So two weeks ago Saturday, I’m enjoying a nice dinner at Ted and Mychal’s place in Fresno, when I notice a little “tickle” in my throat.  I didn’t pay it much mind, sometimes I just get a little irritation, and it’s gone the next day.  When I woke up Sunday, I wasn’t feeling too bad, but the tickle was still there.  By Monday, it was clear I had managed to catch something, as I was feeling a bit yucky, and I was feeling some congestion in my chest.  I took some cough syrup and later some sinus tablets, and figured I’d be down for a couple of days.  Well, it went a bit beyond that,  I ended up missing 4 days of work, and getting written up for it!

The county has various rules it follows, and some of them are legitimate attempts to control sick-leave abuse.  Some people, I know it’s difficult to believe but apparently true, abuse sick leave!  I’m not one of them.  When I’m off sick, #1 – I’m really sick, and #2 – I’m really sick!  But after 3 days, the county rules say you “may be required” to get a doctor’s note.  By the end of the third day, I was thinking that by the next afternoon I would be OK to return to work.  When I woke up that day, it was clear I would not be.  However, I WAS feeling better than I had been, just not well enough to return to a work environment that requires clear, quick thinking.  That was Friday.  Now, Friday afternoon is obviously too late to make an appointment to be seen by your doctor, and most likely even by a “Nurse Practitioner” or “Physician’s Assistant”.  (I don’t recall which it is my doctor’s office utilizes, and I don’t care.  They’ve been fine by me when I’ve seen them in the past)  I figured I would either be fine by Monday, or could call to make an appointment.

Shift change occurred over the weekend, so instead of my usual three days off, I only had one, Saturday.  Sunday I returned to work, after almost calling in again, since I wasn’t feeling really recovered.  I toughed it out (yay me) and made it through the entire shift.  Monday was even better, and by then I was pretty much over whatever bug it was that had bitten me.  I still have a bit of a cough, and the sinus is doing a weird on-again-off-again thing, but nothing it’s not done before and probably won’t do again.  I’m back to eating and sleeping normally, so log this one over and done with.

Except I got written up at work for not going to the doctor.  Seems paperwork and procedure is a tad more important to the county than I had given it credit for.  See, the county rule I saw on my computer at work says employees “may” be required to produce a doctor’s note for any sick leave taken in excess of three days or 36 hours in any week.  It’s included in a section regarding sick leave and abuses of that leave.  Silly me, I took “may”, as used in this section, to mean someone with a record of sick leave abuse might be told to provide a doctor’s note regarding time taken off from work.  Apparently it does not actually mean “may”, it means “will”.  I’m not sure why the word “will” isn’t there, since that’s what the brass thinks “may” means.

I did not go to the doctor.  Here’s why:  In the past, when I’ve had similar symptoms, I have gone in to see the Doc.  They end up giving me a prescription for anti-biotics, and send me home with a nice note.  The anti-biotics usually require a 5-7 day regimen, and the bug is vanquished.  Fine and dandy.  Except if you let nature take it’s course, in 5-7 days, your own immune system will take care of the bug, and you will be immune to it from now on!  When you go to the doctor, you (I) incur a $20 copay, and the insurance company pays an office visit charge.  The prescription is another copay and insurance charge.    You’ve (I’ve) ran up expenses for something your (my) own system will take care of in pretty much the same amount of time, and taken time from the doctor’s schedule for something he didn’t really need to treat!

I didn’t go, so I didn’t have a note, so I got wrote up for not having one.  I thought about fighting the write-up, but decided to just sign the damned thing and be done with it.  I don’t get written up very often, indeed the last time was several years ago for being “disrespectful” towards a shift supervisor, so I’m not too worried about it being in my file.  It’s not like I’m a problem employee for them, but sometimes you wonder about government bureaucracy.  I suppose I should consider myself lucky…  no telling what kind of fun could be had if they found out I’m …