Thursday, January 8, 2009

Should you stay or should you go?

by Katrocket from Rocketradio

Okay, apologies all around for the surprise extended vacation from posting over the past three weeks, but what can I say? I got sick of holiday commercials before I could list a dozen of them. I was hoping you'd be too loaded with holiday cheer to notice.

So on the subject of being sick, there's a bit of controversy this week over a TV ad for Benylin cough syrup - an ad that's been running for over 2 years now, mind you.

Here's a two minute report on the matter from BBC.

It seems that employers and managers are rather upset with the message being delivered in the TV spot and on the Benylin website: if you're a rotten snotty mess, perhaps you should call in sick and try to recover instead of going to your workplace and making everyone else sick/annoyed/utterly disgusted with you.

JWT, the ad agency who created the Take A Benylin Day campaign, insists "We've been advised by health care experts that by taking one or two days off work, staying in bed, you can break that cycle and you can get to work healthy and productive."

Their website offers advice on what to tell your boss when calling in sick, offers video games and puzzles for the bored and lethargic, and reviews the best DVDs to watch while at home. But the UK-based Federation of Small Businesses claims the adverts and website are "outrageous", and have filed a complaint with the UK Advertising Standards Authority.

Absenteeism is a common struggle for all businesses, but personally speaking, I'd prefer that an ill co-worker stay home, rather than hacking up a lung in my face and exposing me to their icky germs. And I'm not a germaphobe, I'm just easily irritable. Sure, there's always some douchebag in the office who will use the slightest sniffle or hangover to excuse themselves from work, but I think if you're just going to be a miserable, whiny mess all day long, you might as well stay far, far away from me.

So what's your stance on this debate? Would you stay or would you go?


The Imaginary Reviewer said...

If I'm feeling ill, it has to be pretty serious before I call in sick, to be honest. And that's only because I work for a Dickensian employment agency who believe being paid for sick days is socialist propaganda.

If the rumours are true, though, and the people at my current placement really do want to have me work for them permanently, then I will get paid sick days and I will think nothing of taking a day off for a hangnail.

pistols at dawn said...

When I was created by German superscientists in a top-secret lab in the early 1940s, one of the upsides to my design was that I almost never get sick. I've taken maybe two or three sick days in my entire work career, which would be more impressive if I were employed a little more often.

Still, is it really productive for you to show up, half-ass your way through work, and get everyone else sick?

BeckEye said...

Hell, I think a yeast infection is a good enough reason to call off.

Seriously though, you're right. I can't stand when people force themselves to come to work and all you hear all day is their hacking, wet cough. Every time some sickie walks into our office kitchen, I just imagine that they're probably blowing snot all over everything, and that makes ME sick.

red said...

I call out sick when I'm sick or hungover or when one more day of work in a week will make me want to jab a dull pencil in my eye. You know, whatever.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I try to come in, no matter what. Mostly because, usually if I'm sick, then the other three at home are sick and I don't want to deal with them.

However, my bosses are all like "get the hell out of here", so I tend to show up and have them tell me to go.

Plus, last month I had a cold where I felt like shit in the morning for three mornings going, but told myself "if I feel bad at noon, I'll go home" and by noon, I felt great.

Andy Rooney said...

I haven't missed a day of work in nearly 23 years.

Anonymous said...

When I first saw that ad I thought it was refreshing that someone actually advocated staying home in bed when you felt like shit. I can't believe anyone got their knickers in a knot over it. The world won't end because you don't show up one day, you're not THAT important in the scheme of things. You're sick, stay home.

Maybe employers prefer when we all show up and infect everyone else and productivity declines because most of the day's spent spluttering and groaning and holding your head. IDIOTS.

M said...

Definitely stay home! I'm a nurse, so to go into work when I'M sick with a cold would probably be wreckless endangerment of my patients.

I love this commercial - it's common sense! :)

Chris said...

When I worked at the print shop I'd go in if we had a ton of stuff to get done. If the schedule was light I'd stay home.

Oddly enough, now that I work at home, I haven't been ill one single time.