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Am I justified to be this angry?

(35 Posts)
AELLE7 Fri 23-Feb-18 16:30:59

For nearly two weeks my boss has come into work every day she works with a terrible cold and chest infection and now it has been passed onto multiple people in office. It started as a cold but now the cough has got really bad and the phlegm too (sorry tmi)

I wouldn't normally be this upset but I am 20 weeks pregnant and I suffer badly with asthma (often flaring up due to chest infections) My coughs get pretty bad when I have chest infections so I am always prescribed steroids when I have an asthma flare up.

I am just so furious that someone has come into work like that for such a long time, bringing up yucky green phlegm in the open office and putting people at risk, especially a pregnant asthmatic and another member of staff who has a very weak immune system due to a disability. I know that these things can pass to people before symptoms show up, which is no ones fault, but I feel like once it become obvious it was more than a common cold, the most responsible thing to do was take yourself out of the work environment. Her whole attitude towards people who are sick is also upsetting. I am almost certain she will look down on me for leaving work today. (she once got shirty with me when I said I have had to go to A&E for asthma attacks a few times, and actually told me I shouldn't because asthma attacks aren't an 'emergency')

Am I right to be this annoyed at what's happened or am I being an entitled pregnant lady? Ever since I started to feel ill I have been obsessing about what could happen if I have a full on asthma attack or if I have a bad infection while I am pregnant and it's getting me worried sick I will put baby at harm. I know it could just be a coincidence but with the amount of people dropping in the office with the same thing I doubt it. I'm also concerned about my sickness record as I already had time of for asthma flare up in January and then another day off for a migraine. I just feel like if the bosses make it obviously they are annoyed I left work early, I should say how I feel, but don't know if I am being unreasonable.

Bibijayne Fri 23-Feb-18 16:38:48

Short answer. Yes.

Twitchett22 Fri 23-Feb-18 16:39:12

Hopefully you've had your flu jab which may offer you some protection. I do think you're being a bit sensitive, i appreciate where you're coming from and the fact she brushes aside asthma attacks as not serious makes her sound like a knob. But equally you don't really have any right to decide if another colleague should be in work or not. She probably doesn't want to affect her sickness record either. And you can't avoid sick people for the rest of your pregnancy. If you get ill it's justvas likely you'll get ill passing people in the street and catching their bugs.
Unfortunately thats one of the risks of being pregnant in winter and you just have to look after yourself as best you can. But i dont think you can be angry with her for coming into work.

mrsBeverleyGoldberg Fri 23-Feb-18 16:44:11

Yes. I caught gastroenteritis from my boss. I had diarrhea for ten days. It then caused a knee infection and I needed antibiotics, which then gave me diarrhea, again. Then I was criticised for having time of work, when my boss had the same and came into work and gave it to me.
Can you give her some tissues and lockets?

ClareB83 Fri 23-Feb-18 16:52:01

YANBU I hate people coming into work sick (esp because we can all work from home easily at my work).

Before the cough/cold season I sent an email asking people not to drag their infectious selves into the office to take down everyone else. Was banking on bosses being too chicken to contradict this and they were.

Colleagues have actually been better at staying home.

AELLE7 Fri 23-Feb-18 16:55:30

I understand what you are saying @Twitchett22. But as she is the owner of the company (it's a small business) I am pretty sure she doesn't have to worry about her sickness record. It would be just as easy for her to work at home, and everyone could contact her through emails. I know I am being sensitive about it and I think it's because I know I'm coming back to some underlying judgement about me taking time off when she didn't and it's getting me quite anxious and upset.

AELLE7 Fri 23-Feb-18 16:56:36

Yes I do have flu jab every year because of my asthma so was already covered when I found out I was pregnant which was lucky smile

AELLE7 Fri 23-Feb-18 17:00:03

@ClareB83 I know right! We have a lot of people who work at home already and although it limits stuff we can do such as manual filing we can still access all our drives and systems. I wish I had the balls to send of an email like that!

