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skiving colleagues

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ticatica, May 2, 2011.

  1. What would you do? I have two colleagues that I am losing respect for. One recently took a number of days of because, as she admitted to me later, 'just couldn't face coming in'. This meant that, during me free periods, I had to set and sit with her classes as she didn't inform school she wasn't returning on 2 occasions. Another colleague requested cover for moving house. She wasn't moving house. I ended up covering a class for her. I've shut up and put up. For how long?
  2. If your first colleague has depression then you need to be more sensitive about that. The second colleague was out of order! However, the issue is more with the school - you shouldn't be covering for colleagues.
  3. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Indeed... first colleague could well have a valid medical reason for not being able to face work.... Mental health comes under that remit.

    Second colleague... Well how on earth did they get away with not providing a new address post 'house move' day to the school??
  4. erp77

    erp77 New commenter

    I think you're being a bit harsh towards colleague no 1, not being able to face work is often the first sign of stress and depression.

    Colleague no 2 is taking the ****. They will be found out.
  5. About two years ago, I also couldn't face going into work, but it was because I was utterly miserable there because a colleague made my life hell. If the colleague said it with a post-hangover grin, that is one thing, but is there any chance it could be more serious than that?

    And colleague two - what a horrible git they are. And to boast of it to you! Tell them you refuse to cover for them again - your frees are your own.

    Are you state school? You should only 'rarely' cover...
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Two of our colleagues have had a day off for moving house recently. Both have chattered on endlessly about the hassle of moving, getting mortgages and that sort of thing. If they hadn't mentioned anything at all and just asked for the day off, alarm bells would have rung. Either your SLT are a little daft or your colleague is a fabulous actor.

    Colleague 1, fair enough. Sometimes it is better to have the day off than go in and be useless.

    Why are you covering for colleagues anyway?
  7. You are not your colleague's "keeper", or, shall I say, secret police (unless you are their line manager). If you are asked to cover, cover. If it is more than "rarely cover", complain to your line manager. What other people on the same level as you do is the concern of the school, they have to sort it out.
    The second collegaue could have said that the move fell through at the last minute for some reason. But in any case if their line manager is satisfied with whatever explanation they have given, then that's the end of the matter.
  8. I'm not in charge. Nowhere near in fact. I'm a beginner. I've been 'an ear' when colleagues have need it and I've covered more *** than I can remember. Some have helped me out when Ive been in a pickle. My issue is, I know many people who work incredibly, incredibly hard and get next to no thanks for it. I have colleagues who have come into work every day, despite illness or family emergency. But I have been asked, over and over again, to cover, when i really am already struggling with my own work, for those who i genuinely think are taking the mick. Possibly because they think they can ask me to do anything.
    Looking at my first post I would agree with those of you who say I am being too harsh. I have not suffered from depression and therefore did not realise this is perhaps the issue and as such, would not say another word, but would try to be as helpful as possible. However i do feel my other colleague has 'played' the school to the detriment of others and I don't believe it's fair.
    I'm not looking to deal with it myself. I'm simply saying, it's been missed by senior management and I think it's entirely wrong.
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Welcome to the world!

