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Admin Pro Forum

When the sick day really isn’t one, how do you explain it?

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Question: “Like many companies, mine differentiates between sick time and personal time. Sometimes, I wake up in the morning and just feel like spending the day at home or running errands, but because we’re supposed to schedule personal time in advance, I’m stuck with having to invent an illness or some emergency. How can I just take a spur-of-the-moment ‘well’ day without having to lie and feel ridiculous?” – Marla, Bel Air, Md.

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandra March 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm

What I don’t understand is why employees aren’t just able to use their sick time as they see fit. If all companies just turned it into “personal time off” and employee could use it for whatever is necessary. No moron is going to just let their sick days expire, so of course they have to lie to use time that’s owed to them if they aren’t actually sick. Turning these days into PTO would prevent employees from having to lie, and it would also banish any struggles with admitting to mental health issues or stress. As an office manager, I tell my employees to just simply say “I’m not feeling well” and leave it at that. They don’t need to come up with long extensive excuses and pile on the BS. They see me as a good boss, and I am well respected around here. However, a different office manager in another section bullies the hell out of people when they call in and as a result, everybody knows they need to lie to him, just to use THEIR OWN SICK TIME! It’s ridiculous how some people treat their employees like underlings or robots – and then they act shocked when they get no loyalty in return!


Paul March 19, 2015 at 11:06 pm

After reading through these comments…I’ve decided it’s easier just to kill myself. No need to take off then.


Stace February 5, 2013 at 5:43 pm

“Well” days? What a joke!
If you’re legitimately sick, then by all means, stay home and get better. Otherwise, get your lazy butt out of bed, drink some coffee, suck it up and go to work!
People who skip work for less than valid reasons are soft, plain and simple. The hard chargers who never miss work are the ones that make America great, not bums who “just don’t feel like working today.” It’s people like me that are forever picking up slack from people like you!

Go to work!


Ehamm July 25, 2016 at 12:33 am

Not taking the time to be well sends you to the grave earlier,….not much work or play can get done from there, but you enjoy your sprint to death. We’ll make sure everyone knew how hard you worked.


Grace May 18, 2018 at 11:59 pm

You’re a really sad person. I hope you don’t have kids and instill this very toxic dangerous line of thinking in them. God forbid they have any kind of mental illness that they hide and bottle up inside instead of getting help because they were taught to “get your lazy butt out of bed, drink some coffee, suck it up and go to work/school/whatever”


Miloni December 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Just today I had an employee who emailed me (not called) to say she was sick. She is late coming into work about as many days as she is on time. She mentions her boyfriend and her teenage daughter stay home sick when they do not feel like going to work or school. Today just happens to be a snow day and the first day of christmas break for the school. She doesn’t have any more vacation because she’s scheduled it all for the holidays.

I called her and she didn’t sound sick at all, actually she sounded embarrassed. So help me give her the benefit of the doubt because I truly do not believe she is sick today.


John Dittmer January 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm

lol this message cracked me up.


jj binky November 15, 2012 at 4:22 am

Well that sort of depends upon your boss and how old fashioned his ideas about work are..

I NOW RUN a company and my employees are extremely happy.

we have some cool ideas about this stuff and keeping people happy..

one solution from a workplace p.o.v. is to have a duvet day policy, where you can call in and take a duvet day for personal errands, it would come out of your holiday time but you’d be allowed say 3duvet days a year without penalty, anymore would incur a pay loss. with that written down, people would know the limit and sets a definite boundary.

a second idea is to not just give the minimum amount of days off you have to by law per year. its a minimum not a guide..

we also a flexible time working policy where achievements are measured in output instead of time worked..i.e. you get the project goal at the outset and its up to you to deliver by X Date, the rest would be up to you.. the company does this knowing that you have to put in your own time to meet the deadline so if you hit it, you obviously did your hours, if not you were a lazy clot!

alot of modern businesses think in terms of output rather than time, as time worked is a very ‘old hat’ idea. what good is a reliable person who turns up to the office every day, spends all their time by the coffee machine, out smoking or chatting to other people, where as a productive person could sit remotely, and deliver, and deliver, and deliver time and time again?

From alot of the comments above, i see alot of people who live to work, not work to live — it’s a sick world that puts making somebody else rich over their own personal health… my emplyoees make me rich so i want them to be happy..

so yes, in summation if your boss is an old school fuddy duddy and measures everything by how much time he can extract from you then take the day..


Anonymous_J November 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

I want to work for YOU!


