Talk

Advanced search

To think ‘Really?’ when a work colleague takes time off with her sick DDs.

(283 Posts)
ElphabaTheGreen Thu 11-Jul-19 07:41:40

To be clear - I have no intention of mentioning/doing anything about this IRL, and I am very willing to accept I’m BU. I mainly just want to gauge if my scepticism is justified in any way.

A work colleague has two DDs, 15 and 17 - no special needs, no long-term health conditions, both in mainstream schooling, older one learning to drive. Whenever either of them is off school with a minor illness - heavy cold, stomach bug - she calls in to claim emergency carer’s leave and takes the day off with them, sometimes two days. This happens once every two or three months, with either girl, not just one in particular, so we have to pick up her work.

Now my DCs are only 7 and almost 5, but I was very much hoping that by the time they’re in high school, I’ll be able to confirm they can access the loo, food and fluids, then leave them at home by themselves and not pass my workload to my colleagues and make it into work. My mum did this with me from the age of 12 possibly even younger

AIBU to think 15 and 17 year olds are old enough to look after themselves when they’re a bit unwell, or is this one of those parental care things that has changed since I was a teenager? Or is it a ‘depends on the child’ thing?

ellesworth Sun 14-Jul-19 11:41:08

It was quite early on in the day so it hadn't happened yet

serenadoundy Sun 14-Jul-19 11:36:37

@ellesworth

Quite bizarrely that's the one date in history I would expect no parent or teacher to allow children to go home on their own!

ellesworth Sun 14-Jul-19 11:27:02

YANBU. I remember being in secondary school on Sept 11th and being sent home sick with cold/flu symptoms. This was 2001 so I'd have been 15 and a half. Teacher phoned my mum who told them that I only lived two minutes up the road and I could walk up and let myself in with my key. I lay on the couch til she came home at 5. So yes she is taking the piss.

mullyluo Sat 13-Jul-19 22:54:56

Wow, wish I worked were you do, when my 1 year old was in hospital with a oxygen mask for 4 day I had to take it as annual leave and that was a NHs job.

stucknoue Sat 13-Jul-19 22:18:03

Ps my dd is autistic and she is foul when she's sick, I stay well out of her way! Even the dog gives her a wide berth (nb I know autism is a spectrum, dd is highish functioning and adult)

stucknoue Sat 13-Jul-19 22:14:41

Yanbu can't remember the last time I took time off for mine. I've dashed out and fetched them on occasion and dropped them home (small city) before returning to work. But I'm of the take a lemsip and go to work school of thought, it's been 5 or more years since I've been off sick, I do have my own office and work alone though so keep my germs to myself!

celticprincess Sat 13-Jul-19 21:58:01

Wow. My work doesn’t really pay for parental leave other than day 1 if their illness and then expected to find alternative care for child. If they have an appointment it’s unpaid leave. My child is under a few specialists and I try and organise appointments for my days off as I am part time but if the ‘clinic’ is only on a work day I take it unpaid. My oldest is 9 and youngest is 6 and I have never taken a day off for them being sick. They generally don’t stay off ill other than chickenpox and D&V and those seem to happen over the holidays for us or on my days off/ dad’s days off. Fingers crossed for future. Their attendance is 99% though.

YouDoYou18 Sat 13-Jul-19 11:27:27

I came here to totally say that YABU.... be no, no you’re not. At that age they’re more than capable of looking after themselves. (Unless seriously ill or something along those lines of course!)

Lily019 Sat 13-Jul-19 11:06:56

I am surprised she is allowed to do this so regularly, is she being paid during these absences? When my teens were 13 and 14 and even older, I occasionally had to stay at home if they were ever unwell, as my 14 year old suffered ADHD and was liable to upset the younger one and generally cause mayhem. These absences were either worked back or taken off my holiday entitlement. Same agreement for appointments. Divorced and no other support was available at short notice so I just had to suck it up.

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 13-Jul-19 08:33:46

In fact it’s the pisstakers that mean my stress levels and time at work increase affecting my time with my family and my own mental health meaning I might be more likely to become unwell myself.

