Monday, September 30, 2013

Sick Day

I hate calling in sick to work.  I hate being sick.  I hate missing work.  Not that I LOVE working in general, or my j.o.b. specifically.  In fact this meme pretty much sums up how I feel about that:

And that's not even saying anything about my particular position, or company or field.  I'm just not one of those people who "needs" work, like in a psychic need way.  When I have two weeks of vacation, I get over my work anxiety in a couple hours, and then spend two weeks soaking up the not-working.  I never feel like I'm missing something, or aimless or adrift without going to work.  I just feel happy.  So I don't hate calling in sick, because I love and need to go to work SO BAD.  Why do I hate it?

Weeeeeell, I hate being sick.  I hate having colds, fevers, puking and any combination of these and a legion of other sick symptoms.  I like feeling good, and doing things, or feeling good and not doing things.  Duh.  No one likes to be sick.  

But also, I am a creature of habit.  I like to have a plan, and execute the plan.  I like to have a routine, and stick to the routine.  My routine is to get up at a certain time, and go to work on certain days.  While I don't "need" to work for my mental health, I do "need" to stick to the plan.  Give me a scheduled day off, and I will rock it.  Give me an actual sickness which prevents me from going to work unexpectedly, and I can't enjoy it.  Call in "sun" or "snow"?  Forget it.  Hours of obsessing if I did the right thing by staying home when I'm sick (I did), followed by hours of not wanting to do anything "fun" during my voluntary quarantine (I didn't).  I can't even imagine going through this neurotic roller coaster for any reason other than being actually unwell.

Calling in sick to work messes with my plan and my routine.  Add in actually being sick, and calling in sick is a one, two, emotional, physical punch.  To mitigate how bad I feel about calling in sick to work, I resolved to  not "like" anything on Facebook today, and not "repin" anything on Pinterest today.  I did allow myself to troll Facebook and respond to messages, and troll Pinterest and "like" pins.  Cray.  I received one wrong number voicemail from a doctor, and returned the call to let them know they hadn't reached the intended recipient.  I figure that mitigates any (imagined) bad Karma I earned for calling in sick today.  Cray.  I didn't watch any super fun TV, only the regular broadcast shows.  As if, if I watched the cable shows, some Sick Day Fairy is going to come down and curse me for not taking my sick day seriously enough, and sleeping, eating soup and drinking tea every waking minute.  Cray.

But I'll tell you what made me feel better:  Googling "I feel bad because I called in sick to work today."  I'm copying the links below, for your edutainment.  I learned quite a lot.  The place to live if you want to call in sick a lot is England.  The places to not work are Disney and Red Lobster.  In fact, after my reading today, I don't even want to frequent amusement parks or restaurants.  I had lost sight of the fact that most people don't have sick days.  Many can be fired for missing their shift, let alone if they don't get paid when they miss work due to illness, they may not be able to pay their bills.  So, particularly people in the food service industry are compelled to work when they're sick.  Stomach flu?  Still preparing my food.  Bird flu?  Still cleaning restrooms.  OMG.

After my research today, I feel better about calling in sick when I'm actually sick.  I feel better about keeping my germs to myself.  I feel fortunate to have paid time off for just such an occasion.  I feel better already, and I'm looking forward to getting up on time tomorrow, and going to work as scheduled.