Author Topic: Etiquette of being sick at work  (Read 3304 times)

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RebeccainGA

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Etiquette of being sick at work
« on: February 06, 2013, 01:47:10 PM »
</bg> I work for a company that has some, but not much, sick paid time. It's the beginning of the year, and I have the time, so that's not the issue - although I am hesitant to use it frivolously, as I have run out in previous years. Also, I've got two (of the four on my team) colleagues that have been seriously sick - both with pneumonia, one for only a couple of days, one that's been out for almost two weeks. </end bg>

I'm getting sick. It's of course the worst possible time - HUGE meeting, all day, tomorrow, and I'll be closed up with my team in small conference rooms all day. I don't exactly feel awful at the moment - back a little achy, running nose, a little cough - but it's getting exponentially worse (two days ago it was a couple of sneezes, yesterday a little sore throat from drainage and now I'm breathing through my mouth almost exclusively). I don't want to, and really can't, miss tomorrow. Assuming I'm not just so sick I can't get out of bed tomorrow (I would have to be REALLY SICK to miss tomorrow - like, nearly hospital sick), what is the etiquette of being stuck in a conference room with five men (I'm the only woman on the team) and being sick? Do I have to step out to (discreetly) blow my nose? Is bringing the whole box of Kleenex to the conference room a bad idea?

This is half tongue in cheek - both because I know I'll muddle through, and because I do work with an all male team and they are SO not ashamed of their bodily functions and such - not frat boys, but if they need to go use the bathroom, they carry the paper with them, that kind of thing. I would be really curious as to how others handle it, though - I really, really can't miss tomorrow's all day meeting.

Moray

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 01:56:05 PM »
Schedule your meds so they'll kick in before your meeting. Bring a small pack (like a purse pack) of kleenex for dabbing and covering sneezes/coughs, step out to blow, and bring cup of hot tea, and some cough drops. Position yourself close to the door for minimum disruption.

Also, this is going to be dependent on your familiarity with these guys and your office environment in general, but at my office it wouldn't be out of line to wear a disposable mask if I was coughing.
Utah

MrTango

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 02:50:41 PM »
I agree with Moray's advice.

The only thing I would add is that you might let your boss know that you aren't feeling well, that you will do everything in your power to make it in tomorrow, and see what she/he recommends.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 03:11:13 PM »
Is teleconferencing an option?

RebeccainGA

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 03:11:22 PM »
I agree with Moray's advice.

The only thing I would add is that you might let your boss know that you aren't feeling well, that you will do everything in your power to make it in tomorrow, and see what she/he recommends.

Thanks for that suggestion - but sadly, he knows. I sit 20 feet from him, and he's been listening to the honking all day coming from my desk. LOL

Here's hoping I'll be MUCH better tomorrow.

RebeccainGA

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 03:12:35 PM »
Is teleconferencing an option?

Sadly, no - we're making a much-overdue map of all our tools and systems, and will spend the day mucking about with markers and large sheets of paper. Not a teleconference-friendly day. I can, normally, work from home a bit, but tomorrow it's right out as an option.

lilfox

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 03:49:39 PM »
If you are expecting to have to share papers, markers, etc, it would be a good idea to bring hand sanitizer too.

We're dealing with this at my work too: lots of people are working from home, or are out sick altogether, and people running out of sick time who can't work from home are coming in.  I've been in all three categories since work resumed this year - when I have to be in the office, I keep the hand sanitizer conspicuously located and excuse myself if I have to blow my nose.  It's unpleasant but basically unavoidable this time of year.

jpcher

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 06:34:37 PM »
Schedule your meds so they'll kick in before your meeting. Bring a small pack (like a purse pack) of kleenex for dabbing and covering sneezes/coughs, step out to blow, and bring cup of hot tea, and some cough drops. Position yourself close to the door for minimum disruption.

I agree with the above. I think this is the best way to handle the situation.

Add to your "supplies" some kind of bag (brown lunch bag? zip-lock?) that you can keep on your lap, next to you on the chair, or somehow discretely tucked away to dispose of the used tissues.



eta: with the sharing of markers . . . can you get your own set that doesn't need to be passed around? You can push papers around on the table using a tissue.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 06:44:10 PM by jpcher »

zainabzks

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 06:37:44 PM »
My doctor recommended Tamiflu to my husband when I was sick last week. It supposedly doesn't let you get too sick.
Feel better. I had bronchitis last week and it was not fun.

Green Bean

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 07:12:35 PM »

Feel better. I had bronchitis last week and it was not fun.

I'm jealous. I had bronchitis the entire month of January, along with a sinus infection.

OP, as someone that was just thru this, I think my colleagues were appreciative of being aware of their presence and trying to minimize their exposure. If the conference room is large enough, sit a couple seats away. Bring a whole box if tissues and a bag to dispose of them (to keep them out of sight) if leaving every time you need to blow isn't an option.  Bring hand sanitizer / Clorox wipes.


RebeccainGA

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2013, 08:20:29 AM »
Thanks, everyone. I'll be siting far away from everyone, as much as possible, and leaving at intervals to honk. Thankfully, I'll likely be the 'recorder' of a lot of data, not drawing on the board so much, so I can minimize their exposure that way, and hopefully can finagle it so I'm next to the trash can so I can toss any errant tissues or cough drop wrappers.

Luckily, my boss is both awesome and understanding - and just thankful that I'm HERE and not at home, so he'll put up with nearly anything. Our fifth team member, who likely gave me this crud, has been out for two weeks and counting.

mbbored

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 10:21:44 AM »
If possible, bring some hand sanitizer and clean your hands after blowing your nose to show you're trying not to pass anything on.

ilrag

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 12:03:19 PM »
Been there. Should have been in bed but would have had to be in a coma to miss what was going on at work.

I was in a conference room with a thermos of tea, box of Kleenex, blanket from home wrapped around me (high fever) and a face-mask which we luckily have at this company. I got done what needed to get done and spent the entire weekend sleeping off a fever.

People understand that you're trying to help the company not be gross when you come in that sick.

BarensMom

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2013, 12:28:33 PM »
It's not common here in the U.S., but wear one of those masks that cover your nose and mouth. 

jpcher

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Re: Etiquette of being sick at work
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2013, 06:42:51 PM »
Just wondering how everything went yesterday . . .

Hope you're feeling better, RebeccainGA!