Have you seen that chef meme?
âChef, Iâm not well, I canât come inâ¦â
âOh no! Which Hospital are you in?â
âIâm not in Hospital chef!â
âOkâ¦See you at 4 pmâ
How ill do we have to be to be able to take time out? With the recent season of flu, colds and sniffles being upon us. Chefs around the world are trying to be heroes by turning up in kitchens to get their Mise en place done.
Meanwhile, those 9 to 5ers are wrapped up with a Lemsip, Netflix and a thick blanket. They have called in their âDuvet Dayâ (yes, thatâs a thing) With no drama from the Human resources department. They can take the deserved break to recover and feel better.
Jealous, moi? Totally! Too many occasions have I been in a kitchen when I should have been resting. Too afraid to say, âI need my bedâ. Dose up on pills and carry on. Itâs almost like a badge of honour to be working while being unwell. But who is the mug? We joke about the snowflake/millennial generation, but are they the ones whoâve got it right?
Why bust your ass at work for that Â£8 per hour, when a day off could be priceless? Living your best life should not involve trying not to sneeze into the Court Bouillon!
Now, obviously, when I talk about being ill, Iâm only really talking about mild colds and not full-on Influenza. Here, Iâm just really talking about the disparity between the hospitality industry and the office and retail sector. Chefs and service staff have to be sicker than the average to warrant time off. It is frustrating when a co-worker calls in sick, but letâs be honest, we moan about it, but life goes on. The job gets done. Also, when it's sincere, we would all prefer that the sick staff member kept their âdreaded lurgyâ to themselves.
And yes. We all know the Environmental Health view on sickness. But here, Iâm really just talking about the work/sickness culture. Do you work when you should be recovering? How easy is it for you or your employees to take time off? What can be done to make it easier?
With modern knowledge, we are very focused on the issues with mental health. We know people need to try and speak up when they have a problem and should not be stigmatised for it. But how can we expect this when people are still afraid to call in for the common cold?
I told you that I feel like crap. Iâm now heading back to bed. It is my day off anyway, so Iâll be back at work tomorrow. Iâd love to spend more time linking in stats and quantifiable research to this blog, but I really donât have the energy. My wife and kids are giving me zero sympathy. I just want my mummyâ¦..sniff!