View Full Version : Working while sick (A Painful Subject)

Critical Care
03-21-2007, 07:31 PM
Some of you work alone, others with crews, but what does it take for you to finally decide to stay home when youíre sick? Do you feel obligated or pressured to the point of having to work even when under the weather?

It does seem somewhat honorable to be out manhandling a 1300 pound trencher while feeling green to the gills, but there still has to be some point (doesnít there?) when you surrender and head for home. For three days Iíve been eager to get out and do battle in the trenches but at the same time Iíve been fighting a stinking 105 degree fever. I have a feeling that some of you would somehow grin and bear itÖ Perhaps you just down another can of testosterone soda. Or do you belly up?

Ugh, this is when being a solo op becomes tough.

03-21-2007, 07:41 PM
Um Dude, with a 105 fever you should go to the doctors.

But I did it last year. We had a heatwave for 4 days with temps between 98 and 103. I ran a 102-104 fever while doing the mowing solo during the heatwave. That was the dumbest thing I ever did. Downing 3 gallons of water and eating hard candy or cough drops all day. It was a tough way to make a few grand, I look back now and should have taken a day or 2 off. If I was tossing my cookies then I would have stayed home. Thats about where I draw the line.

Thats why it sucks to be solo.

Without A Drought
03-21-2007, 07:46 PM
Personally, if I'm throwing up non stop, or otherwise physically unable to work, i'll call out.

That said, I haven't called out in about 5 years.

Although, last year I cut my thumb, tendons, nerves, veins and all, and rode light duty for 8 weeks. All tallied, with the ER, surgery, follow ups, and PT, I missed about a weeks worth of work.

That was my vacation last year.


03-21-2007, 08:01 PM
I haven't gotten sick enough during the work seasons for 10 years to make me stop. But as usual, If I had I would've probably pushed through.

A month ago I was working with some friends (carpentry work, commercial/retail shop) and I fell off a ladder severely spraining my ankle. I thought it was broken it hurt so bad and swelled up more than I thought it could. I was unable to walk for 4 days without crutches, and still have some pain/discomfort. If I had been in my season of repairing/starting sprinkler systems, that 3 days would've killed me. Trying to reschedule 20-40 appointments when we get booked out 2-3 weeks in advance is very tough. I could've fit some into my technician's schedule, but not all of it. Maybe subbed out to SprinklerGuy. I need another tech to work for me.

03-21-2007, 08:15 PM
Screw honorable. When you're sick, you're sick. http://img49.imageshack.us/img49/3985/smileypukefl5.gif

03-21-2007, 08:29 PM
I'm sicker than he!! today... the whole bug... headache, stomach, sore all over, sore throat, the works. I dont know if I'd have gone to work today.
Last fall I was painting a porch for a customer and about every 15 minutes I'd go out behind her shed to puke. Customer knew I was doing it, I was actually puking into a woodchuck hole. (she was trying to get rid of the little varmint, anyway). I had a very full schedule and was running out of weather to be painting outside, so I got it done. Normally I wouldn't have kept working feeling that sick!

Mike Leary
03-21-2007, 08:36 PM
"Colds & flu are caused by confusion"

03-21-2007, 08:41 PM
Take it from another stand point, what would you do if your whole crew within days of each other gets knocked out by whatever fever\flu flavor of the month?

This happened to me 2 weeks ago. Sent one home wed.afternoon, he didn't come back to following Monday, Second guy calls me @ 6.30 in the morning Thursday that he's too sick and wants to go to doctors, back following Monday. 3rd guy called me Thursday night that he has to take his wife to the doctors(this was already schedule in advance, liver is going bad from hepatitis) and probably won't come back at all.

So even though I was feeling in the dumps, stuck working by myself Friday and Saturday just to keep up some of my weekly maintenance accounts. Install stuff that was schedule got bump back a week.

Mike Leary
03-21-2007, 09:11 PM
Maybe Back Off On Group Hugs Monday Mornings.

Critical Care
03-21-2007, 09:46 PM
As I figured, most of you are hardcore black diamond masochists. Iím thinking that having passed the half century mark a couple years back, my membership in that club has expired.

Uranus, you must be younger than me. But, perhaps if I could drive a straight line in my work truckÖ

Without A Drought, bummer to waste your vacation that way! Or call it a forced vacation, eh?

Rambo DanaÖ I see that SprinklerGuy isnít going to get any work from you until youíre pushing up daises.

mattfromNY, unfortunately there are a lot of bad symptoms that are hitchhiking along with my 105 degree fever, including exactly those that you mention. All I can say is the bottoms of my big toes are the only spots that donít ache.

Gusbuster, that sounds like shear dumb luck to have the whole crew gone for one reason or another. I think that with landscape maintenance you may be able to get through the tough times by skimping out on certain less noticeable or important duties, and then just make up for it later.

Ah Wet boots... spoken like a doctor!

"Colds & flu are caused by confusion"

03-21-2007, 09:53 PM
When the flu has me in its throes, and I feel wobbly and disoriented, I try to comfort myself with the thought that people pay good money to get this messed up. :dizzy:

03-21-2007, 10:22 PM
Maybe Back Off On Group Hugs Monday Mornings.

Shhhh don't tell the wife :) :gunsfirin

03-21-2007, 11:14 PM
If you can't keep from hurling or you can't stay off the can, then your probably not being productive. That being said.........I work until I'm so sick the wife makes me see the doctor. By then, it is usually severe bronchitis or bronchial pneumonia, and I get doctors orders to stay in bed. They say 4 -days and I try to behave for 2. Being Asthmatic, seasonal changes are hard (Bryan isn't "sick", he is just hacking a lung and can't breathe) for me, but the work has to get done. My first real experience of working sick was my first for pay job. I worked for my father on the golf course. The whole crew got the crud and dropped like flies. I was the last one to get sick......except pop looked at me and told me someone else had to get well before I could be sick. I mended on the hoof and was better before they came back to work. Where do you draw a line? I think it is different for everyone, but remember, if your solo, if you don't give in to get better, you could end up missing a lot more than a day or two. Hospitalized pneumonia missing being fun by just a little bit.

03-21-2007, 11:52 PM
Rambo DanaÖ I see that SprinklerGuy isnít going to get any work from you until youíre pushing up daises.

I'm always sending him work. I had a guy call last week that moved into a home that I had previously worked on, and that I gave to Tony. And I told him to call Tony instead, and it's in one of the richer neighborhoods. Just out of the way for me anymore.

I'm going to try and tell more people "no" this year, and probably send more stuff to him. I don't want to get as stressed as last year.

I also taught him how to pull pipe tuesday (actually just pulled it and he watched and unrolled pipe). I'm not the best teacher, but I am pretty sure he can do it on his own now. I hadn't pulled since '03. Kind of took me a little bit to get used to it, and how to effectively do it without crossing too many lines. Only bad parts were the tree roots.