I was talking to a buddy the other day as we were relating our work experience, current and past and we got discussing the topic of sick days. Now, at all the jobs I have been at, you accrue “sick time” as you work. It may only be a few hours a month, but this paid time off is for calling in sick when you are sick and possibly other reasons.
While at United Airlines I spent nearly 12 years without ever taking a sick day. What did I get for it? Not a God damn thing! Nothing. Zilch! Compare that with my current employer and I will be able to take 50% of my accumulated time in pay when I retire. That’s cool! My friend started telling me about his recent experience using sick time.
He related a story to me about his union steward talking to him “off the record” regarding his attendance. Fair enough, I guess. Obviously, the union being on his side did not want to see any action taken on his suggested “pattern” of calling in sick, if indeed that was a pattern.
This got me thinking…if a company is going to bitch and complain about an employee taking sick time and come up with some bullshit excuse of making it habit forming or trying to connect dots that are not there into a pattern, then why provide employees with sick time at all?
Last Wednesday about 3pm I called to take two sick days as pe the doctor’s instructions after my right knee collapsed and I fell down some stairs. He provided me medication, as well as a doctor’s note, but last time I checked this was not school and regardless of the note the sick day would be filed as missed time from work.
I’ll admit I was a very good employee in terms of attendance when I was at United. Not sure why, maybe it was the last thing the airline had not taken away from me. I could also claim I was on time with a perfect attendance record.
Since hiring on at my current job I admit I have missed some days of work because of calling in sick. Based on my opinion and comparing the situation with my buddy I see no pattern in what I have done. Having a family, where both my wife and I work and daycare is sometimes not available I have called in because my wife could not change her schedule. Sick? No. But am I abusing the sick leave I have accrued?
I guess the answer to that depends on who is answering it. This is time I earned, as well as my friend did. So why does he get called out on his attendance being problematic? He is a great worker, works hard and will go out of his way to help others. Yet some in management have nothing better to do and too much free time on their hands to go and fuck with good people.
Regardless of the reason, no letters will be drawn up or charges levied against his sick calls or mine. But the fact remains that good people are hard to find these days, yet with cuts, furloughs and layoffs I guess some in management are trying to throw some workers in front of the bus in order to possibly save their job.
Sick time, I earned it. I will decided if I use it and when.