Make us your home page
Working | Sick days

Be savvy when calling in sick

There are right and wrong ways to let your boss know you're a no-show. Most people instinctively know the best way to communicate with their supervisor and workplace. But if your illness has caused a loss of common sense, follow these tips from human resources experts and other sources. Los Angeles Times What to do

• Do speak to your supervisor directly, if possible. Sending an e-mail is a tip-off of possible fakery.

• Do call in as early in the day as possible to give your supervisor time to plan the day without you.

• Do make the call yourself.

• Do apologize for the inconvenience to your employer.

• Do call in sick when you're feeling miserable, need to see a doctor, are contagious or can't think straight.

• Do get a doctor's note if your illness requires medical treatment and a specified length of time off.

• Do use sunscreen if you take a sick day to go to the beach.

• Do know how your supervisor feels about employees taking sick days. And what not to do

• Don't call in sick on too many Mondays or Fridays. It will damage your credibility.

• Don't try to fake sounding ill by using old tricks: speaking on the phone while lying in bed or bent over the toilet.

• Don't give your supervisor all the gory details of your illness. It smacks of exaggeration. Make the call short and to the point.

• Don't have spouse, child or — worse — mother make the call for you unless you are hospitalized. Be a grown-up.

• Don't call from a baseball game, bar, airport or other questionable venue.

• Don't go to work looking like a walking carcass.

• Don't use "feminine problems" as an excuse — especially if you're not a woman.

• Don't tell your boss you'll try to be there after lunch. It won't happen.

Be savvy when calling in sick 07/17/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 17, 2008 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Los Angeles Times.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients


    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel


    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal


    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate


    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]