    Of course it isn't fair or right, but it is life. Not just teaching, all professions have skivers and those taken advantage of.
  10. You read the responses and it is no wonder people keep going off sick in schools. I feel in a position to comment having suffered from depression and having worked in the private sector. Teachers are worse than colleagues in my last job and I too often hear the "I'm burnt out", "I'm just tired" blah blah excuses for being off.
    Mental health is an easy option to go for. In my eyes when when your colleague said they "Just couldn't face coming in" it was most likely just that. I have many days due to rotten students where I have to force myself in but I still go in. My advice is that if they can't face going in the get a new job as teaching is not for them. Senior managers and teachers are too soft on absence, I'm sick of working with lazy people.
  11. We all have days like this. I did, and it took me a few years to eventually get out of teaching. I had stress related illnesses and still dragged myself in because I felt pressure from the teachers who thought that you just had to soldier on, instead of doing what I should have done which was take time off to recover.
    Why have you dragged this thread up?
  12. Oh come on, read the forums. From them you will learn that everybody who ever has time off is doing it because they have been mercilessly persecuted by psychotic members of evil SLT teams.
    Funny, because although I have had first hand experience of horrible colleagues and the dire effects of genuine mental illness, I though I knew loads of skivers in teaching who put upon long suffering colleagues and ruined results for students without the slightest sign of conscience. Turns out they are all victims of "bullying". Silly me.
  13. Obviously the second colleague is a rotter, but just perhaps from the POV of colleague #1: On returning to work following time off for a fracture, one or two colleagues have been rather pointed about how they've been at work and I haven't. I felt like suggesting they could go and jump down the stairs if they fancied it. [​IMG]
    Anyway, what can you do? Nothing, really. It's hard to be assertive when you're the newbie but you've got to try. I'm amazed when I hear colleagues being asked to do things and they just say: NO! Maybe this will come with time!
  14. Not sure why you feel the need to be sarcastic. On one hand, yes people do abuse the system and take time off because it is easy for them to do so. On the other hand, unless you have been the victim of sly nasty management and other staff you can't know how it will affect your life.
    Yes, silly you!

  15. I must admit to be surprised by the snidey comments I hear when people are off sick.
    There is the 'doubting' variety of comment ' well she looked perfectly fine when she left yesterday/it's only a toothache/I bet she'll be well enough to go out on Saturday etc'
    Or the 'martyr' comments 'Well I had the same cough and I managed to get in/I don't believe in sitting around when you are ill etc'
    By the sound of it one of your colleagues really was taking the mickey. However I do feel that there is sometimes some undeserved moaning when people are off work. Some people will skive, others will come into work having tucked their hanging entrails into their trousers and carry stoically on. Most people are somewhere in the middle.
    It's not any of my business why people are off even if it is inconvenient having to cover for sickness.I have worked in lots of jobs and I was shocked when I started working in schools by how often people come into work when they are genuinely unwell. They spend the day struggling, pass on their germs to everyone else and are certainly not operating at their best.
    Staff are generally concerned about missing work because they will need cover and perhaps face disapproval from their Head. Missing work means that they then get even further behind with tasks or find their classroom in a state when they return etc.
    It must be annoying for the OP to be covering for a skiving colleague but on balance I think most teachers are really conscientious. I don't know if stress is any more prevalent in education than other careers but I wonder if the proportion of time taken off for mental health issues may be higher because teachers don't take time off for minor health issues.
  16. I think those who are off legitimately are those worth covering for . And those taking the pi55 are the ones who tarnish the good name of those who are forced to be off and hate being off. Those who complain (like me) are complaining about genuine skivers. There is not need for those who are genuine to justify themselves.
  17. I have only just this week been signed off with stress.

    I have tried to put it off for weeks (months) but the final straw came when I found my heart pounding / beating irregularly and thought I've got to get this sorted. All the time I've been thinking about the classes I should be teaching and if they'll get behind but I feel I've got to get myself sorted before I return. It's a horrible feeling that you feel you cannot do your job.
  18. Bullying- the two professions with the highest incidence of bullying: the church and teaching.
    Now with the worst school bully, ie Gove, in charge of the whole shebang-expect things to get even worse.
    No one on this thread has even mentioned what life is like for those forced into academy status-probably as they've had to sign "confidentiality" agreements .
    Google Tim Field ( a great man who knew all there was to know about workplace, especially school, bullying).
  19. Well, if you've not taken them - no one can help you [​IMG]

  20. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Actually, I feeling rather with Irritablecommie today.... We've had the week from hell cover wise with a couple of staff members clearly into the mid term 'odd day off' mode. Grips my dung a bit as the impact is massive. Many American companies offer 'well pay' where at the end of a year employees with no sickness leave get a wadge of cash, as an incentive against such abuse of sick days - I wonder if teaching was to the do the same if it would suddenly cure many of the dicky tummies, headaches and sniffles that strike teachers down dead for a day or two....

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