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Old 11-05-2010, 03:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Manhattan, NY
Do you call in sick?

I rarely will call in sick. I get unlimited sick days and rarely use them.

It takes a lot for me to call in sick, like I have to be going to the hospital sick. Lately, instead of calling in sick, I'll just work from home.

Do you call in sick? How many sick days do you get?
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: S.E. PA in U Sofa
I might call in sick a couple days a year at the most. Luckily, I'm sort of mostly healthy, at least as far as I know and feel.

Our company doesn't give "sick", "vacation", "personal" days anymore like we used to. In the last couple years we changed to getting a block of PTO "personal time off" days and you can use them for whatever you need. How many depends on how long somebody's been on the job. I think we give a week after 6 months and then after a year you get 2 weeks, and then it builds from there. I've been there 15 years so I get so many I don't know what to do with them. As of now, I have the week leading into Christmas scheduled off right up until after New Year and I still have to burn up 3 more weeks in addition to that.

It's a small company with quite good personnel policies so in the rare case where somebody really gets sick and doesn't have days, we would evaluate that on a case by case basis but almost always give the employee the time off they need. We just added a "use it or loose it" policy which doesn't allow carrying PTO's over into the next year, but you can cash out 5 PTO days for pay if you choose to and have them left at the end of the year.

This reminds me that even during my school years, many years went by without me being out sick. I'm grateful for that health and luck.

Last edited by BadNick; 11-05-2010 at 03:13 PM..
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: New England, USA
I also rarely call in sick. If I have something like strep throat, I'll be out until the antibiotics kick in. My company bundles vacation and sick time together, so you are better off to stay healthy.

In theory, I get four weeks that I could technically use as sick days.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Unless I have the flu or a stomach bug, I don't call in sick. I'm more likely to call in due to my son being sick than for my own illness. I worked in retail for so long I feel guilty for calling in; I've had some managers that you'd think I was asking for a kidney instead of one freaking day off.

I just started a new job a few months ago and I don't have any sort of leave at all. I can pretty much take time off if I need it, I just won't get paid. The good thing is I work from home, so if I'm feeling lousy I can still work if I absolutely need to, and I can work when my son is sick.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i cashed in so many sick hours when i retired from the feds...

should have used some for those "overnighters..."
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Buffalo NY
I never never called in sick althought i called in dead once. Its funny becasue i never missed a day of work till that point. So my buddies and i decided to go to cape cod for a 4 day weekend I called my boss one thursday morning and told my boss that i was dead for the next few days and i would see him on in a few days. He told me that sence i had never called in that he would let it slide this time but dont make it a habbit. LOL
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
Location: LI,NY
I earn 21 sick days a year. I can accumulate up to 200 before I *have* to use them. When I retire, they will earn me credit towards my health insurance. I try to save them for when the kids are sick. I rarely call in for myself. Even when I call in because of the kids, I end up doing some work from home anyway. Sometimes, my boss will tell me not to use my sick time when I do that.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Colorado
I'm frequently on call and have the ability to do 90% of my job from home.

For me, "calling in sick" means muting the phone before I throw up or flush.

In fairness, I have more personal days than I can easily use. "Powder day at Vail" is a valid excuse in Colorado if nothing urgent is going on.
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: New England
Hell yeah I call in sick. No one wants their massage therapist sniffing and snorting and sneezing their way through a massage.

I work on an independent contractor basis, so I only get paid if I have a session.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Greater Boston area
I call in when my back is acting up, typically 2-3 times a year. I don't get "sick" all that often. I've been known to take an occasional "mental health day".
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: Southern England
In the UK, it is very clear (in law as well as in practice) that employees have Personal Leave and Public Holidays (which have to be paid) and Parental Leave (which is sometimes paid, but not mandatory).

Time off for illness of yourself or a dependent may not be counted against your designated holiday, but in law does not have to be paid at your full daily rate. New staff (which I think in law means less than 12 months service) do not have to be paid at all if off sick.

The law here also grants the same rights to contractors IF they do more than a certain proportion of their work for the same business. This was brought in fairly recently to combat companies moving full time staff onto bogus self employed contracts to avoid paying them holiday and sick pay.

In my case, my deciding factor is whether I can drive safely. If I can get myself to work, I can do some work. I have been sent home sick once in the past few years, and called in sick once or maybe twice. I've taken time off for childcare a couple of times, but my employer is very flexible and so am I (the company is really good about letting parents have time for family, as all the bosses have family too).
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: Juneau, Alaska
If I'm constantly coughing my lungs out or throwing up every 20 minutes, I'll get someone to cover me as soon as possible. This rarely happens though-maybe once a year I'll get a stomach flu that makes me physically weak and extremely nauseous. My job is physically demanding, so if I can't regularly lift 10ish pounds on a large tray and carry it up stairs then I'm useless. I also don't want to be coughing around customers all the time. I find that unprofessional and I don't want to get anyone sick, ta' boot.

