Monday, June 1, 2009

Sometimes I Get Tired of Being Rational

Like Pharmacy Chick I hate it when people call out sick. I know, I know. People get sick. They should be allowed to take sick days in order to get better. I completely understand, and I'm accepting of it.

Despite being understanding of people calling out sick, I freaking hate it. I shouldn't hate it. It shouldn't bother me because I know people need sick days every once in a while. However, sometimes I just get sick of being understanding, and I'm going to use this space to vent a little.

I've never called out sick for work. I've just never been so sick that I didn't think I could work. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I only get maybe 2 minor colds per year. They usually amount to a sore throat and a sinus headache. That's hardly a reason to call out of work.

In the time span between my minor colds, I have coworkers who get sick a dozen times and use several sick days. It's starting to make me feel like I might have a superhuman immune system. I have coworkers who are such germophobes that they keep bottles of Purell with them at all times and constantly wipe down the counters in the pharmacy with those Lysol wipes. Despite trying to kill every germ in the world, they still manage to get sick all the time. On the other hand, I take absolutely no extra precautions to avoid germs beyond washing my hands after eating and using the bathroom, and I never get sick.

That's part of the reason I can't stand when people call out sick. I never have to call out sick, so I question why they do. A part of me feels like they're faking, or at least exagerrating, their illnesses. Seriously, I'm the most average person in pretty much every aspect. Why would I have a better immune system than seemingly everyone I work with???

Unless you're on death's door step, I think you should drag your ass into work because that's what I do. My philosophy is that I'm very grateful to have a job, and my job pays for my life. Therefore, if I'm scheduled to work, you can bet your ass I'm going to be there. Plus, I take pride in showing up to work every single day. I don't love doing it, but I pride myself on being dependable. I think more people need to have that same sense of pride.


Guzzo said...

A part of me feels like they're faking, or at least exagerrating, their illnesses.

Duh! They're techs, getting paid much less than you, and thinking to themselves "why am I busting my ass for this person who gets paid "way" more than I do" and are under appreciated by everyone.

Why would expect more?

Pharmaceutically Elegant said...

i know EXACTLY what you mean! I worked for almost 20 years at a retail pharmacy & never called out once.

Was sent home once by the pharmacist before but that was only after a bout of vomiting quietly into a trashcan in the corner. i had already worked 5 hours before i left & yet i felt horrible about THAT..

My co-workers would call out for a cold, a simple headache or my personal favorite--a hangover--usually a half hour before their scheduled shift(always the way).

Once i got a sick call at quarter to three for a 3pm shift. The explanation given? 'I've been throwing up all day long!'

So there was no time between bouts of spewing, that you could have dragged yourself to the phone a little earlier so i could have found a replacement? DICKS

Pharmacy Mike said...


I've never called out sick from work once in my entire life. That includes every stupid little job I've ever had.

I take pride in being dependable. I want to do a good job, whatever that job may be.

I would like, but don't realistically expect, everyone else to do the same.

Pharmaceutically Elegant said...

For the record, i'm not even an RPh--just a CPhT but i have the same work ethic now that i had when i was a lowly cvs cashier!

Sometimes i think it'd be easier if i didn't though. Very few people even appreciate it dependability anymore. At times i wonder why i bother, but at this point it's physically and mentally impossible for me to slack off.

Totally agree, Mike--Sadly, we are a dying breed!

kath8562 said...

Hi a tech here.
Let's see, once for suspected appendicitis(called out day before),and once because I simply couldn't move if I tried (Sinus infection & flu together). These were 1 day off each. This was 2 days in 15+ years, and both recently.

Frantic Pharmacist said...

I don't think anyone should come to work when they are truly sick (and obviously if it's contagious), but people's definition of 'sick' certainly varies greatly, and it's a reflection of their work ethic.
What we struggle with in our organization are those with chronic medical conditions who are given extra sick time under the Family & Medical Leave Act. Don't misunderstand, I absolutely believe these people should be in the workforce and given every opportunity to hold down a job. But in a business like pharmacy it's so hard to accomodate that. What's an employer to do? It still creates real morale problems for the people who show up every day.

Brother Frankie said...

this is not a pharmacy issue, its a work ethic issue.

i am close to the half century mark in age and have never missed a day of work in my entire life.

i have lost 100's of weeks of paid time off.

i have missed too many of the highlights of my kids life growing up.

i should have taken my wife to many romantic lunches.

point is, if you have the time coming to you, just use it. sure we need to think about our "work" family and how it might affect them. sure i still try to bang good work ethics into my kids, but with balance.

Life is short, and there would probably be a lot less "angry pharmacists" if they played hookie once in a while.

My wife is a charge nurse in a trauma ER. She has never taken a day off. I live alone at times, or so it seems.

sigh, call in sick, get a book, sit by a lake...just once.

You are Appreciated
Brother Frankie
A Biker for Christ

Pharmacy Mike said...

No... You'd have a lot more angry pharmacists if pharmacists decided to start using all of their sick time.

When a pharmacy employee calls out, it increases the workload and stress level exponentially. It takes days to recover from a 12 hour shift where 2 of your techs called out at the same time.

Parsnip said...

I'm with Brother Frankie on this one.

Pharmacy Mike, you said "When a pharmacy employee calls out, it increases the workload and stress level exponentially. It takes days to recover from a 12 hour shift where 2 of your techs called out at the same time."

You couldn't get 2 (or even 1) off-duty techs to come in to cover?
That sucks. Sounds like a lack of depth on the bench. I don't know if you work for a chain or an independent, but it sounds like you're staffed lean and mean.

I guess "Mental Health Day" isn't part of the retail pharmacist's lexicon. More's the shame.

Christina said...

What is even better is that at the pharmacy I work at, when someone calls in sick they pull an assistant manager from the store to help out.

Because clearly we know what we are doing.

Sometimes I think that they are better off just being short handed than having "help" from us assistant managers.

Corrinne said...

Poor Mike is gonna find a pile of comments on his old posts from me (sorry about that). I have the same thing in a retail cell phone store. We are staffed bare bones. If there is no one to cover the people (or person) there get swamped and people get grumpy. When a manager comes in... Yeah. They shouldn't bother lol. They make tons of mistakes and need a lot of help...

But my boss has implemented a new policy. Before we were supposed to tough it out. Now if we are sick we HAVE to stay home to not spread it. And if someone is sick and I am off, I HAVE to come in to cover for that person. Uhm. No. If I am not busy, sure why not. But if I am busy (I also go to school full time) he can suck it =) We will see how this works out.