sick. Plain and simple.

But let’s say you come in anyway. Let’s say you’re a super important person with tons of work to do and lots of things on your plate so you have to come in, even if you threw up this morning and feel like total crap (this actually happened last week). You’re ruining it for the rest of us. When you come in to get your work done, you’re putting other people at risk for getting ill.

Let’s run a thought experiment. You come into the office while you’re sick. In turn, you get three more people sick. Those three people have weaker immune systems than you, so they have to call in later that week. In one foul swoop, you’ve caused a three-fold loss in productivity compared to the one-fold loss if you would’ve just called in when you first got sick.

By coming in to work, you’re stressing yourself out. More stress means a weakened immune system. A weakened immune system means you’ll be sicker longer, and it might even get worse. So there, instead of the initial one person calling in sick for a day or two, you’ve now got four people out sick from the office.

This is common sense, people. But no. Apparently we live in a society where getting sick and not coming into work is seen as a weakness, as some sort of bane on productivity. You don’t want to feel ostracized. You don’t want to have your coworkers pull your weight for a day or two. You don’t want to screw other people over.

I hate to break it to you, but you’re not making it better when you come in sick. You’re making it worse. We need to stop making it okay when people come in to work sick. Instead of ostracizing the ill when they call in, you need to ostracize them for not calling in. Same goes with students in school. Instead of forcing them to go in because they’ll get in trouble with the principal, make them stay home. If that means you, the parent, have to stay home, too, so be it.

Quit putting other people at risk. Quit being selfish. Call in sick.

While I’m on the subject, get your flu shot. Get any and all vaccinations recommended to you or your children. If you don’t, you’re an ass hole. That’s another group of people we should start ostracizing: the anti-vaccine crowd. If you don’t get vaccinated, you’re putting everyone else at risk for getting sick. I get it, I really do. Some insurance programs don’t cover flu shots. Mine doesn’t (which is absolutely ridiculous). But you know what? The shot to cover all four strains of the flu costs $39. The shot to cover only three strains costs something like $12.

$12. That’s it. Go get it. Get it now.

I’ll wait…

When you don’t get vaccinated, you’re allowing a disease that should be wiped off the face of the earth by now to have some sort of small foothold in our society. I don’t care if it’s because your religion tells you not to. I don’t care if it’s because you think vaccines cause autism (which they don’t). I don’t care if you’re lazy. Get vaccinated.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programing.

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