Sick days, sick days
Dear new golden sick days
Sniffling and sneezing and hacking cough
Kept me at home on a rare day off.
Were I a teacher I’d go to work
Share all my germs, make my illness worse.
But the job I have now I can duty shirk
Without hurting a classroom of kids.
— (my revised, working girl version of the 1907 song “School Days”)
Yesterday I went to work even though I felt terrible. My head was aching, my throat was sore, and I knew I was battling something. But I had an afternoon meeting I didn’t want to reschedule, and I knew I could muscle through the day with a little help from ibuprofen and friends. My symptoms weren’t visually apparent, and I tried to keep mostly to myself so as not to share the joy. But when I mentioned to my supervisor that I was feeling a bit under the weather, she said, “Go home!”
I didn’t, but it struck me that I could.
I am a technical editor with eight hours of work daily. I get to work early and sometimes scrimp on my personal lunch hour because I like to get work done. But I have generous deadlines, an equally generous, perpetual pile of work, and I leave work daily knowing I did the best I could and that I can take up tomorrow where I left off today.