Dear Urban Diplomat: Is it selfish not to take a sick day?
The company I work for is stingy about sick days. I only get a couple a year, and anything beyond that gets docked from my pay. Last week, I got a gross-sounding cough, but I sucked it up and went to work anyway. My co-workers didn’t appreciate my heroics. By the second day of hacking, I was getting the stink eye from more than a few of them. One officemate even left a passive-aggressive Purell bottle on my desk. Should I have taken the pay hit? Is it selfish to come to work when you’re sick?
—The Germinator, Fort York
Work is stressful enough without having to sit beside a festering human H1N1 factory. Normally, I’d say coming to the office when you’re sick is selfish, but I get your financial motivation. The next time you’re ill, see if your boss is willing to compromise. Ask if you can work from home, and back up the suggestion with some corporate logic: you’ll recover—and become more productive—faster, and you won’t take anyone else down in the process.