Where I work we have 2-step progress, first I need to call an outsourced company that deals specifically with registering that people within companies that buy their service are sick and have a staff of actual nurses that take the call so that they can offer advice on how to treat symptoms or otherwise be of assistance. The second step is to call my actual boss and tell him the exact same thing, redundant. I've always disliked this system because it makes it a hassle for no good reason and since there's already a number to call if you want medical advice (and I could call my mom who's a nurse), I am not entirely sure what special thing we're paying for as a company other than annoying phone calls after two days asking if I'm feeling better.
But what's worse is when you get a nurse on the phone who's just a complete "stickler for paperworks". Such as today, when I call in after being sick for over a week but still going to work, it's actually closing in on two weeks. And I ramble up all my symptoms and I'm 28 and my mother is a nurse.. I know how to deal with being sick. But I still have to listen to her ramble on about how to deal with the symptoms, does anyone under the age of 10 not know how to deal with a common cold? (granted, this one has been pretty steadfast in not going away for some reason so not so common, I suppose)
After that dull ordeal comes the final part, when will I return to work? She suggested friday (2 days off) and I told her she might as well put Monday (3 days off, weekend doesn't count as official sick days, but that's a total of 5 days either way) and she said "Well, these things usually pass in a few days" (duh, but now I've been sick for over a week and working isn't doing me any favors, I've already told her this) so I say "Yes, and that would give me 3 days and I wouldn't have to call back on friday just to say I'll be home that day too." she gets annoyed and says "But you need to call in when you're well again anyway" (which is a nonissue since it's calling up and punching in numbers and hanging up without talking to anyone). Ugh. So I come back in explaining again that I'm aware of that but I don't feel it's needed to do this a second time just for one day and she gives up sounding really annoyed asking if she can tell in the report to my job the reasons I'm off (as if I don't have to call them and say anyway) and I say of course.
I don't understand why they are so pushy for people to go back to work early, it's not like they're losing money. And wouldn't they be more inclined for one to be home enough to get well rather than go back to work and not be? Furthermore, I always find it funny that I (as a uneducated layman) have to argue with a nurse regarding her judgement. My girlfriend even had one tell her when she called to extend her time home "Well you should be better by now." and she wasn't, at all. So she says that and the reply she gets is "that's very strange, because these things pass in a few days" (italics to emphasize irony).
So, what's the procedures at your job, less of a headache?
Edited to add; just called and talked to my boss (well, not specifically my boss but one of the heads of my department) and she was nice and the conversation was less than 2 minutes. Awesome.