Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sick Days

During my years as a waitress/waitron/server, I never, ever called in sick to work. It was simply unheard of in the restaurant business. I always found it strange that a person whose job was to serve food to other people was encouraged to come to work when ill. I did understand the rationale, though- the booze and drugs ran rampant in that industry, and I can see how sick days might be taken advantage of.

Then I became a teacher, and worked at a school where sick days were also frowned upon . Apparently the school was not well-known enough to attract substitutes, so a call to the sub line almost always went unanswered. I remember one morning when I had a vicious stomach flu and had to call in- I was made to feel guilty and somehow got talked into calling our approved subs individually to see if anyone could cover.

Now I'm in a job where they expect you to take sick days when you are sick. But it seems that years of conditioning by my former bosses have rendered me unable to do it. Unless I have a stomach problem or a fever, I come to work. I think I could reprogram my brain, however, if I didn't have kids who could start puking at any time. Sadly, my move to a job with paid sick leave happened to coincide with my move into parenthood. I feel like I need to save my spontaneous sick days for the kids' spontaneous illnesses.

Am I the only one? I know C-Dog stays home when she has the stomach flu. But what does it take to get you to call in sick?


Stacey Greenberg said...

sick days are highly frowned upon at my office. we are rewarded for not being sick with bonus days. (1 per every three months.) with rare exception i have only taken sick days when hospitalized, post birth, or on round three of strep throat. luckily warren can usually do sick days with the kids. i have been known to use vacation or comp time to stay home with sick kids due to that not officially counting as sick leave!!

Sassy Molassy said...

I would much rather stay home when I'm well. And actually, I rarely get sick myself. But my children force me to take my sick days now more frequently than I would like. I had to take one just this week for GK and her pukiness.
It's not a big deal at my school and getting a sub is usually not hard. But when I was a student myself, I had perfect attendance many years. I was only allowed to stay home if I was seen vomiting.

An said...

In the 3.5 years I've worked in DC, I've taken one sick day. They give us 10 sick days a year and it carries over, also my boss just doesn't really enforce it. So I have 42 sick days, I'm saving up when I need arthroscopic or microfracture surgery. Does that count as being sick? Not that it matters in this town. No one works here, they just talk about how much work they have to do. Its really comical, except to the taxpayers.

Cathy said...

I rarely stay home sick. And when I do take a day off, it's usually a vacation day or comp time to be home with a sick Charlie. It helps that I have a really cool boss who has NO problems taking sick days. He takes more than I do!