New Job 101: When to Call in Sick to Work

Although it’s still summer, today’s deary and cold Oregon weather has reminded me that winter is just around the corner. As we all know, with winter comes free stuff (hello Christmas!), the red, amazingly festive Starbucks cups and cold and flu season.

Gone are the college days when, after a single cough and a little sniffle (or a big hangover), we decided to skip class and just go back to bed. Now that we’ve transitioned into the working world (what I like to call “adult life”), I think it’s important to know just when it’s ok to call in sick.

You should call in sick when you have…

…a high fever. This means over 101. Most of the time when your fever is this high it will come with a whole slew of not-so-fun symptoms that will make going to work suck anyway. If you’re fever is below 101 with mild symptoms, take a Tylenol and get to the office.

…pink eye. Not sure if you have pink eye? Then you don’t have pink eye. Trust me, you’ll know when you have it. If your eyes are itchy, red and puffy and your eyelashes are completely stuck together when you wake up in the morning, wash your hands, throw away your mascara and go to the doctor instead of work.

…a bad migraine or significant body pain. If you throw out your back, screw up your knee or have a really bad migraine, just call in sick. Neither intense pain nor mood-altering muscle relaxers allow you to be productive at work.

…a cough, congestion and sore throat. With a mild case of one or two of these, you’re probably ok to show up, but if you have a severe case of all three, you should think about taking it easy. Not only are you probably contagious, but you’re cough, sniffles and inability to verbally communicate because of your sore throat will annoy the hell out of everyone around you, so just stay home.

Still not sure if you’re sick enough for the day off? Check out these for more information and advice on how to tell if you’re too sick to work.

image from


August 20, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Career Advice, Life-in General.

One Comment

  1. Tiffany replied:

    Katy, I am enjoying your blog and am excited to recommend it to my Advanced Public Relations Writing students in the fall. You might enjoy checking out this blog by Ron Culp of Ketchum:

    The blog is written for the same demographic as yours.

    Your comment about pink eye was hilarious. Keep up the witty prose.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: