Friday, October 24, 2008

workers of my time and today's - medical leave


my friend, who worked in the government service for more than 35 years, before he called it a day, took only one day of medical leave. i think the young people of today's workforce will find this hard to believe. he did take other leaves, like for urgent private affairs but even that he did not make use of the full quota that he was entitled to. when his father passed away, he took two days of upa leave.

most of my contemporaries - who joined the service at around the same time - took medical leave only when it was absolutely necessary. maybe we have been blessed with a better constitution or we are made of sterner stuff, so we seldom fell ill while we were working. maybe, we really wanted to do things then and truly enjoyed our work.

it was a rare thing for us to be away from work on sick leave, such that when we did take leave, our colleagues would call to enquire about our absence. in certain cases, some colleagues even paid us home visit when we did not turn up for work.

of course, there were the black sheep who seemed to have to take leave every now and then. but these were in the minority, at the most, two in each work place. i also remember a case of a woman colleague who seemed to be on maternity leave every other year.

i once jokingly told a young ex-colleague of mine that the number of medical leave days that he had taken in that month was about the same number as my total medical leave for my whole teaching career up to then, which was about 35 years of service.

these days, quite a number of young people feel that it is their right to take the medical leave due to them. if they are entitled to fourteen days of leave in a year, they feel that they should take advantage of it and make full use of it - that is, use up all the fourteen days.

our time, even when we were indisposed, we still turned up for work, wishing that the little inconvenience would pass. today's workers are different. they will stay away from work at the slightest hint of an impending sickness, like a sore throat or an aching shoulder.

i do not know the situation in other work places but where i used to work, it was not uncommon to find nearly 10% of the staff reporting sick, especially on a monday or on the day after a long break or the day prior to a long break.

10 comments:

nah said...

I remember a woman colleague from bhts who took maternity leave every year for 3 years in a row. Coincidentally, she was called mdm choo and she had a nickname 'mu choo'.

Victor said...

With highly infectious diseases like SARS, people should not go back to work when they are not feeling well, especially when they run a fever. Doing so will put the whole office at risk.

peter said...

NS boys visit govt hospital every Sunday nite to ask MO for sick leave. Sunday Blues? I heard nowdays private doctor MC valid as proof of not feeling well. Can just ring the duty sergeant first tos ay not coming back tonite and (secretly) see doctor on Mondya morning instead of Sunday nite.

Usually the younger women folks take MC for slightest bit e.g. "Dont feel like going in today, got puffy eyes (late nite on week-day), menstrual camps, children must bring to see doctor or see the kindergarten teacher today......

Dont think IPOD Generation is physically weak but has attitude problem. Maybe need big economic crisis like now to wake them up.

Jam said...

nowadays people even take MCs when they have no mood to work!just cooked up some kind of illness when seeing the doctor ...

Icemoon said...

Eh, think yg left the teaching sector too long already.

I read that some teachers took MC 'cos they have too much sh*t every day and teaching duties are neglected. So on MC, they get to recharge and mark assignments.

Btw, I don't own a IPOD.

yg said...

icemoon, you seem to know some of the stress factors that contribute to the present situation.

fr said...

Another stress factor is the disciplinary problems teachers face - nowadays pupils are not easy to manage.

Andy said...

Not only teaching, other occupation are also the same, very much depends on individual.

yg said...

andy, i agree with you that it depends on the individual. however, generally, today's generation of workers tend to think more of their own rights.

Icemoon said...

I think teaching is different from other occupation 'cos the individual is not very much in control.

An assembly line worker spends most of the time doing assembly line work, a lawyer on legal cases, an accountant on books, an auditor on compliance (e.g. sarbanes-oxley), a programmer on programming. You can say they do (mostly) what they sign up for.

All work long hours .. yet how much time do teachers spend time teaching? I think less than 50%.

The funny thing is, students see you as role model, yet they don't know how much backstabbing takes place in the common room, haha.