Proposal: “I Don’t Want to Get Sick” Days – Anna Spargo-Ryan

Proposal: “I Don’t Want to Get Sick” Days

Proposal: “I Don’t Want to Get Sick” Days

When I arrived at work this morning and pushed open the door, I found myself inside a dense cloud. As I walked down the corridor, I heard a classic winter chorus: coughing, sneezing and loogie hocking. In stereo. The cloud followed me to my office, pointing its germy fingers in my eyes and trying to get its bacteria laden hands down my shirt. I raced to my desk, trying to erect a forcefield with my mind, but in actuality just sitting prone in a field of potential influenza.

Everyone in the office is sick. And instead of staying warm in their beds and becoming gradually un-sick, they come in to work and say things like “How am I? Oh lady, I am about to croak for real!” and “You wouldn’t believe the colour of the stuff that came out of me this morning!” Luckily, I brought my stash of gold medals with me, so I could hang them around the necks of all the heroes who came in despite clearly being at death’s door.

To combat this tradition of Hardening the Fuck Up and Coming to Work Anyway, I propose the implementation of an I Don’t Want to Get Sick Day. Like a Sick Day, it will allow the employee to take a paid leave of absence in order to extend the duration of their life. Knowing that it is flu season and that everyone in the office will be fighting it out to be Australia’s Next Employment Devotee, a staff member may opt out of working in the office to play Mario Kart (64, obviously) and not inhale the disgusting snot molecules of those around them.

We have a right not to get sick. I want to spend my weekends doing fuck all on the couch, not lying miserable in bed! Who’s with me?

8 Comments
  • amber

    July 17, 2012 at 11:51 am Reply

    I totally agree! I have finally succumbed to the winter bug, but I got four or five last year because I was working with children. And kids come to school sick as dogs all the time, and then do stuff like chew on the ends of my coloured pencils or touch ALL THE STICKERS.

    I think, culturally, we ascribe a certain, singular virtue to working hard. Working too hard. We forget that nobody actually earns any cosmic points by doing overtime or showing up when they’re clearly a vector for serious illness.

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      July 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm Reply

      I agree. But I’m sure some organisations don’t help us – I know plenty of people who are basically publicly shamed after taking legitimate sick leave.

      • amber

        July 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm Reply

        I’ve heard that Australians have some of the longest working hours and smallest annual leave provisions in the Western world. :-/

        I was fascinated to learn, at the start of the year, of the Netherlands’ (? I think) proposed shift to a four-day work week. Longer days, but fewer of them. I think this makes good sense, as most people work beyond the 8-hour workday anyway.

  • Karen

    July 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm Reply

    Cannot agree more. I’m a huge fan of quarantine.

    And you didn’t ask for advice, so feel free to roll your eyes… but if you use a saline nasal spray it’ll give your nostrils a nice barrier to those airborne germs. Not a force field, but you can pretend if you like ;-)

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      July 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm Reply

      Is that right! I am happy to give anything a whirl.

      • Karen

        July 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm Reply

        Totally right. Dry airways is but one reason why people in air-conditioned offices catch everything going around, and why we get more colds in winter. Moisten up, luv.

  • Sarah Moran

    July 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm Reply

    I did this last Thursday / Friday. I also think if we called them “Getting better” days rather than sick days people would be more inclined to take them. The idea of taking a sickie is that you have to draw a line as to when you’re sick enough to take them. Just keep your diseases away from me, man!

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