Jocelyn August 27, 2012 at 11:13 am

I do feel everyone needs a personal day every once in awhile and depending on the stress, what you do during the day and if the company considers you on-call while not at work are all consierations. With that said if you work with a team, or your team works with customers and calling out the same day does hinder productivity or burdens your team you may consider evaluting if you could plan to take that day another day so everyone can plan on you not arriving to work. I personally would never call out the same day I wanted off unless I was very sick. Maybe if you wake up Tuesday dragging you put in for Friday as a personal day, it is better for the people left at work. As a manager if I had an employee that was always taking personal same day time off that added stress to others I may overlook you when considering new projects, promotions or even including you on projects I needed to rely on someone to show up for on certain days or events. I would just look at it from another perspective, if you feel you need to lie and say you are sick then you may not even believe you are doing the right thing. If it feels right to you you wouldn’t lie about it.


Jocelyn August 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

I just noticed you are an MD, do you have patients who have their appointments rescheduled when you do not arrive to work? Their day is important and their time out of work as well.


Dena August 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Not a doctor, she’s from Bel Air, Maryland.


DeeCee August 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Ferris Buehler had it right. Life is short and sometimes you just have to take a day off. However, you need to consider how your time off is going to affect others. I wish it were all just PTO! Too bad it isn’t. Why should we have to differentiate how we spend our time off, if we have the time to use? I guess the only obstacle is that sick leave rolls over and vacation days don’t. Anyway, if you are habitually slacking off work, you are hurting others. If you can take time off without straining the workload of others, and don’t abuse it, then you should be able to do it. People are what’s important. That is the whole point of firms and companies and work. We are the end goal.


just me August 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Totally. I see someone with serious issues. Gee, maybe YOU need a sick day!


Sandi August 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Wow. Really? O…M….G…is right.


Dena August 14, 2012 at 4:14 pm



JK August 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I see no problem with taking a Sick day when you aren’t sick.
And I see no problem when your boss cuts your work hours and hires someone else to do your job because you didn’t feel like coming to work.
And I see no problem when they like them better because they make it to work everyday on time and as scheduled.
And I see no problem when they cut you down to 1 day a week letting the new person have all the other time you normaly would have worked.
And I see no problem when you lose your house and car.
And I see no problem for you filing for un-employment.
Have a nice day, hope you have no problems.


Dena August 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm



anonymous August 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm


That is all.


Debbie August 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

I think if the questions was worded differently some responses might be different, but REALLY… can all of those that are telling her to grow up, be thankful she has a job, shouldn’t lie about being sick and that they follow all the rules have never done this themselves! I can’t believe that! Yes, it does/might put wrench in other peoples work day, but that it where they need to have a back-up plan. We had a receptionist that would call me at 7 AM to say that she was not going to make it to work – she was to be there at 7:30 AM. I had a back-up plan to get the desk covered. Who wants someone to come into work that is going to be miserable all day and make your day lousy because they are cranky.


Trisha August 8, 2012 at 10:15 am

Bravo, Debbie! I think another comment worth mentioning is this: NO ONE is so indispensible that they cannot replaced. And before everyone gets upset with this comment, what I mean is life goes on; work goes on with or without you. Just because you’re out one lousy unscheduled day doesn’t mean your company will come to a stand still. And if you believe it will then you re full of yourself. Your physical health and mental well-being come first… then your job. Without the first you can’t do the second to your fullest potential.


Debbie August 8, 2012 at 6:54 am

Wow… wasn’t the question asked to get some advice and not be bashed for wanting/needing a day to regroup or handle personal business. Seems like those of you that have been vocal at telling her to suck it up and grow up might need a “mental health” day. I am an Executive Assistant and work 7:30 to 6:00 most of the time. My boss does not hesitate to call me at 9PM or 6AM or on the weekends, plus send emails that need response. I have no problem doing this,but when I need to come in late for personal reasons there is understanding or need that day at the last minute, it’s okay. As long as the person is not an abuser of taking time off or calling off I’m sure her boss would understand. Sometimes a “little white lie” isn’t bad. I have to admit… I have taken some mental health time by calling off sick, but I still do some work… take calls from my boss or co-workers and respond to email. Sometimes you just need that one day. Please don’t bash each other. We are all adults and yes, understand the economic times, but just because you need a day to clear your thoughts doesn’t mean you do not appreciate your job!


