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AIBU to feel angry at being accused of faking illness because I don't look ill?

(27 Posts)
Missingatrick Wed 02-Apr-14 11:06:20

So I woke up with tonsillitis on Monday morning and decided to wait it out to see if I managed to fight it off. I don't work Mondays anyway as I am off looking after my 14mo.

By monday evening I realised I had been a bit silly and I was in a bit of a state, aching head to toe, even my skin hurt, and my tonsils were like burning footballs. So I took myself to ooh where they diagnosed bacterial tonsillitis straight away and prescribed antiobiotics. I knew I would be no good to anyone in work the next day so I called in sick.

I am never ever off sick and am pretty dedictaed to my job, logging on from home ooh when I need to, and staying late most evenings. We were taken over by a new company in September and have new management so perhaps they don't know this about me fully yet, although I would say they had had enough time to see it.

I was hoping to be feeling a lot better today as the body aches had subsided yesterday, but I was woken in the nigh by searing pain in my throat and horrendous nausea. I had two hours sleep all night. This morning I felt sick, exhausted and shakey because I have hardly managed to eat all week.

It is quite an important time of the month work wise so I decided to go into work and collect some things so that I could work from home if I felt up to it. Im pretty sure Im still pretty contagious as my tonsils are still white and swollen and I felt it would be better to be at home as I was feeling nauseous so could work at my own pace, be comfortable and rest if I needed.

I have been working closely with someone who has been draughted in as a consultant and who is pretty key on the running of the contract at the moment. He is not my boss though. He asked about my illness and one of his first comments was that i "looked well". By his tone I felt like I was being questionned but decided not to be over sensitive. However he then went on to say that perhaps I would feel better and could stay, and twice stopped me mid convsersation and asked "are you sure you're ill?". He also said though that the director was impressed that id come in when sick, and I said "yeah but you think i'm lying" to which he just laughed and didn't contradict me.

AIBU to feel utterley pissed off and even embarrassed about this? I could have just phoned in sick again and not even entered the building or offered to work from home. What does "looking ill" even entail? Perhaps I should have crawled into the building in my pjarmas or not brushed my hair? Why would I lie about being ill and then come into work anyway and do work from home? Can't see his logic or basis for questionning me!

LackingEnergy Wed 02-Apr-14 11:15:26

I had a manager once who insisted I came in as they were short staffed, she didn't believe me and I wasn't allowed to just skive whenever I felt like it! That was the first time I'd been ill while working there so I came in for that day, got vertually nothing done and went to the doctors the next day. Signed off for two weeks and my manager still tried to insist that I was lying and would have to come to work even with a sick note. Thankfully my managers manager agreed that I couldn't work with a sick note and while I looked that ill

pinkr Wed 02-Apr-14 14:00:22

yabu. If you're not well enough to work you shouldn't have gone in and you shouldn't work from home.
You have done yourself no favours being a martyr

CalmaLlamaDown Wed 02-Apr-14 14:07:47

YANBU to call in sick with tonsillitis but I can see how it might look like you were swinging the lead to someone that doesn't know you and understand your work ethic. Rest up for a few days, like the poster above says, don't be a martyr!

Jinty64 Wed 02-Apr-14 14:10:57

YABU you should have stayed away.

Missingatrick Wed 02-Apr-14 14:23:21

Thanks all for ypur views, definately something to take on board. Jinty64 can you elaborate?

The way I saw it was I wasn't well enough to sit in an office all day having the sweats and feeling sick, but as I knew it was an important time of the month I thought I could manage to do a few odd bits from home where I wasn't confined to the same chair all day with all the noise of the office etc. I knew it was a crap time to be off work and that I was leaving people in the lurch so I was trying to show I wasn't taking the piss. The fact ive been diagnosed as having tonsillitis and am on antibiotics should 'prove' that it's not a made up illness I had hoped.

EatDessertFirst Wed 02-Apr-14 14:42:40

My daughter has had bacterial tonsillitis and I'm pretty sure its contagious/infectious so YWBU to go into work knowing you could be spreading germs like that to you colleagues and their families.

I do agree that some employers are very unsympathetic towards illness, but as PP said, there was no need to be a martyr. You should have been at home resting.

Missingatrick Wed 02-Apr-14 14:48:36

Thanks eatdessert. I was worried about that but I was only there to grab some stuff, ended up being an hour and from what I've read it is spread through coughing, sneezing or kissing...none of which I am doing/did!

I am going to get lynched now for drip feeding but feel I need to defend myself a bit against the martyr comments...there is a terrible pressure in my office at the moment in which everyone has far too much work and far too tight deadlines but which the attitude from seniors is just 'get it done' and they would not take kindly to people being off during such a busy time. So I just wanted to show that I wasn't skivving and I am willing to pull my weight even when ill.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 02-Apr-14 14:50:55

He is not your boss. So don't give him any thought, next time he makes a similar remark just brush it off with, "Well, I was ill so didn't think you'd thank me for spreading it, but ever the consummate professional, popped in to collect some work to do at home" or some such.

Your attitude when you are in the office and the quality of your work should be sufficient to prove you are not a slacker.

TruffleOil Wed 02-Apr-14 14:52:19

Honestly, if my boss assumed I was lying about being sick, I'd look for a new job.

TruffleOil Wed 02-Apr-14 14:53:05

Oops! Just saw, not your boss.