Twitchett22 Fri 23-Feb-18 17:01:20

It's different if she has the option of working from home, my boss wouldn't have that option so i wouldn't expect her to take time off because of me. But if she's the owner then she probably is being irresponsible. I know what you mean about people looking down on you for being off sick, and its easier said than done but you have to try and not let it get to you, you do what's right for you and your baby. I had people rolling their eyes at me for having a couple of days off at the start for morning sickness (i got 'well you're pregnant what do you expect') had to do a mental middle finger to them and count down the days until maternity leave lol

AELLE7 Fri 23-Feb-18 17:09:05

@Twitchett22 yeah I would understand if she really needed to come on but I think very much it's a holier than thou attitude. Before I have been forced to come in Ill to make deadlines that no one else could do. Yeah I think it's really horrible when people look down on sickness. 90% of my sickness is asthma related and I always have evidence of prescriptions etc. I too had a colleague roll their eyes and sigh, behind my back, to my HR director (who laughed) when I was talking to another person about my morning sickness. Would you believe I had to raise it three times with her before I got an apology from both of them for that 🙈

ClareB83 Fri 23-Feb-18 17:11:03

It makes me cross because you can have one person off/at home for a few days OR a rolling sickness that sweeps around a whole team or office stymying productivity.

On busy projects I would MUCH rather cover for one colleague for a few days than pick up the slack for a whole team of sick people. (I was often the only one who didn't get it.)

It makes me all the more cross when it's bosses because they're setting a bad example and frankly they're often the easiest person to cover for/find it easiest to work from home.

Chapterandverse Fri 23-Feb-18 17:16:10

Two of my colleagues came into work last week coughing and sneezing all over stuff.

It's a small office and warm so perfect breeding ground for germs.

I woke on Tuesday morning feeling like death. I have a cough, sore ears, sore throat etc.. I called in sick and my boss was angry with me.

He said colleague X & Y were down with flu last week and they made an effort to make it in. I said yes , which I how I have it now but I can't even get out of bed. After being in bed all week I finally made it to doctor today who diagnosed tonsilitis and a strain of flu.

I've had to stay away from my immuno compromised mother, I've had to cancel a weekend away we had planned for this weekend and missed my gym classes all week thanks to selfish colleagues who didn't stay at home when sick.

AELLE7 Fri 23-Feb-18 17:18:43

I know! She is the managing director so a lot of her job involves making sure everything is running smoothly, helping with our workloads, keeping on top of business sector changes so there is really no need for her to be in. She also goes on holiday at least four to five times a year so it's not like we haven't dealt without her for long periods. I think it's just to perpetuate an image of this tough persona, which usually doesn't bother me when it's not causing other to become ill 😑

Thistlebelle Fri 23-Feb-18 17:19:16

Realistically you can’t take two weeks off work for a cold.

It’s never going to be acceptable is any organisation.

AELLE7 Fri 23-Feb-18 17:22:13

@Chapterandverse I'm really sorry to hear you have come down so Ill, especially with the flu! It really is selfish for people to come in so contagious and if those people didn't then maybe Employers would be a lot more respectful towards people who chose to stay at home, and it would be the norm. At the end of the day, you can't help it if your sick. Hope you feel better, sorry you had to cancel your plans. I had a coming home party planned for my best friend who has just moved back from Bulgaria and I don't think it would be fair to go through it and make my friends ill sad

AELLE7 Fri 23-Feb-18 17:26:46

@Thistlebelle it's not just a cold she has, it's a pretty bad chest infection. Like I said in my post, I'm annoyed that once she realised it was more than a common cold and was actually a chest infection and she was coughing up lots of yucky phlegm in the open office then I felt she should have gone off sick.

Smellyjo Fri 23-Feb-18 18:29:09

I would be annoyed - not because you are pregnant but because I hate people coming into work ill and clearly contagious. I get that people worry about their responsibilities and sickness record etc, but why should that make them more important than everyone else in the office. The worst is people not waiting 48hrs after a sickness bug. I really cannot understand how anyone would think that is ok.

Girlwiththearabstrap Fri 23-Feb-18 18:37:44

She sounds like she has an unreasonable attitude towards staff sickness and absence which you are justified in being angry about.