Dena August 8, 2012 at 8:30 am

Well said, Debbie! I think what a lot of people don’t understand is that stress causes many physical ills and you need to take care of yourself emotionally as well as physically. I celebrated my 40 years of being in “the work force” this month and I can tell you that there are some days that just call for a day of R&R. Now, that’s not every month or even every other month, but I refuse to give myself high blood pressure, or worse, run myself down so much that I set my body up for a dozen other disease possibilities. Thanks for your comment.


Lynn August 8, 2012 at 10:06 am

I agree 100% with what you said. I think everyone got a little carried away, myself included, by the hostility, naivete, and emotionalism that was voiced by many. While my bosses never contact me off hours unless it’s critical, I also reciprocate that by being there when needed. We too have an understanding that if indeed I need some time off to recoup, it is given without hesitation. Consequently, I rarely use that perk, but do when I know it’s needed. I guess it’s a trust that must be built up over a career. I too agree with Dena that I will not let stress over a job interfere with health….it boils down to finding a balance that minimizes the stress levels. Thank you Debbie for your level-headed, common sense comment! You have given us an example to follow.


Lynn August 3, 2012 at 8:37 am

Okay, let’s not so personal with our posts. A comment made bt a person who went out of her way to name persons, advise them not to speak for others and accusing one individual of not being qualified to speak for management everywhere. Hmmmm.

As Martha has pointed out, the real concern is related to lying about the time off. It shouldn’t be necessary or done, it ruins credibility if caught.


Dena August 3, 2012 at 8:39 am



Rick August 2, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Take the day. No one cares you take a day for yourself. You know you don’t abuse it, so take the day. It’s not about telling a lie, stressing the department or any of that. If you need to take a sick day then take it. Your company or department will not be stressed in any way. Come back to work the next day with a smile and glad I did it attitude. Your relaxed and good to go for a long stretch ahead.


Katy August 2, 2012 at 9:18 pm

This did open a can of worms didn’t it!

I get to accrue my sick days, but occasionally I will chuck a sickie. I will let my boss know in the morning, and with current technology, I can be contacted if there is something urgent on. Mental health is as important as physical health. It’s not something that happens often, perhaps once or twice a year. My boss doesn’t question it. I’m a full time working single mother, and to ensure that I do both of my jobs well, an unscheduled day off every now and then gives me the headspace to do them in.

As long this doesn’t become habit, you are being lazy or you are avoiding going in because of some other reason, I don’t see this as a problem. Scheduling a day off in two weeks, when I really need it now doesn’t help. I know, and my boss knows, that a mentally balanced staff member is better than a stressed out one.


Rick August 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Take the day. It is not going to stress the department or company in any way. No one cares that you take a day for yourself. Yes, I am thankful that I have a job; as a lot of us working does. I’m for one going to take the day, I work hard and give a lot so no one cares if I take a day, in my department or company.


Martha August 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm

I never said it wasn’t okay to take time off. I was referring to the part where the employee is LYING to take a “personal” day.

I schedule my vacation time in advance and get sick like everyone else. I was surprised that someone was asking what to do instead of lying. There are a LOT of people who are so desparate for a job, they would work with no accural of vacation/sick time. Look at the Teamsters striking @ the Budweiser Distribution Center in California. It didn’t take management long to fill those positions who went on strike.

Here’s a thought – Don’t Lie! Be an adult and go to work and schedule your time off in advance.


Tina August 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Wow, so much electric response. I really see no need to lie. Unless things are different where you all live, HIPA laws prohibit your employer from asking why are you out. All you simply have to do is call and state that you will be using a sick day – enough said, no need for an explanation and certainly not for a lie. And by the way, does feeling “sick” have to necessitate a fever and/or some type of physical ailment? Not feeling well is not feeling well, whether it be mentally or physically. I agree that you should definitely give consideration to what you may be leaving for others to do in your absence, but sometimes having a day to re-engergize is just necessary.


KB August 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I would never dream of leaving my supervisor or office mates in a lurch by randomly taking a “mental health day.” But if I wake up and can feel that I am going to be rude to customers on the phone and snappy to walk-ins that day, I think everyone would agree that I should stay at home. Sometimes listening to relaxing music or a workout just doesn’t do it!


CW July 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I think everyone who “voiced” their opinions got WAY off course. Sounds to me like a lot of people are angry about a very innocent question. Why make a mole hill out of an ant hill!!! It was actually amusing to see some responses from those who are apparently very judgemental and seem actually angry when it’s not your company she works for. Everybody needs a day to refresh and reset, so if it’s not habitual, then I don’t see an issue with calling in sick here and there. I would much rather see someone call in sick than to sit and whine all day about how they feel!!! I think her question was very small and SOME made it HUGE!!!


