Postal service can add sick to rain, snow and heat

When I read the article in the business section about sick workers not calling in sick and the tips to help managers keep ill employees from clocking in, I had to chuckle.

You see, I work for the U.S. Postal Service as a letter carrier. I’ve been there more than 29 years and I have to say it is rare to find a supervisor who would advocate staying home if you are sick. On the contrary, in the Postal Service, if you call in sick you could be in trouble.

A recent case in point: A carrier (not myself) recently was out three days with the flu. She returned to work and was taken to the office that same morning. She asked for her union representative and was told that she didn’t need one. She was then read an item from the employee time and attendance section of the postal manual that basically states employees are required to be regular in time and attendance.

After reading the article, the supervisor asked her to sign the statement.

She said she didn’t want to sign without consulting with her union representative. The supervisor decided that she was refusing to sign the statement and had another person come in as witness to her refusal. He told her that failure to sign could result in disciplinary action.

This is the type of encouragement the Postal Service gives employees regarding calling in sick. They want you at work, at all costs, regardless of whether you might expose others to your illness.

So you see, I couldn’t help but find the humor in the article, even though it should be a serious one.


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