The Timesheet

Today is a sick day.

I’m not often sick. Well, here I am: sick again. It’s not from work, exactly. My love brought something back from Santa Fe, and I provided it with a fertile environment in which to grow, helped along by scheduled weekend work that resulted in around 40 hours without sleep. The two have, naturally enough, affected my ability to perform well. So I’ve taken a sick day and found myself unable to sleep. This has not helped. On sick days I think about work.

I’m lucky in that my work is salaried and that I can take paid sick days, but it seems somewhat inefficient to do that because of exhaustion after working 16 hours on the two days which are ostensibly off-days, except the business is 24×365, I’m on salary, and this timesheet does not admit of off-days between Monday and Friday. Much better than the schedule in Germinal, one gathers.

I don’t recall being told by human resources, or any real person, at any of my employers, to work long hours; to take no vacation; or to avoid taking a sick day on Friday, Monday, or any day adjacent to an off day; but somehow it’s been communicated that this is The Way Things Are Done. Perhaps we were told by that impersonal, demanding timesheet. Someone made the decisions that it so dutifully implements in SQL and Javascript. Someone decided which working hours are customary. Someone required presence during them. Someone decided that since working on weekends is always intentional it should require management approval, though no extra pay is forthcoming and presence is still required during the week. Someone decided that a paid lunch hour should be recorded as present time and added that hour to the customary work schedule, somewhat unintentionally increasing the so-called working hours. Someone decided that my value lies in how long I work and not in how well.

I work from home so do not have the burden of commuting to the office. This does allow some flexibility in the schedule, assuming that all of those hours are there. But that’s not a worry for today.

Today is a sick day.

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