To ignore my colleagues messages while off sick?
MrMakersFartyParty · 04/11/2018 21:07
I have a health issue that will only be resolved by surgery, currently on the waiting list but it is 3 months long but I am also down for cancellations if they arise.
Basically, at my work I would be penalised for going on and off sick, there's a huge focus on number of absences rather than the total number of days. As my condition flares once or twice a week, I will therefore have to stay off until my surgery because I would be in more trouble for being in and out of work even though I'm OK for 2 or 3 days a week usually.
Every day I am waking to messages from people at work who I am friendly with but not "friends" asking me if I'm better yet (I've explained I won't be until surgery) and asking if I know when I'll be back, or if I've had an operation date yet. I've explained the situation to them all, then I've Changed tactic and tried to be really vague, I've also tried being factual "no, won't be better till after surgery, no date yet" but it's really getting me down.
I would actually rather nobody knew why I was off but our policy is that which ever supervisor is in charge writes all of your symptoms down when you call in and there's about 10 supervisors.. So everybody has over heard the phone conversations.
If I ignore them they know ive been online on Facebook messenger, but I am so bored and anxious about these repetitive conversations now.
One day went like this
Colleague "hiya, miss you, when will you be back?"
Me "hi, miss you too, not sure yet no date /change"
Colleague "awww so when do you think you'll be back?"
Its driving me mad. They aren't struggling with extra work because they just change the rotas to cover the shift so they aren't understaffed.
octoberfarm · 04/11/2018 21:15
Ugh, that sort of subtle but constant pressure would get me down too. If it were me, I think I'd just reply less frequently and if anyone called me out on it, say you haven't been feeling well/up to texting/forgot to get back to them. It would make more sense if they were struggling under the workload but as they're not, it sounds more like it's just idle curiosity/them wishing they weren't at work (which is clearly silly as you have a completely valid reason), so I'd just leave them to wonder and after a few weeks of very sporadic replying, they'll probably give up.
Hope you get your surgery and are on the way to recovery soon ￼
GuyFawkesN1ght · 04/11/2018 21:15
I have a feeling it is against the law or some sort of policy to actually contact people while they are off sick. They can be done for pressurising you . That’s what I thought anyway. I would ignore completely, you don’t have to justify yourself unless it’s an official thing from a manger - like a meeting about your absence.
MrMakersFartyParty · 04/11/2018 21:27
I was wondering if they're allowed to contact me but I suppose they're doing it in a way that looks friendly, but "how are you feeling?" is even annoying me because sometimes I'm fine! I would be at work now if they would have some flexibility. I just don't know how to answer.
MadeForThis · 04/11/2018 21:27
I think you can change your settings on Facebook messenger and WhatsApp so it doesn't show when you are online.
Tahani · 04/11/2018 21:31
Is there a 'managed working you can do? Like a phased return to work but in reverse?
SuperstarDJ · 04/11/2018 21:31
Are you implying in your post that you’re actually well enough to be in work until your surgery but you don’t want to be because when you go off to have surgery it will count as another sickness absence occasion if you go back to work now?
OoohSmooch · 04/11/2018 21:33
There is no 'law' that stops a colleague texting another colleague regardless of the situation really. What you can do is speak to your HR dept or the supervisors to tell them about the constant text messages and ask them to speak with the staff.
I'd remove everyone from your social media so they don't know if you've been online and take off the what's app 'online' function too.
I'd also recommend you speak to HR/supervisors about a phased return to work so that you can work around the absence monitoring they use.
SuperstarDJ · 04/11/2018 21:34
I would be at work now if they would have some flexibility
You’re not actually currently sick then? You’re just trying to work your absence management process? I don’t think you’ve any right to be complaining about colleagues contacting you if that’s the case.
MrMakersFartyParty · 04/11/2018 21:40
Sorry should have been clearer, I'm not well enough to work until my surgery. I am ill every day but I can manage a couple of days a week, but because its unpredictable when it flares up I can't really give much notice (probably 24 hours) so my gp has signed me off until my surgery as he's agreed that my manager won't be able to accommodate me going in/out as would struggle to find cover.
MrMakersFartyParty · 04/11/2018 21:42
And @superstardj my surgery wouldn't count as another absence period. That's already been confirmed by my manager as its arranged.
ATowelAndAPotato · 04/11/2018 21:55
Not sure what your health problem is, but I was in a similar situation last year with gallstones. Ended up being off work for about 3 months until I had my gallbladder out. There were a few days each week that I didn’t feel horrendous, but totally impractical for me to essentially be popping in and out as and when I could. My job was project based and both work and my GP agreed that signing me off was the appropriate thing to do.
Hope you get a surgery date soon.
IWantMyHatBack · 04/11/2018 22:03
Id have a stock response and use exactly the same wording every time one of them texts you. "Hi, I'm missing work a lot, surgery will be several weeks/months plus recovery time" or similar
MrMakersFartyParty · 04/11/2018 22:05
@ATowelAndAPotato yes a very similar situation! Glad you got sorted.
I don't want anyone to think I'm manipulating the system, it's just the nature of the condition... Once I've had surgery I'll be fine!
MoreHairyThanScary · 04/11/2018 22:25
Sounds like the NHS, colleague struggled back in between treatments for cancer then got put on a work performance due to repeated abscence... ( to be fair manager said it's rubbish and I will not be doing anything!)
Had she just stayed off there would have been no action, policies like these are so blanket and c ayes more problems than they solve.
Hope you feel better soon
Ontheboardwalk · 04/11/2018 22:28
How long is your sicknote for? Your GP has signed you off till surgey
If your sick note is for days/weeks tell them you’ll contact them the day before it runs out and you don’t want any contact before then
To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.