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Hellbound Alleee

It's hard sometimes when the message from corporate is "stop being a baby and man up and come in anyway." That was the message we got at Christmastime. They even were emphasizing an attendance punishment: a certain number of absences and we were fired.

Oh! But don't come in if you are sick. But if you do call in, you're yelled at and told, "OK, just so you know, I'm marking you down as absent."

I ran into a group of "executives" the other day making mocking voices of people calling in, saying they were babies. I was stunned, and realized that they just don't believe you.

Buddy the Elf...What's your favorite colour?

I agree with Hellbound on this one. I got really bad strep throat one time and I ended up coming in and showing it to my boss so he would believe me.....which is good since I was the main cook at the time.


I worked for years at a small gas station, where after 2pm only one attendant was working until close (midnight). Since the place was small, there was a manager, assistant, and two associates. If you didn't show up for your shift, it completely f*cked the whole store - whomever happened to have the shift before you had to stay, no choice about it. Which was fine if it was me, since I was young and lived alone. However, I was the only one. Everyone else had kids, and couldn't stay. So, one person calling in sets off a panicked rush to try and find someone to take the shift, but if one person is sick, and one is trying to go home, that only leaves two people to try - one of which would have already been in to work the morning shift. If they wouldn't come in, (and usually wouldn't), then the person left was faced with the choice of locking the store and leaving (and losing their job) or staying and doing I don't know what with their kids and family and making whatever arrangements that they could.

My whole long point being that I really wish it was easy enough to just call in, but in a lot of places it's not. The official stance at my gas station was that you're free to call in whenever you're sick as long as you're not doing it constantly. In practice, you'd be screwing over everyone if you did. You're absolutely right that they shouldn't be in work - but sometimes there just isn't a choice.


I know what you mean. If you're sick, it's best not to come in. One, you are a sack of germy uselessness. Two, you'll infect others which just means more sick folk through out the coming weeks.
But, management doesn't always see it that way. They pay you to work, and if you don't do that, then they'll find someone else who will.

Malmart Peon

I wish that stores had absence policies in place that reflected this principal. When I have a sinus infection that was so bad I couldn't think straight they told me to work through it. When my friend was having an allergy attack that made her hands burn and had little red bumps all over them management told her to work through it. There's a not-really-funny joke on the front end: The only things you get fired for at Walmart are stealing or being sick. You can come into work every day and do nothing, but if you get sick, forget it.


When I worked for hellmart, I ended up with a bad case of strep, an ear infection and a bad case of the sniffles. I was typhoid mary. I should have been allowed in public. In fact, for at least 3 days I have no clear memory except my wonderful husband did everything. He dragged my sorry ass to the ER the night before. I got several prescriptions and one trip to a 24 hour pharmacy later I was curled in bed thinking I was gonna die. I did mange to get a Dr's note in case I needed it.

Fast forward to the next morning. I looked and sounded like something out of a horror movie. I called the HR department of hellmart and told the HR lady (we called her bitch) what was going on, I have a note, I'm out for at least 2 days. Bitch told me I *had* to come in or I was going to be written up and if I missed 3 days in a row she was going to suspend me for 5 days.

So I drag my sorry ass in wobbled back to the office to wait on her. She was in a meeting so I spent 20 minutes trying to keep apple juice down while heaving several times into her trash can.

I guess the whole thing of seeing an employee upchuck in her trash can and her office stinking like puke was more convincing to her than how I sounded on the phone (though could have been avoided ya know..) She yelled at me to clock off and go home, I wouldn't "project" a good company image that day or the next day. (NO SHIT!) and to go home. To piss her off, I made her do the paperwork for 2 vacation days right then and there before going home and crawling into hole.


If you get a doctors note you can not be fired for being sick period. The issue is most people won't fight for a minimum wage job, which is understandable.


The Mart where I work is constantly telling us to not come in when we are sick. I don't think it matters much, since the sick CUSTOMERS come in. I can't tell you how many times I've been told by customers that they are so sick they can't stand up", or "Johnny just got out of the emergency room. He has been pukling for 3 days and has a 102 fever, so we're getting him some skittles on our way home". WTF?
It's ok for custys to spread their plagues
(the sickest kids are always the ones who have to put the stuff on the belt and hand me the money!) And all the Purell in the world doesn't save us from exposure to customer germs. I rang out aver 160 people at work last night and while none were "crustys", a good percentage of them were sick. And by sick, I mean "coughing, sneezing and generally looking like they awere about to keel over".
I've only called off sick twice in over 15 years. Once, I had no voice so I had my husband call me off. They made hime put me on the phone and then the person I talked to got pissy with me because she couldn't hear me! The second call off, I had pink eye. While it's not life threatening, it is highly contagious and kids who have it aren't allowed to go to school. The co-manager told me they are short handed and to come in! i got a doctors note, and when I arrived at work, I went to her office, and was spotted by the store main manager and asked "what in the world do you think you're doing. Go home before the customers see you".. Yes, it was THAT bad.


