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To move away from sick boss

(47 Posts)
MeridianB Tue 04-Aug-15 09:15:55

For the last 10 days, my boss has had a worsening cold and cough but insists on being in the office even though there is plenty of cover and absolutely nothing urgent/that needs her.

She worked from home 'because she was ill' one day, which I think sets a terrible example. She then took Friday off sick in bed but came back yesterday.

She has no voice, is sniffing and sneezing and the cough is now a deep, seal-like bark every 90 seconds. She does not cover her mouth when she coughs which is disgusting.

We obviously asked how she was feeling and she said 'terrible, I had no sleep because of this cough last night' and then we asked why she had come in and she replied 'there is work to do'.

I am on a much-awaited holiday next week and half-joked that I didn't want to get sick the minute I went away. She replied that 'everyone gets sick when they go on holiday' and keeps saying 'I'm not contagious - this is just a cough'.

Apart from the germs, the noise is really distracting. I'm getting comments and emails from nearby colleagues - including two pregnant ones - asking why she is here.

I have taken my laptop to work in another part of the building. There is nothing I can say as she has rebuffed any concern/hints. Her line manager and the one above that are both away.

Any advice? AIBU to worry about coughs and work elsewhere or is she a selfish twit?

ilovesooty Tue 04-Aug-15 09:20:06

Why are you getting emails from people asking why she's there?

If her superiors are away she probably will feel under pressure to be there.

You've moved with your laptop so I don't see why it's an issue. You're certainly not medically qualified to judge her fitness to be at work or indeed whether she is contagious.

NoahVale Tue 04-Aug-15 09:20:12

i would hardly call her selfish, it seems you are only concerned because you are on holiday next week.
hand washing seems to be the cure for colds

ilovesooty Tue 04-Aug-15 09:21:36

And you're also not in a position to comment on her workload or performance as far as I can see.

trollkonor Tue 04-Aug-15 09:24:36

Maybe she's come in because she has heard that working from home so she doesnt infect people is setting a terrible example.

NoahVale Tue 04-Aug-15 09:25:56

grin trollk

Anyway what work are you at that you are allowed to mumsnet? Have they any vacancies?

maybebabybee Tue 04-Aug-15 09:25:59

I hate it when people do this. Stay home if you're sick ffs. Don't be a bloody martyr.

juneau Tue 04-Aug-15 09:26:17

Oh God I used to hate it when my ill colleagues dragged themselves into work, coughing, sneezing and spluttering all over everyone. Yes, hand washing can help to prevent many illnesses, but colds and coughs are airborne, so with her not covering her mouth (which is disgusting and just plain rude), then yes, she IS sharing any germs she has with the rest of the office.

However, since you've voiced your concern and its been rebuffed I don't see there's much else you can do, aside from removing yourself from her vicinity. I suppose you could always say 'X that cough sounds really bad, have you been to the doctor?' and hope she goes and gets signed off!

scarletforya Tue 04-Aug-15 09:27:33

She is selfish, very selfish.

Of course OP is only concerned about get holiday next week, what is wrong with that?

The boss is a selfish martyr, not OPs friend/family. OP doesn't owe her any concern past what she has already offered.

A holiday is more important than work, of course OP doesn't want to be sick during it.

ilovesooty Tue 04-Aug-15 09:53:39

Perhaps the boss has been put under pressure from those above if she doesn't come in to work.
It's fine to say a holiday's more important than work but if your sickness puts you at risk of redundancy you won't be able to pay for holidays anyway.
Unless I have proper flu or d&v I go to work and so does everyone I work with. We're actually not ill very often.

cleanindahouse Tue 04-Aug-15 10:05:17

I hate it when people do this.

I have a colleague who insists on coming to work ill because she's so very important. Even our CEO stays off when she's ill because nobody is that important.

ilovesooty Tue 04-Aug-15 10:10:30

I can't believe anyone actually says they're at work because they're so very important.

The CEO isn't likely to be at risk of losing their job if they stay off.

maybebabybee Tue 04-Aug-15 10:12:20

I really don't know many companies where you'd genuinely be at risk of losing your job if you had one day off sick. If they exist it's the company at fault and if I worked somewhere like that I would move elsewhere, assuming I lived in an area there were other jobs available.

mamasilla Tue 04-Aug-15 10:13:00

I see this as a great example and I believe we need more people like her/him

NoahVale Tue 04-Aug-15 10:13:13

Her line manager and the one above are away you say OP.
I think that answers your question.
There would be even more mutiny in the ranks if she was away also.

maybebabybee Tue 04-Aug-15 10:14:17

mama you believe we need more people spreading illness around offices?

ilovesooty Tue 04-Aug-15 10:24:31

No one says you'll lose your job for one day off sick but if it tips absence procedures under the Bradford factor it can be a problem. And every day counts under redundancy scoring so it's not just a question of one day taken in isolation.

LazyLohan Tue 04-Aug-15 10:25:38

I wonder how her boss and senior manager would feel if as soon as they went away she took 10 days off sick and gave the reason as a 'cold'. I certainly wouldn't be cocking up the rest of my career, my chances of promotion and my reputation because one of my colleagues didn't want to catch a cold. She probably wouldn't even have been able to get a sick note to cover it.

And perhaps she feels she needs to be in because her employees seem to spend too much time on mumsnet and sending round bitchy emails to be left unsupervised.

OP, I suggest you make a formal complaint to their manager when you get back. They will think you're an idiot. And they're the person whose opinion matters, not some jumped up little subordinate.

LazyLohan Tue 04-Aug-15 10:26:51

She had one day off sick. The OP wanted her to take 10.

ilovesooty Tue 04-Aug-15 10:29:48

I agree with Lazy in that I think the OP is taking too much interest in the conduct of her manager.

If I were the manager I wouldn't be taking time off either unless absolutely necessary.

BishopBrennansArse Tue 04-Aug-15 11:07:50

Vicks First Defence is amazing at stopping colds.

GraysAnalogy Tue 04-Aug-15 11:13:37

Some people can't just take days off though can they. Either they can't afford the sick days or there's so much work to do with deadlines it's impossible. She obviously feels she's up to it. I agree she should be at home, but she isn't so deal with it? And if I was her I would tell all of you to stop questioning my actions.

brunettebunny Tue 04-Aug-15 11:21:05

YANBU. I also hate it when people do this, by the sounds of things she is too sick to be productive at work if she is coughing like that every 90 seconds and had no sleep the night before.
And I also hate it when people self diagnose - 'I'm not contagious' - how does she bloody know??? Is she qualified to make that statement?!
At the end of the day though there is not much more you can do IMO, you have moved away from her and if you get sick on your holiday then just take some sick days when you come back, saying it was something you caught before you went wink

NoahVale Tue 04-Aug-15 11:26:28

you can convert holiday to sick leave, if you are genuinely sick

GraysAnalogy Tue 04-Aug-15 11:28:58

Not every workplace will allow that Noah

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