Should I Call In Sick?

It is 7 am.  You are sitting on your bed, asking yourself that age-old question: “Should I call in sick today?”  Lucky for you, this blog will give you all of the answers that you need.  Do any of these descriptions sound familiar? 

You are exhausted.  You didn’t get much sleep last night, and you can barely open your eyes.  There is really no point in going to work, because you wouldn’t get much work done anyway.

Take a shower, drink strong coffee, and go to work. This is not a legitimate reason to call in sick.  It will be the end of the day before you know it, and then you’ll be able to put on your pajamas, and get some well-needed rest.

You are sick.  You have a sore throat and a headache.  Your nose is dripping, and your eyes are red.  You feel awful.  

Go back to bed.  You are not doing anybody any favours by showing up.  You will probably get worse, and you may even make your coworkers sick.  Call your employer, and go to the doctor.  Drink lots of fluids, and get plenty of rest.  Do your best to get well, so that tomorrow you will be healthy and ready to work. 

You had a conflict with your coworker or manager.  Yesterday was difficult, and today you don’t feel ready to face the situation.  You need some extra time to analyze the problem and determine how to handle it.

Put on your best clothes and have a good breakfast, because it may be tough day at work.  Calling in sick today would be a bad move, because it would make you appear weak and unprofessional.  If you show up to work, and deal with the problem directly, your employer will see that you handle difficult situations with class and integrity. 

You are stressed out.  The pressure of your job, or your personal life is getting to you.  You can’t sleep, you aren’t eating properly, and you are miserable all the time.  You need a day off to unwind. 

Go back to bed.  You can’t work today, but you also cannot allow this situation to continue.  This is a chronic problem, and your employer will not, and should not, put up with you regularly calling in sick.  You need to identify and solve this issue.  Talk to your friends and family about your stress, and ask them for their insight.  You may be able to solve your problem by learning a few coping mechanisms, or you may need to change your job, or talk to a doctor.  Don’t let the problem fester.  Address it today. 

A member of your family is sick.  They need somebody to bring them to the doctor, and to take care of them.  The only person available is you. 

Does your employer offer personal days, or family member sick days?  If so, then this is the ideal time to use them.  If not, and you have no other options, then it may be appropriate to use a sick day.  However, some employers are adamant that you only use sick days when you are sick (not family members).  If this is the case with your employer, then you will either need to find another option for when your family members get sick, or find a job with an employer that is a little more family friendly.

When you don’t feel like going to work, calling in sick can be very tempting.  It’s important to keep in mind that when you accepted your position, you made a commitment to come in to work (even when you don’t feel like it).  Most employers are reasonable and understand that some days aren’t possible, but if you make a genuine effort to come in when you can, you will be included in the ranks of those valued employees who are known to show up everyday.

(Written By:  Karen Bivand)

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