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  1. #1
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    If you're car-free, what to do if you're sick?

    I know this has come up a few times in the somewhat distant past, but I'd like to re-visit it, mostly because I've had the flu the last few days, I'm more or less car-free, and this always ends up being a pain in the ***. An obvious position is to say, "if you're too sick to ride to work, you're too sick to work." However, I'm a teacher, so when I'm sick, I can't just not go in; I either have to suck it up and go to work anyway, or I have to at least go in early for 30-60 minutes to get everything ready for the substitute, then go back home and go to bed. I've come up with these solutions, none of which are very satisfactory:
    1. Just ride in to work anyway, albeit more slowly than usual. This is OK for a normal cold, but I attempted it with the actual flu this morning at 6:00 AM, fever, joint pain and all, and by the time I got to work I was lightheaded and shaking. (I also stayed and worked through the school day, which was even more miserable and foolish.)
    2. Take the bus. I'm ashamed to say I've done this before. It works out, but you put unsuspecting fellow passengers at risk of infection, which is of course pretty rude if not downright reprehensible.
    3. Call a cab. I've never done this, because I'm too cheap, and who knows when the cab will finally show up? (Also, see number 2.)
    4. Grab a car-share car. This works if a car happens to be parked within a couple blocks of my house; if it's farther away than that, it's probably just as easy to go ahead and ride to work. (Also, someone else is going to drive the car after me, so, again, see number 2.)
    5. Call a co-worker and ask him or her give you a ride. I've thought about this in my weaker, more selfish moments, but I've never done it, and probably never will. When I went car-free ten years ago, I promised myself, and vowed to my mocking friends, that I would never inconvenience anyone because of my quixotic desire to live without owning a car, and I'd rather be lying in a fever delirium on the side of the road than to ask a motoring coworker to please come haul my sniveling, helpless *** to school. (Also, see number 2.)

    I have no idea what to do here, other than just keep sticking with slow rides and the occasional guilty bus ride. Maybe just create a generic sub plan for when I get seriously ill, content in the knowledge that my students will understand that no actual learning is going on, and subsequently run riot in my absence. (OK, they sometimes do that anyway; they're 13.)

    If you're car-free, or even if your family only has one car, what do you do if you're sick and have to at least make a token appearance at work?
    Last edited by bragi; 01-22-15 at 11:05 PM.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  2. #2
    Senior Member playback2004's Avatar
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    A cab ride every now and then can't cost as much as a car/gas/insurance.

  3. #3
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    It sounds like you have more of a problem with calling in sick in the first place.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  4. #4
    t x
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    5. Call a co-worker and ask him or her give you a ride. I've thought about this in my weaker, more selfish moments, but I've never done it, and probably never will. When I went car-free ten years ago, I promised myself, and vowed to my mocking friends, that I would never inconvenience anyone because of my quixotic desire to live without owning a car, and I'd rather be lying in a fever delirium on the side of the road than to ask a motoring coworker to please come haul my sniveling, helpless *** to school.
    Is that really reasonable? If you had a car and it broke down wouldn't calling a co-worker be an option? I don't see why riding a bike means you can't ask for the rare favor, it's not like you're doing it on a daily basis.

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    Ex teacher here, you have sick days, and if you don't use em, you lose em. Dump on that "cashing them in at retirement" mindset. If you have the flu, take two days off. It's not as if a sub, any sub, will realistically go through with your lesson plan anyways. The best you can hope for is that there aren't any new holes drilled into the top of your desk by the time you get back .

  6. #6
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    I find it hard to believe that your school system's policies do not allow you to take off work when you are legitimately sick. The problem with going to work when you are sick, particularly something like the flu, is that you get other people sick. Nobody is that important (or very few of us), that we shouldn't stay home when truly sick.

    A lot of people who feel that they are indispensable might be surprised to realize that the world goes on pretty much as usual if they take some days off when sick. I work with all kinds of people who suffer from this misperception, so they come to work when they are sick, and then soon thereafter a bunch of their coworkers (or students in your case) are sick. It's really not fair to others. Don't be that person.

