Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 1084674 times)

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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #210 on: February 26, 2010, 11:30:12 AM »
Years ago, when I worked for a company that installed phone systems, we had service techs out on the road all the time.  About half of our customers were covered either under warranty or with a service contract, the remaining half paid for their service calls.

One of the non-covered customers called in and complained about the 3 hour service call (plus one hour destination charge).  The tech had never come out to site, just called and cleared a very minor problem over the phone.  So they started going through that tech's paperwork.  It seems that he just LOVED working on systems that were covered by some kind of service contract.  He would get into the service department first thing and pick out calls (if at all possible) that were covered.  Then, he would call the customer and see if it was a minor problem that could be cleared over the phone (like powering down and rebooting the power supply).  If he was lucky, he then had half a day to do what he wanted.  The company determined this by doing followup calls on some of the jobs that were covered by contract, and found that about half of the time he never appeared at the site that he said he was at.

So where was he?  Well, he was also turning in his phone bills to be reimbursed for business calls he was making while working (this was before the day of common use of cell phones).  It seems he was spending time at a bar, using the payphone, charging the call to his home phone.  He would make his phone calls, until he had blocked out a week's worth of open afternoons (it did seem that he actually did work before noon).  

If he hadn't made the mistake with the one service call (misread warranty status), and more especially, if he hadn't turned over his phone records to the company to reimburse him, he would not have been fired.
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Dindrane

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #211 on: February 26, 2010, 11:51:19 AM »
I don't understand how you would be disrespectful to your employer by taking a sick day and doing an errand or using the computer, no matter what Miss Manners says.

 I personally have no problem with people who use sick days solely for errands or other non-sickness related needs, as long as it doesn't get out of hand. Especially if it's set up in advance and coverage is arranged.

But if it's set up in advance and coverage is arranged, how can it be called a "sick day"? Paid time off or a vacation day, sure, but I never had a supervisor who would sanction a sick day when she knew full well it wasn't. And I never would have had the nerve to ask someone to cover for me and then use the day as sick time.

I think it kind of depends on individual company policies, and/or a person's supervisor.  Some companies don't really care what you use your sick time for, and others want you to save it for actual sick days.

The one situation that I imagine is quite common, though, is using sick time for doctor's appointments.  Because of when they are open, I have to schedule all of my doctor's appointments during times that I'm supposed to be at work, so I use a few hours of sick time every time I need to go see one.  But because I have to schedule those in advance, I do make sure that my essential job functions are covered.

But using sick time in a way that is not sanctioned by your employer is definitely not a smart move at all.


BabyMama

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #212 on: February 26, 2010, 11:53:57 AM »
*I can't come down to the remote office today, because it might snow and I have racing tires on my car. (on your station wagon?)


Hey now... my 87 Reliant poopy-brown station wagon had Z-rated racing tires on it for years. :P

Did you live in Minnesota where it snows 5+ months out of the year? ;) And the thing was, it takes her 30 minutes to get to her regular office and a little over an hour to the remote office (they're different directions.) So we all wondered how she'd been managing to get to the regular office if she couldn't drive in snow, lol.

Sometimes she tells us she's a few hours late late to the remote office because she decided to go to the main office first. That makes sense how...? But then, she also factors in her drive time to the remote office into her workday. Some days if she's "been" to the main office first, she'll come to the remote office around 11, take a long lunch at 11:30 or 12, and leave around 2:30-3:30 and call it a full day.  ::)

AM in AL

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #213 on: February 26, 2010, 12:02:03 PM »
I have been that person who has had to drag myself off to the store to get medicine and food when Iíve been home sick from work. Of course I didnít want to and wasnít well enough to, but Iíve been desperate and havenít had a choice.

I have also used sick leave for Ďmental healthí days as well, although not a whole lot. There have been times when work has been such a truly toxic place that it was just better for me and everyone else to take a day off to recoup.


