Ultraq's Final MooCow

Bits and pieces by Emanuel Rabina

Negative sick leave

So I mentioned several illnesses in yesterday's post - the common cold, winter flu, and tonsillitis - all of which I do nothing about as I let my body just battle it in its own time. In the case of the cold and flu, there really is no cure, only several medications to alleviate the symptoms and the general feeling of crappiness. Regardless, the result is that whenever I get one of them, I'm knocked out for several days.

The common cold is, by definition, the sickness I get most often. I can tell it's upon me by the stuffy nose and sore throat that usually accompany it, and I usually get about a day's warning before it really hits.

The flu is like a super-charged version of the cold, which is probably why several work places have free flu vaccinations every year... which I never participate in. As I said, it solves itself given enough time, so I never bother doing anything about it. That, and it hasn't killed me yet (which when I think about it is a rather stupid philisophy because of the Catch 22 in that sentence). Flu usually knocks me out pretty badly: all the cold symptoms are there - stuffy nose, sore throat - and sometimes a headache, but the worst part is that it causes me to despair and feel like nothing is right in the world. That's right; flu makes me emo.

Sick woman
Flu: ready to slit her wrists

So I said that, given enough time, each of the above will resolve themselves. The problem though, is the amount of time needed to do just that: a cold can knock me out for 2 days, whereas a flu can take me out for 5. Calculating the frequency of either multiplied by the number of days, and I end up with a number that is much larger than the 5 sick days work gives us every year.

Falling ill over a weekend helps dampen the blow to my sick leave (at the cost of making my weekends suck), but every year since starting full-time work, I have blown my 5-day limit out of the water. Our team leaders have the ability to sign-off on additional sick leave from a small pool of it given to each person, but recently I learned that I've used-up all of that too and have gone into NEGATIVE sick leave. Nobody else I know at work or in my team has done this, so from a management perspective I must be some sort of statistical anomally. I bet HR is keeping a close eye on me as well, making sure I'm not faking my sicknesses and using the days off to sell company secrets to the competition.

To HR, if they're reading this (which isn't easily possible because this site is blocked from work): I'm actually being sick and I get sick a lot. Please double my sick leave allowance so that I don't spend 4 months of the year waiting for my work anniversary to roll over so I get my sick leave reset.