Sandi July 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Everyone needs a mental health day every now and again. If someone doesn’t feel like going to work ONE day it doesn’t make them a bad employee or terrible co-worker. I’m fortunate that we have Personal Time Off (PTO) and that’s exactly what it means. Personal. I don’t HAVE to tell them anything, but I also don’t take advantage. If there’s a healthy balance, what’s the big deal?


Trisha July 30, 2012 at 9:19 am

Love it, Dena. Couldn’t agree more.


Beverly July 30, 2012 at 8:56 am

I agree (with Sharon). Everyone wakes up feeling that way at some time or another. But you made the commitment to work. This is the reason for vacation days or personal days, whichever your office uses.


Sherri July 30, 2012 at 8:46 am

This question really struck a nerve. It is important we realize in order to run a business effectively team members are counted on. However if a team member is not able to be fully engaged and focused , I would rather they not come in. Sometimes a short break is needed to be able to appreciate your job. Most management works way beyond what others may see therefore the comments regarding the fact that managers “steal” time in my view is inappropriate. I also think we need to review the current “sick” policies which were developed in a more structured office, with internet and email and cell phones you can get a lot of business completed off site , sometimes more.


Dena July 30, 2012 at 9:07 am

Well, Sherri, you are certainly not qualified to speak for management everywhere. Kudos to you for being in a workplace where management is honest and works “beyond what others may see”, but in our office, there’s a lot of misappropriation of time. Furthermore, I find it “inappropriate” to think because I have a Admin position that my life is less important. Its that over-inflated sense of entitlement that irks me.


Lynn July 27, 2012 at 10:28 am

In reading the various responses, I am amused to note that some are so blatantly inconsiderate of co-workers! It’s been my experience that the worst offenders of no-show behavior, especially in co-workers, is that the more someone does this, the less reliable they become. This is turn, if it continues long enough, often morphs into that person/position becoming non-essential (I’m not even getting into the damage it does to an individual’s credibility). What does THAT eventually become?? A reason for even more down-sizing!

So, if your reputation is of no concern, and you are comfortable in creating a non-essential position, and insuring that no one is ever promoted or hired after you, then feel free to lie to your boss or the supervising entities at your job. But please refrain from calling yourself an Administrative Assistant, that is NOT what the majority of us are about! Thanks!


Dena July 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

Aren’t we talking more about the habitual offender?!! Adults know when there are critical deadlines and wouldn’t leave anyone in a lurch. In all the years I’ve been with my company, none of us have ever left one another high and dry. And Lynn, please don’t speak for the rest of us. Thank you.


Lynn July 30, 2012 at 10:05 am

In response to “Dena”, I made it clear that I am speaking for the majority of Admins out there, not “all” by far!! Having worked my first 25 years of employment in the private sector, I have found companies have zero tolerance for abuse/unreliability. The same cannot be said for the public sector. I made it to my level as an Admin NOT by being unreliable, and I currently DO work in the public sector, where I see this repeated abuse. It doesn’t take many offenses in the private sector to have my scenario happen, I have witnessed it first hand and experienced the burden that results from losing a key position on the team, no one pays but the remaining members.
I can’t fathom where your hostility stems from, but I am speaking directly from 36 years of experience….with 20+ more to go. Sad to say, not everyone who fills the position of Admin Assistant behaves like an ‘adult’.


Dena July 30, 2012 at 10:26 am

In response to “Lynn”: I’ve been working over 40 years and have been in the public & private sectors as well, so when it comes to reliability and (moreover) accountability, I haven’t gotten where I am by being a slacker either. My first job was in a place that exerted SO much control it bordered on abuse. To make it worse, it wasn’t control that was evenly enforced. That said, the point of all this is that everyone – management or non-management – has lives where instances occur that demand our attention, that are sometimes unforeseen and require normal business hours to be handled. If the “abusers” are allowed to continue it causes discord within the ranks and it is management’s responsibility to enforce policy. And to address your “hostility” accusation….what you see as hostility I see as the ability to stand up for what I believe is fair. Let’s not get so personal with our posts.


