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Sick Days

Almost all of us have a time in our lives where we call in sick even if we aren’t really sick. You know. Those days. We also have those days where we go to work even when we are deathly ill. There is no real balance. We could be coughing up a lung at our desks, which are littered with tissues, coffee mugs, and water bottles – and still not be willing to acknowledge that rest and relaxation are the real cures.

I have had both of these experiences, but more often the latter. I have a genuinely hard time calling in sick. I get nervous that others will judge me for being weak. I get worried that my boss will look at it as a failure of some sort. (A failure of my immunity perhaps?) Maybe I will be the topic of a co-worker’s lunchtime chat.

“That girl Beth is never here. She always calls in sick and it is SO annoying.”

Yep. All of these things go through my head when debating whether to take a real or imaginary sick day. Even as I sit here typing this, I am feeling kind of crappy. Sure, I woke up feeling awesome. But it faded. And now I am deep into the world of “I want to lay down and go to bed.”

But I always drag myself here, and I wonder if it really is all about pride. My boss comes in late everyday, and I dislike him whether or not I fall into his good graces. My coworkers also dislike their lots in life, and occasionally take sick holidays of their own.

Why is it that those of us whose jobs value us the least, value our jobs the most? We are those that double check emails on the weekends. We go the extra mile. We never get thanked, but it never teaches us any brilliant lessons about how to care less.

I have never been someone to care less. I always care more or too much. One of the two paths. I am always being told that this has to change. Something has to give.

What happened to the world of “Put your best foot forward!?”

Have we neglected this for a better work/life balance? Am I the only fool left?

When someone comes to work sick, others are normally annoyed. They spread germs, they complain, and they are usually not as productive. But we still do it. To make a point. America has become a place where presence is sometimes valued more than a real contribution.

On Brazen Careerist lately, there has been a lot of talk about Location Independence. Would this solve the “Sick Day” dilemma? Absolutely. People would be able to feel how they feel without the guilt. Or shame. Or other negative emotion.

This place is certainly not leaning towards that direction, so until then –

Viva la Kleenex!

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