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Getting Sick During Summer Vacation Isn’t Fair

August 24, 2018

No, I didn’t suddenly go back to high school. I don’t actually get a summer vaction. Well, sure I can take one, but it’s not like it was back in school. It’s not free.

Fortunately my company has a generous personal time off, PTO, policy. I’ve been there nearly five years and I typically struggler to actually take all my personal days rather than the other way around.

My company has it set up where each employee is awarded all their personal time for the year at the beginning of the year. I “earn” it month by month, but I can use it immediately. If I leave mid year, there’s some accounting work that needs to happen, I think. I don’t know, I haven’t left in the middle of the year. Actually, I haven’t left at all, so there’s that.

As the summer draws to a close, I realized there were some projects I hadn’t completed. Trying to do them after hours just wasn’t getting me through the list quick enough.

I decided to take some time off this week. My projects mostly revolved around cars.

– My son’s 1991 Chrysler New Yorker 5th Avenue needed a new power steering pump and alternator.
– My “new” 1994 Dodge Dakota needed a new relay to to fix the blower. It also needed a to be registered and have new license plates put on
– My 1996 Lexus ES300 needed. . .well, it needed to run before I could figure out what else it needed
– My 2012 Chevy van needed some cosmetic trim work

And I set aside an entire week to focus on it. Except the first two days work intervened. I’m still the outage guy at my company. If something breaks they call me. And stuff broke. And then on Tuesday I broke.

I don’t get sick. It’s not something I do. I can’t really take credit for it really. Still, I can’t take credit when the Mariners win, but I still do. And the Mariners make the playoffs about as often as I get sick.

Well, the Mariners must have a shot this year, because I certainly got sick. Not just “I don’t feel so good.” That started on Tuesday afternoon. By Tuesday evening, I was miserable. By Wednesday morning (3:00 AM is technically morning) I was barfing my guts out.

Interesting pro-tip: a plastic bathroom waste basket lined with a WalMart bag makes a wonderful barf bucket. No mess. Cleans up easy. You don’t have to worry about that awkward “sloshing” when you go to clean it out. (You’re welcome.)

Wednesday was a waste. I didn’t eat. (Who can eat?) I managed to sip a little water and the universal “Hey, I’m sick as a dog” drink – Sprite.

Thursday was better. I ate crackers and added Ginger Ale to my Sprite drink order.

So, today? I worked on cars. I pulled the water pump out of my son’s Chyrsler. I put new plates on my Dakota.

It doesn’t really matter that I took sick days instead of vacation days. Part of the reason my company is so generous is that all our personal time, vacation and sick is rolled into one.

I’ll only end up using three personal days, 24 hours, since even though I’m salary, we measure our personal days in hours. As a telecommunication company, we measure everything in hours.

So, here comes the weekend, one more day I’ll spend working on cars and then I get to speak in church on Sunday.

It’s been 16 years since the Seattle Mariners made the playoffs. I haven’t kept track, but I may have been that long since I last got sick enough to throw up.

I’m just hoping it’s a good omen as the team heads into the last month of the season.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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