I called in sick today without being sick and without any particular reason for doing so other than I’m just tired of this stupid week. That’s a first. I’ve called in sick when I’m actually sick. I’ve called in sick because I’m under-slept, hung over or both. I’ve called in because there was something going on during the day that I really wanted to do, but I don’t think I have ever called in sick just for the hell of it.
Hello, my name is Goldfish and I’m a workaholic. Actually, that’s not exactly true. I don’t get obsessive about working; I’m just always at work. Unless there’s a holiday, I have taken a pre-approved vacation day or I’m actually sick, I’m at work. I’m an employer’s dream. It’s a problem.
My sister, strangely, has the opposite issue. She’s gotten fired for absenteeism a few times. If she’s not happy with her job, she just won’t show up. I’ve never understood that. For me, if I call in sick and I’m not sick, I feel guilty. I feel like I’ll get caught. I wonder what’s going on and if there’s anything crucial that I forgot about. I can hardly enjoy having a day off because I’m too worried about it. I don’t want to get fired. I’m not sure why that is.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve had to support myself financially since I was fifteen years old. I’ve been working forever. I need that money to survive and I always have. When you’re fifteen, the jobs you have normally don’t include sick time, so if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. I got into the habit of dragging myself to work, no matter the circumstances, just to survive from paycheck to paycheck. It seems I still think that way. I’m still in survival mode.
That doesn’t make it right though. People shouldn’t drag their carcasses around whether they are at peak operational capacity or not. We need mental health days. We need days where you wake up and decide there’s nothing terribly pressing going on, so fuck it, you’re calling in for no particular reason. I need more days like that.
I certainly don’t want to end up with my sister’s absentee problem, but my own neurosis isn’t exactly a cup of tea either. I will work myself to an early grave if I’m not careful. That’s why I’ve decided, from this day forward, at least once a year, I am going to take a day off just for the hell of it, just for me, just for no reason at all.
Happy Goldfish Day!