Friday, September 24, 2004

Some Employers Killing Goose Who Lays Golden Eggs

This past week my wife, my daughter, and I have been ill with colds. It just shows that although anyone can take as many precautions as they can to stay well, illness can still be as common as, um, the cold (*grin*).

On Monday we thought our daughter had an onset of chicken pox, but fortunately, it was just a case of bug bites from rolling around in the grass last weekend instead. Still, we had to go to the doctor's office for a check-up. I had to call off work in order to do that.

My wife Jennie has been feeling the worst our of all of us. She's lost her voice these past three days, and she hasn't been to work since Monday night. Tuesday night was her regularly scheduled night off. She had someone else who works part-time work for her on Wednesday and Thursday nights. She would like to call in sick tonight.

I don't claim to understand everything about her company's sick policy. She supposedly has close to 40 hours of sick leave available, but someone in management is saying that she's not allowed to use it.

Since her job is to care for elderly and others who cannot take care of themselves, it does not make sense to require someone who is feeling ill to come to work.

At my job it's different. I'm an hourly part-timer for a fast-food restaurant - one of the largest in the world. I have no vacation or sick leave; if I don't work, I don't get paid. This fact is evident in my most recent paycheck, which is a lot less than what I usually get paid.

I know that sometimes people call in sick when they are not really sick at all. That's why, for example, my employer requires me to bring a doctor's note to show that I was, in fact, sick. It reminds me of school (excused absences and whatnot).

Nevertheless, I would rather not work around someone who is sick; it would be better for that person to stay home and get well.

Remember Aesop's fable about the goose who laid the golden eggs? It feels as though companies that ignore their employees in this way are setting themselves up for failure.

crossposted to Journey Inside My Mind

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