I don't get any sick leave at the main job, and I think I get a couple weeks' worth of sick/vacation leave at the part-time one.
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Daniel_ View Post
... but my employer is very flexible and so am I (the company is really good about letting parents have time for family, as all the bosses have family too).
daniel i find it ironic, since a lot of what your work revolves around is preventing families from being created

i have called in sick maybe 2 days in the last 4 years. one day i went to work and then went home, another day i was sick and got better by mid morning, but decided it would be mid afternoon by the time i got to work, so i didnt bother going in.

it takes me a lot to not go to work. unless its a debilitating migraine, 99% of the time, i go to work. a few years back i had a work-site accident that could have killed me. i couldnt walk straight for two weeks after that, but the very next day after the accident i was at work on the construction site because the job needed to get done. if it rained with the footing excavation still open i would have been screwed and it'd have cost me much more than a days work. needless to say everyone thought i was crazy.
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The only way to get a sick day in the US Army is to be wounded to the point where you're making a mess on the floor or you're unconscious.

And, as an extension of that, there are no sick days in my current field. If you need medical attention, you have to travel several hours to another city.

If you sprain your ankle? Drive on. Volcanic diarrhea? Drink water. Temp of 104? Ibuprofen 800s. Sucking chest wound? Okay, you can see a medic.


Needless to say, I can't wait until I have a lame office job where I can call in sick just to stay home and make sweet love to my girlfriend.
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Last edited by Plan9; 11-06-2010 at 02:02 AM..
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:01 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Rand McNally's friendliest small town in America. They must have strayed from the dodgy parts...
I very rarely call in sick, and when I do it's because of something like the flu or stomach problems. If my position that day is one of a solitary nature and I have quick access to a toilet, I will go provided what I have isn't contagious.

It used to be a widespread and common practice to call in on days when you just didn't want to go to work or had something else you'd rather be doing, and *nobody* cared, but with budget cuts etc...times change. The attitude of "you've earned it, use it if you want to" has changed substantially. That coupled with a few trips to the emergency room, as well as knowing people that have worked there for 15-30 years and have absolutely no sick time, I've made the choice to try to save up as much as possible, in case I ever truly do need it.

My sick leave accrues at a certain number of hours per month, and it increases annually until some point where it tops out. The same applies to vacation time. We also have the option to have overtime and/or holiday hours as compensatory time instead of just getting the extra money on payday.
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dlish View Post
daniel i find it ironic, since a lot of what your work revolves around is preventing families from being created
This is the problem with the culture clash between Real Americans and Mooslams! You see it as baby-prevention and we see it as safe fucking. (j/k)

/that mildly retarded book that says Arabs/Muslims will outnumber white Westerners in 20 years
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:19 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Location: With All Your Base
I "get" about 400 hours of PTO a year... this includes 10 holidays, sick leave, etc. It's based on years I've worked there. You can only roll over 200 a year. Last year, including the time off I took with S, holidays, enforced "you better use some more hours!" orders and sick time, I still lost 20 hours.

Because I work with sick kids, immunocompromised people, and at a hospital sometimes, if I've had a fever in the past 24 hours, I call out sick. If I'm remotely contagious, I call out. If I've got paperwork to do, I'll "work from home" but they don't like that. I don't get sick enough...
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:44 AM   #19 (permalink)
Location: at home
I have by law the right of 2 sick days per month and 5 days per year to cover if the kids are sick. They do not accumulate or carry over from one time period to the next. This said sick days have never been an issue as I tend not to call in sick unless it's clear to everybody and me that it's the right thing to do. My current employer doesn't even really keep track of sick days nor vacation days, meaning that it could be calculated but would take time and effort. One reason for this is that I can do most of my work from where I happen to be at the time and in theory I can do all away from the office but I decided that was something that my boss didn't need to know . So at the end of the day I rarely sign in a whole sick day.
When my kids were born I took 50% parental leave for 6 months, that is in stead of taking 3 months on full benefits from the insurance fund I worked half day and got half benefits for 6 months.
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Old 11-06-2010, 03:20 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Location: New York
I don't have a designated number of sick days. The general rule where I work is that is if someone is sick, but still wants to work, they will work from home.
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Old 11-06-2010, 03:31 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Location: I'm just sittin' here watching the world go round and round
I had a stroke 3 years ago and since then have had quite a few "episodes" (we're not sure what they are and the testing goes on) and my company has been very generous with paid leave even though I only warrant 4 paid sick days a year. The thing with me is that I will come to work even if I can hardly stand or use my left hand for anything so they cut me some slack in that department.....and I'm very good at my job.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:55 AM   #22 (permalink)
(It's a longer post than I intended. There's some slight digression and anecdotes in here but it's all about sick days.)

