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AIBU?

You don’t need to be housebound if you’re off sick from work

194 replies

TeaAndBrie · 06/10/2022 12:49

I’ve been off work for 3 days with a bad cold (not covid). I’m used to being on the go and spend more time out of the house than in. The last two days have been spent in bed, today I’m feeling a little brighter but get tired and dizzy quickly so not well enough to go back to work. My concentration level is terrible and at work I need to make important decisions and have staff depending on me.
it’s a beautiful sunny day outside and I was considering going out for a walk and maybe get a coffee from a kiosk (not sit in Costa or anything). My DH was mortified and said if I’m ill I shouldn’t leave the house and if i can then I’m well enough to go to work.
interested to know what people think?

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

829 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
51%
You are NOT being unreasonable
49%
XenoBitch · 06/10/2022 19:24

Of course it is fine to be out and about when you are off sick. Feeling able to go for a little walk and coffee does not mean you can do a whole shift in your job.

I don't care what my colleagues would think. I used to live 10 minute walk from my workplace, so there was no way no one would not see me outside of work. And of course, some knobs did actually report me for being out and "smiling" when I was off for MH reasons. Isolating myself at home was the worst thing I could have done.

I hope you enjoyed your walk and coffee.

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CaptainMyCaptain · 06/10/2022 19:31

When I was off with work related stress my GP told me to go out and do things that made me happy.

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onlythreenow · 06/10/2022 19:41

If you can go for a walk and sit in a coffee shop, you're well enough to be at work.

What an absolute load of rubbish. If you are okay to work at that stage then you obviously have a very undemanding job!!!! YANBU OP - some of these posters are just dicks.

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coldcaff · 06/10/2022 19:45

I worked in a supermarket years ago, and I remember if people were off sick but came in to collect a prescription from the pharmacy, they would be bitched about! Completely ridiculous.

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thankyouforthesun · 06/10/2022 20:13

If you workmen for me and I saw you out for coffee when you were off sick I'd come over and say hi and ask how you were feeling. It wouldn't mean you were fine or not fine but I'd be genuinely hopeful it was a sign you were feeling better, or something you were doing to aid your recovery.

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NeverDropYourMooncup · 06/10/2022 20:13

TeaAndBrie · 06/10/2022 14:05

It really does seem to be doing the rounds doesn’t it. I’m normally okay but this has wiped me out.
I’ve got little chance of being spotted as I live in a different town to where I work.
I work in the NHS as a business support manager. Due to the environment I work in I cannot work from home as I cannot access systems.

A BSM? The same role that involves telling disabled admin staff to faithfully promise that they won't catch norovirus, any other infectious illness or break an ankle for the next twelve months or undergo disciplinary action because their Bradford score has flagged them for action?


Unless you refuse to ever have those meetings, you're a hypocrite.

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RagzRebooted · 06/10/2022 20:20

YANBU, it depends on the circumstances and while a gentle walk is good for recovery, pushing yourself to work will slow it down. I went out Saturday afternoon, after being off sick Friday and Saturday. I took the DCs to a village fete, so outdoors (not spreading germs) for an hour and then came home and went back to bed.
I was well enough to do a few tombolas and games (dosed up on medication) but not enough for a day of work (I'm a nurse so I wouldn't be doing anything restful and brain fog errors could be dangerous).

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TeaAndBrie · 06/10/2022 20:27

NeverDropYourMooncup · 06/10/2022 20:13

A BSM? The same role that involves telling disabled admin staff to faithfully promise that they won't catch norovirus, any other infectious illness or break an ankle for the next twelve months or undergo disciplinary action because their Bradford score has flagged them for action?


Unless you refuse to ever have those meetings, you're a hypocrite.

I’m truly sorry that you or someone you know has had those experiences.
however, you do not know me or my work practices because of a bad experience of one BSM.
I fight for my staff at every corner to ensure they are treated fairly as people with individual needs. I have out-rightly had heated discussions with the service director and HR in order support and advocate that my staff member is treated fairly and with good results.

