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Do your sick day calls come with a bit of a performance?

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in Admin Pro Forum

Question: “I've noticed that when the people in my office call in sick, they always seem to be playing it up a little with an over-the-top weak voice, as if they feel the need to 'sell' their illness somehow. And to be honest, I've caught myself doing it too, because I think maybe my boss or co-workers just won't believe me. I bet lots of people are like me, but I'd like some reassurance!"   – Jill, Office Manager

See comments below, and send your own question to Admin-Pro@nibm.net.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

k April 22, 2014 at 11:51 am

It think it depends on where you work and the respect issue too. If you feel you don’t have to “fake it” then you don’t. All our days are put together so we don’t really have to give a reason either. I tend to just because. However I don’t know when the texting thing started. My boss a few months ago decided to text if running late or not coming in. I don’t want that information at home leave me a message at work and I’ll get it when I get it. One morning it was sent and I was on the road – I don’t need to see my phone light up when driving either. So the next time I called in I made it a point to call the office phone to make a point, not sure if my point was recieved the way I intended or not.

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Mar April 21, 2014 at 8:02 am

I rarely call in sick. I have been at my current employer for 6 years and I have not called in sick yet. The first day of Sick Leave is taken from our vacation bank, so I would hate to waste vacation time on “mental health” days….if I was truly sick I would call in, but luckily I seem to be a pretty healthy person. I’ve had minor things like stuffed up nose, etc. but nothing like the flu or anything where I’m contagious and/or can’t function. Knock on wood! If I did call in sick, I’m sure I wouldn’t have to “exaggerate” since my boss would KNOW I must be sick, since I never call in!!

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Pam April 18, 2014 at 9:43 am

I just call in and (if it’s too early) leave a message. It’s not that often and because I’m a hard worker who generally gets into work at least an hour before necessary, my boss doesn’t have an issue with my absence. She’s a really great boss so I guess I’m lucky that way!

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Cynthia N April 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm

I am fortunate enough to have an employer that got rid of sick days and switched the terminology to “personal days.” No one has to fake it!

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jenny April 10, 2014 at 10:15 pm

My issue is that i have chronic auto immune disease and i know people think I am faking. My brain knows there’s nothing I can do, but my heart and overwhelming guilt take over. It’s really hard, no matter how hard I work when I am in the office it’s never good enough because I get sick.

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Heather April 11, 2014 at 11:48 am

I feel you Jenny. I too have two chronic illnesses and it is hard not to feel like folks judge you when you are late or out sick because “you don’t look or sound sick.” Pain is frequently not visible. I used to feel guilty. Now I just realize that I am doing the best I can for myself and my employer. Ease up on yourself, hun. Maybe where you are isn’t the right place for you. Maybe folks aren’t being as judgemental as you think. Sometimes, us with chronic illness are our own worst critics. Hang in there.

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Nathan April 10, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Years ago, I found out from an HR contact that it us illegal to ask the reason you are taking a sick day, you do not have to explain shy you are taking one of your sick days either, just call in sick and that’s that.

Does anyone know if this us true? I hope I was not fed a story.

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Jackqueline April 10, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Nathan, I’m not sure where you are from, here in Australia we can take 2 days off as sick leave without a doctors certificate once we take the 3 day we are required to have a certificate and no reason is given other than the Doctors signature.

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Jackqueline April 10, 2014 at 6:37 pm

I just had a sick day on Monday of this week. I had been in bed all weekend. I emailed my Director telling her I would not be in on Monday (Sunday 2.30am). She emailed back on Monday making sure I was okay and if needed take as long as I needed.

This comes from being a good responsible worker, who doesn’t abuse sick leave

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Janet April 10, 2014 at 4:54 pm

I personally believe it’s carryover from our younger years when we tried to convince Mom that we were too sick to go to school (and of course really weren’t).

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Stephanie April 10, 2014 at 4:46 pm

I used to do the same thing. Thankfully, I work for a great boss who I do not feel the need to prove I am ill. At this point in my career, I’ve proven that I’m a good and responsible worker. I have good attendance and I’m rarely gone. I am learning to take care of me and not worry whether anyone believes me for taking off from work. I know the truth.

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Joyce April 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm

I don’t play it up, I just don’t hold back. So instead of waiting until I’m not wheezing and coughing to call, I go for it before I calm down and regain composure. I don’t know why I feel the need to do this since I call in sick maybe once or twice a year. Maybe it has to do with the relationship you feel you have with your boss. Looking back, I didn’t do this with all my bosses. I think if there is mutual respect and appreciation it’s less likely to happen.

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