I'd love for there to be an exception for illness at our company for absences. But even if you do bring in a doctor's note they'll still makre you as absent and ding your attendace. I've come in to work with laryngitis, 101 fever, halucinations(no I wasn't on anything, just that damn sick), uh....digestive issues, and more...sometimes I'd get sent home (thank God!) and sometimes they'd just look at me as if I were vying for the next Academy Award Nomination.

(Former) Service Desk Bitch

Hey there.

I'm a first-time commenter, though my boyfriend is a regular here. Just thought I'd give my two cents.

I worked at a store for a few years before I transferred to a different store because I was going to school. Anyway, we were told that if we were sick, we were supposed to come in and the boss would send us home. (Which, honestly, rarely ever happened.) When we called it - no matter how sick we were, EVEN IF WE HAD A FUCKING DOCTOR'S NOTE, we got written up. Get enough of those write-ups and you get fired...

Burger Bitch

I hate it when the constantly sick coworkers whine all the time, but when they call in sick, it's ok.

When I was in the hospital, my dad drove to my work with my doctors note and my manager flipped at HIM for ME not coming in. He said something close to "Didn't you hear me when I said she's in the hospital waiting for tests to be done?"

And even when I had Swine Flu, I had to come in until I could get my doctors note. Management just doesn't give a fuck. You're sick? Oh, then you're not making us money.


Where I live, laws state that if you call and say you can't come in, it has to be accepted. It's highly illegal for them to even ask why or what's wrong.

Of course if you're missing shifts every week you'll get written up if it's obvious you're just doing it to get out of work - but other than that, they can't do much.


*although i will add, when I worked at a call center during the summer, they didn't care about laws. it was an american owned company for american services (first i was selling at&t uverse and then doing comcast surveys - I'm sorry to anyone here that I might have called :( )

Anyway, I injured my neck really bad and couldn't move. The doctor put me on flexural or w/e it's called and told me to stay home and gave me a note. They got the note, and I was still written up.

*I will add that the company is now getting sued by several employees now, for breach of contract .. muahahah. Quitting there was the best <3


I called in sick the other week and my boss told me that he was going to write me up...for not calling in 4 hours before my shift! I called in 2 hours beforehand, and my shift was at 11am. I woke up at 9 with the crud. How, exactly, was I supposed to call in at 7 if I wasn't even up then!

They don't want you calling in sick and they don't want you coming in to work sick. We just can't win.


My second real job ever was working for a bank that now no longer exists (bought out). I came down with pneumonia one winter and spent a good month lying on the couch in front of the TV waiting to get better.

About this time some paperwork came in that had to be signed my the employees. My boss harassed the living shit out of me to come in and sign it. She wouldn't fax it to me or mail it, despite knowing that I was seriously down for the count. I think she wanted to make me come in so she could see how sick I really was.

So one morning I dragged my ass in there, driving 30 minutes each way with a raging fever, to stumble into her office, sign it in a haze and turn around and drive home. I know I looked like death and could see on her face just how shocked she was at how sick I was.

Being much older now I would have told her to go fuck herself and mail it. There was no reason I had to suffer to sign some inconsequential paperwork and satisfy her curiosity.


I'll never forget one time when I was working for the 7: I was training someone on ordering candy. Do not get me started on the moronic ordering system where one section would take 45 minutes or more to order.
Anyhow, I was sick as a dog and kept running into the backroom to be sick right in FRONT of the boss. This must have happened about four times. I finally went home and when I called in the next day still sick, he was shocked shocked that I was calling in sick. Maybe I should have aimed for his shoes.

Dog Food Slinger

I am one of those people that, no matter how awful I feel, if I think I can do my job, I will go into work. I've gone into work with a fever so bad I was damn near hallucinating, and still managed to do everything just fine. If I call in sick, it's because I am really really really sick and don't think I'd be of any use.

One of my coworkers was just diagnosed with asthma and pneumonia on Saturday after one of our managers drove him to the hospital halfway through his shift. He worked yesterday. He called in this morning, but I have a feeling he'll be there tomorrow for some reason. That is just balls out wacky.


Erg..I've been sick for 3 days. 3 days I've been moving to a new house. In the snow and cold and lifting boxes back and forth. I feel like utter complete shit. But I took one day off a week ago when this all started to come together and went home 2 hours early my last shift.

I've had a sore throat with some seriously horrific congestion to where I've been 'mouth breathing' for 3 days and originally I thought I had strep.

But due to having taken some time off recently and being new I don't think I could get away with taking today off too. Especially since I am doing a closing shift tonight.

I am certainly not looking forward to this but at least I don't go in for another hour and a half so I was able to stay in bed well past noon and try to get pumped up..

