This post is about taking sick days when you aren’t really sick (some people like to call them mental health days – I don’t), but before I get to what I really want to say, I feel as though I need to provide a caveat to my views.
I think it’s a good thing that people are becoming more aware of the impact that mental health has on individuals and society. And I think it’s a good thing that those people who are fortunate enough to not suffer from a mental health issue are supportive of those who do and make it a priority to educate others.
I wanted to state the above because it’s important that you understand that I am very aware of the sensitivity that surrounds mental health issues. I feel that educating people is an excellent way to share information and hopefully eliminate the stupid stigmas that people can apply to those people suffering.
Today, I am not writing about those people who have episodic or chronic mental health issues.
I’m talking about people who woke up on the wrong side of the bed or haven’t been sleeping well or couldn’t find one. single. thing to wear in their closet this morning (yes, one time I did not go to work because of this very reason; however, I believe the exact cause may or may not have been PMS). I’m referring to people who are pissed off at the world today, hate their boss, hate their job, hate everything.
Do us all a favour and take a day off. Call it what you want, but for the love of all things holy, stay home.
Because that shit is contagious. Not only does it spread like crazy in the workplace – it follows employees home and infects their personal lives.
You think a flu will affect your office’s productivity level. Try the a-hole in marketing who decided it was his mission to crap on anyone and everyone who comes close to his workspace. Oh it’s not them he’s angry with…but they are going to know how he feels.
Co-workers are people who you are paid to work with, who you hopefully get along with most days, and may or may not see beyond your work hours. As we often point out, we see our co-workers more than we do our families. When your co-worker is having an “off day”, we notice it. Sometimes before they are even willing to admit it.
We see when their moods shift, the quality of their work slides, their patience becomes shorter, they aren’t as reliable as before, they are less predictable than before. And we try to be patient, try to listen, try to do the right things.
But sometimes it’s hard to do this because we have a job to do too and while we want to be there for them, we don’t necessarily want to be someone’s punching bag when they are having a bad day. And it can be exhausting to try to analyze every situation for all potential reactions, to tip-toe into every meeting.
I’m wanted to blog about this to point out that the ripple effects of your “bad day” are far-reaching. Because we are not robots that shut off at night, those ripples that have touched us – well, they continue beyond us and into our lives.
I used to think it was hokey when people say “we are all connected”. But I realize now, it’s not hokey…it’s true. That bad day that started when you burnt your toast and your car wouldn’t start on the other side of the city…well, it came into work and followed me home.
I don’t like the term “mental health” day – I prefer to call it the “Get-Your-Sh#t-Together-And-Come-Back-Ready-to-Roll” day.
Next time you feel like putting the world through a shredder, take one.