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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sick Days

So, last night I went out to dinner with a friend. I won't name the restaurant, but let's just say that I wanted the mini burgers and the salad bar, which is my favorite thing there.

I told her as I was eating that the broccoli salad (my favorite thing on the salad bar) didn't taste as good as usual. It didn't taste completely bad, it just wasn't great.

I don't know that I'll ever, ever eat at another salad bar again, because I spent my whole night throwing up. I woke up feeling like I was going to throw up, and I was up and down all night throwing up.

I got up at 6:30 this morning feeling like I'd slept about 5 minutes. I had fully intended to call in, but then I thought about it and came to work. I didn't feel sick anymore (the poisons were out of my body, I guess), but I was plum-ass exhausted. But still, I managed to hobble into the bathroom, take a quick shower and put on a dress and come here. Maybe I'm not feeling as good as I thought because Julie (my carpool buddy) did offer to turn around on the Interstate and take me back home.

I don't feel bad. I'm just tired. And hungry, because I couldn't look at food long enough to pack a lunch. And I carpooled, so I have no way to get one. (Although I have not ruled out making the Quiznos delivery guy bring me something.)

Then again, Quiznos doesn't sound good. I'm just hungry.

And they deliver.

But all of this excitement has created some controversy on sick days and when you should take them. At one job I was at, they sent you home if you threw up at work (not a bad policy, really). But what about before work?

I know why I threw up, and that I'm not contagious. I also know that I'm not going to throw up again. Sure, I feel like hell. But I feel like hell lots of times. I almost always work through allergies, cramps, and sometimes even migraines. If I didn't, I'd never be here.

Before my accident, I had almost a month of sick time. But with missing three days of work when it happened and all of my doctor's and dentist's visits since then, I'm down to 17 days. Now, that's still a pretty respectable number, and really when you consider that I've earned 32 days in the almost-three years that I've been here, really I don't get sick very much. But, I have been getting sick lately, and I really feel like a flake when I miss work. So, even though everyone says a) they know that I'm not a flake who just calls out to call out and b) if you are vomiting all night long you really aren't being a flake when you call out the next day, I still don't like to use my sick days. I have used more sick days this year than I have in my whole life (although last year was a close second with my vertigo and strep throat), and I just don't want to look like I am a slacker.

I think a lot of it is because my new boss has only been here since March (so I guess he doesn't know about the fever in January and the stomach bug in February), and I don't want him to think I'm flighty and abuse the sick day policy (although I have three broken teeth and a scar all the way down my chin that really kinda say "Hey, I wasn't faking my illness!"). I'm just trying to set a good example as a worker.

(And before you say anything about this blog, you will notice that it's lunchtime. And I told you I don't have a lunch. So there.)

But all of this got me to thinking, and these are my questions for the internet, if you'd like to answer them in my comments:

How sick do you have to be to take a sick day? Do you ever just take a "mental health" day and play hooky when you're not really sick? And, what's the best excuse that you've used?

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