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Work colleagues fair or unfair?

(23 Posts)
Warytotrust Thu 25-Aug-11 20:37:21

I work for a small company, with 10 members of staff. One member of staff has been off sick for the last month.

She came in today to speak to manager as she's going to be off for at least another month if not longer, and was updating him.

Now when she left the others were making comments such as did you see how tanned she was, did you see how slim she was, she had even painted her nails, she doesn't look ill to me.

I was so angry with their behaviour, but I was the only one who was saying stuff like, if you are to ill to walk around, sitting in the garden in the sun is probably the only thing you can do, she's ill she's not eating of course she's slim, painting her nails probably took all of 10 minutes one evening whilst sat watching the tv.

They all told me that I was being unreasonable and no ill person would be doing those things.

So AIBU or more to the point gullible or does this poor woman need a break and lots of support at a difficult time?

Euphemia Thu 25-Aug-11 20:39:58

It depends on the nature of her illness.

Tee2072 Thu 25-Aug-11 20:41:35

Well, as you all have no idea what her illness is, you all should wind your necks in and keep your beaks out.

She may be having depression. She may be too ill to eat. She may have had someone else paint her toes to cheer her up.

Honestly, gossip of any kind is vile. This kind of gossip is especially vile.

Warytotrust Thu 25-Aug-11 20:41:52

Good point I don't want to say the illness as feel revealing alot already.

But it's a non-visual degeneritive illness.

Takitezee Thu 25-Aug-11 20:43:11

YANBU. Being ill doesn't stop you sitting in the garden. Why should she sit indoors when it's nice and sunny outside.

Obviously the manager is happy with whatever she has said to him. Do your colleagues know what's wrong with her? Perhaps they're just miffed because they're nosy bitches.

pollyblue Thu 25-Aug-11 20:43:32

They sound a pretty miserable lot - one of my friends was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago and was off work for several weeks for surgery etc. But she's always taken good care of herself and would still do her nails, style her hair etc.

Do any of you know what's wrong with her? Could be any number of things that wouldn't leave her bedbound, but would prevent her working as normal.

So no, YANBU and well done for saying what you thought and not just nodding in agreement with them.

Warytotrust Thu 25-Aug-11 20:44:21

No we all know, as she's been open and honest with us.

YouDoTheMath Thu 25-Aug-11 20:45:11

She must have some sort of medical proof - i.e. docs note - that says it's appropriate for her to be off. If she chooses to sit in the garden, that's up to her. No rule to say if you're off sick you're obliged to be chained to your bed/sofa. Your colleagues will only have cause for complaint if they catch her at the local tanning salon...

Yes, some workers do take the piss, and that's grossly unfair on others who end up having to pull their weight. But conversely, people are notoriously unsympathetic when their colleagues are sick and seem to resent the time off being had by the sick party.

I once had a colleague who had a tumour, and I even heard someone complaining about how "lenient" the company had been with him, given that he'd had several months off!

Ask your colleagues if they'd like to swap places with her.

pollyblue Thu 25-Aug-11 20:45:39

Then your colleagues behaviour is all the more unpleasant then. Shame they're rewarded her honesty by bitching about her.

Celerydion Thu 25-Aug-11 20:45:55

YANBU, she has every right to have her nails painted and get outside in the fresh air - anything to help her feel a bit better. In my opinion, your colleagues are being very narrow minded in expecting her to look 'ill'.

mycatsaysach Thu 25-Aug-11 20:46:29

yanbu but unfortunately a lot of people are like this

Tee2072 Thu 25-Aug-11 20:47:12

If they know what's wrong then they are truly awful to say these things. I would go straight to my manager, if I was you, and, yes, tattle.

I've been that woman that people are gossiping about when she was off ill. It was horrid coming back knowing they all thought I was shirking off.

The lot of them need to grow up. And you need to tell them that. Or a manager does.

mummymccar Thu 25-Aug-11 20:48:15

I was seriously ill at the beginning of this year and had to take a lot of time off work (eventually had to give up the job because of it) and I lost a heck of a lot of weight. I went back for one day in the first hour everyone was saying how good I looked because of the weight loss. An hour later I collapsed and I never went back again.
I think you are right to be upset about their behaviour - I would be if I thought my colleagues had been saying that about me! I know that all the time I was ill I was really paranoid that people wouldn't think I 'looked' ill and would think I was faking it for sympathy or attention or whatever, your poorly friend is probably wondering the same things.
I think it was really nice of you to stick up for her like that and hope that someone would do the same for me.
To be off for that amount of time she would have to be visting a doctor. They HATE signing people off and the whole NHS system has changed so that drs & patients are always working together to return the patient to work asap. If she has been signed off again for another month then she couldn't possibly be faking it.
I think your colleagues were probably a bit jealous & bitter, they were the unreasonable ones, not you.
Hope the situation resolves itself soon and that your friend makes a speedy recovery
xxx

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Thu 25-Aug-11 20:48:46

What horrible back stabbing vile people they are.

upahill Thu 25-Aug-11 20:48:57

I had a colleague who was in a similar situaton to your ill colleague three years ago
She came in to hand her sick notes in.
She was very tall, blonde, very attractive but unknown to most of the colleagues in the office she was seriously ill. She put on a brave face and made the most of her appearence. I knew what was up with her, so did our boss and so did HR.

My friend and colleague is now dead. She worked as much as she and didn't want people feeling sorry for her although she did have to take quite a bit of sick leave. People loved to bitch about her. Mean bastards!!

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Thu 25-Aug-11 21:03:05

God this is probably what my dear colleagues will be saying next week... In spite of having tons of doctors notes etc, the overall sentiment has been 'you can't be that ill, the doctors must be mistaken/ exaggerating/ too public sector'... Then if I manage to be a bit more 'credible' it turns into 'well if you are that ill you can't possibly work' (so give up & go away)...

I hate feeling so conscious of every action & comment & look, since when are office workers more capable of judging how ill someone is?

tallulah Fri 26-Aug-11 11:49:09

I had 6 weeks off work after surgery earlier this year, which coincided with the nicest of the weather. I spent most days sitting in my garden reading a book. Luckily my colleagues were all very supportive and didn't resent me for being off (or if they did they've kept it quiet).

muminthemiddle Fri 26-Aug-11 11:58:50

YANBU.
Why shouldn't she sit in the garden and what has loosing weight got to do with not being ill.
At least she has you to rely on as a friend when she returns to work.

porcamiseria Fri 26-Aug-11 12:17:45

whats her illness?

AuntieMaggie Fri 26-Aug-11 12:29:15

sorry about your friend upahill

I would tattle too - its not nice to be like that!

I have an uncle who's had cancer 5 times and a colleague who had a brain tumour removed not long ago - neither look ill.

I hate people that are so judgmental.

I had several months off work for major surgery a few years ago - unfortunately it was over xmas otherwise I would've been sunning myself too!

Oblomov Fri 26-Aug-11 12:36:47

I think your colleauges are typical. Really nasty. but typical.

cuteboots Fri 26-Aug-11 12:58:31

I agree with Oblomov people where I work are the same Im afraid. They were being particularly nasty about a girl who left the company a while ago only yesterday. She was really ill . Horrid and I dont think they can help it unfortunately!!

Smellslikecatpee Fri 26-Aug-11 13:01:03

I’d start mentioning words like, Bullying and defamation of character to your work colleagues. Poor woman, bad enough been ill without idiots like this

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