1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

In shock at head's response to me being ill

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Lilmonkey1982, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    Agree. I've been 'told off' for not phoning in myself when ill once. Even though my illness meant I had lost my voice.
     
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Me too. If you've lost your voice/are sitting by the loo throwing up/sleeping because you've spent the last five hours throwing up, then it is far more sensible for a partner to ring in.
     
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Ok, school was being a bit picky. But some people are like that. It doesn't sound like horrific workplace bullying. Just mildly insensitive.
     
    nomad and agathamorse like this.
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter


    You did very well - having suffered the same disease (caused by gallstones), I was so high on morphine had I needed to ring in, I would probably have told them lots of things...but none of them very helpful or relevant! :eek:
     
  5. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    I don't understand why it is considered reasonable for someone to call or send an e-mail with details of cover work when said person is constantly vomiting, has a temperature and headache combined? Ok, the person may not be dying but probably feels like it. I remember my mum calling to say that I couldn't go to work one evening (when I worked at an adult college) because I was vomiting every half hour and had such a bad headache that I couldn't think. While this was happening, my line manager was asking her to tell me what work to give the students. Afterwards, mum said that she should have told my line manager that she wasn't going to bother me about it because I wasn't in a state to say anything. Surely, the point of being a manager and getting paid more for the privilege is to recognise that you need to do something in this type of situation (e.g. set cover yourself after sussing out what students have done to date)rather than pointlessly bothering a member of staff who is unable to function? Before anyone criticises me here, I'm saying this as a formal HoD and currently teaching colleague who has done this many times for fellow colleagues, even in cases where the subject is not my specialist one because one of the colleagues that I did this for was my line manager (because he was in hospital) and I was the only person who had any idea about what to do for his students. If I can do this as a teaching colleague, why can't people do this as leaders? I also disagree with the views that we need to be heroes when we are ill to the point where we cannot function, be it from a stomach bug or at 'death's door'. However, I do agree that we should make direct contact and set work if the ailment is mild.

    As for the assignment comment, I would have said that I'll talk to my tutor about an extension if I think I need it.
     
  6. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Sorry for the typos in my previous thread. This is due to the automatic predictive text function in my iMac.

    Corrected version:

    I don't understand why it is considered reasonable for someone to call or send an e-mail with details of cover work when said person is constantly vomiting, has a temperature and constant headache. Ok, the person may not be dying but probably feels like it. I remember my mum calling to say that I couldn't go to work one evening (when I worked at an adult college) because I was vomiting every half hour and had such a bad headache that I couldn't think. While this was happening, my line manager was constantly asking my mum to ask me to tell her what work to give the students. Afterwards, mum said that she should have told my line manager that she wasn't going to bother me about it because I wasn't in a state to say anything. Surely, the point of being a manager and getting paid more for the privilege is to recognise that you need to do something in this type of situation (e.g. set cover yourself after sussing out what students have done to date) rather than pointlessly bothering a member of staff who is unable to function? Before anyone criticises me here, I'm saying this as a former HoD and currently teaching colleague who has done this many times for fellow colleagues, even in cases where the subject is not my specialist one because one of the colleagues that I did this for was my line manager (because he was in hospital) and I was the only person who had any idea about what to do for his students. If I can do this as a teaching colleague, why can't people do this as leaders? I also disagree with the view that we need to be heroes when we are ill to the point where we cannot function, be it from a stomach bug or at 'death's door'. However, I do agree that we should make direct contact and set work if the ailment is mild.

    As for the assignment comment, I would have said that I'll talk to my tutor about an extension if I think I need it.
     
  7. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    To be honest, there are some pretty surprising responses here, not to mention to OP itself.

    If an employee is incapacitated (and by that I mean in hospital, in a coma or dead) then it is reasonable for another person to contact the school on their behalf.

    Otherwise, as a professional adult, they should do it themselves. After all, how do people who live on their own deal with such matters?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter


    Your last point is irrelevant as the OP (& many other people) doesn't live on their own. If you do, you need to plan for it, (but might well not be able to do so in such good time as someone who can delegate it to their partner...something that happened once or twice whilst I was dealing with cover).