Exactly this.

MrsMiggins37 Sat 13-Jul-19 08:10:10

*Families are more important than jobs.
Children are more important than co-workers.
Mental health days are sometimes needed in order to be a good employee.*

My family are more important than my job as well, just because I don’t take the bloody piss out of my employer and my colleagues and turn up to do the job I’m hired for doesn’t mean they’re less important. In fact it’s the pisstakers that mean my stress levels and time at work increase affecting my time with my family and my own mental health meaning I might be more likely to become unwell myself.

But hey as long as someone gets to sit on the sofa with their 17 year old watching box sets why should they care about the paid employment that actually keeps a roof over their head and food on the table hmm

This thread just mirrors what you get in real life workplaces, the grafters and the skivers. At least my current work doesn’t have any of the latter now!

BBOA Sat 13-Jul-19 07:59:25

Should be capable of looking after themselves unless she's smothered them and can't do anything themselves! The emergency time off for carers is a bit of a piss take though. She shouldn't be paid for it unless your company policy says otherwise. How annoying for you!

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 13-Jul-19 07:09:11

Oh, Sarf - RTFT or even just my highlighted updates if you can’t be bothered and you’ll see that question has been answered and discussed 47 times at least.

Graphista I think you’re so hell-bent on making a point, or being professionally offended, that you deliberately or otherwise misread what has been written or add stuff in that simply hasn’t been said. I have special adjustments to the hilt to support me with my own issues, for which I’m very grateful. I’m so grateful, in fact, that I have no intention of pushing that further by misusing things like emergency leave and leaving my co-workers in the lurch even more than I already have by circumstances which were beyond my control. If, as many people have suggested, and I FULLY ACKNOWLEDGE (multiple times, even) her DDs do have deeper issues, we have wiggle room in our HR arrangements for her to accommodate for these, the most obvious one being purchasing extra annual leave. Or maybe she does have an arrangement with our boss who has agreed to her using up emergency leave for such issues. But I have honestly known her very well for years, she talks openly and in detail about the illnesses/symptoms her daughters have when she’s off, and I genuinely think she’s just being a bit overprotective and doesn’t think through the consequences of leaving us in the lurch, assuming that ‘sick child’ is still a valid excuse despite the glaringly obvious issue of their ages.

But I could have it all wrong and hence my repeated caveat, I would never say or do a thing IRL. I completely empathise with the shit few years she’s had and while I do feel a bit irked by what I see as her milking the system, I also know how robbed she must feel of just being a mum sometimes and uses whatever easy means she can, and is being allowed, to make up for that. I wouldn’t do it myself, but I kind of get it.

On the separate reason as to me starting the thread to ascertain parenting trends, I am glad that I should be able to leave my DCs home sick when they’re older without social services knocking. I’m another one who bloody loved being left tucked up on the sofa by my single-parent mother while she went to work for the day. I’m pretty sure I was 10 when she started doing this. I will not be quite that lenient with mine before anyone logs a call with 101, but then she had zero support and no other leave options.

SarfE4sticated Sat 13-Jul-19 01:39:20

Is emergency carers leave paid?

When my dd is ill I have to take the day as annual leave!

If her manager approves it, and she is honest about it that's up to them I guess. maybe be grateful that you can use the same benefit if your two are every ill.

Catsinthecupboard Sat 13-Jul-19 01:33:21

Let the negative comments commence:

Families are more important than jobs.
Children are more important than co-workers.
Mental health days are sometimes needed in order to be a good employee.

Yes, it is painful for co-workers, but work is one part of life. Some of us are lucky enough to have careers. Others have jobs.

Her dds may be able to care for themselves if they have the flu, however, at that age, there are other things that may require days off that parents do not want to share with co-workers.

manicmij Sat 13-Jul-19 01:22:58

YA BU. It's management's fault though in allowing it. Great for other employees as she will be held up as an example of what constitutes emergency carers leave. My folks were downright neglectful. Left me 17 and sibling 15 for two weeks whist they went off to the West Indies to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Food in the freezer and money for us to buy what we wanted to eat (mainly rubbish) but we managed a d really enjoyed it. No mobile phones or facebook in them days. No wonder the large majority of teenagers are thought of as having no common sense and being useless when there are parents like that pt.

