opinion

Are We Allowed Sick Leave?

Tala

I’m sick, and being sick can really prove detrimental to one’s income; because it means not only do you feel physically ill and drained, you are likely to also feel mentally drained as well. So what do you do on those days? That depends on you and your body and your work ethic.

Sometimes there’s just absolutely no way that you’re going to be able to work through that day. It just isn’t going to happen; so don’t push it. On those days, unless you have something scheduled to be done for a client, don’t even bother getting out of bed.

If you have something scheduled to be done for a client that day, you should send them an email or call them to tell them what the issue is. Most of the time, they’ll let you have a couple of extra days to get over whatever illness you’re trying to conquer.

Occasionally, though, you get a client who has been told the “sick” story before, and is really leery about believing you. If this is the case, you CALL them. Explain over the phone what’s wrong, and ask if you can get the work to them a bit later than usual.

Usually this helps and can be done. If the client still persists in saying, “I need it now,” then give it to them now and sever ties if you must. I hate having to say that, but I had a client do that to me and then tell me that I wasn’t “really sick or you wouldn’t have been able to do it.” Needless to say, I told him where to go and what to do with himself when he got there.

It’s sad, but sometimes you have to do that. Don’t let the money rule you, especially where your health is concerned. Remember that no matter how big a client is, you can always get yourself more clients with hard work and self-marketing once you’re feeling better.

Now, I’m not saying that you can use being sick as an excuse to avoid doing the work that you agreed to do. Not at all; and people who do this are on that nasty list of mine. It makes us all look bad, and tends to make those folks we work for really antsy.

Call in sick only when you need to. If you’ve got the flu or something that makes it difficult to stay awake (much less accomplish any work), then yes, you should let your clients know and camp out on the sofa or stay in bed. If you stubbed your toes or have a hangover, sorry dude – buck up and do your work.

Use your common sense. If it was major illness or surgery, of course you should let people know. If it’s a broken bone that prevents your work, that counts too. But if it’s simple stuff and you just don’t want to do your work, you’ll get no sympathy. Do the work, then turn off the computer and go relax.

If you’re getting burned out, then I would ask you to refer to my previous article about burn-out. That’s a different thing, and it happens to all of us.

Being sick is not fun, and is certainly not something we want. But don’t push yourself to work through it if you aren’t capable of working through it, because that tends to make it difficult to recover. It can also make things worse. Set stuff aside for a while and come back to it later, when you feel better.

Take care of yourselves! ~ Tala

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