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AIBU to be annoyed with a coworker coming into work and coughing all over the place and spreading germa

(26 Posts)
Karenthetoadwhisperer Wed 06-Jul-16 10:51:48

Just this. It is a known fact that you catch a cold / cough within 6 feet from an infected person. This guy at work sitting opposite me was liberally spreading germs all over the place all of last week - and he could have worked from home - now of course I have cought his cold in spite of my best efforts to disinfect all my equipment, using hand sanitiser, washing my hands all the time etc ...
I am now working from home feeling rubbish with targets to hit and my head spinning. I don't get paid if I don't meet my targets.

AIBU to be fed up and finding his behaviour inconsiderate?

Karenthetoadwhisperer Wed 06-Jul-16 10:52:55


99GBPChargeToUseMyPostsJournos Wed 06-Jul-16 10:56:11

YABU I think. You don't stop working for a cold, and although the type of work means he can work from home, there might be a reason that he can't or couldn't last week.

Is there a reason you couldn't work from home last week in order to avoid the cold?

Karenthetoadwhisperer Wed 06-Jul-16 10:59:07

I didn't know until I came in or else I would have done of course. But should it not be the other way round?

fiorentina Wed 06-Jul-16 11:00:27

I've had a cold this week but I wouldn't call in sick. I have lots of work to do and frankly I think my boss (the ceo) would laugh if I was off sick with a cold. But then I travel on the tube surrounded by coughing/sneezing people I feel it's inevitable.

Karenthetoadwhisperer Wed 06-Jul-16 11:02:55

Same here. Lots to do and slowed down by this. I still think it's inconsiderate.

WreckingBallsInsideMyHead Wed 06-Jul-16 11:42:53


People can't call in sick for coughs and colds, and there may have been a reason he couldn't work from home. Just par for the course in an office environment

wasonthelist Wed 06-Jul-16 11:44:44

It is a known fact that you catch a cold / cough within 6 feet from an infected person.

Is it?

Karenthetoadwhisperer Wed 06-Jul-16 12:05:52

Undecided - I am still annoyed. I did not ask to be sprayed with germs.

Karenthetoadwhisperer Wed 06-Jul-16 12:13:22

Personally I would be embarrassed sitting in the office coughing and sneezing. It's more discreet to work from home and get on with things rather than making a show about being ill.

LegoCaltrops Wed 06-Jul-16 12:17:51

If he could work from home without penalty, then YANBU. I wish we could - my employer is very strict on sickness absence & working from home is impossible due to data security issues. I'm feeling rough today & glad I'd already booked a day off, as I couldn't have gone in.

DollyBarton Wed 06-Jul-16 12:22:14

He should have worked from home.

But he couldn't take the day off for a cold. There are probably loads of people who are discreetly carrying around cold germs throughout the year. You only notice the messy/loud coughing ones.

All you can do is focus on clean hands for yourself and avoid putting your hands to your mouth. It's also ok to ask people to use tissues etc. where they need reminded.

Karenthetoadwhisperer Wed 06-Jul-16 12:31:43

I know Dolly I was using my hand sanitizer all day long. I didn't know how to approach the chap to let him know not to cough and splutter and then proceed to use shared equipment ...
He would not have suffered any consequences for working from home. It's perfectly acceptable if it's for a reason.

ilovesooty Wed 06-Jul-16 13:59:00

Who on earth takes time off for coughs and colds?

If you don't know how to approach someone to discuss good hygiene practice perhaps you need to develop your assertiveness skills.

ChatterNatterer Wed 06-Jul-16 14:02:14


I can't stand martyrs who come in on death's door just to spread their germs around the office and spend the whole time telling everyone they are ill or being next to useless so may as well have called in sick or worked from home if sick leave not justifiable/possible.

KittyLaRoux Wed 06-Jul-16 14:06:39


99GBPChargeToUseMyPostsJournos Wed 06-Jul-16 14:15:33

You said it was all of last week. And yet you say you didn't know until you went in. Surely on day two you would have known and could have stayed home yourself?

You can't blame him for your lack of foresight, that you couldn't envisage the same thing happening for the rest of the week.

99GBPChargeToUseMyPostsJournos Wed 06-Jul-16 14:18:36

Ilovesooty, I take time off for coughs and colds. There are several areas of work that it is deemed sensible to do so - working with food, working with immunocompromised individuals, and even things like beauty therapy (would you go back to a beauty therapist that had been sneezing over you during your facial?)

But office work? No need.

Karenthetoadwhisperer Wed 06-Jul-16 14:39:19

No - I agree. No need to take time off. But also no need to come in and demonstrate to everybody how I'll you are - and I mean the type who comes in with a sad expression, gets out all their tablets, lines them up on their desk and proceeds to make everybody's day at work a misery by what I referred to as 'showing off' how ill they are. I am with you here Chatternatterer

As to my assertiveness skills, I take that on the chin. I have to work on that.

Karenthetoadwhisperer Wed 06-Jul-16 14:44:26

So tomorrow, I will be going into the office, coughing, sneezing and with a range of medication to put on my desk and a large tissue box. AIBU?

Zosebrina Wed 06-Jul-16 14:45:52

I hate this! A woman I work with recently came into work saying she had been diagnosed with a throat infection as she had a really sore throat for the past couple of days - cue me getting a throat infection the week after which then led to a chest infection!! I was really unwell for 2 weeks, almost ended up with dehydration at one point because I couldn't even swallow sips of water.

Thing is she could have worked from home aswell the minute she started feeling ill. So no, IMO YANBU.

Hiddenaspie1973 Wed 06-Jul-16 14:46:18

Sadly, due to many companies sick policies, people are forced in when they should not come in.

BorpBorpBorp Wed 06-Jul-16 15:03:39

I hate this too. You should be able to stay home when you have a cold. People who come in coughing and sneezing when they could stay home are sending the message that their work is more important than other's health, and it feeds the culture we have where people aren't able to take time off sick when they need to.

YANBU. If he could have stayed off sick, he should have done. If he could have worked from home, he should have done. If he really had to be in, he should have been ultra-vigilant with tissues and hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer before touching door handles etc. To spread your germs around when you're sick is really fucking rude.

daisychain01 Wed 06-Jul-16 15:15:43

Maybe go in tomorrow wearing one of those masks cyclists wear in the centre of London. And a dayglo rainproof jacket

That should get the message through.

limitedperiodonly Wed 06-Jul-16 15:19:04

So tomorrow, I will be going into the office, coughing, sneezing and with a range of medication to put on my desk and a large tissue box. AIBU?

Completely reasonable. My only concern is that he's given you something so serious that you won't be able to make it in. That would be a shame.

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