Sick? Stay Home. Please.
Posted at 2 p.m. on June 13, 2013
Q. I work in a close-knit House office. So close that when one person gets sick, everyone does. And when they do, they come to work and spread their germs everywhere! Why is that staffers won’t call in sick? Do they think it makes them look better to the boss? It’s annoying and I am hoping you will say that it is in fact, ok to be sick!
A. This answer speaks to more than just Capitol Hill — in any office environment, if you’re sick, stay home. No one wants to hear the hacking, sniffling, or the loud, uncomfortable throat clearing that comes with it.
But Capitol Hill staffers want to show their commitment. They will stop at nothing to make their boss shine. Even walking pneumonia won’t delay a floor vote. Such fervent enthusiasm and dedication are some of the best parts of Capitol Hill, which attract talented, ambitious people. But it also means that people sometimes don’t know when to draw a line and use their Neti Pots at home.
If the issue persists, talk to your chief of staff about it. Express this as concern for your fellow workers’ well-being. Anyone who went to elementary school knows how a contagious illness works. Leadership comes from the top, so if your chief and boss can let others know that it’s preferred to stay home when they’re wheezing, perhaps it will be a healthier office environment for everyone.
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