Going to work when you’re sick with a cold: discuss

My partner has man-flu. I have a cold as well, but seeing as I’m a woman, I can cope with life about 437% better than he can right now.

Our joint illnesses started last Friday and continued right through the weekend, leaving him unable to do much more than plonk himself onto the couch and watch TV all day.

“You better stay home from work tomorrow,” I said. “You don’t want to pass these germs on to anyone else.”


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He looked horrified.

“Oh no, I’m going to work,” he said, as if I’d suggested we trade our first-born for Nurofen Cold and Flu tablets, rather than simply taking a sick day.

“I’ll dose up on drugs so I can get through my work, then I’ll come home as soon as possible so I can rest.”

I’ll just look after the kids, then, yeah? While you recover, I’ll juggle my sickness with three little munchkins, all on the verge of getting sick themselves. Sounds great.

Then he followed it up with this pearler: “And it’s okay to go to work, because Ben* already has this. He came to work sneezing and coughing on Wednesday last week; he wound up taking Friday off.”

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

Why do people continue to go to work when THEY ARE CLEARLY SICK?!

Because of Ben – who is a top bloke by all accounts, but still, because of Ben – the two of us have been sick for days.

If Ben had stayed home when he was sneezing and coughing and spluttering, instead of soldiering on at the office, he would have been able to rest and recover at home without spreading his heat-seeking missiles of germy doom to his co-workers.

There seems to be some kind of stigma attached to taking a sick day when you’ve got a cold, but here’s the deal: this is what paid sick days were invented for.

For the love of God, if you’ve got a cold, stay home. Your co-worker’s families will thank you for it!

* Name changed to protect the (not so) innocent