The last part of my example was fictional - my spouse went to the store for me - but I'm reminded of a situation  with a previous employer. I had major surgery and was on disability for 6 weeks. The very first time I was up to getting out of the house, we went to Wally's or some similar store. I was waddling through the store (I still had stitches in an interesting location) and not-my-supervisor from another shift saw me. She came up behind me loudly announcing that I was obviously scamming, she was going to report me, etc, etc -- drawing quite a crowd.

When I went to HR next day and filed a complaint, she was written up. One does not accost coworkers in public and broadcast their personal details.

This turned out to be particularly ironic because after two more rounds of disability, the employer started writing me up daily (for things like coming back from break 1 minute late) and soon got rid of me. Apparently, one also does not have a chronic and expensive medical issue.

PeterM

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #214 on: February 26, 2010, 12:33:22 PM »
I personally have no problem with people who use sick days solely for errands or other non-sickness related needs, as long as it doesn't get out of hand. Especially if it's set up in advance and coverage is arranged.

But if it's set up in advance and coverage is arranged, how can it be called a "sick day"? Paid time off or a vacation day, sure, but I never had a supervisor who would sanction a sick day when she knew full well it wasn't. And I never would have had the nerve to ask someone to cover for me and then use the day as sick time.

As Dindrane said, doctor's appointments would be the best example of perfectly legitimate uses of sick time that can be set up well in advance. I'll usually take a full day off for an appointment even if I could get away with a half day, because first there's always the chance it'll take much longer than I expect and second who the heck wants to go into work if you can avoid it? I also sometimes schedule appointments early on a day when I know there are other things I want to do, so the appointments are basically an excuse to take the rest of the day off. That's more of a grey area, but I don't have a problem with it as long as I'm not leaving work high and dry without me.

Quote
I used to work in a hospital, so when another nurse called in sick we were either scrambling for someone to cover her shift, or we were short staffed. I think it's one thing if you call in sick and the only one who suffers is you, because when you go back you have to make up for the work you didn't do, but when you leave your coworkers in the lurch, that's quite another.

That's definitely true, and it'll vary greatly from workplace to workplace. At my current library I always try to arrange coverage if I have to take a day off. It's usually pretty easy. If I'm genuinely sick and have to call in at the last minute without coverage, though, that's what I do. But I wouldn't call in for just a mental health day at this job, at least not if I couldn't get someone else to work for me. It wouldn't be fair to my co-workers.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #215 on: February 26, 2010, 12:41:03 PM »
All of these stories make me appreciate my supervisor even more.

I can call him at home at 7:00 am and say 'I'm not going to be in today.  Since we got all that snow last night, I'm going skiing.'

Of course, I usually have to follow that with 'Pick you up at 7:30?'   :)

I do have to use vacation time, not sick time, when I do this and no one has to cover any of my work for me, unless a rare emergency crops up.

One person in the same union as me but a different office phoned in sick and then was found to have been out ice fishing.  His supervisor made him change it to a vacation day and the employee filed a grievance with the union.  His argument was that it was a mental health day and he won his grievance.  But I, personally, wouldn't feel right about doing this.  I have phoned in sick when I could probably have gone to work but I hung around the house for my mental health day - I wasn't gallavanting around town.

We have limited sick leave - 6 days at full pay - before we head into short term disability territory and only get 2/3 pay.  If you use more than 6 days in the year, you are called in for a conference with your supervisor.  If you repeatedly use more than 6 days, you may be asked to provide doctor's notes anytime you exceed the 6 days.  The only time I've come close is the year I got bronchitis.
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Animala

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #216 on: February 26, 2010, 12:51:20 PM »
Quote
*I'm not going to be in the office today because I rescued a squirrel. (wish I was kidding.)

I actually did pull over one morning and rescue a baby skunk that was wandering in traffic and I had to miss work for half the day while I located a rescue center that would accept wildlife. I am not someone who can drive past an animal in peril and keep going because I 'can't be late for work.' I did bring in pictures to verify that I truly had caught a baby skunk-- but yes, my supervisor was annoyed with me. I don't think that's very fair. I feel like saving an animal's life is a valid reason to be late, and my attendance was normally exemplary.

