Is it normal to feel guilty about taking a sick day?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by vilk, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. El Caco

    El Caco Djavli te ponesli Contributor

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    I don't claim a sick day unless I am actually sick but I also don't go into work when I don't feel like it, I just don't get paid when I don't work. But I'm not working at all at the moment, I can't do my old job any more and I haven't worked out what to do next.
     
  2. auxioluck

    auxioluck Metal Teddy Bear

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    I've worked places where my boss guilt trips me for calling out, and I've worked places where my boss doesn't care, as long as I'm not running out of sick time less than 6 months into the year (which I have done before).

    Sick time is your time to use as you need. I've never seen anyone fired for using sick time, unless management just needed that as an excuse to fire someone that was pretty much useless to begin with.

    I say all this, but I am just as bad about beating myself up for using a sick day when I'm not really sick. The thing is though, everyone does it at some point whether they want to admit it or not. Some days you just really don't want to deal with work or your co-workers. In the context of being hungover, the truth is that even if you did go in to work, you wouldn't be productive. And if you aren't going to get anything done, there's no point in being at work.

    As I've gotten older, I've actually started pondering how Europeans feel about this, because I'm curious if the guilty conscience for taking time off is more of an American thing or not.
     
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  3. iamaom

    iamaom SS.org Regular

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    If you live in a country with good labor laws then I'd say maybe. If you live in the United States I'd say no. The United States is very anti-worker and since most people are working for multi-billion dollar chain companies, so I don't feel the least bit sorry. If the manager is angry because they're short staffed then maybe they should hire more people or have contingency plans for absences. If you have a set amount of days you can take off, then you're entitled to them. This country has has a culture of slave labor bred into its workers, that you should somehow feel sorry for not working harder to help CEOs get million dollar bonuses. Its okay to be a bit selfish sometimes.
     
  4. Electric Wizard

    Electric Wizard Dignity

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    Sick days or any kind of PTO is a non-monetary part of your compensation. If you're salaried, not using them is basically working for free for x amount of days.
     
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  5. HeavyMetal4Ever

    HeavyMetal4Ever SS.org Regular

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    The "sickie" is a great Australian tradition. I've seen staff plan ahead and take sick days as a group to go to a football match and the boss insisted that they ring him regularly with score updates. We were understaffed, but the odd sickie is an accepted thing here, to be done with as you see fit. Questions would only start to be asked if it became a trend.

    Some bosses I've had seem to accept sick days as inevitable and others encourage you to use up "all your sickies" before they expire. Either way, I've never heard anyone I've worked with say they felt guilty for taking a sickie, for any reason, ever.
     
  6. blacai

    blacai SS.org Regular

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    In Germany you can take 3 days in a row without having to show a medical proof... Where I work people take days off whenever they want.
     
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  7. El Caco

    El Caco Djavli te ponesli Contributor

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    There is a growing shift away from that mentality. I've come into contact with plenty of employers who not only look down at taking sickies but don't look kindly towards people getting sick at all. I've known more people who have said "I have worked for X years and not taking one day off sick" than people who think taking a sickie is the Aussie way. I've even had people brag about how sick they have come into work with the mentality that if you are not dying you should come in, to which I have replied they are fools.

    I worked for one boss that during certain contracts said if anyone took as much as one day off sick they would no longer be required and he actually stuck to that and fired one guy for not coming in due to drinking too much and firing 2 others after not coming in due to being interviewed by police.

    I worked for another employer and was injured on the job, they replaced me while I was recovering. When I came back they didn't want to give me my job back but I let them know they had to. They did reluctantly but when staff cuts came up a week or two later I was 1 of 15 cut.

    One of the main places I worked for had policy on leave posted in the smoko room. Basically that sick days are for when you are sick and you are not entitled to be paid if you are not sick and if you have more than one day off they require a medical certificate. They also had a strict no mobile phone policy and both of these were brought in due to abuse by employees. The employees they were targeted at would always remark about how I got away with both taking calls and only coming in to work when I felt like it. The boss let me because my phone did not negatively impact my productivity, I would always wrap up calls as quickly as possible, I was not on my phone constantly, I never used social media at work, when I was at work I did my job and when I ran out of things to do I went home. As the business started to lose work all those other staff were let go and never asked back. My boss let me do what I wanted because he never had to manage me, he was only paying me for when I worked.

    This respect was built during my apprenticeship when he could leave me for 6 months without talking to me about my job leaving me to manage everything myself and I'd be 3 months ahead of production. I organised my materials and work, I even changed procedures and practices that increased efficiency. Unfortunately I also worked myself out of work so when work dropped off I was stuffed. And considering I was always 3 months ahead when work did drop off I didn't come in for a month without a word and my boss didn't question it, in fact he appreciated it. Then the situation didn't improve for the business and I was required much less putting me pretty much on call but effectively out of work.

    Interestingly not too long ago he had an important time sensitive job for me and I actually got too ill to work along with my kids who I also had to look after when they were sick. At this point I had no sick pay entitlements but my getting sick resulted in me not being able to complete the job on time resulting in lots of very unhappy people. I'm pretty sure letting him down on that job has resulted in him losing his desire to work with me again. Which is not really a big deal because my eyes have degraded to the point where I can't work effectively doing that work any longer. But I'm pretty sure if another employer called him now he wouldn't have good things to say about me which is in contrast to him singing my praises to employers in the past, I even had one interviewer in the past tell me he only called him and after that call he wanted to give me the job over the hundreds of other applicants he had. But I got sick and blew a job and I'm pretty sure he no longer has nice any things to say about me if another employer calls.
     
  8. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    Of course you should feel guilty! The corporate finance system that enslaves us will cease to function if people stop feeling guilty about missing work!
     
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  9. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd Dread-I Master Contributor

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    I feel guilty every time. But I get my work done and that makes me feel better.
     
  10. NotDonVito

    NotDonVito SS.org Regular

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    If I worked a 9-5 I would tough it out and go unless I had flu or some shit. But at 92 hours this week, fuck no I wouldn't give 2 shits if I called in tommorow. I'm sitting here at almost 3AM(just got off 2 hours ago), and I'm supposed to be back at work by 9. Ok this has turned into a rant sorry lol. I hear Japanese companies like Honda will fire your ass for taking a sick day though. Asian work ethic scares me more than any American company, but I've never been to Japan, only know about their companies because I'm from rural Alabama and they like to build factories here due to all the cheap land.
     

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