Such guilt about calling into work; is it a generation thing?

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  1. I don't feel bad if I am legitimately sick - coughing, sneezing, fever...we have a small office, and if one of us gets sick, it passes fast. I admit I've taken the occasional "mental health day" so I could get a break and relax (only once last semester after a HUGE exam that I'd been studying for weeks for), but I don't abuse it.
  2. Add me to the list of people who feel horrible.

    But I'm a mess through and through, I've gone in on two of my last four days off because i feel so guilty for being off. I'm nuts.
  3. #33 Feb 10, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
    I don't necessarily think it is *totally* generational, I think it depends on your personal work ethic.

    I always feel guilty about it, unless I'm just so sick I don't care (like the past 2 days). As someone else said, we're a fairly small office too and things get passed around quickly, so our supervisors encourage us to just stay home if we aren't feeling up to par. I definitely don't abuse it, though.

    I have one coworker who calls in all the time and uses it when she just wants a day off or for really lame excuses. Or if she asks for a vacation day and it is turned down, she'll call in sick that day without fail. That really bugs me, and it damages the morale of everyone else in the office.
  4. 42 here...I hardly ever have called in sick but in most of my line of work I've been able to check email remotely and that was still of course expected. You just put a "I'm slow to respond to email - contact xyz person for immediate help" out of office alert on your Outlook email and then rest & check email occasionally.

    What I DO NOT have any understanding of is the attitude of "well, my company gives us 'x' number of sick days a year and you bet I'm going to use them!" :tdown: Unplanned absenteeism is costly and leaves a poor impression on one's work ethic.
  5. I would think it might be generational, but in the opposite direction.

    Someone who is 18 and immortal and all-powerful might be less likely to consider the consequences - to their family and their employer, even other people who might be out on the roads, already in the throes of a life or death emergency - as well as themselves - that could result from their decision to go driving off in dangerous weather.

    But by the time someone is 40, I would expect them to apply more of their acquired wisdom and common sense to just about every situation and choice - including bad weather vehicle operation!
  6. Well the snow is FINALLY over and the roads are semi-clear so I'm heading in to work this evening.

    Thanks to all of you who responded, I was quite curious about this. ;)
  7. I actually had to call in this morning b/c I had no way of getting to work. Snowed in. And no one here in my household has 4WD. My boss was extremely nice about it and understood. She said she'd rather the employees be safe at home if you can't make it. But they did open today Idk if we closed early or not.
    I actually did feel bad about calling out today. I apologized twice over the phone about it. (usually idc)
  8. #38 Feb 10, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
    I think it's more a maturity issue than an age issue. The young women at my job call out at the drop of a hat and aren't too shy about admitting the real reason. If I had a dollar for everyone who's said "Well, if I can't find anyone to work for me on XXX, I'll just call out, because I really want to go to the beach/this party/that concert/have a long weekend with my new BF etc etc etc.", I could retire. The "official" version is always "I'm sick" which is difficult to believe when they've been complaining all week about having to work on a day that has suddenly become inconvenient. They don't feel the least bit guilty about it.

    I almost never call out, seriously. Hell, I only work 3 days a week and can usually plan my social life around my work schedule instead of vice-versa. I did have to call out once this winter because of the weather, and I agonized about it for hours.

    I'd rather use my PTO (paid time off) for vacations!
  9. I would feel guilty if I were faking it or calling for a minor issue, so I don't.

    If I really feel sick, I'll call.

    I don't feel guilty then because I know I can't be productive at work. Also, I think people appreciate the fact that I'm making sure I'm not contagious.
  10. When I used to work retail they had the most absurd policy that if you call in sick you have to find someone to cover your shift or bring in a doctors note, or you get written up. There was no such thing as a sick day there. Luckily it was only for the summer so I never needed to call in.

    I volunteered at a hospital and had to call in sick once and I felt so bad because there was no one else to do my work. I apologized so many times that my boss thought I was nuts. He didn't understand why someone who works for free feels guilty about missing work.

    I think the thing about calling into work is that most people feel that their office is a team, and missing work is somehow letting the team down.
  11. No, I dont feel guilty at all. I am a top performer in my team and the least they can do is let me stay home guilt free when Im sick. The stance in our company anyway is that its encouraged to stay home in order not to contaminate others and no point in an employee being around if he cant offer 100% input.

    I have a remote access to work from home and if I feel well enough I will log in and check whats going on and if I need to intervene.
  12. Luckily, I get 4 weeks of vacation and 2 personal days a year AND all the bank holidays. So, it's very rare that I can't get time off I need...even if it is for something frivolous. I just try my best to plan at least a week ahead and get my work handled.

    Now, if I'm sick and call out, I feel guilty maybe 30 seconds after I get off the phone with the boss, but after that, I'm more worried about how often/long I'm gonna be stuck in the bathroom.
  13. This is a great and interesting question! Thanks for asking it! :smile: As of late, I am unemployed, but when I was working I very rarely called in sick. Thankfully I get sick about once a year and then I'm good to go. I'm 25 years old, but consider myself to have a very good work ethic. In my experience, before learning that it was okay to take a legitimate sick day, if I would go into work looking and feeling extremely sick, my manager would be upset/concerned and would actually tell me to go home. It made sense that he/she didn't want me there, potentially making themselves or others ill, and in essence leading to more employees taking off possible paid sick days. It's only natural that people fall ill from time to time and you can't always avoid emergencies or call off mother nature. It's just sad when people abuse their privileges, because they are indeed lazy. Is this purely generational? No, I think maybe only partly... I would think it is more based on how you were raised and what kind of work ethic your parents modeled for you. My parents were both very hard working and responsible people and thus I strive to be the same way.
  14. I feel guilty because I don't do it often enough. I certainly wouldn't want "She was a good employee." written on my tombstone.
  15. :lolots: