May 9, 2021

‘Tis the Season to Call In Sick

For me, this is the season when I have a lot of vacation time that I have to burn in order to not lose any or I’ve run out.  In some parts of my company, it’s the time when people are asked to work overtime because it’s the end of the quarter and things must be shipped out the door.

However, for some, it’s the time of year to get time off by calling in sick.  What I find fascinating about this article is that, instead of trying to discourage people from doing such– it warns of the dangers of doing it and getting caught and advises how you can get away with it!

I find it shocking that, given how serious of an integrity problem this is, we’re giving out a how-to!

One in three workers has called in sick when they’re not in the past year, and the end-of-year holiday season brings a rash of phony absences, experts and studies say.

Harried workers are juggling shopping, holiday preparations and family obligations this time of year, on top of perhaps having run out of the year’s legitimate vacation days, they say. And the mornings after holiday parties don’t help.


But be careful. The same survey showed 27 percent of hiring managers have fired a worker for calling in sick without a legitimate reason.

“The worst part is, if you lie and they see you out at a sporting event or shopping or you run into somebody you know, then it brings your trustworthiness into question,” said Sullivan.

The trick is doing it right, writes Ellie Bishop, author of “The Sick Day Handbook” that is chock-full of tips for taking a not-really-sick day.

She suggests if you’re claiming a migraine headache, know there are two kinds, cluster and classic. Claiming Lyme disease is handy, because one symptom is irritability. Conjunctivitis and irritable bowel syndrome are good excuses because no one wants to hear about the symptoms.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when we equivocate on issues of abortion saying “well, they’re going to have sex anyway– might as well protect them from the consequences.”

What I am seeing, more and more, is a society that doesn’t want to take responsibility for their actions.  They live in defiance of the reality that actions have consequences.  What do you think could be the causes of this problem?

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5 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season to Call In Sick

  1. I can honestly say I have never used “sick” leave because every single job I have ever had never gave us any. If we missed work we did not get paid. So, I rarely, if ever, call into work. The only time I will call in is if one of my boys are seriously sick or I just cannot move myself out of bed or from the bathroom.

    If I am not there working, then someone else is forced to do my job, or even worse the work piles up.

    People that abuse that privilege should be ashamed of themselves.

  2. I’m with you there. I don’t believe that I’ve ever called in sick when I wasn’t. I’ve called in to say I wasn’t coming in because of a family sickness– and used vacation time– but never faked it.

    However, if you have sick time and you’re not feeling well, you should be home getting over it instead of spreading it around.

  3. What a post!

    You know what I do? I tend come to work an little early and stay a little late. If we’re behind on a project I stay late until it’s done. I try not to complain or look irritable if we’re asked to come in on a Saturday. As long as I am not being taken advantage of, and I’m watching for it, I find management appreciates my willingness to go above and beyond. What ends up happening is I don’t *need* to take a sick day. I simply tell them I need a personal day off for one reason or another and they are more than happy to let me do so.

    Like last Friday for example. We spent the weekend at Disneyland this past weekend. I didn’t want to drive Friday evening (we’re 4 hours away in the best of traffic) so we left first thing Friday morning. Management knows that “I got their back” when needed, and it comes back at me in my times of need (or want ;))

    Of course you must exercise judgment. You don’t want to work late often because you miss what’s in store for you at home with the family. Likewise, I feel you don’t want to miss what’s in store for you in the workplace by shunning the opportunity to dig in and show your worth. Instead of dragging in the morning and getting to the office somewhere between 8am and 9am, I show up at 7:30. It means I have to get up at 6:30 instead of 7. It means I need to sleep by 10:30 instead of 11 (or worse, I admit it :P)

    I feel rather fortunate to work for a relatively small, but successful, software company who all want the other to succeed. God has blessed my family, I pray he does the same for yours.

  4. It’s great that you are so diligent and that you have a good testimony. Thanks for sharing what you do.

    It’s hard to find the right balance between work and family, and not always the case that your extra hours will result in people understanding when you need to take some time off. I have found that people are willing to overlook things from productive people– but you have to have a good testimony.

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