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Management Hell Question: Would You Rather an Employee Come To Work Sick and Go Home Early or Just Call and Not Come In at All


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From Mollywobbles:

A question for all here who are in management positions: If an employee is going to come in sick and then ask to go home early because they are sick, would you rather they have just called in, even if they were to call in only an hour before their shift starts?

I woke up this morning with a damn cold out of nowhere. Coughing my head off, so hard I'm giving myself headaches and chest and back pain. I tend to only wake up an hour before my shift starts when I work in the morning (today I was scheduled to come in at 11:15) and I decided to try and power through it. Well, about an hour and a half into my shift I had a coughing fit so bad I thought I was going to pass out and puke, so I asked if it would be at all possible to go home early.

That was over an hour ago, I had to wait for one manager to get here at 2 before deciding what to do, then they were all "We're only going to have three people if you go home, go on break and take something and we'll see if we can find someone to come in to replace you". Firstly, if I had something to take, I would have taken it by now. Secondly, I'm sorry, this isn't a "My tummy hurts a little, can I leave?" five minutes into my shift, I am sick and knew you guys would probably need me but I can't fucking be vertical right now.

So, should I have just called in this morning, even though they want three hours' notice for not coming in? One of my managers, the one explaining all of this to me, is giving me death glares every time she has to ask me a question or whatever. I feel like I fucked up for going against my judgement and trying to help them out today.






I'm not a manager, but at bullseye here is how it seems to work.

-if you call in you MUST tell the manager why you are not coming in. they will write it down and if they don't like your answer they can ask for a doctor's note or other verification.
-If you are doing this NOT with in the 3 hour window you had better be on your way to the emergency room or to catch a flight to see your dying grandma (or any other emergency situation).

option 2, go in sick.
-this is what 99% of people do. and the managers don't seem to care. I have come to work hungover, dizzy, vomiting. -- but i clean the bathrooms anyway so no one notices. One time i pulled a muscle in my hip so bad i was limping for my next 3 shifts. -- no one cared.----- managers would rather you come in and work slowly then not come in at all.

option 3
leave if you feel too sick.

this is a hard one. the only time i ever had to leave was when i cut my hand open on the curved part of the palm, so the cut was ripping wider and wider with every passing second. so by the time i asked the manager "what is the process for letting me go to the emergency room?" it was clear WHY i could not finish my shift.

that is the issue "WHY" with 99% of people just powering through the sickness (as i said in option 2) managers want a reason THEY CAN SEE. So if you are trying to decide between

A- call in
or B-go in sick

call, and ask who is the manager today. is it someone reasonable who would let you go home if you need to?


So what do you do when you are opening and there isn't anyone in the store to call in and tell, or your shift starts less than 3 hours after opening? I guess leave a message early to cover your ass? I have dealt with this various ways in the past, but wondered what's considered the best.


I actually got sent home yesterday, second time ever, I had a stomach problem and I my lovely boss kept saying go home, but it was just him and I really didn't want to leave him on his tod. In the end he came out and told me the next person was coming in early and to sod off.

I know I'm lucky with him, mainly because the last time I was sent home was with a different company and another manager and she was a nightmare. I was so ill I couldn't see, my eyes were streaming and I was sneezing and sniffing and scaring the customers. We were all shocked when she told me to go home, she'd never sent ANYone home before. She is one of those people who don't give a damn about how ill you are unless you can sue the company. Maybe she was worried about a customer suing?

My point being; it's down to management, if they are reasonable they will send you home, if they are unreasonable you have to tell them you are going home. Going in often proves that you are willing to work, just unable.

Good luck.

Account Deleted

I got a regular, but still stern, talking to when I called in sick on the last Saturday of November. I had been fighting a cold (and still am) and it got worse on that day, and I was worried that I might infect my co-workers.
And we all know, you do not want an epidemic of a cold or fever KOing multiple people on your force in December. I honestly thought I was being responsible and from what I was told during the talking to, the boss had to come in for the last hour of my shift (I was gonna be there from Noon to Closing at 8 PM).

And ever since, I have come in for every one of my shifts. Despite having a cold, despite sneezing and sniffing, trying to not cough too strongly and overall hoping my cold was not contagious.
Of course, sometimes I get sent home early cause there aren't many customers that day...

I recall one day I asked to go home early cause my stomach was very upset and I felt like I was going to throw up. (Due to a salad I ate as breakfast, which didn't smell all that great...) That was the only time I asked to go home.

And if just ONE co-worker or boss will make even a mention of how I shouldn't come into work when I'm sick, I will let them know exactly how stupid their idea is of wanting workers, but not wanting sick ones. Excuse ME, it's not like I ASKED to get sick at the end of the year!


The problem with you asking us what we would prefer in your situation if we were managers is that most of us (if not all of us) are reasonable people. We would behave in an appropriate and intelligent manner as a manager. The people who are actually managers hardly ever act as if they have a functioning brain. Most of the time what a real manager would want is the most unreasonable thing you could imagine.


Here's the problem - too many retail chains have cut staff to the bone in order to save money or to make the quarterly reports look better. Even when nobody is sick and everybody shows up for their shifts on time, there are just barely enough sales staff to keep the store running, and not quite enough to serve all customers in a timely manner when the store is busy. Nearly every day, the store will get slammed at some point, and there will be some customers who complain about wait times and/or leave without purchasing anything, and there is nothing that the sales staff can do to change that.

So when somebody gets sick, everything goes up for grabs, and the manager had better hope and pray that some other sales associate can pinch hit for the absent employee.

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