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I NEED ADVICE!!!! Manager annoyed with me - unfair or not? Watch

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    Sorry if this is long but i really want some advice and/or reassurance..

    I work in care and we are very very short staffed so I (and all my co workers) have been picking up lots of shifts which helps our employer as otherwise they would be paying agency staff (who cost double) to cover them. I have worked for 7 days in a row and around 2 days in I started getting a cold, it has slowly got worse and worse and I feel AWFUL. Not sure if it's flu or a chest infection or just a bad cold but I know it's making me feel really unwell and is definitely contagious so I shouldn't be risking making the vulnerable adults I work with sick, or my colleagues.

    Yesterday I was at work and started feeling worse, I had a few hours left of my shift and decided I should take the next 2 days off. Partly because I felt that I would take longer to get better if I left it longer, partly because I have job interviews soon and don't want to be ill for these. My manager knows I'm leaving (moving away). I was due to be in at 7am the next morning, so made the decision that rather than waiting until then to call in sick and leave the other people on shift to cover it (by calling agencies) that I would tell the ones I was on with that night (who would also be on in the morning) what I was going to do. They agreed and said they can tell that I'm ill and need time off (one of them has just been off for a few days due to having the same thing as me). I phoned the agency and got cover for both my shifts. I emailed my manager to let him know as he was in meetings all day so did not want to disturb him by calling. Thinking I was being helpful and had everything sorted, making life easier for everyone else.

    Not the case apparently! I had a pretty subtly nasty email from my manager this morning. He made out that I was not actually ill and asked how I would know that I would still be ill for two days/not wake up feeling better tomorrow. I know my own body and know the difference between a cold that will be gone the next day and a cold/flu that is gonna stick around. He also said that when he saw me and my co workers that morning he had asked if everything was okay and I didn't tell him that I was planning to take time off or that I felt ill. At this point I thought I'd push through it without taking time off and it wasn't until the afternoon that I started feeling like I couldn't. He then mentioned that it was against protocol for staff to phone agencies to organise cover without management authorisation. I had no idea about this as me and other staff have often had to phone agencies when people have phoned in sick while we were on shift, and never had to get authorisation. He spoke about how the amount they have to pay for agency is a lot more than I would be paid, which I do not understand as it would have been just the same if I had phoned the next morning when I was supposed to be on shift, only that the agencies would have been likely to have no one to cover it which would mean them being short staffed which is surely worse?

    At the end of his email he said that he understands that I am moving away and would have helped me to organise time for interviews but I took this upon myself and he will be seeking advice on where to go from here AND cc'd in our regional managers and the senior at my workplace. Now I think that because in my initial email when I told him that I was sick and would be off for two days, I (perhaps stupidly) mentioned that i had some upcoming interviews which I wanted to be better for (as well as lots of shifts i had picked) that he has assumed that I have taken the two days off to go to interviews and not actually because I am ill.

    I have replied and explained that I am genuinely feeling really ill and was unaware of the protocols with calling agencies, and that I apologise if I did the wrong thing but was just trying to sort everything to make life easier for everyone. I also explained that I did not want to work while ill as I did not want to spread the illness to the people I look after and my co workers. I even said in my initial email that I was unsure what my sick pay was like (i had 2 weeks off last year due to being in hospital for suspected epilepsy) and so if necessary would take the 2 days off unpaid. We don't get paid a high wage and I am not rolling in money so I wouldn't do this unless i felt I really had to.

    I just think the email I got sent was really unfair, I shouldn't be made to feel bad for not going to work when I have a contagious illness AND work with vulnerable adults, and if I am not told about protocols (or maybe protocols don't matter when it suits management) and have obviously just tried to help everyone out by sorting out cover for my shifts - I mean surely it would be worse to phone at 7 in the morning when I'm meant to start work and the people on shift have to panic and try and find cover at short notice? It even says on my contract to let them know as soon as possible if we are going to be off sick. I think CC'ing regional management into the email is pretty extreme for the situation? I was actually pretty upset when I got the email (probably due to feeling so sh*tty with this illness already) and the more i've thought about it the more I'm just feeling quite angry?