All this talk of using calling in sick because you are sick (or your kids are) makes me feel a bit bad. It isn't the case with what I'm doing for a job now but my general outlook until recently - and that of most people I hung out with - was that sick days were wasted if you used them when you actually were sick. Depends on circumstances and what the work is but as long as being at work sucks more than being at home you might as well go into work and get it over with even if you really feel awful. I'm talking about call center jobs and bottom level office jobs at places you don't want a career, which is all the jobs I've ever had until now. If I had a fulfilling job in a field I'm interested in that paid well I'm sure I wouldn't have that attitude. And as I say, I've got a gig now that's a bit different and might have a bit of a future so I'm not throwing sickies anymore.

Calling in sick for me and my buddies was usually saved for either planned long weekends when legit holiday had been asked for and declined, or if holidays were all used up; or else unplanned heavy binge sessions that leaked over into the daylight hours of the day I was supposed to work - usually Monday or the Tuesday after a bank holiday. One guy I knew worked at a call center and stayed up drinking with a bunch of us. Everyone but him either had the next day off already or else called in sick at the appropriate time. He felt like he couldn't call in because he'd done so too many times recently (all bogus of course) and he had had warnings etc. So he goes to work having had no sleep for two days and a night, and having been drinking and more throughout up right until he has to start work. Doesn't even make the first hour before falling asleep in the middle of a call. Caught straight away of course, asked to justify himself, couldn't, shurgged, got fired. Very Bukowski. And very amusing but not really surprising, and totally his own fault.

Not counting the job I'm at now, I have had six different jobs in the four years since I left university - all shitty call center/office jobs. I took 40-50 sick days in that time, at a guess. A week or so of that was legit - broken wrist - and maybe two or three more days was for real bad stomach trouble but the rest was bogus. Sometimes you're calling in because of a hangover and you kid yourself THAT'S legit but it's not - you could go in but you just want a day off, you don't want to go in feeling like shit and have awful perky not hungover people looking at your awful face and smelling your horrid alco breath.

The past few years I've found there's subtle skills involved in throwing a sickie. Things that make it easier or more believable, excuses, etc... The best prep you can do is sound out your boss's attitude first. Try to listen to him/her dealing with someone else who's calling in. If he's not fussed and like "yeah ok, I hope you get well soon and call me again tomorrow if you can't come in again" you're on Easy Street. It's like he's inviting you to call in again tomorrow. (Why not? It all counts as one incidence and you can have five days without needing a doctor's note.) But if he's concerned, asking probing questions and the call lasts anything longer than a minute he's a hardass and you've definately got to have a solid story when you call in. When that employee comes back you keep your eye open for the 'back to work' interview - is that treated as a triviality and skimmed over, or - even better - totally skipped? Good. Do they go somewhere quiet for half an hour and come back looking pissed off or worried? Not good. So you scoped out the situation and decided to have a sick day. Deep breath. Story straight. The anticipation of the call is worse than actually making it. All you really need to say is "I don't feel well today so I'm not coming to work" and embellish things when you return but doing that feels more bald and transparent - more like open defiance which the manager, if he's in a belligerent mood or if someone else has called in too and he's short staffed, might almost see as a gauntlet thrown down. So pretend it. You know it's BS and probably he does too but a bit of play acting - nothing OTT - sweetens the pill for everyone.

No pretend 'illness' can be refuted outright - what does the boss know? He's not a doctor - but he can tell when you're obviously playing him. A favourite of mine, used once per manager for the last three or four I had, was that I had had two curries - a spicy Chinese and then an Indian later - on the same day, and now my gut's complaining about it loudly and painfully. Whatever excuse is used, avoid specifics and details that may have to be remembered later but have some truthful element to your story if at all possible, to make the telling easier.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:02 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I very rarely call in sick. Usually I have the option of working from home. If I call in sick, it's usually because I'm in extremely bad shape. I bet that happens maybe once a year.
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:11 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Location: earth
You can't bank sick days or cash them out when you retire so I tend to use my days.

You also don't get any type of reward or bonus for not calling in sick. I don't think your allowed to award for attendance? Could be wrong though, but anyway I never missed a day for 2 years and now I use them. I treat them like extra vacation days. I am a cyclist, the sun is shining, no winds and a beautiful day? Cough Cough I am calling in and going for a ride. Do some yard work that afternoon maybe.

