Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Please, Just Stay Home

I have been substitute teaching these past couple of days, and I'll be going in tomorrow. Miss Piel, it seems, is very sick. Someone has to corral her 5th grade class, and it looks like it's me.

Substitute teaching is a somewhat sick (hee hee) way to make a living. You sign up to wait around and hope someone has the bad luck to be unable to report for work. How do you suppose it feels to be waiting for someone to get sick, or have a death in the family, or have a child who gets sick and needs them to stay home?

I suppose you're thinking the title of this has something to do with asking those people to give me a chance to earn some money. Well, in a sense it is. But, not really.

See, Miss Piel really doesn't want to be sick. She feels the need to be with those kids, and she'd really like to come in, regardless of how she feels. Sensibly, however, she has decided against it.

But that doesn't happen often, does it? More often, someone comes down with a cold, or the flu, or the current creeping crud, and come in to work, anyway. I remember a friend telling me about a local steakhouse, and how she worked there. She told me, "We have really good steaks. It was tough the other night, though. I was so sick to my stomach with this flu, and I had to carry these plates of food to people. I almost hurled right in their dinner!" Yeah, right. And breathed whatever all over them.

How many times has it happened to you, that you catch this year's flu from the girl in the next cubicle? Or from your best friend at work? Or your husband brings it home with him from the office? That's how I got last year's flu. I was miserable for a month, all because someone "needed" to be at work, and John brought it home.

The irony is, that if those who are sick would just stay home for three days or so, the office would not suffer the loss of weeks of productivity. That's what happens when the crud creeps from person to person; it's not like everybody gets sick at the same time, right? Each successive victim lengthens the effect of the bug.

So, please, think of that when you get sick next time, and decide it's not so bad that you can't go to work. Stay home, instead. Keep your germs to yourself. Get your rest, take your meds, drink your fluids. Get rid of it. Then come back in to work.


Kim said...

It's not the sick people that are the problem but the companies who don't pay sick time. People go to work sick because, in many cases, they don't get paid if they don't work. I agree that if people have the option they should stay home if they are sick, but my dh has gone to work sick because if he stays home we don't get paid.

Elephantschild said...

True for people who are at work, Kim. Sometimes, you can't miss the money you'll lose. Been there, done that. I worked 13 years for a guy who didn't pay sick days OR vacation days.

But the BIG HUGE issue I have is people who drag their sick kids to church, and the playground and McDonalds, the library, the mall, and everywhere else.

Stop it.