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By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.

Helen Hunt Jackson - September
The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

John Updike, September
Learn English in September

Monday & Wednesday Night Owls - 8 April 2019 - Taking time off work when you are sick

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,353 Teacher
We read an article about why people still come to work when they are sick, and how you can tell your boss you need some time off to recover:


Vocabulary Top 10:

halve - to divide (something) into two equal parts

attribute to - to say that (something) is because of (someone or something)

contagion - the process by which a disease is passed from one person or animal to another by touching

infiltrated - to pass into or through (something); to secretly enter or join something

give a short shrift - to give little or no attention or thought to something

decentralise - to change (something) by taking control, power, etc., from one person or group and giving it to many people or groups throughout an area

precarious - not safe, strong, or steady

fitful - not regular or steady

peripheral - not relating to the main or most important part

contingent - depending on something else that might or might not happen

Do you go to work when you are sick?
When do you think it is ok to stay home? When should you still go to work?

@april @julianobastos @hocon @Rema @Ezîza @taghried @Just-Learn @elhattabfethi @Shiny03 @Maatuq @aladdin @kindgnice


  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 11,382 mod
    While the author of the article claimed that the number of sick days taken by UK workers has halved since 1993, I've just read that in Belgium the number of workers who stay at home for a long periode due to burn-out syndrome has increased with 85 percent in comparison with 2010!
    Nowadays, it's not the virus to blame for this absenteeism, but stress, work culture and maybe digitalising are the reason.
    Could it be really prevented by asking employees to take time off and stay home and recharge your battery?
    I remember we read an article about it, (which I can't find anymore here in the Session Archive!? I have only the sessions from March 6 until this one, @NatashaT ) but the truth is that the number of sick employees keeps increasing.
    Is burn-out also contagious then?
    Is the leading to blame?
    I suppose you have discussed about it after reading the article I mentioned above?
    So let's go back to the article today.

    Do I go to work when I'm sick?
    It depends on how sick I am.
    Sometimes, I still go to work when I have a kind of flu.
    I wear then a mask, just to prevent contagion. Silly, isn't it?

    When do you think it is ok to stay home?
    If you have temperature or you have to throw up or go to the toilet every half an hour then it's clear that it is ok to stay home!
    If you have dizziness (vertigo) you should stay home.
    You need to stay home if you think you can't function properly at work in your condition.
    But to take the phone and tell it to your boss or your colleague is really a disaster.
    We have to call before the beginning of work and I always postpone that until it's too late and I nevertheless go to work. :o

    When should you still go to work?
    You are ill or you are not.
    So if you have decided that you are not in state to work, stay home! (easier to say than to do of course :) )

  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,353 Teacher
    @april As strange as it seems, I think burnout could be contagious! But not in the normal meaning of the word. For example: if one person in a team becomes burnt out because they are under too much stress and have too many things to do, they might take some time off. But that means their work has to be done by the other people in the team, so then they become more stressed and end up with burnout too!

    (also, I have found a trick to find all the articles - I always tag these posts with 'learn english sessions' and 'learn english on Discord'. If you click on one of those tags, which you can find at the bottom of the main post, it will take you to a list of all the posts with that same tag B) )

    I think if you need to wear a mask, you probably shouldn't be at work! But at least you are preventing other people from catching the same sickness!

    I agree - it's important to make a decision early enough so that your boss has time to make plans to cover your work. But I also do the same, and put the decision off for too long so I end up working :D

    I also think that it can sometimes be better to stay at home for one day and get better, than forcing yourself to work through it and staying sick for a much longer time.
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 11,382 mod
    That is a very smart trick, @NatashaT .
    Thank you very much.
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I do think when you have got a flu you ought to stay home, regardless what your boss will think of your loyalty henceforth.

    That's not all though.

    I strongly believe that you should stay home if you've caught a cold as well, or maybe just a sore throat, which sometimes is the earlier stage of a cold.

    The reason ? Because else you'd become a carrier and spreader of a virus, and could potentially infect and possibly get people hospitalized thanks to your dogged presenteeism.

    In fact, I'm afraid you wouldn't just be a source of contagion among your colleagues, but your victims' number might be quite higher.

    Suppose that, in your commute route, you get a ride on a bus, a crowded bus. Then, be sure that your viruses have spread all over the vehicle, to grace all passengers, and their respective doomed bosses, in the days to come, with its lethal presence.