OP posts:
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Whataplanker · 06/10/2022 20:30

When I go to work, I get up at six, have to get showered and make myself look vaguely presentable, travel to work, do a day's work (teaching, so 'on' all the time, can't just sit and snuffle behind a computer for the day), travel home. There is definitely a difference between that and leisurely taking time to get up, throwing some comfy clothes on and, when feeling up to it, going for a short stroll and some fresh air, then coming home and collapsing on the sofa again. It is also a good barometer as to whether you feel you will be well enough tomorrow. If a short walk completely wipes you out, you might not be ready for a full day of work.

I got tonsillitis earlier this year (in school hols so no need to take time off) but I felt so awful and was so fed up of feeling awful that, after the anti biotics kicked in and my throat no longer felt like razor blades, I persuaded DH to walk me to a local coffee shop, have a drink and home again, just to get me out of the house. A good friend saw me while we out and told me how bloody awful I looked so, whilst I was physically able to walk the short distance, have a drink and walk home with DH in case I had a funny turn, I definitely couldn't have gone to work. The short excursion wiped me out for the rest of the day.

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Arbesque · 06/10/2022 20:34

Badger1970 · 06/10/2022 12:51

If you can go for a walk and sit in a coffee shop, you're well enough to be at work.

No you're not. Huge difference between that and getting up at 7, doing a 90 minute commute, a full on day at work, andca 90 minute commute home.

I'm glad I never worked for anyone with your attitude.

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Darbs76 · 06/10/2022 20:37

no you’re not chained to the house. But I wouldn’t be out and about too much to be honest. We can work at home though so sickness has reduced massively, and people might log on but do less meetings or be less productive for example. My friend won’t go anywhere if she’s off sick and she’s so paranoid but she lives in a small town with a huge small town mentality and she’s got a private number plate so no hiding away. My office is 20 mins from home but we have staff who lives over a huge radius and so very few people here if any in my home town

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tigger1001 · 06/10/2022 20:49

For a bad cold, no I wouldn't be out and about other than essential trips. If I was ill enough to be off work I wouldn't be wanting to spread the bug around.

If it was mental well-being reasons then getting out and about could help recovery so would go out and about in that case.

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whynotwhatknot · 06/10/2022 21:18

of course a walk is fine youre not in prison

my dh was off for 8 weeks was he not allowed out at all

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balalake · 06/10/2022 21:25

A short walk, buying a coffee, drinking it and then walking home seems reasonable to me.

Going for an evening out, say to the pub or cinema, does not.

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XenoBitch · 06/10/2022 21:42

balalake · 06/10/2022 21:25

A short walk, buying a coffee, drinking it and then walking home seems reasonable to me.

Going for an evening out, say to the pub or cinema, does not.

Why not?

When I was off sick, my friends tried to get me out for evenings out. I even committed the huge sin of going to see a film at the cinema.

My GP gave me a sick note, that said I was not fit to do my job. It did not say I was not fit to go to cafes or the cinema.

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Calandor · 06/10/2022 21:49

I wouldn't go to a coffee shop because you could make everyone in their ill and that's not fair.

But a walk yes, go, it's just a walk not 8 hours of work.

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CaptainMyCaptain · 07/10/2022 08:41

Calandor · 06/10/2022 21:49

I wouldn't go to a coffee shop because you could make everyone in their ill and that's not fair.

But a walk yes, go, it's just a walk not 8 hours of work.

The OP said she would sit outside. I don't think anyone in a coffee shop would have caught my depression or caught a broken thumb off the bus driver mentioned.

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CatchersAndDreams · 07/10/2022 08:46

You've got over 800 votes and it's almost split down the middle.

I don't think YABU and luckily we have a culture at work where it would be encouraged as the burn out rate is high.

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Chooksnroses · 07/10/2022 13:06

TeaAndBrie · 06/10/2022 15:40

Actually no, when I have my return to work interview I will tell her that I did go out and get some fresh air in the section about what action I took.

Then that's your answer then! Enjoy your walk and coffee!

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