Thursday, February 10, 2005

Cold, anyone?

Feb. 5, Sat – I woke up with a sore throat. I have been very phlegmy since yesterday.

Feb. 6, Sun – I had a bad cold, very scratchy throat, almost lost my voice.

Feb. 8, Tue – I am very phlegmy. I coughed up and spit them out as often as needed. I had a slight fever. I still worked. I took a 15-minute nap after lunch.

Feb. 9, Wed – My stomach muscles are sore from coughing yesterday. After school at snack time…

Mom: RK, what do you want for snacks?
RK: You know, the same. Cheerios.
Mom: Ok, can you get a bowl and help yourself. Mommy is sick.
RK: Then why do you work?

I was taken aback. My first reaction was …

Mom: Because we need money. That’s why I work even though I’m sick. And you don’t talk to me like that.

Later, I asked myself… Why do I work when I’m sick? Is it because I want to achieve a perfect attendance again this year? I have been receiving this award for three years in a row now, ever since I started working at home. How can I find the energy to work and not find it to help my child with his snack?

Feb. 10, Thur

I am still coughing and I wanted to get better by Saturday, RK’s 7th birthday party. So I decided to take Robitussin cough syrup. I don’t usually take medicines for cough and cold. I hate taking them. Although, if I hear the kids sniffling, I make them take medicines right away. I used to get bad cold at least once a year and that would make me miss a couple of days at work. Ever since I started working at home, I’ve had a bad cold only once, and then again only this time. I seldom get sick now because I am not around people, only my husband and kids, who sometimes bring viruses from the outside world. But this is still a far cry from being around several people who cough in the confines of their cubicles in the office but still manage to spread the virus around.

This is probably the reason I’ve had perfect attendance for the last three years. Two years ago, I had a fever for two days when I had that bad cold. Covered in blanket and loaded with Extra-strength Tylenol, I still managed to work. When the perfect attendance rewards were handed out last year, I was surprised that only half of the Work-At-Home staff received them. During one of my conversations with my supervisor, I couldn’t help voicing it out. I realized that it’s probably because I’m a mother of young children and I have to be “up and running” even though I’m not feeling well because I have to look after my children. If you have no kids to attend to and you’re not feeling well, your tendency is to stay in bed and call in sick.

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