Thursday, November 29, 2007

I hate feeling sick. Sick-leave rant warning...

It's been a while since a bug has gotten me, but I'm feeling it today. Last night was the sore throat, compounded with some congestion this morning, and now I'm at work, with watery eyes, chills and fatigue. I should probably go home, but thanks to daycare sick policies and limited leave on my company's part, I have pretty much remained 20 hours in the hole for leave. Today I'm at exactly -18.42.

Do many companies do this? Allow you to go into the negative on your leave? They let you take a maximum of -40 hours here. Lately, every time I record leave on my timecard, I get a very official-looking pop-up that informs me that should I leave the company, I must commit to pay them back this borrowed time. It's still not a bad policy.

How did this happen to me? Well, mostly it's the kids. When they are sick or display a fever over 100 degrees at school, the policy is to keep them out until they are fever-free for 24 hours. That means, if AJS picks them up and stays out with them on say, a Tuesday, I must stay out with them through Wednesday. If they still have a fever on Wednesday, that's another day when AJS and I take 1/2-days each on Thursday. And, they also have periodic well-visits at the doctor's or the dentist's (so do AJS and I for that matter). On top of that, the daycare is closed on EVERY Federal Holiday PLUS five additional training days per year. My company only pays for 9 holidays per year, and up until a couple of days ago I was only accruing 17 days of leave per year (that's sick and vacation combined). In 2007, the kids and I only took one 4-day vacation.

I probably shouldn't be complaining, since I know there are many, many workers out there who don't get any sick or vacation leave. But, I just don't like feeling that I can't take a sick day or a vacation or go to a doctor's appointment because I'm too far in the hole. I think AJS has so many vacation days somehow that he's looking for ways to take them off. The joys of being a Federal employee.

Tell me which employers out there do it better, please? I need to circulate my resume more widely.


  1. ughhhhhhhhh that sucks!!! hope you feel better soon!!! :-)

  2. I know what you mean. The amount of leave available to a working mom, along with the other assorted work/life balance issues, can make your life mellow or completely hellish. So not cool.

  3. Three words: GET NEW JOB

    You ever get the impression you're in an abusive relationship, where the other person is like, "Go ahead and try and leave! No one will ever love you like I can! WE'RE SPECIAL! WE'RE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER!"

    Then you unload during the exit interview knowing nothing will ever change.

  4. So, Kreative, according to your blog, I should just start my own company?


  5. its been a few hours now so i'm hoping you're feeling better. thanks for visiting my blog :-)

    And yes, just start your own company.............we'll rally around you and get you started!!!!

  6. OMFG, I have been fucking there. I have been at negative 40 hours of vacation/sick time. My trick? Befriend someone who has been there before, someone who no longer has children at home and who will donate her/his hours to you. Then promise that you will pay it forward--that when your kids are out of the house, when you have vacation/sick leave to burn, that you will pass it along to someone in the shoes you used to be in.


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