It happens. We all get sick at some point or another in our jobs. We catch it from the kids, the parents, the friends. We take our medicine, and push through the day. But what happens when it’s much more than a cold, migraine, flu, etc?
Since February 2011, I have had two major ‘sick’ events that affected my work. First was appendicitis, which required emergency surgery, a couple days in the hospital and a week’s recovery at home – I should mention here I am a live-in nanny/household manager.
The second event took place this past March, where I had 11 days of kidney stones, requiring several trips to the ER, including three ambulance rides – several rounds of narcotic pain relievers and endless trips the bathroom and to see my doctor.
Side note … Thank Heaven for Health Insurance, but that is another topic all together.
So, these two events caused me to have to miss multiple days of work, and disrupt our normal routine of doing things.
In the past, it has taken food poisoning to slow me down from work. My employers rely on me so much; I know what a pain it is to be sick. Up to February 2011, I had been in this job for almost seven years, and had only had three sick days – in SEVEN years! My past job of six years, had me with three sick days as well.
I have sick days written into my work agreement. Both of these events were such that coming to work was not an option.
I’m fortunate that I have understanding and flexible employers whose job allows them to work from home when needed or by choice. Also, my oldest charge had started driving and was able to do the school driving.
But for those that aren’t as fortunate as I am (or others) in flexibility, sick days, insurance – what is your plan should you become ill for an extended time?
This is definitely something you should consider and discuss with your employers. No one expects to get appendicitis and be told to go straight to the emergency room and be rushed into surgery. No one can imagine the pain of kidney stones – for 11 days – and expect you to work through that.
Approach your employers with your concerns.
Discuss some options should something happen.
Work with them to find mutually agreed upon alternate care be it grandparents, relative, neighbor, friends and make sure they know they are part of your back up plan.
Make sure your employer knows your emergency contacts. My family is all over the country, my closest relative being 90 minutes away. Should something happen to me, my employers would be one of the first to be contacted – courtesy of my I C E in my phone.
Clearly define the agreement you make with your employers in your work agreement. This can be done by a simple addendum to the existing contract.
Have you had an experience of extended sick time that has affected your work? What is your plan should you become ill for an extended period of time?
by Kellie Geres
Regarding Nannies Development Team