Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adventures in Unemployment: Sick Days

A friend of mine posted a message on FaceBook where she talked about how angry she was that a bunch of kids in her son's class now have H1N1. The reason they have it is because one parent didn't want their perfect lil scholar (in the 3rd grade) to ruin his perfect lil attendance record and demanded that the kid go to school all week even after the nurse said he should stay home. Now, half the class is sick.

It sounds like a small thing, but it really is an epidemic all it's own. Inky used to work with a woman who was another one of these never-miss-a-dayers who refused to call out sick. When your workplace consists of 5 people a cold bug can run through it like a convenience store burrito. But, she wouldn't be denied her right to come to work hacking like a 40 year smoker, and thus, the bug was spread.

I'm sure we all know a person who refuses to take a day off when they are sick. It's one of the only bad things to come out of the move that many companies have made to a P.T.O. system where your Personal Time Off is one big pool. When all your time off is the same, you begin to think of it all as vacation days, which leads to people not wanting to use it when they are actually sick. XL just told me a story about a guy he works with coming into work on a previously scheduled day off BECAUSE HE WAS SICK. He doesn't like to be at home sick, so why not save the time off for when he is feeling better?

What a douche.

Not that I'm surprised, mind you. I've had at least two or three people just like him at every job I've ever had. The sick day conundrum is a classic action/reaction/over reaction problem that is so common in America. Bosses worry about employees calling out when they are actually not sick, so they begin to punish all people for taking time off.

So people try to avoid this retribution by pulling their germ infested bodies to the office when they are contagious so they can show what a dedicated worker they are. Never mind the fact that they are not 100% and as such are not really bringing any value to the workplace. In fact, they are a detriment to efficiency because they are probably going to get other people sick and at least some of them are like me, and stay home when they feel like ass.

We get less time off work than any other advanced nation in the world as it is. We work longer hours for more money but considerably less health and happiness and in the end all it gets us is a bigger house to leave empty while we pile up the snot rags in the trash can behind our desks. Sweet land o' liberty!
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1 comment:

XL said...

We actually had to force someone to go home today because they were so sick they could hardly sit up in their chair. I swear if I get sick this week I'm going to be pissed...just pissed enough to go to work with it!!