A Sick Day in Time Saves Nine


I’m not a material hoarder. I don’t have a mental illness that attaches me to things, assuming I might need it one day so I can’t get rid of it now. I’m a little bit wrapped up in frugality with unease towards debt, which has always been the case but got deeply personal when I was out of work for many months.

That’s not an uncommon or unhealthy way of thinking. It’s usually just called “good judgment” along with ageist complaints that Mi*****ials don’t have any of it. But I digress. The mentality behind this is separating what accumulates and what is bound by use-it-or-lose-it restrictions.

I switched from a job that allowed five paid sick days per calendar year to one that accrues about one sick day per month and carries forward. In the job that had five paid sick days, I knew I had to use them up, and did so strategically. Now that I can keep building on a bank of sick time, I am determined to use it less – in case I need to use it more in the future.

But the purpose of employers offering sick time is so people get rest when they need it to improve their overall performance. It’s so diseases aren’t spread around the office. It’s so brief illnesses aren’t dragged out to impede productivity and the whole, you know, wellness of a human being. So I did go home early yesterday after dryheaving all morning to sleep all afternoon. And I did come into work late today to sleep in a bit more as my neck was stiff and head was heavy after showering as per my usual routine.

But I took neither day off in full, because – to end this with another variation on an overquoted proverb – sick time saved is sick time earned…when you’re allowed to save it.


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