I woke up this morning with a sore throat and a fever and a general feeling of crappiness. And after much hemming and hawing and a few efforts to drag myself into the shower, I gave up and called it a sick day.
I remember a time when I would have sucked it up and gone in anyway. This was back when I was younger and stupider and still working front of house, and things were a lot more tight financially. You didn’t want to burn sick pay on a sore throat or a sniffle; you needed to save it up for the serious stuff like the flu. So you’d drag yourself into work and hope one of two things happened: you started to feel better, or they had enough people working to let you go home. You were basically playing roulette with your health, but hey, you did the same thing if you’d been out drinking the night before. Beer or flu, it’s all the same at that age.
Later, when I became I lead, I grew to realize how completely unhelpful that actually was. Someone that sick isn’t the kind of face you want to present to guests. And they’re probably getting four or five other people sick in the process. I get the sense of responsibility, the desire for income, but it gets to a point where you’re a liability. And you’re probably just making yourself stay sick longer by not taking care of yourself.
Now,. I listen when my body’s talking. It’s not that I’ll take a sick day if I sneeze once before getting out of bed. But I also won’t ignore the signs that staying in bed might be a good idea. It might mean I have a thousand emails to sort through when I go back in, but that’s better than being the tough guy and getting half the office sick. And being miserable. And taking that much longer to get over this damn thing.
So I spent today pretty much watching movies, drinking water, and resting. And I feel 100% better. As well as a little bit guilty about forcing my co-workers to cover for me. But they know I’d do the same for them. And I figure it’s better than giving them Ebola or something.