Sick Day

I took a sick day on Tuesday, in order to visit the doctor. Don’t worry, they were routine appointments, and everything was fine. When I first started working at a job that offered paid sick leave, lo these many years ago, this wouldn’t have been possible. Back then, sick leave was supposed to be for when you were sick and for nothing else. It especially wasn’t for caring for sick children, but that was then and this is now. Thanks to the Family and Medical Leave Act, and a change in company policy, I can use sick leave for my time at the doctor.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with sick leave. I’ve been blessed with good health. I rarely get a cold and since I have regularly been getting the flu shot, I haven’t gotten the flu for many years. So I have been banking a lot of sick leave. Banking I say, but not really saving. Company policy encourages the use of sick leave, because otherwise you lose it. I accrue much more sick leave in a year, than I use. At the end of the year only half of the year’s balance is rolled over. I’m not complaining (even though it sounds like I am), because paid sick leave is great to have when you need it. OK, I am complaining, because the system I work with encourages abuse. Some people use their sick leave as extra vacation, this isn’t right, but still it is done.

A previous employer solved this dilemma by combining vacation and sick time into one pot, called personal days off. This combination only added five of the original ten sick days to personal day off pot, so there was some grumbling about that, but it was mainly from people who were abusing the sick leave policy. With this new policy the stigma of being out sick disappeared.

In other news, Dave contacted Drexel and scheduled a campus visit for next week. He will meet some of the faculty and hopes to get a better idea of what he would do there. In a related topic, I spoke with my Father on Monday and when I mentioned that Dave had been accepted at Drexel, he told me that he had also been accepted into Drexel’s biomedical engineering program. It was 1970 then, we were living just outside of DC and my Dad was retiring from the Navy. He had won an NIH doctoral fellowship and was shopping around for a school. Since, he would come already fully funded, Drexel was all over him to come there, but he chose Michigan instead and the rest, as they say, is history.

Chris and his camera are back on the job. The big software project that he has been working hard on finally launched. This photo shows a mural of two boatmen on an old seawall along Cannery Row, in Monterey, CA.

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