I try and save them for when I am stressed. I feel guilty some days but it is not like I split atoms at work (account manager).

You get 10 days a year, paid. I try and save 5 from September on in case I really got sick. But come November if the sun is out and the winds are low I'll be out riding. Cough Cough.

Last edited by canuckguy; 11-06-2010 at 01:20 PM..
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:05 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Location: Downey, CA
I call in sick when I need too. Sick time doesn't roll over for me and perfect attendance doesn't mean anything, so there is no point in trying to work if I am sick. Beyond a certain point there is progressive discipline, but there is always FMLA (family medical leave act) that I can use for additional time if needed.

We had some idiot though that was dumb enough to have a calendar in his locker that mapped out when he was going to use his sick time and fmla. Management caught wind of it and he got fired.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:22 PM   #26 (permalink)
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We get 15 days per fiscal year. Last year I used 12, as of now I've used 7 when I was sick and 2 for a family funeral as specified under FMLA and I'm concerned that I might run out due to genuine illness. I've come in while sick many times, both full days and called in for events when I was the only person who could cover what they needed. I've also come in on about half of the vacation days I've taken because someone needed me. I can't take more than 3 in a row without a doctor's note and I luckily haven't been sick for more than 3 days and a weekend in a row in recent memory. What we don't used gets rolled into our Prior Sick Day bank in case of serious illness or recovery from something like surgery.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:51 PM   #27 (permalink)
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The concept of calling in sick is a bit foreign to me. In my 20 years of being in the work force, I'd be surprised if I've called in sick 20 times total. It's probably closer to half that.

Only once did I call in sick when I wasn't sick and wanted to do something with my friends. I was young (in my teens), and I felt so guilty doing it that I couldn't bring myself to do it again. Since then, if I called in sick it's because I really was sick.

When I have called in sick, I felt bad about it. I'm not fond of making things difficult for people. I know what it's like to have people call in sick (and I know what it's like to know people do it when they aren't sick).

These days, it's different. I work from home and being sick doesn't matter. I can work in my pajamas on a recliner in front of the TV if need be.

Oh, and the idea of getting 15 to 20 days per year for sick days (and even "banking" them) just blows my mind. That's two to three weeks a year! I don't think I even take all of my two weeks' worth of holidays each year.
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Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 11-06-2010 at 08:54 PM..
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:26 PM   #28 (permalink)
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You guys work too much.
Whatever you can carry.

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Old 11-06-2010, 11:18 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Location: Tennessee
When I was a young lad working shit retail jobs I called in sick all the time (if I even bothered to call at all) because I usually just had better things to do...I got fired a lot though. These days I never call in sick because I really can't, if I'm booked to sit in on bass somewhere I either show up or don't get paid (and neither does anybody else if they have to cancel) so unless I'm being air lifted to intensive care I pretty much have to be there...

...the ulcers coming along nicely though.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:23 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Location: Colorado
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
Oh, and the idea of getting 15 to 20 days per year for sick days (and even "banking" them) just blows my mind. That's two to three weeks a year! I don't think I even take all of my two weeks' worth of holidays each year.
Same. I'm salaried, I have more than 40hrs worth of work to do every week, regardless of vacation.sick days, or holidays. Taking a day off for any reason means I just have to make it up somewhere. I don't generally use all of my personal days or vacation.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:36 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Location: Windy City
I get 2 weeks of personal/sick time a year. I've found that mental health days are a good preventative for me to make sure I keep myself healthy so I DON'T end up out of the office for days at a time due to illness.

I've called off by leaving early occasionally on days where I know I just need to get home and into bed. By taking care of it early, I'm back the next day, instead of working through it and driving my body into the ground.
As a manager.. I prefer my team actually stay home when they are sick. Just because you are physically present doesn't mean your quality of work won't suffer. Often times their work performance dips low enough that it actually would have been better if that day's work just had not been done to begin with.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:27 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Location: Oregon
I get no paid time off currently, but if I'm sick, I am expected to call in and take the hit. My current job requires that I prepare food, which means there are certain guidelines to be followed. I can't work if I have a fever and sore throat, can't work if I'm throwing up, can't work if I have diarrhea, and can't work if I have jaundice (not likely, because I'm immunized).

I would feel bad if I had to call in sick because of how hard it would be on my boss's end to find me coverage, but I understand that it is important to do so in certain cases. I'm exposed to a lot of people every day because of my work, and I wouldn't want to be responsible for getting all of them sick because I decided to come into work ill.
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Old 11-07-2010, 04:11 PM   #33 (permalink)
Location: San Antonio, TX
Only rarely. I'm a computer guy, so I can work from home, unless I'm feeling really crappy.
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