I have taken a sick day today. My sinuses have been bothering me since Sat. afternoon and it was really sapping my energy, but the truth is that if I had something scheduled today I would have went in. The annoying thing is the mental process I go through whenever I use a sick day of choice (S.D.O.C.) (minor illness) vs. a sick day when you are running a fever, vomiting, lying in a cold sweat wrapped up in the blankets. Those are easy, because the decision is made for you, but the S.D.O.C. is a tougher call. Here is a brief walk through of the process.
1) Don't want to go to work, feeling sort of sick, but definitely something you could fight through if you absolutely had to. The mind begins figuring out some of the variables; such as how many days do I have, when is the last time I used one, do I have anything scheduled today. (I don't believe in missing if there are meetings are appointments scheduled)
2) If there is reasonable time (after thinking through the rest of year and mentally noting future days off (vacation time, long weekends, etc.) and nothing is scheduled, the next thought is whether or not this day is worth using the personal time on. This is the toughest call, because a day off is precious, something to be savored and appreciated. I remember that when I was a kid, my dad busted his ass and always went to work. He worked night crew for a Grocery chain, and he had an immense work ethic. He struggled through snow and ice, through exhaustion and sickness, and his reward was a company that made the last decade of his work life miserable, fought against his medical rights when his body finally broke down, and demoted him when he stood up for the workers under his authority. Valuable lessons to learn, for me.
I am lucky enough to work in an office where people are treated well, so I never want to take advantage. On the other hand, the cliche of lying on one's death bed and not wishing to have worked more and spend less quality personal time holds substantial weight.
It must be the Catholic upbringing in me that makes decisions so agonizing. The classic Catholic model; make a decision, worry about it, feel guilt about it, have your enjoyment of the fruits of the decision compromised, go the bed.
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