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I must be getting old!

First, some background: I never take sick leave. I have come into work with full-blown bronchitis. For me not to go into work because of illness, I pretty much have to be unable to (1) leave my bed or (2) leave the toilet. And if it's the former, I might try to get someone to wheel me in on a rollaway!

So perhaps this is a sign that I am growing old. Or that I am becoming to develop a greater understanding of the importance of keeping my body healthy in my career pursuit. Whatever.

I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat. As the day developed, the throat got worse, my eyes became irritated, my head become foggier than usual, my nose got runny, my sinuses filled with gooey gunk, and my body was achey and tired.

I just called my co-workers and my supervisor. I told them I'm not setting an alarm in the morning, that I am going to give my body a chance to get the rest it needs to recover. So, best case scenario is I'm much more late for work than usual. But I also told them that if I feel just as bad in the morning, I'm going to call in sick.

I have never called in sick for a cold before!


On a related note, I can get all sorts of things delivered to the house -- pizza, wings, Chinese, Thai, etc. -- but why can't I get chicken soup delivered??? (And no, Tom Yum Gai or Tom Ka Gai do not count!)


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2004 04:29 am (UTC)
My employer used to encourage people to work sick in that we were given a small bonus at the end of the year for every unused sick day. So of course everyone came to work sick, and that made lots of other people sick.

Fortunately, the current management sees the wisdom of encouraging people to stay home if they are not well and spread fewer germs to the rest of us.
Sep. 15th, 2004 05:10 am (UTC)
With today's building environments it is really bad when people come to work sick. With the recirculated air, the germs just get a good chance to infect a bunch of people. Plus, most people get better sooner if they get some rest.

I think the roots of this problem are a puritanical work ethic, and people's overblown sense of their importance in the workplace. Too many people think they are too important miss work or that their job will be eliminated if they miss work or that it will be too hard to catch up on the work missed, even if they are sick.

My favorite type of person in the workplace are the people who walk around saying "this place would fall apart, if I didn't come in every day." I would like those people to immediately resign their positions, because they need to see that the company never falls apart. I've had jobs like that where I was trying to keep companies together with gum and paperclips. I quit and they found a better solution than gum and the paperclips.
Sep. 15th, 2004 08:50 am (UTC)
I think the roots of this problem are a puritanical work ethic, and people's overblown sense of their importance

Whatever it is, I've never gotten it. Not only does working sick help spread the infection and delay your own recovery, but do you (generic you) really think you're doing anything approaching your best work when you have a fever and a sore throat and no energy?

I would like those people to immediately resign their positions

A book I read many decades ago, The Psychology of Computer Programming (by someone named Weinberg, I think), contained this advice for managers: "If one of your employees becomes indispensible, fire him immediately."
Sep. 15th, 2004 09:34 am (UTC)
I don't think, in my case, it's a puritanical work ethic, an overblown sense of my own importance, or a concern over doing my best work. I rarely do anything approaching my best work, since I can get by with a lot less, often surfing the web or playing games. It's just that I don't like to use sick time. It's part of my being a pack rat: "You just never know when you might really need it, so you'd better not use/get rid of it."
Sep. 16th, 2004 07:23 pm (UTC)
Derek, in your case you may be equating your leave time with money or other valuable commodity. And you're describing a hoarder, not a pack rat, a pack rat being a creature that accumulates useless bits of shiny stuff.

As for the puritanical / Protestant work ethic, a lecture on Weber has gotten me interested in the subject again. I hadn't realized that the ethic lost its religious significance, became secularized, and has led to much of the depression and insanity of the business and entertainment world today. The transformation is curious.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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