Yesterday was one of those rare occasions for me. A day that might come but once a year.
I called in sick to work.
I don’t get sick that often. I might get a 24 hour bug a couple of times a year. But when I sick, I mean I’m S.I.C.K. unhealthy.
I really hate sick days. I try to ward them off by slathering my hands, nose, and mouth with Germ-X several times a day, and giving everyone I meet a healthy spray of Lysol to the face. But they are inevitable, especially working in a school. I always try to identify the culprit, the little germ factory who must’ve secretly sneezed on me when I wasn’t looking. But by the time I can feel something coming along, they are long gone, boogers and all.
But sick days aren’t all bad. With nothing to do but sit on the couch and eat pudding cups, it always gives me time for personal reflection and self-discovery. What follows are the insights and inspirations gained in the hazy stupor of my sick day. You may just find something to help you make the most of your next sick day.
I’m Not a Soldier
I’m not one of those people who takes unnecessary sick days and then goes roller skating or shopping. Because, you know, I care about my job. And I want my coworkers to know that. So for two days, I soldiered on, stumbling into work with chills rolling over me, and my voice barely exceeding a raspy whisper. Sure, it may not have been the best decision to let everyone see my normally very masculine physique in such a weakened state. My body is a microchip, and I am used to inspiring people, not inspiring pity. But by the time Wednesday had ended and I had almost passed out three times, my coworkers were practically insisting that I not come in the next day. Win-win.
I Have No Goals
When I get up in the morning, I like to get things done. I like to have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, and I don’t like a list of things hovering over me when I go to bed. But somehow, all of those goals and ambitions are entirely precluded on me not having the sniffles. When I’m not well, I don’t want to do anything, except have my wife bring me a Flintstones chewable vitamin and more juice.
I Feel Like a Trash Man
I always felt sorry for the trash men who got holidays, only to have to run double shifts the next day to pick up all of our holiday trash. But it’s a fundamental law of sick days too. There’s always make up work, or something gets screwed up. I would not be surprised to return to work today and find that my desk caught fire while I was out.
Where’s My Maternity Leave?
Since this was my first sick day of the year, I decided to check out just how much I am allowed to be sick. Turns out, I am allowed to succumb my mortal body to physical illness no more than 4.25 days this year. See, now I’m really glad I soldiered on for the first two days. I can’t wipe out all my sick days all in one week! But this afternoon, as I was lying on the couch, thinking about how my wife and I are trying to start a family, I remembered that her job only allows her six weeks of maternity leave. My contract doesn’t mention maternity leave. Well what then? What do parents do with a six week old? Maybe I’ll go to Sweden. Over there, the dads get time off for new babies. Hey, babies have to be good for something.
HGTV is pretty much a channel about faux-wealthy suburbanites with terrible taste buying houses they can’t afford. (3% down payments? Don’t break the bank!) Every episode was obviously filmed before the housing crash. Yes, this is how I spent yesterday.
There’s an ongoing debate over a mandatory seven paid sick days a year. I think we’ll probably have to increase allowed sick leave as we coddle our ever-weaker immune systems with anti-bacterial everything. What do you think? Do you use up all of your sick days so you don’t lose them? Do you ever have enough sick days? What about those of you who work from home?