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To think my colleague is being a bit precious about people coming into work when they're not well?

(91 Posts)
Cerseirys Sun 17-Jan-16 11:42:11

I'll start by saying that I hate it when people who are clearly ill come into work and infect everyone else. However, sometimes people will have a cold or cough that lingers, and it isn't really practical for them to stay at home for weeks on end.

However my colleague, who is about 20 weeks pregnant, has been getting quite confrontational with people who cough or sneeze, telling them they should go home as she can't afford to get sick because she can't take any medication. This would be fair enough if these people were severely ill with flu, for example, but I think that in the case of a run of the mill cough or cold, if they feel well enough to come to work after a few days at home, then it's up to them to make that decision.

For example, one colleague had taken a day or two off with a sore throat but came in on the third day, even though he wasn't completely 100% better, as he had a very important meeting that he couldn't move. She even had a go at me the other day when I had a sneezing fit, although that was down to allergies and not a cold!

Said pregnant colleague has also refused to get the flu jab and says she'll be turning down the whooping cough vaccine too because none of her friends with kids had them and they never contracted either illness. So is she BU to give people a hard time over coughing or sneezing at work?

toobreathless Sun 17-Jan-16 11:47:01

YANBU she sounds like a PITA.

And actually there ARE things you can take whilst pregnant including paracetamol and good old honey and lemon.

Your colleagues sound very sensible. Life cannot stop because you have a cold and they may need to consider their own sickness record.

DisappointedOne Sun 17-Jan-16 11:47:33

Stick one of those enormous joke dummies in her mouth and enjoy the peace.

StealthPolarBear Sun 17-Jan-16 11:48:40

You're going to be told repeatedly yabu but I agree.
there's always an opinion on here that employers can "just get cover". I asume these are the same posters who think you should go to HR with every minor disagreement with a colleague, a bit like telling teacher.
sometimes work just needs to be done, and to be done it needs the people to do it.
That's said I think there's a long way to go in trms of flexible working and working from home, in jobs where that makes sense.

honeysucklejasmine Sun 17-Jan-16 11:49:33

Well, I just don't understand. How can she be paranoid about catching a sniffle, but refuse the WC vaccine?! Does she not realise WC can kill babies? Ffs. Can't people be consistent with their crazy?!

Cerseirys Sun 17-Jan-16 11:52:59

I know honeysuckle, she seems to be under the impression that jabs in pregnancy are dangerous. Personally I think WC is far more dangerous!

TheWitTank Sun 17-Jan-16 11:54:23

Yanbu, she sounds over dramatic and a pita. It does piss me off when colleagues come in really sick -someone at mine came in and spent all morning vomiting recently angryhmm. They stayed until late afternoon running in and out of the loo and groaning. Next day two other people were ill. Mild coughs and colds and runny noses are fine though -people would always be off otherwise!

AlwaysHopeful1 Sun 17-Jan-16 11:55:05

Yanbu so being pregnant has made her more precious, can't imagine when her child is here. Actually I can.

tappitytaptap Sun 17-Jan-16 11:55:37

She sounds a bit unhinged. I am 30 weeks pregnant and have had both flu and WC jabs - much more nervous about the complications of those than about catching a cold!!

jusdepamplemousse Sun 17-Jan-16 11:56:56

YANBU - it is not necessary to spend pregnancy in a bubble. It's winter, there are viruses, she has to accept she will be exposed. It's nothing life threatening. What a pain in the arse.

anyoldname76 Sun 17-Jan-16 12:02:26

weve got someone at work like this too, although she isnt pregnant, i get ssp if im off so unless im really ill or shes going to top up my wages ill go in

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Sun 17-Jan-16 12:03:58

I thought Yanbu until you mentioned the vaccines!

I take drugs which suppress my immune system, and would not be happy if colleagues who were seriously ill were coughing all over the kitchen area, for example. But from what you say it is nowhere near as bad as that, just people with the sniffles, and to be honest if you practice good hand hygiene and don't let them sneeze in your face you will be fine.

If she snaps at people for being ill but doesn't vaccinate, she is a controlling pita rather than someone suffering from real health anxiety, and you should ignore her drama queen behaviour in the hope it will go away.

Whoknewitcouldbeso Sun 17-Jan-16 12:04:16

I can understand going loopy during pregnancy, particularly the pregnancy paranoia. But she cannot dictate to other people and she is a silly cow not having the appropriate vaccinations to keep the baby safe. I wonder whether she'd be better off starting her maternity leave early and staying in the house.

SuperFlyHigh Sun 17-Jan-16 12:06:12

Yes she is BU.

I have a colleague who just before Xmas came in with a vomiting bug (but left early). Mad.

