Yesterday I mentioned phone etiquette and it generated some interest, so it felt right to follow on with this.
Over the years I've built up a transient set of rules the I apply, or don't apply, in man management situations. One of these rules is to do with staff calling in sick.
It's my belief that, when someone calls to say they cannot come in to work because of illness, if they can't actually talk personally on the phone then it's because they are incredibly and seriously ill, or because they are lying through their teeth and don't have the guts to talk.
Occasionally I receive phone calls from wives, girlfriends, boyfriends and husbands to tell me that their partner is ill and won't be in. Invariably I think that they're lying as the chances that they are so ill they they can't talk on the phone are pretty remote. There have been a few occasions over the years when I've just known that a person is very, very ill or that I've believed the partner. When that's happened I've wished them well and trusted that they'll take as much time as they need to get better.
On the other hand, when I think they're lying, there's little I can do about it other than accept it and store it as knowledge for the future. With employment legislation being as strict as it is in the UK, there's little in practice that one can do to prevent this happening.
So if you want to swing a sicky tomorrow then call in yourself. Don't get someone else to do it for you.
It's too obvious.
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