I wasn't able to chat with my pal Sal yesterday because she was pulling a sickie. She does this quite often, but she wasn't really sick, she was nursing a hangover. We all know of someone who has phoned in on the Monday, after much rejoicing, and faked a cough, flu or violent diarrhea. Once in a while this is probably acceptable, and to most companies; expected, but Sal is different.
This is Sal's second sickie so far this year, so one sick day per month so far. The first one was on the first work day after New Year...she just needed one more day to recover. Last year she was off sick for 104 days in total. Yes that's correct, 104 days, all within the company's rules and regulations. In our work, you are allowed four days off sick no questions asked, on the fifth occasion you get put on an "action contract" which means the company "Is concerned that repeated illness may be caused my excessive workloads and we want to help you manage your health for both your benefit and the benefit of the company." Really, they just want to be sure you know they're watching you so there's no more messing about. Any further days off due to illness will require a sick note from your doctor, so unless you have a dodgy Doc, you're a bit stuffed. After so many weeks absence free, you are removed from your action contract, and get your four days of free-for-all back.
Sal, has an excellent Dodgy Doc. Here's a list of some of the ailments Sal was written off with: stomach microbes causing illness (she had the runs after too much drink), candida (yeast infection), unexplained contagious rash(ringworm we think), lice (valid, no one wants to get that...and she caught it from her son), sprained ankle (from stage diving in high heels), broken ankle (falling down stairs while drunk 10 hours after getting sprained ankle strappings removed), abscess tooth, stress (on three occasions, one I know for a fact one was because she did a very horrible home hair-dye job and couldn't get an appointment to fix it for a week), and the flu (she just needed to be home for the gas man).
A quick look at the math if you don't mind:
52 weeks in a year times 5 days per week = 260 days of work.
We have to work one Saturday per quarter so add 4 = 264.
We get 5 weeks paid holiday so 264 - 25 = 239
We get 13 public holidays so 239 - 13 = 226
Sal was off for 104 days so 226 - 104 = 122
So, Sal worked for 122 days for all of 2004. Since she had legitimate doctor's notes for all absences, the company is unable to fire her or bring her up for any disciplinary actions, plus, she still managed to meet all her targets.
She's a charmed and cursed individual all at once, and yet she fascinates me. She's got one kick-ass guardian angel.