Tonsillitis is universally acknowledged as a living hell, is it not? Tell him to fuck off?

proudbi Wed 02-Apr-14 15:09:54

Op I get the same all the time because people can't see my illnesses and assume that I am faking it or that I can work even though my doctor said I can't.

Missingatrick Wed 02-Apr-14 15:22:24

Thanks proudbi and i'm sorry to hear that. I am lucky that for me it is just a one off so i'm sorry if you or anyone else has to face this daily because it makes you feel shit about yourself!

I just never look ill or tired when I am, I just look exactly the same. Even after giving birth I just looked my normal self. I've never given anyone any doubt to doubt my work ethic which is what upsets me.

Missingatrick Wed 02-Apr-14 15:24:56

Haha truffleoil i would have loved to but he was quite sly about the way he said it! He asked if I had a "sore throat" as if to insinuate that that was all tonsillitis I would've made myself look a bit attention seeking if i'd started complaining about all my symptoms especially when I know he knows full well what tonsillitis is!

TruffleOil Wed 02-Apr-14 15:29:19

I read a hilarious article (probably the Guardian) a few years ago written by some guy who had, in his 30's, gotten tonsillitis for the first time. It was something like this:


TiggyKBE Wed 02-Apr-14 15:36:38

As a frequent tonsillitis sufferer I can tell you that when it's bad it's pretty much the only thing you can think about. You get the temperature, shivers and tiredness, as well as ulcers at the back of your throat that hurt every time you swallow. Not nice.

spidey66 Wed 02-Apr-14 16:00:53

Tonsillitis is horrible. I don't blame you for being off sick. It's not just a sore throat, that's like comparing a cold to flu. It wears you out.

pinkr Wed 02-Apr-14 16:48:57

the point being though that the op wasn't off sick... She was in the workplace spraying germs,being a martyr and giving people the opportunity to disbelieve her.
Sorry op but you gave them ammunition... Plus if your tonsillitis is that bad you wouldn't feel like leaving the househmm

rumbleinthrjungle Wed 02-Apr-14 16:55:00

Try being chronically ill, I get this all the time. 'But you look great...'
Yeah, well I feel like hell on toast and try wiring me up to a heart monitor. They're not qualified to know.

The only answer is to be definite about your decision and not get pulled into debating or justifying it.

almondcake Wed 02-Apr-14 17:00:04

I really had no idea what having tonsilitis felt like. It sounds absolutely dreadful.

YANBU to be off sick at all or to be annoyed that such remarks were passed.

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Wed 02-Apr-14 17:11:33

That man is a complete arsehole.


bluesbaby Wed 02-Apr-14 17:34:59

I'm jealous, people ask me if I'm okay if I forget to put concealer on my undereye circles!

Hope you get better soon though - it's never nice being made to feel like you have to "prove" you're ill.

I worked for a multinational company a few years ago, and their sickness policies were aggressive to say the least. After any illness we had to have a "back to work" meeting, and after 3 times in a rolling year, you wouldn't be allowed the time off. I had tonsillitus 4 times one year, and d&v on a fifth ocassion. The forth ocassion of tonsillitus I sat at my desk feeling like I was dying - wasn't able to answer the phone as had lost my voice - and needed constant access to water to keep hydrated. Totally unproductive - and contagious. The D&V was not pleasant, everyone stayed away from me, and I spent more time in the toilets than anywhere else in the building that day. They were twats.

Missingatrick Wed 02-Apr-14 17:43:20

Thanks to those of you who have sympathised with how horrible it is.

rumble I really feel for you, it must be awful and I would have sympathised even had this not happened today as I know I am lucky it is a one off. Some people think they are entitled to an opinion on everything, but how can anyone know how another person feels? By passing comment, they are insinuating that youre exaggerating which must be infuriating. I actually took that line in the end, asked him if we wanted to look at my tonsils or for me to get him a doctors note and told him I was going home now.

Haha thanks charlie it does!

pinkr I can take people's comments about me opening myself to remarks by going into the office and I take that on board and realise I obviously did myself no favours. But I wasn't trying to, I was worrying about leaving everyone in the lurch whilst I was off. I don't know if you realise but your posts sound quite spiteful and uneccesarily venomous. Not sure why you continue to call me a martyr when I have explained why I went and have explained that I just nipped in to get some work to do at home. It's people like you you just can't win I not just allowed to be dedicated to my job and the team? You are also contradicting yourself in saying that i shouldnt have gone in when I was contagious, but that my tonsillitis can't have been that bad if I went in hmm .There are differing degrees of illness. I have explained that I hadn't slept, was shakey, clammy, nauseous and my throat was very painful - that doesn't stop me from driving to the office to pick stuff up, but it does stop me from being well enough to sit in a noisy crowded office all day.

WhatsTheWordHummingbird Wed 02-Apr-14 17:48:00

Hopefully he has caught it from you and can experience it. Twat he is.

Missingatrick Wed 02-Apr-14 17:49:39

Wow bluesbaby that sounds horrendous, I couldn't cope being in work with d&v. Thanks, I am hoping the antibiotics start to do their job tomorrow! I should add that there is definately an element of feeling pressure from the company with the way things are at the moment and worrying that senior management will think badly of me, for not delivering on time. It is not a nice culture.

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