    BTW, my wife retired in December after teaching in public schools for nearly 40 years. She got sick very often because of parents who sent their sick kids to school.

    Nearly every work place has sick leave policies -- for a reason.

  7. #7
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    I find it hard to believe that your school system's policies do not allow you to take off work when you are legitimately sick. The problem with going to work when you are sick, particularly something like the flu, is that you get other people sick. Nobody is that important (or very few of us), that we shouldn't stay home when truly sick.

    A lot of people who feel that they are indispensable might be surprised to realize that the world goes on pretty much as usual if they take some days off when sick. I work with all kinds of people who suffer from this misperception, so they come to work when they are sick, and then soon thereafter a bunch of their coworkers (or students in your case) are sick. It's really not fair to others. Don't be that person.

    BTW, my wife retired in December after teaching in public schools for nearly 40 years. She got sick very often because of parents who sent their sick kids to school.

    Nearly every work place has sick leave policies -- for a reason.
    +1.
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Totally depends on your field/employer- sick policy aside.

    I worked food service for quite a few years and the Health Department folks always (attempted to) hammer home that if you are sick, then stay home so you don't potentially infect other people. Plus, the more you exert yourself when ill means it will take longer to recover.

    In the OP's case... why do you have to go in to "set things up" for the sub? Don't you type your lesson plans into a word processing app? Either email a copy of it to the Admin of the school or set up a shared drive where they can access it from their end. Same goes for any seating charts. Support staff/Admin should be able to handle any tests that need to be graded in your absence.
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  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post

    In the OP's case... why do you have to go in to "set things up" for the sub? Don't you type your lesson plans into a word processing app? Either email a copy of it to the Admin of the school or set up a shared drive where they can access it from their end. Same goes for any seating charts. Support staff/Admin should be able to handle any tests that need to be graded in your absence.
    +1

    The schools I've worked in (as a student teacher) had it set up so we could access the system from home. Made it really easy to create lesson plans, activities, etc. etc. at home, and just copy and paste them over to the school's system. All a sub would have to do is to call up the folder for that day, and everything should be right there. On the overall lesson plan for the day, I even indicated if something needed to be printed or whatever (as a note to remind myself).

    There is usually a list of subs anxiously waiting for you to fall ill so that they can get a day's work. Different places have different rules and regulations, but to maintain the teaching certification, there is often a requirement that you need to teach a certain number of days each year. If you're a sub. sometimes that can be a bit of a challenge. So give them a break ... put your lesson plans online, call in sick, rest and get well, and give a sub a chance to teach a day.

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    And more advice here in this relatively recent thread:
    So car free folks. How do you deal with pain without a car?

  11. #11
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Anyhow, I would take the bus or get a ride from somebody. When I was having knee problems, I could walk (rather stiffly) but my knees wouldn't bend enough to pedal a bike. I wouldn't have been able to drive anyway.

    Come to think of it, I don't feel safe driving any time that I'm so sick that I can't ride a bike.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  12. #12
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    If you're sick, call in and stay home! Don't take the chance of infecting others with your viral infection. Regardless of your job, make taking care of yourself your top priority.

    If you are sick to the point where you need to seek medical care, pick up your phone and dial 911 or call a friend/relative to drive you.
    "Just ride it until the wheels fall off!"

  13. #13
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeRides View Post
    Regardless of your job, make taking care of yourself your top priority.
    +1 Now there's a good thought.

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    I'm developing a toothache. Great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    Maybe just create a generic sub plan for when I get seriously ill, content in the knowledge that my students will understand that no actual learning is going on, and subsequently run riot in my absence. (OK, they sometimes do that anyway; they're 13.)
    When you come across movies/documentaries that would be good for your students to watch, make a worksheet of questions about the content and discussion questions. Instruct the sub to either pass out the worksheet after the movie and/or discuss the questions openly with the class. This gives the kids and substitute some material for interacting with each other, which they like because the kids are curious about the sub and the sub often wants to get teaching experience or at least play teacher in a light way.

    Keep the worksheets and instructions in the DVD box with the movies. Keep these in a box in the desk labelled "movies + worksheets for subs"

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