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.