Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Rants from the Chair: On People Who Go to Work When They’re Sick

It’s not that I am unsympathetic.  I really feel badly when people I care about get sick.  Certainly I have been sick, and it sucks. 

But when they bring their various sniffles, sneezes, coughs and fevers into the workplace where they most generously share these dastardly germs with others, I have been known to become enraged.

I’ve always felt this way, and I’m sure others share my feelings on the subject.

But when I became self-employed eight years ago, and lost the benefit of paid sick leave, my anger reached new, monumental heights.

My self-employment situation still requires me to work around other people, just to clarify that I’m not huddled into isolation.

And make no mistake, before I blow the top of my head off in frustration when someone generously offers up their stinking germs for distribution, I am always careful to check and make sure they are not suffering from something non-contagious, like a massive hangover, or just plain sleep deprivation from an “issue” at home.  And I tend to be generous with those who insist they’re experiencing that pesky “sinus-infection” thing.  Allergies are another reason to give people a pass.

But I am so adamant on this issue, I have been known to forego spending time with my grandchildren when they’re sick.  I won’t even go within a 5-mile radius of their houses when their parents are sick!

My beloved colleagues, who are also self-employed, insist they must work sick because they don’t get paid to stay home either.  So that justifies the possibility of shutting down the entire facility when absolutely everyone comes down with what they have? 

And my personal favorite is when they’re not sick, but they bring their ailing children into the workplace to spew bacteria in the staff lounge because their classrooms won’t accept them in that condition.

Don’t get me wrong.  In spite of the vehemence of this rant, I basically adore people in general.  They make life worth living.

But sometimes?  They just really piss me off.


February 7, 2012 - Posted by | People Being Selfish | , ,


  1. It really gets me when they brag about how they never take their sick time; they just self-medicate & suck it up. And a week to 10 days later, I’m miserable with it.

    Comment by Lin | February 7, 2012 | Reply

  2. whew… me too.

    Comment by Peggy | February 7, 2012 | Reply

  3. Jill, you could do the Japanese/Chinese thing and wear a mask around those people that want to share. Maybe you could get some of those white ones at Lowes or Home Depot and decorate them with markers so they look more festive. If a customer says something, point out that if you’re sick you can’t work and won’t be there when they need you. Some people may get the idea, most will probably just keep on the way they are, but you might not catch the crud. With the mask you could also go out without being recognized, or rob a bank if you are so inclined. Forget the bank, one of your customers would recognize you when they show your picture on the news and they would turn you in for the reward. If you put o hole in the mask big enough for a straw you could go to the bar to drink …..that might be the best idea.

    Comment by Linda Wines Stokes | February 7, 2012 | Reply

  4. Here is a scary fact – – – – if you google common cold contagious period, you will find out that it is contagious for the entire length of the time that the person has symptoms = up to 2 WEEKS !!! Even the people who do stay home, don’t stay home for 2 weeks. The good people stay home the first few days that they feel bad, and then they return to work and public places. Also, the virus is airborne and transmitted not only by touch, coughing, sneezing etc. but thru TALKING !!! I’m thinking, realistically, the only thing you can do to protect yourself is to boost your own immune system to the best of your ability – – – and for God’s sake don’t ever touch another shopping cart again EVER !

    Comment by Luanne Fickett | February 7, 2012 | Reply

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