It was just the other day that I was chatting with a friend of mine about how much time off we get from our day jobs. The conversation started after I learned that my dad gets 35 days off from his job. While he’s been working a lot longer than I have and probably deserves it since he is only 4-5 years away from retirement, it still made me feel jealous. I currently get 10 days of PTO along with major holidays, not including 10 sick days each year.
Now, I should preface this conversation to say that I am happy that I have that many days off. I have many friends that don’t have any paid time off, so it is a real financial burden when they have to take time off. I can’t imagine having to work longer hours before or after vacation to make it up or taking a pay cut just for taking a couple days off each year. In that light, my conversation may seem petty, but I wanted to share it anyway.
Here’s the conversation…
Me – Can you believe my dad has 7 weeks off each year, in addition to holidays? I’d kill to have that many days off. It’s not like I don’t enjoy my work, but I do feel like I need more vacation.
Friend – Don’t you have sick days too?
Me – Yeah, but I just don’t feel right using them when I’m not sick… and I don’t get sick that often.
Friend – Those are your days. You should take them.
I hate to admit it, but this is something that I’ve thought about a lot since then (and it’s not just because I didn’t get a yearly raise). I can’t help it. I have worked hard to get to this point and the days are given to me to use. But, I know what you are thinking. They’re SICK days, not days off. I know, I know…
Ethics of Calling in Sick
While I am not perfect, I don’t try to cheat the system. But, (there always is a but, right?) where is the line drawn.
Do you go to work if you can drag yourself out of bed and get there?
Or at the slightest hint of feeling sick, you stay home because you don’t want to pass on the sickness?
I’m convinced that people get sick most often because of the first situation. There are too many people going to work when they shouldn’t and it causes more people get sick who shouldn’t. Yet, at the same time, I am sure there are tons of people calling in sick to go to a movie or take a day off.
While I’m not trying to justify blatant violation of regulations, I am convinced that the best way to solve this moral ambiguity (if there is any) is to join the sick and vacation days. That way people will only be sick if that are really sick and they can take more vacation days.
What do you think about calling in sick when you’re healthy? Where’s the line?