    Therefore, just to keep to what you perceive as an binding rule: always to turn up at your workplace, rain or shine, you turn out a contagious plague to unaware passers-by who happen to cross the trajectory of your exhaling breath.

    This is why, if you don't hold yourself a sine-qua-non employee, as saying the one who can't be set aside, lest the company should face a breakdown or failure of work, you had better stay home.

    In case you felt an irresistible push to join your colleagues, though, you should make sure you put up with the fact is mandatory to wear a protective mask, as @april wisely suggested, in order to preserve the other employees' good health and avoid contaminating the environment.

    Besides, you should bring with you the disinfectant gel for hands; from time to time you should gently squeeze out a drop of the substance, and put it upon your palm and rub strongly your hands' palms together till the gel is absorbed.

    It should allow your germs to be exterminated almost totally, so that you don't spread them all over the workplace anylonger.

  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 11,382 mod
    @filauzio , you always write such a beautiful and poetic articles. :)
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thank you for your beautiful words @april, I'm glad you appreciated it. I just wanted to express my thoughts.
    Sometimes, I kind to tend to dwell on them; luckily, though, in such cases I sometimes manage to turn a boring longish comment in something readable, not just an entanglement of meaningless words, in short I tidy up the mess in my mind. ;)
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 11,382 mod
    That's the fact, @filauzio; you manage to express your thoughts with such poetical words while me, I use only simple words like I am, you are, my name is etc. and even for that I need to use my dictionary or searching words on the internet, hoping that I use the right words, writing readable and comprehensible sentences.
    And that after learning English for many years! Shame on me, I admit. B)

  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think it doesn't matter how many words you use to express your thoughts and feelings, @april, what really matters is whether you're able to express your innerself in the closest way to what you genuinely feel.

    I don't think you are like that I am, you are, my name is. I just think you are very direct in expressing your mind, without going about it while wasting your words and the time of the readers too as much as I usually do.

    Differently from me, you have a clear, clever mind and can comment straightaway in a simple, plain and comprehensible way: that's exactly what the greatest poets struggle and manage to do.

    As for me, I'm not sure whether I use poetical ways of writing, it is rather that some words sound poetical by themselves.

    You know I used to devour literally the Italian dictionaries, because I love to find out the etymology of any difficult words; many of them, other than having amazing historical origins, are very poetical sounding by themselves.

    Take for instance the word sinecure ; you most probably neither would ever hear it spoken nor look it written wherever nowadays.

    Still, I sometimes use it because I learnt its meaning many years ago, and never forgot it.

    It comes from latin ( not sure though ) sine ( without ) and cure ( care ).

    It means a job or position where you get paid whether you really work or just pretend to, as it is for instance the case with some public sector jobs, such as in government ministries.

    I love this word and its eloquence as well: I use it wherever the occasion arises.

    In the case of this article, for instance, if your job had been a sinecure, you could have called in sick every other week without fearing of being sacked with the most right reason !!

    BTW as for the english dictionary, I'm always looking up words, because I feel all the most insecure when deciding what words going to use.

    To me it works the same too: for any 10 new words I learn and get through one ear, it seems 10 other words suddenly flee my mind through the other ear.

    Sometimes it seems like I'm lacking some of the English I've been learning so far, but I'm sure something has remained embedded in my mind nonetheless.

    When you think you are losing your English, don't worry, it's perhaps that you need some rest, after which you can re-start re-energized with all your english wits regained all about you, no missing ones. :)

    As you can see, @april, I turned out longish and boringly talkative as usual. ;)

  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Taking time off work when sick can also be beneficial to the marital bliss... even when quite mistook.

    Have a look at this joke by @mheredge, is very funny. :D

  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Here is the text of the joke by @mheredge, taken from her comment:

    Sam pulled up a stool at his favorite bar and announced, "My wife must love me more than any woman has ever loved any man!"

    "What makes you say that?" the bartender inquired.

    "Last week," Sam explained, "I had to take a couple of sick days from work. She was so thrilled to have me around that every time the milkman or the mailman came by, she'd run down the driveway waving her arms and hollering, 'my husband's home! My husband's home!'"
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 11,382 mod
    Poor Sam.
    He must have loved his wife a lot. :D
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