    My biggest issue is that I am leaving in a month and really want a good reference, I've never had any problems with the company or my manager and have had good feedback in supervisions and appraisals etc. so don't want this to ruin all of that when I really don't feel that i've done anything seriously wrong?

    Am I right to be annoyed about this?

    Sorry for how long it is!
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    (Original post by sarahte2990)

    Yesterday I was at work and started feeling worse, I had a few hours left of my shift and decided I should take the next 2 days off. Partly because I felt that I would take longer to get better if I left it longer, partly because I have job interviews soon and don't want to be ill for these. My manager knows I'm leaving (moving away). I was due to be in at 7am the next morning, so made the decision that rather than waiting until then to call in sick and leave the other people on shift to cover it (by calling agencies) that I would tell the ones I was on with that night (who would also be on in the morning) what I was going to do. They agreed and said they can tell that I'm ill and need time off (one of them has just been off for a few days due to having the same thing as me). I phoned the agency and got cover for both my shifts. I emailed my manager to let him know as he was in meetings all day so did not want to disturb him by calling. Thinking I was being helpful and had everything sorted, making life easier for everyone else.
    You really should've told whoever your manager or supervisor on duty that you were sick and planning to take the next two days off. That's not really something you get to decide. It looks suspicious from your end because you told your colleagues you weren't coming in and arranged cover. I know it sounds dumb but by doing it the official way (Calling in in the morning) it allows them to sort out cover themselves and note that you are actually sick. The night before going "I'm not coming in for two days i'm sick." is not acceptable.

    (Original post by sarahte2990)
    Not the case apparently! I had a pretty subtly nasty email from my manager this morning. He made out that I was not actually ill and asked how I would know that I would still be ill for two days/not wake up feeling better tomorrow. I know my own body and know the difference between a cold that will be gone the next day and a cold/flu that is gonna stick around. He also said that when he saw me and my co workers that morning he had asked if everything was okay and I didn't tell him that I was planning to take time off or that I felt ill.
    I can see his point. I've had it before where i've been sent home from work sick and woke up the next morning completely fine. I get you know your body but sometimes with these things you genuinely can't tell. Why didn't you tell him when he was there that you felt ill??

    (Original post by sarahte2990)
    At this point I thought I'd push through it without taking time off and it wasn't until the afternoon that I started feeling like I couldn't. He then mentioned that it was against protocol for staff to phone agencies to organise cover without management authorisation. I had no idea about this as me and other staff have often had to phone agencies when people have phoned in sick while we were on shift, and never had to get authorisation. He spoke about how the amount they have to pay for agency is a lot more than I would be paid, which I do not understand as it would have been just the same if I had phoned the next morning when I was supposed to be on shift, only that the agencies would have been likely to have no one to cover it which would mean them being short staffed which is surely worse?
    It's surprisingly not worse. By doing it yourself its shown that even if you wake up the next morning feeling completely fine you're still getting two days off. These things usually do have an official way of doing things.

    (Original post by sarahte2990)
    At the end of his email he said that he understands that I am moving away and would have helped me to organise time for interviews but I took this upon myself and he will be seeking advice on where to go from here AND cc'd in our regional managers and the senior at my workplace. Now I think that because in my initial email when I told him that I was sick and would be off for two days, I (perhaps stupidly) mentioned that i had some upcoming interviews which I wanted to be better for (as well as lots of shifts i had picked) that he has assumed that I have taken the two days off to go to interviews and not actually because I am ill.
    To be honest as a manger that's exactly how I would read it too. You've taken two days off for other interviews... How is he meant to know you're genuinely sick? You didn't mention it to him when he was there.. This is such a classic thing across the board.. people call in sick then go to other job interviews..I would assume that too to be honest.

    (Original post by sarahte2990)
    I have replied and explained that I am genuinely feeling really ill and was unaware of the protocols with calling agencies, and that I apologise if I did the wrong thing but was just trying to sort everything to make life easier for everyone. I also explained that I did not want to work while ill as I did not want to spread the illness to the people I look after and my co workers. I even said in my initial email that I was unsure what my sick pay was like (i had 2 weeks off last year due to being in hospital for suspected epilepsy) and so if necessary would take the 2 days off unpaid. We don't get paid a high wage and I am not rolling in money so I wouldn't do this unless i felt I really had to.
    But it's not made life easier for everyone..It's made things more difficult for them because they may have preferred being short staffed for a couple of days instead of calling the agency. Obviously finding cover is the best thing but you don't know the ins and outs of their budget. What if they'd been having a particularly hard month and now have to pay this person double? You should've called in the morning and let them sort it rather than assuming they'd happily pay for cover.



