General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

coworker constantly nagging me to see a doctor

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blahblahblah:
I have a tendency to catch colds somewhat easily. Rarely anything big or bad enough to knock me off my feet, just something that keeps me feeling under the weather for a few days. A couple of days ago I caught a cold. The first day, I just had a mild sore throat. The second day (yesterday), the sore throat was worse and I had some mild congestion. The third day (today), the sore throat is slightly better (yay @ honey with warm water) but I've been sneezing and sniffling and coughing a lot, with much more severe congestion.

I have a coworker who will not let up on nagging me about seeing a doctor whenever I catch a cold. Her claim is that I'm *always* getting sick and therefore I should see a doctor about it. This...is an exaggeration, even if I do catch colds a bit easily (although, for the record, this current cold is the first time in over a year that it's been this bad to the point where I've had to miss work; usually I'll get a mild sore throat but it'll clear up by the next day). But regardless, it's getting on my nerves how she will not let up on it.

Anyway, today I had to tell her that I was taking a half-day today because of my cold. (If I had known when I woke up this morning that I'd feel this miserable, I wouldn't have come in at all.) She called me and we had the following conversation:

Her: [immediately] Are you going to see the doctor?
Me: [sounding fairly exasperated] No, I don't go to the doctor for the common cold.
Her: Well, hasn't it been years since you've seen the doctor? [this is true, and yes, I did tell her this so it's my fault for discussing my health with her in the first place, but this was before she started nagging me; ever since then, I don't discuss this sort of thing with her unless it's necessary.]
Me: Yeah, and?
Her: Fine. [sarcastically] You know best, right? Hope you feel better.

It's getting incredibly tiring. On Tuesday, the first day, when all I had was a mildly croaky voice because of my throat, she was interrogating me about seeing a doctor then, too.

Yes, I realize that I should see the doctor more often in general. But honestly, it's really none of her business, and I wish she would just lay off. At this point my tone of voice is generally fairly curt and annoyed whenever she brings it up, but she's not getting the hint. Is there a polite way of telling her, "Look, it's none of your business, so stop."

Something that might affect your answer: While not my direct boss, she's my superior and in a supervisory position to me. So I suppose you could say that it is her business if I'm sick or not - I had to tell her that I'm leaving early today so that she could assign some work to someone else - but I still don't think it's her business whether I see a doctor or not. Some people just catch colds more easily than others. A doctor's really not going to help with that, other than possibly suggesting stuff like changing up my diet or exercising more (both of which I've started doing this year).

EllenS:
"Thanks for your concern, but I'd really prefer to keep my personal business personal, from now on."

Shabooty:
Given her relationship to you, I would be tempted to lie and tell her that you saw a doctor who diagnosed you with a cold and that you should continue with your symptomatic treatment.

MindsEye:
I don't know what your work environment is like, but given the "tone" of the exchange you reported, I assumed that it was with a peer, not a supervisor.   ???   You sounded pretty snarky given that you were responding to a question from a supervisor.

And honestly, given that she is a supervisor, your illness (cold or whatever) kind of is her business since she needs to worry about germs being spread around the workplace if you frequently come in when feeling ill or under the weather. 

I would stop mentioning your health to her at all,  and if you don't need to give a reason for taking time off (e.g. some companies require a doctor's note if an employee takes sick time) then don't give any reason in the future.

My suggestion for future exchanges - "Thanks for your concern, but I have it handled."

mbbored:

--- Quote from: MindsEye on July 11, 2013, 12:21:34 PM ---I don't know what your work environment is like, but given the "tone" of the exchange you reported, I assumed that it was with a peer, not a supervisor.   ???   You sounded pretty snarky given that you were responding to a question from a supervisor.

And honestly, given that she is a supervisor, your illness (cold or whatever) kind of is her business since she needs to worry about germs being spread around the workplace if you frequently come in when feeling ill or under the weather. 

I would stop mentioning your health to her at all,  and if you don't need to give a reason for taking time off (e.g. some companies require a doctor's note if an employee takes sick time) then don't give any reason in the future.

My suggestion for future exchanges - "Thanks for your concern, but I have it handled."

--- End quote ---

MindsEye, I agree, especially with the part about germs.

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