A Quarter of Employees Text In Their Sick Days
Every teenager who slinks out to a party but tells her parents that she's at a sleepover knows that text messaging is a very convenient mode of communication. There's no need to pick up the phone, and risk parents noticing the sounds of heavy beats, traffic or slurred speech. It seems that employees have picked up on the trick: a quarter of them admit to sending their supervisor a text on a sick day, according to a survey of 10,000 adults by makers of the British cough and cold medication Covonia.
Of course, not all of them are faking it. Some would just prefer to craft a written description of their ailments than face their bosses in real time. But even one in five of those who call confess that they exaggerate their symptoms.
One in six just send an email. One in 25 resort to a Facebook message.
But the big man doesn't always buy it. Some managers said that they call their unwell employees from a different number, one in 20 have even driven by their houses, and one in five admitted to checking their sick employee's Facebook page for any suspiciously healthy activity.
But employees are savvy too; a third say that they avoid the social media site when they've called in sick.
The rest of the results make it clearer why a cough and cold medicine brand would conduct this kind of survey. Apparently, a quarter of respondents said it was never acceptable to take a day off for a cold, and 13 percent would deem their co-worker "weak" if they did so. A third said a colleague in that situation should "man up."
So the take-away seems to be: Take Covonia cough syrup and Covonia vapor drops and Covonia throat spray or face the ridicule and judgment of your workmates.
In covering the survey, the Daily Mail and the Mirror, two British publications, threw in some quotes from Ron Eccles, director of the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University, who explains that contagion is no excuse for skipping work. People suffering from cold symptoms, he says, have already passed their peak of contagiousness.
So there's really no excuse for taking a sick day from a cold, it seems, especially when you can just drown yourself in Covonia's exciting range of products. Unless, that is, you actually feel really sick.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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