I think the problem is that normally unusual excuses seem more and more unbelievable when stacked on top of each other.  I know my X is highly creative and I almost feel bad for being mad at him sometimes when a real problem happens, but it can be so difficult to sort the real and made up when people abuse it.

blue2000

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #217 on: February 26, 2010, 01:09:48 PM »
I don't understand how you would be disrespectful to your employer by taking a sick day and doing an errand or using the computer, no matter what Miss Manners says.

 I personally have no problem with people who use sick days solely for errands or other non-sickness related needs, as long as it doesn't get out of hand. Especially if it's set up in advance and coverage is arranged.

But if it's set up in advance and coverage is arranged, how can it be called a "sick day"? Paid time off or a vacation day, sure, but I never had a supervisor who would sanction a sick day when she knew full well it wasn't. And I never would have had the nerve to ask someone to cover for me and then use the day as sick time.

I think it kind of depends on individual company policies, and/or a person's supervisor.  Some companies don't really care what you use your sick time for, and others want you to save it for actual sick days.

The one situation that I imagine is quite common, though, is using sick time for doctor's appointments.  Because of when they are open, I have to schedule all of my doctor's appointments during times that I'm supposed to be at work, so I use a few hours of sick time every time I need to go see one.  But because I have to schedule those in advance, I do make sure that my essential job functions are covered.

But using sick time in a way that is not sanctioned by your employer is definitely not a smart move at all.

My managers do not allow people to take a sick day for doctor's appointments/clinic visits/etc. But if you are sick and take a sick day, they insist you get a doctor's note.

Yeah, logic is not their strong point.
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silvercelt

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #218 on: February 26, 2010, 01:57:44 PM »
I used to work in the HR dept. of a major hotel as part of a high school work internship a while ago. Of course since they were HR the majority of what they did was job interviews, so I got to be witness to quite a few doozies. It really instilled in me as a high schooler just starting out how NOT to act in a job interview..<snip>..My boss and I always had a good laugh after these doozies.

I used to do interviewing with the HR Director, until a long line of doozies cam through our doors.  I opted out at that point.

I decided I'd had enough the day that we interviewed a man who looked,and spoke like Napoleon Dynamite.  He flat out told us that he had no idea what he was interviewing for, but that his wife had submitted resumes to various ads, and told him to set up appointment times when called.  Worse yet, when asked about his typing speed, his response was,

 "I don't really know, but I can totally type my email address without even looking."
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 02:01:34 PM by silvercelt »

Doll Fiend

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #219 on: February 26, 2010, 02:19:05 PM »
I actually did get into trouble with one of my supervisors for going out for medicine when I had called in sick. I was telling them after I got back that I had gotten stuck at the Walmart during a tornado warning. She was upset (to put it nicely) that I did not stay home. But the Big Boss came in during her 10 minuet rant and told her to lay off. "Ever hear of shopping for necessities?" That and I worked at a Dr.s office and who wants some one sick working there! :D

Tia2

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #220 on: February 26, 2010, 02:24:27 PM »
I used to work in the HR dept. of a major hotel as part of a high school work internship a while ago. Of course since they were HR the majority of what they did was job interviews, so I got to be witness to quite a few doozies. It really instilled in me as a high schooler just starting out how NOT to act in a job interview..<snip>..My boss and I always had a good laugh after these doozies.

I used to do interviewing with the HR Director, until a long line of doozies cam through our doors.  I opted out at that point.

I decided I'd had enough the day that we interviewed a man who looked,and spoke like Napoleon Dynamite.  He flat out told us that he had no idea what he was interviewing for, but that his wife had submitted resumes to various ads, and told him to set up appointment times when called.  Worse yet, when asked about his typing speed, his response was,

 "I don't really know, but I can totally type my email address without even looking."


