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to think that my colleague should not have got off his head whilst signed off work for 3 weeks

(29 Posts)
Thisismynewname Mon 21-Jul-08 14:48:53

My work colleague is a lovely guy and I generally get on really well with him. He's suffered with depression in the past and been signed off sick quite a lot, so the rest of us have had to pick up his work a lot. There have also been a lot of days when he's not come in due to pretty minor things, like a sore throad, but I know that depression can be hard to deal with and make you feel more run down than you are.

Anyway, he's had CBT and his depression (by his own admission) has improved immensely. We were recently really busy at work and he ended up getting himself signed off with stress for 3 weeks. Fair enough, the last thing I want is him getting depressed again.

But I just spoke to him and he told me he went clubbing and to a party on Saturday night, took a lot of class A drugs and didn't get any sleep. He's off sick still this week.

So, my question is this - is he taking the piss a bit, or is this his way of coping with stress etc, so he needs more understanding.

I'm sort of undecided at the monent because I know his depression can be really hard for him.

mummytokatieandhannah Mon 21-Jul-08 14:51:06

I think he's taking the piss. I have PND and I'm on ADs and I don't feel the need to get off my face on class A drugs.

BrightShinySun Mon 21-Jul-08 14:53:54

Do you know if he gets off his head regularly, or even now and again! Coz to be honest if he does or has in the past that probably has a lot to do with the depression. My dh used to do class a's years ago and even now suffers a bit sometimes.

Thisismynewname Mon 21-Jul-08 14:55:12

He used to do it a lot, and hasn't for a long time. I agree I think that has affected him, so it seems like a bit of a step backwards to be doing that again, particularly at a time when he is vulnerable. But then perhaps that was why he did it, IYSWIM, defences lowered etc.

BrightShinySun Mon 21-Jul-08 14:55:26

Sorry that was meant to be a ? not a !

Amphibimum Mon 21-Jul-08 14:56:26

i can see myself doing something like that, back in pre dc days. but yes, id have thought i was taking the piss a bit i think, if i were honest with myself. 3 weeks off with stress is quite a chunk of time - im pretty sure id have been fired from any job i ever had if id tried to do anything like that, but then, ive never had real grown up jobs where you need a degree and call it a career, like smile.

i dont really see what it is you can do about it though, other than not be all supportive and happy about his blagging behaviour.

wotulookinat Mon 21-Jul-08 14:56:54

I think you are being a bit unreasonable, to be honest, although I do see your frustration and annoyance. What he does is his own business. Yes, he may be unfit for work, but he is still fit to have a bit of a life. Taking drungs will not help his depression at all, but maybe that shows how out of control he is at the moment.

SaintGeorge Mon 21-Jul-08 14:58:36

He is taking the piss.

He is also putting you in an awkward position by giving you this information.

BrightShinySun Mon 21-Jul-08 15:00:11

I agree yanbu. Its well known class a's dont do you any favours when it comes to depression. I have a lot of sympathy for people who suffer but going out and getting off his head would rapidly make me lose it for him.

nervousal Mon 21-Jul-08 15:02:02

why is he taking hte piss? What is he supposed to do while off sick? Sit in the house with a cup of tea?

Thisismynewname Mon 21-Jul-08 15:02:27

Back in my youth I used to take them - but it's been a long time since I have. I remember how the come down makes you feel and it's not something I would inflict on myself if I was feeling fragile.

But I'm worried it could be a sign of how low he has sunk.

He talked about it as though it was totally normal though, just a fun night out. He's a 28 year old father but to him and his friends it's pretty normal behaviour.

StellaWasADiver Mon 21-Jul-08 15:03:06

What do you think he should be doing while off sick?

poorbuthappy Mon 21-Jul-08 15:03:22

People will always disagree over whether or not signed off sick people can go on holiday - go out and get drunk - go clubbing and take class A drugs etc...
the debate will never end!

But the big question for me is why on earth would he make it known?

wotulookinat Mon 21-Jul-08 15:04:30

Obviously he should be sitting in a darkened room feeling worse and worse hmm
I agree, drugs WILL NOT help him, but he is allowed to go out.

Thisismynewname Mon 21-Jul-08 15:05:48

I think the issue really, is that I'm not sure now that he was that sick.

wotulookinat Mon 21-Jul-08 15:09:23

You have to trust his doctor, I am afraid.

SaintGeorge Mon 21-Jul-08 15:10:38

Go out, socialise, have a few drinks - that is relaxation.

Go out clubbing to the wee small hours, take illegal substances and then boast about it - that is taking the piss IMO.

I would be fuming if I took up the slack for an 'ill' colleague in those circumstances.

And yes, I do know what depression is like before anyone suggests otherwise.

Thisismynewname Mon 21-Jul-08 15:12:18

It looks like he is going to be spoken to by HR when he gets back anyway. Not for the certified sickness but the many days (which add up to weeks) of uncertified illness.

I agree I wish he hadn't have disclosed to me about his weekend - I'd rather not know and he has always had my full support and sympathy, he is dangerously close to losing it but I will continue to give him the benefit of the doubt.

wotulookinat Mon 21-Jul-08 15:18:59

To be honest, I think you shouldn't concern yourself about it. It's between him, his doctor, and HR. If you are bothered by having to cover his work, speak to your boss about getting some help in to cover your colleague.

Thisismynewname Mon 21-Jul-08 15:23:40

Hmmm...so half of you think he is BU and half of you think it's perfectly ok for him to do this.

As I say, I will continue to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I will certainly back away from him - I don't want him confiding this stuff in me anymore.

wotulookinat Mon 21-Jul-08 15:25:54

That's for the best if it makes you feel uncomfortable. The last thing you want is for your work to suffer as a result.

theexmrsfederer Mon 21-Jul-08 20:46:19

Stay out of it.

A couple of years ago my daughters teacher was off sick for several months. It meant she was actually having THREE different supply teachers in a week!!

Then I spotted "sickie" at the local funfair having a bloody whale of a time on the dodgems. WTF??

I was sooo angry as my dd's education was obviously suffering. She didn't get a new reading book in 4 weeks!! I REALLY wanted to snitch on said teacher but of course I didn't know the details of her problem. Bloody frustrating though.

elmoandella Mon 21-Jul-08 20:54:20

if your well enough to play, your well enough to work.

i was under the impression if you had any sort of depression you are advised to stay away from drink and drugs? is he on medication? if so then he definatley isn't doing anything to get better.

i wouldn't say anything to anyone else. not least his bosses.

but i'd have a word in his shell about the added stress everyone else is under while he's out having as nice time signed off sick. make a joke of it if you feel uncomfortable

like "i'm gonna go off some sick leave with depression if he/she doesn't come back to work soon"

make out like you miss they're help. ask them when they're coming back to help hold down the fort.

ScummyMummy Mon 21-Jul-08 21:09:11

Are you his boss? If not I don't think you have to worry either way. I don't think it's necessary to distance yourself from him, is it? Always nice to know the gossip but unless it's in your job description to dob slackers into the big bosses then I don't see the problem. It's just about you working out your own feelings. Why don't you tell him how busy it was and see if he blushes. He sounds like a nice guy and I think it'd be a shame to lose a good workchum, tbh.

wotulookinat Tue 22-Jul-08 11:52:07

I'm a teacher and I have been off sick for several months now, but I still have a life and go out and have fun with my little boy. It's very different from the pressures of being in the classroom. angry

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