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Hot Weather but Chilly Indoors
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It's turning hot again; today's high is anticipated to be a sunny 85 degrees, otherwise known as tomato weather.

In here, though, the atmosphere is distinctly chilly. Last week the CEO posted on the company website a comment that anyone who is sick should stay home, given the current concerns about the flu.

Last Friday I made copies of the website posting and put a copy in each person's mailbox on on their desk. Today I insisted that a person go home. Fever, chills, deep cough? You should not be at work, spreading your germs around (especially to your cubicle mate) and not incidentally making yourself sicker.

I got an argument, but I insisted. I know this person has hundreds of illness hours banked away (with the intention of cashing them out upon retirement), so it's not like there's an issue of loss of pay. And even if there were, it was still necessary.

It's a matter of pride. "I come to work every day, sick or well. And ain't nobody gonna tell me to stay home. You ain't the boss of me. You can't tell me what to do."

I'm not used to being defied by an insubordinate employee. It took me a moment to recover my wits (what on earth is this person saying?) and then I repeated my order, adding to it a time deadline. "You have 15 minutes to leave the office."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I am perfectly capable of giving an order if it's necessary. It's just that my leadership style by preference is collegial; I'd rather convince someone to agree than order them to comply. However, in this case, I wasn't going to stand around arguing (and breathing in the germs). It was time for the employee to go home and get better, and stop putting the community at risk.

I've made myself most unpopular. It occurs to me that not only did I order a "top dog" person to go home (and enforce it), I also upset everyone's view of me as a compliant, easy-to-get-along-with, warm and fuzzy type. The general view is that I'm a rose-colored glasses pollyanna idealist.

All I can say is this: if you thought I was a one-dimensional wuss, think again.

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