I was on vacation the week of February 13th. It was lovely. I actually decided to make it easier on myself this time and just take everything but a handful of items out of our store for the week so no one could get on my case so there was only one buyer issue. I also did a ton of work before I left so there would be less waiting for me when I got back. I did this so I wouldn’t spend the whole vacation stressing over work but it turned out to be a better move then I ever could have thought.
I’ve been sick since the day before I got back. Epic levels of sick. I’ve been working as much as I can anyway because I’m a hopeless workaholic, but things like phone calls, physical labor and face to face meetings I have to keep postponing. Not only am I contagious but I’m not exactly ideal company and I really can’t talk for more than a few seconds without coughing. I’m still sending out packages, answering emails and doing as much computer work as I can, though I’m a bit slower than usual what with the whole I feel like I’m dying thing.
So it’s a really good thing that I took everything out of my store and did so much advance work because, if it hadn’t things would be even worse. The biggest downside is that there’s now been no items in my store for going on 3 weeks but I can catch up on that later. It’s just like I still haven’t really started back up again from vacation, like everything’s been paused. The bigger problem is the people.
Here’s the thing about being sick. Day 1, the people you work with are like “OMG feel better sweetie!!!!!” but after a couple of days… they really don’t give a crap. Clients, customers, and anyone else that needs you for something are over the fact that you are sick… even if you aren’t actually over your illness. Patience vanishes after the first 24 hours.
I don’t think this is personal, really. I think people don’t have a great concept of time and, to them, it feels like it’s been ages since I told them I was sick and why can’t I come pick up their items yet? when really it’s been 48 hours. But the longer this illness goes on, the bigger the pile of people angry with me seems to get when it is very literally not my fault. And considering how awful I feel, it’s hard to make myself care how mad they are at me.
I think the other issues behind this is that “sick” can encompass such a wide range of things. A sniffle for 24 hours is sick and a month of chemo recovery could also be “sick.” I also think that so many people use “I’m sick” as their go to excuse when they aren’t actually sick that they assume everyone else does the same thing. Have so many people lied about being sick that anyone who says claims illness is an automatic Chicken Little?
From the majority of the emails, it seems like they genuinely don’t believe that I’m sick. Is it my obligation to prove it to them? Should I go over there and ooze on them? Make a video of me coughing? Not everything is a 24 hour bug!
Why is the burden of proof on me when the burden of just human to human compassion and understanding should be on them?
I don’t really have an answer to all of this, I just needed to get that off my congested chest.