Business Administration Education Guide

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sick Days

Normally I research and start writing an Administration blog posting on Fridays and am ready to post by Wednesday afternoon. However, with so many things going on in my personal life as well as my professional life (and too much soda and quickie lunches) I became sick and am only now back at the office on a Friday 2 days after being home sick. While being sick I couldn’t help but remind myself that I can’t be sick for a 3rd day. That would mean I would have to bring a doctor’s note to the office on Monday. A 3rd missed day at work means anther lost Sick Day and spending money on a co pay for an appointment just to be told “you have a cold, stay home and rest and drink plenty of fluids”. I don’t need to spend $15 for a co pay to be told what I already know.

The business of health insurance is now forcing doctors to charge they’re patient for all the extras that used to be free. This includes a doctor’s note stating that I’m sick; which now costs $10 to $20. So not only would I be missing 3 days of work that is piling up, I would also be paying up to $35 (not including antibiotics and over the counter medicine) just to be sick. In addition, Business Administration employers are not required (Except Calif.) to offer ‘Sick Days’. So not only would I be paying out money but I’m also losing money to be sick. It’s no wonder so many people go to work looking like a zombie and hacking up stuff that looks like it came from a Hollywood horror movie set.

The opposite side of this situation is that people who go to work sick are possibly infecting the entire Business Administration office. It’s really a situation of grabbing the knife from the wrong side for both healthy and sick workers. “If I’m sick I should stay home.” However I’ve known associates and friends who have employers who believe that unless you’re ready to go to the hospital you should be at work.

So here I am back at the office looking decently healthy while my stomach is doing Hulk Hogan muscle movements. The thought of food is still a bit nauseating while at the same time I want to eat something. Since I’m already at the office and I don’t want to go home early again, I opt for getting through the day with saltine crackers, water and mediocre chicken noodle soup from a fast food deli. As I finish the soup and my stomach is still doing spasms I wonder how the heck other people get through the day when they’re sick; so I asked.

Popular approaches I received from a variety of internet communities:

When asked “what do you use to get through the day when you’re sick” one person responded with this preventive remedy.

“One winter I worked in a very small office. I had three co-workers, all three of whom developed bad colds. I drank my green tea with mint every single morning, in a 16 oz mug, in lieu of coffee. I was the only one who didn't get sick. If you feel a cold coming on, try it. Get a box of mint green tea (Bigelow makes a nice one) and just drink as much of the stuff as you can stand. It's not a magic cure, but I've really, truly found that it helps a lot with congestion and seems to make the colds go by quicker.”

- sally_skellington

The following is a list of other responses.

Type of relief: # of people who favored it

Dayquil type relief: 3

Cold & Flu pills: 4

Mix with water (hot/cold) (Airborne / Alka Seltzer): 6

C or Zinc Supplement drops: 4

Water / Teas / Juice (herbal / plain / immunity juice drinks): 6

Go home early / call in sick: 4

Note: Some people said they do a combination of the above items

Calling in sick.

One option when your sick and can’t go to the office is offering your employer the alternative of you working at home while recovering. I know the last thing you want to do when your sick is sit at your computer but it’s better than being fired or having a spiteful employer punish you in other ways. Like not approving your vacation time; I’ve seen this happen to a co worker.

Administration Assistants have a huge advantage that is not always clear to them. As a Business Administration Assistant, we can do things that our bosses possibly can not; such communications entirely through email. From home Administration Assistants can confirm and schedule meetings and conferences as well as research project subjects online and complete data entry.

Having a chronic health problem can be the most difficult employee for a business. They can be sick often and appear perfectly healthy one day and call in horrendously sick the next. I use to be one of those types of employees due to my Asthma. Nonetheless, employers do not want to hear about your problems. It seems heartless and cruel but it wasn’t their problem it was mine and as such I had to find a way to strengthen my immune system.

If strengthen your immune system isn’t part of the answer than you have to look for other options. Look for an employer that has liberal time off diplomacy, as well as one whom offers decent health benefits. If you have a chronic condition never pass up on the optional long-term disability insurance. Companies like this do exist but you will need to advance your skills with additional education in order to be considered for the positions.

Being sick is never pleasant. However try to look at it with some opportunistic point of view. If your employer allows you to work from home while sick, that’s a step on your career ladder. If he does not allow you to work at home you can use the time not only to get better but to look at where you are in your career and ask yourself if this is where you want to be. If it’s not, research how you can get to that point. Clear your head from all the stress that may have help caused you to get sick. Than gain some of it back when you return to work to face the pile of uncompleted tasks that every one in the office claimed they didn’t know how to do.

- Alivia H