My step-dad works for the State of Maine. A while back his boss became unable to work due to a serious illness. Strangely (or maybe kindly?), the state of Maine allows employees to pool sick time to help other employees who become seriously ill and cannot work for extended periods of time. Due to the nature of said boss’s illness he’s been out of work for a really long time (months).
Since my step-dad was the next person in the chain of command, he has taken over his boss’s responsibilities. That means he’s now managing all of the boss’s employees. Let’s just say it’s not a small undertaking and involves a lot of stress and overtime.
When it was announced that said boss would not be returning for an extended and unknown period of time, co-workers and colleagues immediately offered up their own sick time to help this man out. My step-dad being the generous guy he is, immediately “gave” a week’s worth of his sick time to his boss. Even though the boss left him in a not so great situation, said boss clearly didn’t plan to be sick and obviously my step-dad felt bad for him and his situation (this guy has a family who relies on his income to get by).
My step-dad wasn’t the only one who donated sick time. Pretty much everybody at the job gave him at least a few hours of their own time.
What happened after that? Well, said boss, basically shit on everyone stating to a colleague that he planned to take disability and was pissed that everyone chipped in give him sick time because he has to use up all of his sick time before he starts collecting disability and now he has to wait longer to get the disability money. Umm really? Are you for real?! What a jerk!!
Now I’m not saying my step-dad or his workers are saints. The State of Maine gives a notoriously large amount of sick time to its employees so it’s not like any of them are going to run out of their own sick time in the near future. In fact, the sick time rolls over from year to year so so people have hundreds and hundreds of hours of sick time. But I’m still shocked and amazed that someone who’s in such a bad situation is so ungrateful for his peer’s actions. (No, I don’t know any of the particulars about this situation, and maybe there’s a reason that he’d prefer the disability, to paid sick time). But if I were the “boss” in this situation I’d at least thank the people who clearly were trying to do what they thought would help me.
What’s more sad is the workers who thought they were helping someone now feel like they’ve “wasted’ their own time, which will clearly impact their future willingness and desire to help co-workers who might be experiencing their own serious health crises in the future. Does “One rotten apple spoil the whole bunch?”
So what do you think? Would you donate your sick time to a friend or co-worker if he/she were ill and ran out of sick time? Are my step-dad and his workers generous or suckers?
Image: Flashy Soup Can