Grocery Deli Slave

I am tired of people calling in sick. If you are really sick than please stay home and bring a doctots note. The last week and a half the management at my store has been calling in for the most idiotic reasoning I have ever heard. Now keep in mind all of these are valid "excuses" that management used to call off. I had a zit in my nose, I didn't have daycare, I got in a fight with my boyfriend, I forgot I had to work today,and then the old standby of I don't feel good.

(Former) Service Desk Bitch

I don't think it's practical to get a doctor's note every time you're sick, though...

I get the excuse thing. I hate when people lie about why they aren't coming to work, that always bugged me.


I was struggling with a stomach bug and called out on the half day that we worked before christmas and texted them my doctor's diagnosis when all the tests were done. Turns out I had a bug called giardia. Not a pleasant thing to live with.


For someone like me, a doctors note is completely impractical to get every time I'm sick. It's near impossible to even make a same day or next day appointment with my doctor - you have to make them weeks in advance, before or after his multiple vacations. And I won't go sit for 8 hours in the emergency room waiting area just for a slip of paper, when I could be home in bed recovering.

Grendus the Self Check Guy

Personally, I just take the write up if I'm sick. Document your symptoms, get a doctors note if it takes more than a day, but unless you're chronically ill a few absences on your record probably won't be an issue.

That said, I've never been deathly ill before (short of my bout with sinusitis, which was short if painful), so I've never really had to deal with the endless "can't you just come in? maybe you can come in later?" management bullshit.


I get sick once every so often, but where I work, the manager is honestly understanding. You need a doctor's note, and 99% of the time, I have one. Now, there were two times I came in sick anyway, and both times, I got sent home. I called in on a Saturday (which earns you a write up, if you call in on a weekend) but promised to be there Sunday because it was busy, and when I showed up, the manager said 'Oh my god, Terah, you really WERE sick. Go home, now, I'm throwing your writeup out!'

Long story short, I refused because it was too busy to leave them, ended up nearly passing out, left an hour early, called in the rest of the week and they said nothing else.

NC Tony

I hear stories like these and realize that corporate really does have no soul. If you're really that sick, and they make you come in anyway, the first thing you should do is go up to your manager and give them a big hug (and whatever it is you have), or if you're sick to the point where you're throwing up all the time (as someone above stated) and they still don't believe you, then that's when you throw up on them.

Yes, I am a very vindictive person. Why do you ask?


After spending a few month in Japan I can only urge everyone to wear a damn paper/cloth mask when you're sick and you still have to go to work.
Calling off is not always an option, so at least you'll keep from actualy spreading deseases to everyone else ( remember, wearing a mask is to keep you from spreading something, not much to not catch something ).
Plus, your boss might just see you, think that you'll scare away the customers and send you home.

If you do it, you might want to look up your company's rule about what you can/can't wear, or maybe the health code or anything that you might push if they ever feel they need to write you up because you were wearing a mask.


@carotte: any company with a uniform tends has a strict dress code (at the very least, mine does) that wouldn't allow that. Hell there's a poster that states quite explicitly what you can and cannot have (with certain exceptions).



I recall you were having some important health issues awhile back. Hopefully that's all behind you now.

Joe the Cigar Guy

Thanks everybody for your input.
The disparity in sick day procedures is astonishing. I guess I'm lucky that Gord & Raylor is pretty lenient: a doctors' note is required after two days absence.

@Mcarp555 Yeah the stroke-mimic migraines haven't made another appearance since summer, thank God!

@TechDeath I've had giardia too. Bad oysters were the culprit. Yeeeeccchh!

Green Grin

When I was working for The Hellspawn's Place management actually told me to go home on Christmas Eve when the store was insane with last minute crustys. I had the flu, was in a fever induced haze, and probably looked like shit. I somehow made it home through the snow on the bus and promptly slept through most of Christmas. Then again, the following April the same manager promised to schedule me extra shifts after I had to call off my first shift in two weeks due to having bronchitis. I could barely breath with my wimpy asthmatic lungs. I quit two weeks later when I was left off the schedule. It gave me a bit of vindictive pleasure to see the guilty look on her face when I handed her my doctor's note along with my letter of resignation.

My current job seems to have a good sick policy. I called in last week with a nasty cold; I was so fatigued it was a struggle to get from my bed to my bedroom door. Standing up for 5 hours was not going to happen. My manager noted I sounded terrible and told me to rest and feel better.

I wish it was so easy to call in sick to university. I once finished an English midterm, stumbled out to the bus stop, made it 3 stops, jumped off, and was promptly sick into a nearby planter. I probably would have gotten a better mark if I'd been sick on my professor's shoes. Curse my bad timing.


My asshat store owner was fully aware that I was sick as a dog (I had to go home on thursday after seeing spots/not being able to stand)- so she ignores this fact and drives off for a mountain cabin vacation during a blizzard. Leaves me to work by myself for a full week with no voice, raging diarrea and a fever- and calls me on thursday to say that she's snowed in.She made it back for me to be off on monday- and then she and her husband got the same creeping crud upper respiratory infection. His turned into pneumonia. Karma, anyone?

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