I called into work this Monday. Was I sick? Define sick. I was sick of my job. I was sick of never getting the things done over the weekend that I wanted to accomplish. I was sick of having endlessly long conversations with my coworkers about nothing when I could be running errands or doing things to ultimately make my work week easier. So yeah, I guess I was sick.
Of course, I had to tell my boss that I had a stomachache or a headache or whatever bullshit reason I came up with to miss work. I hate that. I am not a liar. I wish that things weren’t set up to make me a liar but that’s where we are. I strongly believe we should be allowed mental health days so that we can all stop lying to our bosses and figuring out new symptoms.
At my previous job I was one of many. If I missed worked it didn’t really matter that much. Hardly anyone noticed I was gone and even fewer people questioned me about it. I really hated that job but one of the few positive things about it was that no one really gave a shit what I did.
The job I have now is completely different. There are less than 20 people In our office. There are only four people on my team, including my manager. What’s even worse is that she cares about me. She worries if I’m sick. So how can I call in and lie to her without feeling like an asshole? Plus, I know when I come back, I’m going to have to give her a more elaborate account of my “illness”. I have to lie straight to her face. I hate it.
The truth is sometimes you just need a day. In this crazy, fast paced world even weekends can be filled with obligations and chores. Even things you want to do and choose to do like hang out with friends or go to the lake, can be stressful if you don’t plan enough time to unwind afterward. Also, and maybe this is just me, but a sick day (when you’re not actually sick) is far more relaxing than a weekend or holiday. It’s more relaxing than a personal day you planned to take off. It’s a little impromptu gift that you give to yourself one morning when, try as you might, you can’t even. It’s permission to tell yourself, you know what? You don’t have to do shit today.” It probably even prevents actual sickness in certain cases.
Just one little phone call to your supervisor and your schedule clears right up. You don’t have shit to do. You can relax and if anyone gives you grief about it, just continue to fake sick. No one knows how you feel. Your spouse or parent can’t be 100% certain that you are just being lazy and selfish. Sometimes the best thing a person can be is lazy and selfish. If you have to lie to everyone in your life in order to do that; one, you need to meet some new people and two, do it anyway.
I just feel like we should be able to be honest and say, “I’m not coming in today. It’s one of those days. I’m stressed. I need a break and I’m taking one. Leave anything for me until tomorrow. You guys can handle it. Bye.” And your coworkers should be fine with it because guess what? It means they can do the same thing to you. They were going to anyway. We may as well all be honest.
I am very lucky because my job gives me an insane amount of leave. Sick leave and personal leave are two separate things. Not to brag, but I have so much sick leave, there is no way I will ever use it all unless I occasionally fake sick. No one can make that many doctor’s appointments.
I don’t want to run through all my personal time by making plans to take a day off. If I want to use sick leave that means I have to call in. Calling in means I have to lie, unless I’m actually sick. But I would never waste a sick day on actually being sick. I would have to be literally dying, or hung over af.
When you’re actually sick you come to work and tell people they can’t come near you. Then you sit at your desk and take it easy. Sick days are for sleeping in, eating junk, shopping while most decent people are at work, and going to amusement parks without having to stand in long lines. They aren’t for recooperating.
I feel like most people understand this on some level. They must know that if they have faked sick at least once, most the people around them have too. They shouldn’t get mad. My manager never gets mad. But one time she did tell me that her daughter called in for a mental health day, her daughter is a psychologist btw. She says that she takes a mental health day approximately once every two months.
My manager said she couldn’t believe it. She would never do that. What do I say to that? She’s basically telling me, “If you want time off, you have to lie to me.” She’s also told me a story of puking and shitting her pants at the same time in one of the offices here. So she practices what she preaches. She doesn’t call in unless she’s about to die and even then she’s probably going to at least try to come in.
So that’s all I’ve got for today. Honesty is the best policy. Let’s all be honest, we don’t want to work all the time, or at all, for some of us. A little time off can do a lot of good. My manager’s daughter, the psychologist, has taught us that.
So if you think it would work, try to be honest with your supervisor about why you need a day off and don’t take advantage of the situation by calling in too much. Also, if you’re the supervisor, give your subordinates a break. Cut the shit. Let them know it’s okay to take a day off for yourself every now and then. Just be honest about it and, once again, don’t do it all the time
Take my advice. I have a blog. So…