Sunday, February 08, 2009

An ill weekend

So, the penthouse is a minor hospital wing this weekend. In a rare event, we've both come down with a head cold at the same time. Normally Cathy gets one and I'll get one a few weeks later. But no, we're both tagged at the same time. Which means sloth and an unwillingness to do much of anything. Although I did manage to get some groceries yesterday. Oh, and I might offer up this small tip to NorthMart...perhaps having more than three cashiers on during a Saturday after government payday is something you might want to consider.

Cathy is also fairing slightly worse than me in that she's sporting a couple of minor black eyes. No, I did not hit her (like I would still be alive to type this if that happened. Either Cathy or her mom would have killed me long before now). No, she came home Friday lunch time and bent down to say hello to a very excited Boo. He proceeded to jump up and whack Cathy in the nose. Hard. Well, hard enough to draw blood and leave Cathy with a ringing headache that lasted more than a day.

I'm debating taking a sick day tomorrow. We'll see how I'm feeling. I still have the lingering resistance to take a sick day I had back when I was a journalist. When you were sick back then, you were really screwing over people who had to make up your workload. I think in the seven years I was working with community papers I might have taken a grand total of four days. Plus there was the lingering fear if you "wasted" a sick day for something as minor as flu, it could come back to haunt you if you got seriously ill later in the year.

I remember when Transcon took over the Express and we all went through an orientation seminar. When it came to sick days we were told we got five a year. I asked if we were allowed to bank the sick days - ie. if we didn't use them in 2002, could we roll them over and use them in 2003. The HR person actually rolled her eyes and laughed at me. "This isn't the government," she said, with a touch of contempt in her voice.

Yes, God forbid a company take care of its employees. Just because I have all these extra sick days doesn't mean I'm going to use them. I know people who have retired with literally hundreds of banked sick days. The could have retired two years early, got a doctors note and burned through the remaining sick days. But they didn't, because that wouldn't be right.

Which, I guess, is a long winded way of saying it's nice to be occasionally treated like an adult and have it assumed that if you're taking a sick day, it's because you genuinely feel like crap and that it's not in your best interest to be at work, especially since it could result in other people feeling like crap.

Hmmm, I actually had something else I wanted to talk about, but I think I'll leave that for another post.

Last Five
1. Win, win - Sean Panting
2. Slow hands - Interpol
3. Julia - The Beatles
4. World keeps turning - Tom Waits
5. Emergency road side assistance - Sean Panting*


in iqaluit said...

I am one of those awful people who if a co-worker comes into the office sick, I offer no sympathy but say they really should be at home.

So... did you stay at home today?

towniebastard said...

Yeah, I feel like crap, so I'm doing nothing more strenuous than watching a movie and looking out the window and watching the ravens plan.

Kirsten said...

Whenever I take a sick day, I always worry that my boss won't believe I'm really sick enough. Doesn't matter that my bosses have usually tended to think well of me - or that I could work at home - I'm always afraid that they'll think I'm faking. Sometimes the cold might not be terrible but I really think I shouldn't infect others around me.

I remember one day when I worked on Long Island, though, I had such bad insomnia that I was dizzy and dazed and really didn't think I should drive to work (besides, I wouldn't have been able to get anything done). I had to argue with my boss there the next day to let me use a sick day instead of a vacation day, because she said "Well, you weren't actually sick". Technically not - but I was physically and mentally incapacitated for the day, which is effectively the SAME as being sick.

I didn't like that place much.

Wow, this turned into an essay somehow.

towniebastard said...

Well, a useful reminder that while I was annoyed with Transcon, I've heard some real horror stories about sick leave and vacation time in the US.

We have a mutual friend in the US who got 10 days of leave a year. He could use it as sick time, or he could use it as vacation time, but once those 10 days were gone, that was it.

And we're not talking about someone who worked at Burger King, he was senior management at a major video game company. 10 days. Unreal.

Once again, another reminder of how good things are for us in comparison.