There is a man who has no intention of getting a job with a wife who is tired of supporting him. ::)

Nannerdoman

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #221 on: February 26, 2010, 02:39:25 PM »
Quote:
That reminds me of a mild Professional Darwinism. I say mild because I don't think the person saw it coming. Friend calls out of work for having the flu. Friend then gets 'caught' playing hooky and fired. Where did she get caught? In the drugstore getting medicine. Apparently a co-worker had gone there too at the same time and saw her, and didn't think she looked that sick while waiting in checkout for her medication. Friend got a call saying if she wanted to keep her job she had to come in. So she went in, for fear of losing her job, just to get fired for coming in sick.  ::) ETA: I should point out that they can actually do that due to the Health Hazard involved.

Unquote:

I don't completely understand how this is professional darwinism?  It seems much more like a very nasty catch-22 (sick enough to need meds so went to get them, told to come in since well enough to go out, fire because came in sick).  Could you explain your thinking?

I agree that this one sounds hinky. Let's say that I leave the office - say, last Friday, after ... um... losing my lunch. Does the fact that I later drag my yuggy self out of the house to replace the empty bottle of Pepto mean I'm not legit? Or am I ok because I look like death warmed over?


Well, as I said, Friend didn't look like death warmed over. I consider it a mild Darwinism because it was her decision  to go out while sick that ended up removing her from the Job Pool. Also since due to the job's nature was that coming into work was grounds for automatic firing, it wasn't the best idea of hers to go in.


It still sucks either way.
If you have to go out, you have to go out, whether you are sick or not. In this case it was medicine, personally I have gone out to get food while sick. It is not a choice to go out and get those things, it is a necessity.
If I was your friend, I would not have accepted it. If you force a sick person to come in, after she told you she is sick, then you can't fire her for coming in sick.


Back in March 2000, I came down with pneumonia and was told by my doctor to stay home all week.  (This was on a Monday.)  I was careful to get that in writing, which turned out to be a smart move.  Because the next day I left home for about 20 minutes to vote in the US Presidential primary election, and of course my boss chose that 20-minute window to phone me at home for some petty thing that anyone else in the office could have handled.  I don't know that he ever did believe I was really sick.
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hot_shaker

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #222 on: February 26, 2010, 02:51:14 PM »
Back in March 2000, I came down with pneumonia and was told by my doctor to stay home all week.  (This was on a Monday.)  I was careful to get that in writing, which turned out to be a smart move.  Because the next day I left home for about 20 minutes to vote in the US Presidential primary election, and of course my boss chose that 20-minute window to phone me at home for some petty thing that anyone else in the office could have handled.  I don't know that he ever did believe I was really sick.

How did he know you weren't asleep, in the shower, or just plain ol' didn't feel like picking up (because, you know, you had pneumonia)?

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Nannerdoman

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #223 on: February 26, 2010, 03:01:04 PM »
Back in March 2000, I came down with pneumonia and was told by my doctor to stay home all week.  (This was on a Monday.)  I was careful to get that in writing, which turned out to be a smart move.  Because the next day I left home for about 20 minutes to vote in the US Presidential primary election, and of course my boss chose that 20-minute window to phone me at home for some petty thing that anyone else in the office could have handled.  I don't know that he ever did believe I was really sick.

How did he know you weren't asleep, in the shower, or just plain ol' didn't feel like picking up (because, you know, you had pneumonia)?

Because I'm an idiot.  When the office manager phoned me (after 5 PM) and asked why I hadn't answered the earlier call, I told her.  My boss's response:  "Voting is not that important."
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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Professional Darwinism
« Reply #224 on: February 26, 2010, 03:18:52 PM »
Quote
Because I'm an idiot.  When the office manager phoned me (after 5 PM) and asked why I hadn't answered the earlier call, I told her.  My boss's response:  "Voting is not that important."

Are you sure you're the idiot?
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