Going through the Technorati listing of posts about the blogging conference I'll be attending, I came across someone who had the guts to turn their back on the airfare and first night's hotel stay they had paid for and stay home. Chris Heuer, who had planned on presenting a session tomorrow, cancelled.
Because he's sick and doesn't want to spread his illness further. The fact that this is at all remarkable says something about our misguided work ethic.
Presenteeism is running rampant in schools and offices, reinforced by bosses who mistakenly believe that time spent away from the office is bad. When I get sick, I try to stay away from people, at least for the first day or two, in order to minimize the spread of germs. If I can't avoid going to work, I try to stick to myself, wash my hands religiously, and avoid sneezing or coughing in the direction of any living being.
Next time you're contagious, don't be a martyr. Do like Chris Heuer and stay home. If they're smart, your co-workers will thank you. And hopefully your boss, too.