Aimee July 27, 2012 at 9:49 am

Wow! I can’t believe the daggers that have come out with this one! I think many of you read way more into her question than she intended. I myself have taken these days from time to time, but I don’t make a habit out of it. I have also been recognized for perfect attendance within a full calendar year as well. I don’t think someone’s need/desire to have a “well” or “mental health” day should be taken as an indication of their work ethic or deemed as immature behavior. Especially in this economy!

Many of us have experienced increased work loads combined with decreased personnel – which only adds to an individual’s stress level. Sometimes you just reach a point where you need an extra break from it. Give her some credit for asking the question most of us would just continue to avoid, and trying to improve the process and do right by her employer!


Lynn July 27, 2012 at 10:48 am

ExcelLent Aimee! I couldn’t have said it better myself!


Adapting July 27, 2012 at 10:58 am

I think the question really hit a nerve with some folks, myself included. I do appreciate the posts that have given the benefit of the doubt, but I understand the reactions that were less understanding as well. It is important to assess these questions objectively, but when you are coming from a situation where you have experienced being left high and dry by absentee coworkers… when already short staffed… it’s hard not to view it through that lens.


anon July 30, 2012 at 9:26 am

Good reply!


amy July 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I have run something like this by our employer, I just asked my supervisor and the HR head. Would a ‘mental health’ day be sick time or vacation? HR said vacation.


Marty July 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Yes, there are times when things come up unexpectedly and can only be dealt with during business hours. In my case, I’m upfront about the situtation and usually don’t have a problem taking a longer lunch or having to leave early. Most staff will realize they have been in the same situation and will be accommodating. Just be willing to cover for them if they need some extra time. The street runs both ways.


Sunshine July 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Since you have personal time allotted, don’t wait until that day you don’t feel like coming in to run those errands. Schedule a personal day and get those errands done or just relax or whatever. That way you can stay in integrity with yourself and your company. If you take time off just because you need a personal day for no reason, then you won’t build up the stress that leads to that day you don’t feel like going in at the last minute.

Also notice the days you don’t feel like calling in…is there a pattern? It could be a little alarm letting you know you need a behavior change to take better care of yourself in some way.


Tammi July 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I ditto this! Grow up and be glad that you can get out of bed and that you have a job to go to. Calling in sick, just because you feel like doing something else is immature, especially for an admin. Where I work, we are only are allowed 7 non-scheduled days before you are on write-up or job in jeopardy. I have seen many employees fired for non-scheduled occurrences.


Dena July 27, 2012 at 9:39 am

I could agree with that type of policy if all the admins were right out of high school. But, ADULT admins (for the most part) are fairly honest about time off. If there is someone who abuses the policy, its usually very obvious. I don’t appreciate being treated like a misbehaving child. If I need time off then I need time off. In my 40+ years of working I’ve seen more management types abuse (or like they prefer to call it “steal”) company time. Personal cell phone calls all day long, personal emails, 2 hour lunches or work out sessions, coming in late, leaving early. Sure they SOMETIMES stay late, but I’ve seen my boss (and many employees in the same management positions) handling personal business late in the afternoon. PLUS, I don’t have a housekeeper to clean my house and do my laundry…most of THEM do. So, if I need to take the occassional day off to handle business that can’t be done on the weekend or after hours, so be it. My life doesn’t start/stop by the clock and I don’t take a day off every month. I check my email from home and my boss doesn’t think twice about calling me after hours or on the weekend. Its all about trust and if they don’t trust me, they don’t need me and I don’t need THEM.


Kelly July 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Sometimes, it’s not about just not wanting to go in, it’s realizing you have things that have to be done during business hours, during the week, and you may not know about them ahead of time.

I will add that I wish we could avoid being so judgmental of others – you don’t know that person’s office/work situation and do not know that an absence of one day would affect anyone in the least. Sometimes a little compassion goes a long way.


anon July 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm



Lynn July 27, 2012 at 9:11 am

I agree with Kelly, we cannot judge others without knowing the office dynamics and taking that into consideration.


anon July 27, 2012 at 9:33 am

Amen again! Everyone does not work under an iron fist. You judge your workload, you review your bosses’ calendar, deliverables, etc. Personally, I think a 24-48 hour notice will suffice. Of course, those with experience and the ability to judge corporate culture will schedule things accordingly. Leave early or come in later with proper notice. Additionally, there are some that need “mental health” days, the complainers, the “I haven’t had a day off in 2 years”…uhhh, please take a day. ;)


Kristi July 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Our employee handbook clearly states that sick leave is for illnesses and doctors appointments only. If I want a “well” day off without notice, I phone in and ask my boss if I may take a vacation day for personal business and offer to be available by phone for questions. He has never said no.