    Insisting that those who are unwell MUST contact the school personally however ill they are is bullying, pure & simple. Providing the school is told in good time, they have no reason to complain.
     
  9. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    A very naive standpoint.

    Going back a couple of years when I was a head teacher we had a female member of staff who had broken up acrimoniously with her boyfriend.

    In order to 'get back' at her, he took to ringing up the school saying she would not be in for work. The school then employed a supply, only to find that he/she was not needed, but still needed to be paid-for.

    When challenged, she kept saying she would "sort it" and of course I gave her the benefit of the doubt.

    Eventually, I found out that she and the boyfriend had split and so I made it policy (for all staff, so as not to focus on an individual) that only employees could notify a sickness.

    Sometimes it has to be done.
     
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  10. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    These seem unusual circumstances, but would a codeword not be safer? My OH and I get mistaken for each other on the phone frequently enough that I'm completely confident that he could whisper "Hello, it's Frustum. I've lost my voice and won't be in today."
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter


    That is a very good case of 'the tail swinging the cat'... Once this had happened the first time, surely you knew and could make sure any phone calls about Ms X were double checked, unless it was her who phoned? Instead you 'punished' the rest of the staff.

    Not something I'd be proud to admit...I'm sure you were normally a better HT than this decision suggests.
     
    ATfan and ridleyrumpus like this.
  12. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter


    LOL

    'The larks are flying high this year'? ;)
     
    ATfan likes this.
  13. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    When I lived alone as an NQT I had a particularly bad month and phoned in sick with a lost voice.
    I was told off (by email) because the answerphone message wasn't clear.
    The next day I sent a text to a friend to phone on my behalf and was told off about that too.

    Sometimes you can't win.
     
  14. baitranger

    baitranger Occasional commenter

    Why didn't you report the harassment / stalking to the Police instead of putting pressure on the member of staff by "challenging" her?
    Why build a policy on one very rare and unusual example of the absence reporting system being abused?
     
  15. baitranger

    baitranger Occasional commenter

    Why should they "do it themselves"? The purpose of the call is to inform the school that the member of staff is unwell and will not be coming in to work. What difference does it make who makes the call?
    You can't check someone's health over the phone .
     
    agathamorse, Catgirl1964 and ATfan like this.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    @baitranger

    It takes only one accident on stairs to trigger a very serious scrutiny of aforementioned stairs. Likewise for car park, personal data, incidents of abuse. One incident.
     
  17. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    One reason it's better to call in yourself is to show willing and be cooperative. It's very awkward, if you're ringing on behalf of someone else, to answer questions such as: How long do you think they might be off?

    That's a perfectly reasonable question to ask. There may be other questions that require an answer. On the whole I would recommend everyone to do it her/himself.
     
  18. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter


    If - and it's increasingly common these days it seems - the teacher is being pressurised (or victimised) by their SLT, or is suffering from stress - I think advising them to call in is very unhelpful advice.
     
  19. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    The member of staff concerned spent a few weeks covering up for and making excuses for the behaviour of her ex boyfriend, along the lines of "He thought I wasn't looking well and phoned without me knowing." The school was not immediately aware that his behaviour was malicious rather than over-protective.

    in any case, the local authority policy, which the school was not rigorously implementing was that teachers should be the ones to advise the school. This was, in part, due to secondary school pupils ringing in giving teachers' names but as a middle school, that had not affected us.
     
  20. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Why shouldn't they? They are supposedly adult professionals.

    Clearly, taking into account some of the posts on this thread, it is about time for some educational 'professionals' to start behaving as such.

    And about time for others to stop defending immature and unprofessional behaviour.

    It would never cross my mind to ask someone else to call in sick on my behalf, or allow them to do so if I was not totally incapable of doing it myself.

    Spot on!
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
    grumpydogwoman and Jesmond12 like this.

Share This Page