MrFMercury Sun 17-Jan-16 12:07:31

I assume she wears a biohazard suit at all times just in case? When I was pg with my first a colleague informed me his housemate was being treated for suspected meningitis and he thought I should know. I wasn't sure what to think so checked it out with my midwife. She gently pointed out I worked in a large building, travelled on public transport and went shopping - basically I was around a lot of people every day who could theoretically have anything and I wouldn't know. I was a bit embarrassed but it was a useful learning experience.
As for the WC vaccine, my father wouldn't allow me to have it and I got WC. It left shadows on my lungs apparently.

TimeToMuskUp Sun 17-Jan-16 12:07:54

She sounds like an asshat. My friend's DS contracted whooping cough at 2 weeks old and was severely ill, and even now 3 years on he's still suffering ongoing illness from it. It will likely affect him his whole life.

Tell her to get a grip and give her head a wobble. Being pregnant isn't an excuse for being precious, and frankly, anyone who is so uninformed about vaccines needs a stern bollocking.

Tfoot75 Sun 17-Jan-16 12:08:29

Yanbu. Also, I don't think colds are actually that contagious among healthy adults. Certainly all the colds I have in the last few years have been caught from toddler dd. I think if you wash your hands regularly you're fairly unlikely to catch one from someone at work. You shouldn't be there if really quite poorly though.

Not having whooping cough vaccine seems like lunacy to me as why would you not protect your newborn from something potentially fatal? Flu vaccine could be balance of risks I suppose, I had it but have never had flu.

UnGoogleable Sun 17-Jan-16 12:09:12

she can't afford to get sick because she can't take any medication

I currently have a horrible lurgy, and I'm taking Paracetamol and honey & lemon, and copious amounts of Vick's Vapour rub and Olbas oil steam inhalation. ALL of which, I believe, are fine during pregnancy (i'm not pregnant BTW).

So I'm intrigued, what medication would she normally take if she caught a cold that she can't take now that she's pregnant??

Yes of course she's being ridiculous. Tell her to get over herself - if she caught someone's cold, she'd have to deal with it the same way everyone else has to deal with it. She's not fucking special.

Orangesox Sun 17-Jan-16 12:10:23


As an aside, she might be interested to know that there's been a 20% increase of pertussis (whooping cough) cases since this time last year, and a significant number of deaths in infants born to mothers who did not have the vaccine.

Whoknewitcouldbeso Sun 17-Jan-16 12:11:12

I would normally dose up on decongestants when I have a cold. They are not allowed whilst pregnant so a cold does become particularly miserable.

Onthedowns Sun 17-Jan-16 12:14:07

I am 29 weeks pregnant and have had two colds! Severe as well and have missed taking sudafed as my sinuses have been terrible. It's frustrating not being able to take certain medications but it's life for a short time only! I have a toddler so pick eve thing up from her! She currently has croup!!!! I can put up with coughs colds! Sickness and diarheaa I would be pissed off about . I have had flu jab and whooping cough tomo, although gp advised the current comeback of whooping cough is also affecting people who have been immunised! Plus flu in pregnancy can be very dangerous for mum and baby !

GabiSolis Sun 17-Jan-16 12:16:23

She is being a tit and I'm surprised someone hasn't confronted her about it. She really needs a grip handed to her.

UnGoogleable Sun 17-Jan-16 12:18:15

I think if you wash your hands regularly you're fairly unlikely to catch one from someone at work.

I'm pretty sure I caught my current cold from someone coughing near me at work. I don't have DCs, and I do wash my hands regularly (honest!). But I'm also convinced that I have a strong immune system and regularly fight off colds without becoming ill - e.g. a colleague was recently sneezing and spluttering at work, and I was working closely with her. We used the same mouse on a couple of occasions, so I was worried I'd catch it. I got a bit sneezy one day, but then got over it - so I think I did catch it, but didn't succumb IYSWIM.

So my theory is that we 'catch' germs all the time, but sometimes our body fights them off, and sometimes it can't - like when we're run down or compromised in some way. Which is why you always seem to get a cold just before / after going on holiday, or when you're going through a stressful time.

The reason people living or working close to young children catch stuff more often is that they're exposed to more different strains more frequently - so they eventually succumb to a strain they're not used to fighting.

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Sun 17-Jan-16 12:20:25

Ah she's just loving the attention and making sure she gets it!

StealthPolarBear Sun 17-Jan-16 12:20:44

Mr f I don't agree with that logic. The risk of catching something if you come into contact with someone who has a particular condition is higher than the "travelling on buses" scenario. The risks are simply not the same level. I agree in your case the risks in both cases were low, she was right there but I hink her logic was faulty.
when I had meningitis my family and a friend who had stayed the night all had antibiotics. Should they not have bothered as they'd travelled in buses etc? No of course not, the risk was clearly higher!

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