In following work policies, it is always best to tell the truth. Usually the consequences of truthful behavior, e.g. having to go to work that day anyway, is much preferable to bad reputation. If you think your invented illnesses/emergencies are ridiculous, then there’s a good chance your boss thinks so, too.


Sharon July 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Grow up. Everyone has days that they don’t “feel” like being there at work. How would you like it if a co-worker who was essential to your job just took a day off and it affected all of your plans/work for the day? The reason that personal days get planned is so that staff can be ready to work around the obstacle, whereas when you are really ill, everyone has to make do. I find it interesting that so many people think that “calling in sick” or “inventing an emergency” is ok, not lying. Mental health can be improved by having a special lunch, listening to upbeat music, and by taking pride in being dependable and honest.


Adapting July 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Exactly, there are reasons for such policies. Sometimes coverage really is crucial, but often it’s because someone at some point in time took advantage. Unfortunately reining in dishonest and opportunistic employees results in less flexibility for everyone. However, I’ve found that those that are known for their integrity get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to making exceptions to policies. Honesty truly is the best policy in the long run.


Mark July 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I agree with Karen 100%. She just said it much nicer than I would have.


anonymous2 July 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Do you need to justify to your company? I simply say “I am not feeling well and I will be taking a sick day” and end with that. Then you do not have to make up anything. The next day if you are asked repeat that you did not feel well. If you are pushed to explain further tell them the details are personal.

Just be careful about running errands on sick time as this really is personal time and car accidents can happen.


Lisa July 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I guess I have to agree with Karen; if you can’t schedule the time off with your boss in advance, it seems like you should go into the office (especially since you state your company policy is to schedule personal time off in advance).

Unless you have a special arrangement with your boss to take spur-of-the-moment time off, it seems sort of unethical to just bail at the last minute. What if everyone did that? It could be hard to arrange for coverage if people just randomly chose not to show up for work at the last minute.


Dena July 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Years ago we would call in “rough” LOL.


anon July 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm

It’s okay to need a day off, regardless of economy woes. There are many that need mental health days and are miserable at work but won’t take a day (possibly those who subscribe to Martha’s train of thought). If you need a day, just state I have some things I need to handle and use personal time, not sick time.


anonymous July 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Hear! Hear!


Carolyn July 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Our firm does not have sick days or vacation; we have “paid time off” (PTO). It can be used at the employees descretion. It is earned time off so there’s no-guilt unless you’re leaving a huge load for someone else to cover. It’s a paid benefit. It’s a great system and really allows for work/life balance.


Kelly July 30, 2012 at 11:14 am

Carolyn, I really am in favor of large buckets of PTO that you can use at your discretion, rather than designating sick, personal, or vacation.

For parents, particularly of small children or those who are more involved in activities both in and out of school, it can be hard to use your time when it’s your child who is sick and not you. You can’t send a sick child to school or daycare, but you’re not really the one who is sick (and I’ve worked some places where that time was so micromanaged, YOU had to be the one sick to take the time.)

In most environments, treating people with respect, as responsible adults, goes a lot farther than micromanaging time with all sorts of policies and requirements for taking time off. A grown woman should not need a note from her doctor’s appointment for a routine checkup, or to prove you “really” had the flu.


B July 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I agree with Karen. Today I could of thought of a million other things I’d rather do than go to work but I depend on my job just as my company depends on me so I got up got dressed and went to work. Most of the time I end up there even when I am feeling a little under the weather. If you have an emergency I’m sure your boss would understand the last minute change of plans. Maybe you could even talk to your boss and see how he would feel if you took one or two of your personal days at the last minute, just clarify that you would not take those days on when important meetings or tasks aren’t due at the office.


L July 26, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Maria – what about calling it a mental health day? We have a few faculty members here who do that and it is acceptable. Depends on your employer, though.


Martha July 26, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I can’t believe this is a real question, especially in this economy.


anonymous July 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I don’t. I feel it’s none of their business. If I have the leave saved up, I use it.

That said, I will only call out sick if I actually feel sick or have a doctor appointment.


Karen July 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Your options as I see them: 1) Continue to lie by calling in sick, or 2) schedule days off in advance and when you don’t feel like going to work, go in anyway – like most adults do. We all have days when we don’t feel like going in. Most times you just have to toughen up and go. Your company and coworkers depend on you to be there just as you depend on your paycheck.


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