However you really can't dictate what another adult stays at home for just because you are pregnant. The transmission of viruses often occurs before people are symptomatic and if you are really that prone to catching stuff it tends to happen anyway, whether it's caught from a door handle or a co worker!

surreygirl1987 Fri 23-Feb-18 20:00:52

I wouldn't be happy but I think yabu. I am really proud of only being off work ill once in my career. Im a teaacher so it's a bit different (genuinely easier to struggle into work than to take the day off!) But I do think it is a personal opinion upto a reasonable point ie not life threatening! I don't know about other careers but in my last two job application forms I have had to state how many days I have been off ill! I think that's terrible tbh buy st the same time I am glad to put down just one day and I'd be annoyed if I was forced to affect my own sickness record, when I felt well enough to go in, for the sake of others!

ClareB83 Fri 23-Feb-18 20:38:01

Yes who cares about other people?! That colleague with Crones disease, the pregnant woman, the man with an ill wife or child at home, the parent who can't visit their child in hospital when they're sick. Why worry about them when you can go in and do a sub par job?

0310Star Fri 23-Feb-18 22:55:54

It is my biggest bug bear at work, I work in an office and people seem to think that dragging themselves in no matter how ill and to be a hero is the best option, forgetting about everyone else! As an above poster said, it can have a big effect on other people - my dad had a transplant a few years back so taking home any kind of infection/illness was NOT an option.
I ended up being off for 8 days at the end of last year at the beginning of my pregnancy with the flu twice and ending up in a+e, I hated being off of work but I couldn't get out of bed and ended up taking about 2 months to get back to normal. I am now terrified of getting ill again and my partner has said if anyone tries coming in with the flu I am to come home and tell them I am not working from the office until they are better and to be honest I think that's pretty reasonable.
Having flu/severe colds when pregnant is horrendous, and I envy people who are lucky enough not to catch anything!

redexpat Fri 23-Feb-18 23:10:49

Id be more worried about her attitude to asthma. Not an emergency? It can and does kill! But I think you already know that. I would be updating my cv whilst on maternity leave.

AELLE7 Fri 23-Feb-18 23:32:20

I would understand somewhat if it was worry about the sickness record and having an unreasonable employer regarding sickness but as she is the owner of the company that doesn't apply, and it's setting an expectation that others should come in when Ill and I don't think that's right because there are repercussions. At the end of the day, employers need to get over the fact people get ill and as long as they can evidence they have sought help if needed and an obvious pattern isn't forming , no one should be penalised for it. And I know someone pointed out earlier that you can get virus from door handles and such, which is true but surely once you realise you are that severely ill and contagious you would make the necessary steps to minimise the risk of spreading it. If it's too late and it already has spread then it's too late, but I don't believe you should stay in work seriously contagious Just because of this fact.

Oh and yes I will be updating my CV on mat leave. Most definitely!

AELLE7 Fri 23-Feb-18 23:39:46

Also I know i said I'm really angry which I am, but I'm not going to go in and kick up a fuss like a brat. I just was wondering if it reasonable for me to mention it should It ever be mentioned re sick leave? I don't see why I couldn't say, honestly but politely that I was frustrated with the situation and maybe if you people come in highly contagious they can clean out their own bins and wash their own cups (I am the one who always tidies the office on a Friday)

GummyGoddess Fri 23-Feb-18 23:40:39

Not unreasonable but nothing you can do about it.

I caught norovirus from a work colleague who insisted on coming to work sick and spreading it around. I had previously raised this with HR as colleague was always coming in and hacking up phlegm all over the place. I was then bollocked for taking time off, he was not bollocked for spreading disease, they could have sent him home to recover. The office air con doesn't do anyone with illness any good, he would have been better off at home.

As our company uses their beloved Bradford Factor you actually get penalised for trying to come in while sick, so when a bug goes around the office, most people are off for ages once they're actually ill. If they came back but realised they weren't up to it and went home again they would be penalised for trying to come to work. Then the company wonders how they can prevent so many people going off sick for such long periods.

As you're pregnant you know that pregnancy related illness (e.g. morning sickness) does not go on your sickness record?

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