Thursday, September 15, 2016

Women and Sick Days



I have a lot of empathy for Hillary Clinton this morning. This is not a political post-keeping that our of my blog posts thank you very much. Well it might be a tad political but I totally get the angst she must be feeling and felt about her bought with pneumonia and the push-pull to continue soldiering on through. I feel really cruddy today but have lots of commitments, deadlines, and people relying on me the next few days. On the one hand, I'll be backed up and will create a gap for others if I don't buckle up and head into the office. On the other, I know I am not fully concentrating, will be moving slow, and this will persist for several days if not nipped early. I have weeks of paid sick time available, so this not a loss of wage issue as so many workers face. 

I know men struggle with this as well, but I don't think they carry the guilt if they do decide to take a down day the way a woman does. I think when men take a sick day the response is, "Wow, I must really be sick!" compared to, "Oh, I must not be capable enough." This might be my own insecurities, but the media have had a field day over the candidates pneumonia. I don't know if a man would feel the need to over compensate once back at work, but I'm already planning in my head how things will get done and what nights I can work late to make up the lost time. Perhaps if DH or the president could fill in for me like Mr Clinton and President Obama did, I would loosen my guilt. Nah, and I don't think Mrs. Clinton is feeling less bullied for daring to take a few deserved health days. I'd say the same thing about anyone that is in the public spotlight with a grueling travel schedule, but then has to defend their competence.

I am one to bolster myself up, but then when I do finally succumb, I am down for the count. It might come days later, or even a week or more later. Maybe I shouldn't attribute this to my gender, but my martyr complex I know I possess. I inherited it from my mom. I've been bouncing between writing this post, and running some reports for work, sipping tea and trying to squelch the motion in my head and gut, all the while telling myself I'm not really ill. We have the guy coming to take measurements for the tile sometime this morning, and I probably will haul myself in the shower and be prepared to go to work when he leaves.  We have an open house at the high school tonight, and need to swing by the MIL's to collect her house and car key as she is leaving very early Sunday morning on a trip east and wants us to collect her car from where she is meeting the coach bus. There's a lot going on to take a "duvet day" as one of my British blogging friends refers to them. I bet Hillary has rarely taken a duvet day in her life. Let the media write about that.

10 comments:

  1. A couple of years ago my best friend started to feel unwell and wheezy but carried on working thinking it was just some sort of bug she became increasingly breathless throughout the day etc. the following morning getting ready for work her kids and husband had left the house she knew by that time she was more than just a bit off and called the paramedics however by the time they reached her she had collapsed they had to break into the house and unable save her. She was 46 way too young. If she had had a bloody day off work when she felt unwell she might still be with us. I miss her every day. Take a few days off Sam and prioritise your own health. Women need to put themselves first before they can even think about looking after anyone else it's not selfish it's the sensible thing to do. My friend went above and beyond in her job role however the job continues to get done no one is indispensable. Sorry but I do feel very strongly about this. Go take care of you x

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    1. Wendy, I am so sorry for what happened to your friend, and the loved ones left behind. Nothing is promised to us, so I guess we need to take care of ourselves to be there for others.

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  2. After years of feeling guilty whenever I took a rare sick day I finally came to realise that I wasn't any better thought of by anyone for actually soldiering on and going in to work. I also learned not to rush back because once there I was expected to operate at full speed.
    Be kind to youself SAM and stay home if you need to.

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    1. I did end up staying home, but worked probably a 50% day. This allowed me to get a much needed nap later in the day when I could relax, and let the headache subside.You make excellent points-no one gives you bonuses for showing up ill.

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  3. Take it easy, Sam! It's just life - it will never be "all done", so just take it easy and get well soon! :)

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    1. I feel worlds better today-I think I developed a rare but occasional migraine and eventually just gave in and went to bed for a few hours. It is all just life, right.

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  4. I was actually feeling a little vomitty earlier myself today... YUCK.
    From your notes it looks like things are better and I'm glad!

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    1. A nap is magical! Hope you feel better.

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  5. I have the same response. It's infuriating - regardless of your political views, the way a woman is treated generally & the scrutiny of all of her decisions & choices. It really, really makes me crazy.

    That said, my manager's mom found out over the weekend that she has brain cancer, and is barely hanging in there. Nothing is promised, and we all have to reduce stress, make time for ourselves, and take time off when we're unwell. I'm guilty of not doing any of those things, but I need to. We all do.

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    1. It is so frustrating. I shouldn't be bothered by the rare sick day, but still worry and I work in a 80% women org!

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