So how many of us are actually taking all of our allotted sick days to warrant time spent creating a news segment on all three national Canadian TV stations: CBC, CTV, and Global?
Well there must be a lot because all three of these stations felt it necessary to discuss how much our sick days are actually costing the Canadian economy. Excuse me? Yep that’s right. Our sick days are costing the Canadian economy. They promptly showed this segment on Monday evening right after the guilt subsided for those that were maybe not overly ill, but decided to take a sick day because it’s a part of their overall compensation package or they needed a day of rest. Let's face it: five work days for only two days off. If my life is to be balanced, you know, the work-life balance has to change.
I have to tell you and maybe my flippant tone is already clue enough that I am pissy about this topic. A part of our overall compensation packages pays for sick days. And some people work jobs where if there is no sick pay allotted, they don’t get paid at all even if they take a bona fide sick day. What I'd actually like is to be paid out for the sick days I do not use. I wonder how the economists would feel about that.
I can say that in my younger years when I wasn't a teacher and no one was relying on me to make their day go by, I would take the odd sick day when I wasn't truly sick with the flu or a cold because I needed a stress free day. I had to take a “me” day so I could return to work rejuvenated and ready to take on clients and colleagues without losing my mind and saying things that are inappropriate and that could ultimately lead to my demise as an employee.
Now that I am educator, I have a better compensation plan, but rarely take a sick day even if I am sick. I do this because ultimately I would have to rely on another colleague to cover my class while already contending with their overloaded schedule and being sick puts me and roughly 150 students behind schedule. I only have 13 weeks in a semester to cover copious amounts of content. Taking a sick day is a logistical nightmare.
Nevertheless, it’s an irritant when economists start venturing up the slippery slope of blaming employees; yes you, for the economy losing money because we decided to take a sick day. We often hear that if we are sick we should stay home and not infect other people.
So shouldn't this apply too if I decide to take a sick day and go shopping, because I wouldn't want my colleagues to get infected by the shopping bug, thus making them want to shop; and consequently, hurt the economy?