    (Original post by sarahte2990)
    I just think the email I got sent was really unfair, I shouldn't be made to feel bad for not going to work when I have a contagious illness AND work with vulnerable adults, and if I am not told about protocols (or maybe protocols don't matter when it suits management) and have obviously just tried to help everyone out by sorting out cover for my shifts - I mean surely it would be worse to phone at 7 in the morning when I'm meant to start work and the people on shift have to panic and try and find cover at short notice? It even says on my contract to let them know as soon as possible if we are going to be off sick. I think CC'ing regional management into the email is pretty extreme for the situation? I was actually pretty upset when I got the email (probably due to feeling so sh*tty with this illness already) and the more i've thought about it the more I'm just feeling quite angry?
    No I agree you shouldn't be made to work when you're sick but you should also inform the manager of this instead of telling all your colleagues that you're not coming in and finding cover yourself. That is something you discuss with a manger. Again it's just the official thing to do is CC in the manager for situations like this.

    (Original post by sarahte2990)
    My biggest issue is that I am leaving in a month and really want a good reference, I've never had any problems with the company or my manager and have had good feedback in supervisions and appraisals etc. so don't want this to ruin all of that when I really don't feel that i've done anything seriously wrong?

    Am I right to be annoyed about this?
    I don't feel like this one thing will mess up you getting a good reference, it just might make your workplace a bit uncomfortable for the next month. I know it doesn't feel like you've done wrong but you don't have a right to be annoyed. You tried to take matters into your own hands without getting confirmation from your manager that it was okay, and he now probably thinks you're spending the next two days at job interviews..
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    Get what you've said but there was not a senior or manager on site, senior had the day off and manager had told us he was in meetings all day. All I could do was email him and that's what I did. If I had called in the next morning my co workers would have had to find cover as management aren't in until 9-10am and I was due in at 7. They can't choose to be short staffed it's a residential home and they can be done by CQC if they are short staffed as some residents are paid one to one all day. I didn't mention in the morning to my manager that I was sick as he was literally there for about 5 minutes and I was busy supporting a resident and didn't know I was going to be off at that point because it wasn't until the afternoon that I start to feel really bad. Also I hadn't taken any days off for other interviews I had purposefully arranged my interviews for the one day off I have over 3 weeks due to all the shifts I had picked up to help out the company.

    I don't think anything looks suspicious and he can't say I wasn't ill because all my co workers I was on shift with saw that I was coughing my guts up and sneezing about a hundred times an hour. Anyway I will keep explaining that I really was just trying to help and if necessary can prove that I was not at interviews on the days I took off.
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    Also the fact that he asked about how I could possibly know that I would still be ill the next day, when people have phoned in sick in the past the manager or senior have always asked whether they will be better for their next shift and demanded an answer! Always changing the rules to suit them hey
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    Don't feel bad, put your health first above anything else
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    I worked in care and this sort of rubbish happens all the time. You shouldn't have said you wanted to be better for upcoming interviews and if the protocol is to inform the manager before calling agencies then it's better to do it that way but I know from experience that the 'protocol' often isn't what's actually done in care homes on a day to day basis so I fully believe you didn't know you had to do it that way. As for the knowing you'd be sick for more than one day thing - I think in the afternoon/evening you can be reasonably sure whether you'll be up to work the following day and if you start at 7 then waiting til you wake up leaves the next staff no time to find cover. I don't know about your place but where I worked that would have meant staff were told that if they can't find cover they can't leave after finishing their shift and would be forced to work the next day too. You probably can't tell for the following day so while it's reasonable to say 'I doubt I will be better for Friday but I'll let you know tomorrow' you proabbly shouldn't have arranged cover already.

    As for what to do now - apologise for the inconvenience and insist you were only trying to help out because you know sickness can cause serious problems for staffing and just stick to that line - there's not much they can do to punish you now and it's unlikely there'll be reference problems purely due to this
 
 
 
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