Pretty much every person in our office has been some variant of sick during these last few weeks, most with the sniffles or a sore throat. And everyone's happy to tell you how sick they are, yet they don't bother to stay home and try to get better.
It was pretty evident I needed to take myself out of the game today. Medicine was not reducing my symptoms enough last night or this morning so that I could work. My job is kind of high-intensity, and if I can't keep going out to appointments and working the phones, I'm sort of useless.
So I called in sick, making sure my boss knew what projects I was supposed to work on today. One of my co-workers called me to get a few more details, and was all like "I'm sick too!" Which she had been saying for days. She doesn't have health insurance for another two weeks more days, so she hasn't been able to see a doctor. As far as I can tell, though, she's still functioning. She also has sick days she can take.
I don't think it's polite to play the "I'm sicker than you" game. I also don't think people in high-intensity jobs who sit around saying "we're sick, we're sick" are really all that sick beyond a cold. Am I being too callous here?