MrsMiggins37 Sat 13-Jul-19 01:17:38

But to assume someone is a piss taker with no evidence of such is unfair

The OP was whether it was BU to have an eye rolly moment where a colleague, on the face of it, is taking frequent paid absence to look after almost adult children with no known issues and minor ailments. On the info provided, that’s not unreasonable.

As for “evidence”, it’s an internet discussion chat, how much are you expecting to get?

Graphista Sat 13-Jul-19 00:01:39

At no point have I said or even implied consideration should only go one way.

I've seen a lot of, on this in thread including from op a lack of consideration, of even attempting an understanding of people having things going on in their lives that aren't being made public/known to colleagues.

There are piss takers and I haven't denied that, nor to my recollection have any of the other posters who have made similar points to myself.

But to assume someone is a piss taker with no evidence of such is unfair.

To turn it into a "race to the bottom" is pointless too.

If op is feeling unsupported with regard to her own family's difficulties then that should be taken up with management and at a deeper level politically (cuts and lack of employment rights etc) but those issues aren't the fault of the colleague.

To blame the colleague is exactly what certain - people who really have the responsibility for employees feeling unsupported - want people to do. Deflecting the responsibility from them.

If we were all more supportive of each other generally, i suspect life would be easier for everyone.

MrsMiggins37 Fri 12-Jul-19 23:33:57

*family

MrsMiggins37 Fri 12-Jul-19 23:33:28

I've found that commonly takers take with no consideration at all of the cost to others and no compassion for the fact that often the person being asked to carry extra weight is coping with and juggling more than the person who feels entitled to all the help and special treatment and relying on others to do more than their fair share

Exactly. Those who turn up are supposed to show compassion to the absentees, does it ever go the other way? No, it’s quite clear it doesn’t from some of the comments here.

I’ve got a family of my own by the way including a child with disabilities but I still appreciate I’ve got to show a reasonable degree of commitment to my job as part of my overall responsibilities to my families. I’ve worked with plenty of people who couldn’t make it clearer that the job that pays them pretty well to turn up and do it is right at the bottom of their priorities in life.

PotteryLottery Fri 12-Jul-19 23:28:17

Maybe they don't have a heavy cold but are self-harming and she doesnt want to say that or leave them home alone.

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 12-Jul-19 23:02:25

Exactly another. Graphista please re-read my post from 20:24 yesterday where I basically made this point. I’m not picking up her slack from a position of abundant good health and ideal personal circumstances. I don’t know that my situation is any worse than hers, but I don’t think it’s much better. I don’t think she’s actively routing the system, but I do think she’s taking days she’s justifying to herself as her entitlement, or wrapping her DDs in cotton wool (yes, there may be other issues but I’m as confident as I can be that there aren’t and was curious if this was common practice these days) without accepting the repercussions on us.

But, once more with feeling, I CANNOT KNOW HER FULL STORY SO WOULD NEVER DO OR SAY ANYTHING IN REAL LIFE.

anothernotherone Fri 12-Jul-19 22:33:28

Graphista what's nosebleed inducing is your conviction that the consideration goes only one way.

I've found that commonly takers take with no consideration at all of the cost to others and no compassion for the fact that often the person being asked to carry extra weight is coping with and juggling more than the person who feels entitled to all the help and special treatment and relying on others to do more than their fair share.

Graphista Fri 12-Jul-19 22:26:34

It's one thing to wonder, it's quite another to post about it with fairly identifying info on the person the op's complaining about, and it's something else entirely to be proud of such a thread trending!

I don't think being open to the idea that the op's colleague's family may well be dealing with issues that mean it is necessary for the colleague to take that time off, that the op may well be unaware of even if management know.

Thinking with a little consideration and compassion for a colleague and their family is a pretty basic level of common decency in my opinion and not a particularly high moral high ground.

Certainly not nosebleed inducing!

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 12-Jul-19 21:45:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »