“If you drop down, they will just put out an ad for a vacancy.” I was reminded of this harsh reality, a few weeks ago.
If you’re a workaholic, like me, you try your best to make yourself indispensable to your employer, sometimes at the risk of your health. You work feverishly to meet deadlines, and try your best to be on top of your game. Sacrificing your health for the sake of keeping your job is senseless, though. But, a few weeks ago, I didn’t hold this view.
I didn’t listen to my body, when it was telling me to stop pushing it too far.
Some time in March, intense back pain crept up on me. But I was still showing up to work, smiling through the pain, and carrying out my duties. I’m not entitled to any type of leave, while on probation, so I was afraid to call in sick. I was determined to maintain my efficiency. I want so much to get the contract, after my probation.
I went to a few doctors, even to the hospital, but no one could pinpoint the cause of these intense back pains. They only assumed what the problem could be. But after a few tests, and various painkillers later, I started thinking that the problem could very well be that I was sitting for prolonged periods at my desk. But if most of your work involves sitting at a computer, what yuh supposed to do?
“If you drop down, they will just put out an ad for a vacancy.”
She told me to take care of myself, and urged me not to come to work, if I wasn’t well, because it would set a bad precedent for me, and my employer would expect me to show up to work, if I should ever get sick again in the future. This made sense.
By now, you’re probably saying, “Wham to dis gyul boy? If it was me, I was going home!” Well you know what, after the talk with my co-worker, I left work. The following day, I went to the doctor, and readily accepted the sick leave he recommended. If a doctor said that I needed to rest, I needed to rest. Plus, I could put my mind at ease, and not feel guilty about being absent from work.
I know I may come across as being all goody two shoes, but I love my job and I’m still in the early stages of my career.
Wondering if they might think you’re faking it?
Bosses aren’t monsters (okay…some are). But how is it that some employees have an ingrained fear of calling in sick to work?
Maybe it’s because some employees set a bad precedent. You know…the ones who lie and say they’re sick, and end up on Maracas Beach, eating bake and shark. I actually heard about someone who gave that lie, and who could he see, while at the beach? Yup…his boss. And he was barebacked, in shorts, and playing football. I don’t know how he got out of that one. His co-workers were probably really cautious about calling in sick after that. And it just goes to show you that, sometimes, bosses are right to be suspicious.
Then there are the potential Oscar-winning actors who go to work the next day, coughing loudly, as you pass your boss, to convince people that “ah was really sick yuh know!” Raise your hand if you’re guilty of this. Any of you hiding yuh face yet?
A goody two shoes like me isn’t good at the theatrics, so I can’t try that. But I have learnt my lesson, and won’t be giving you any more stories about foolishly trying to push myself, and crying because I don’t want to take a sick day.
As my fellow Outlisher, Kevin, says, “Like good sheep, many of us never bother to question or challenge whether always being on the go is, one, good for us, or two, makes us any more efficient at what we’re doing. What’s the point of killing yuhself?” And he’s right.
You shouldn’t ‘beat up’ over being absent from work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to stay home every time you get sick, with a little cough or something, but if you wake up one morning, and get the feeling that you’re too sick to make it through the work day (and you will get that feeling), keep yuh tail in bed or take the time to go to a doctor. And remember to do the courteous thing by calling in sick to work, or have someone else do it for you, perhaps a parent or spouse.
I’m now starting to accept that it’s okay to get sick sometimes, but it’s also important to recover, and then return to work. The work won’t get done in your absence, but when you return, just reassure your boss that you will get the work done. That way, you can better focus on picking up where you left off.
Image credit: newspano.com