Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Former Perfect Attendant

Sometimes, when nature gives you lemons, you have to make snow days out of them.

Thanks, winter, for all you do. NOT! With nary a below-freezing southern storm in sight, I have been forced to resort to a Hillbilly-Mom-made snow day of sorts. Perhaps I've mentioned my stash of 94 sick days. The limit is 100. So when my ten for next school year kick in, I'm facing a loss of four days. Days for which I have been contracted and allotted as a part of my benefits package. It just doesn't pay to be altruistic and drag yourself to work every single day of the year whether you feel like it or not, I suppose.

Normally, I schedule appointments after school hours. In a pinch, I can wangle permission to leave at 2:00 if a willing colleague will step in for me last hour. I am blessed to have such an individual who volunteers to aid and abet my sick-day-saving strategy. But now, I am asking myself, "Why bother?" I have the days stockpiled. The modest monetary incentive for not missing a day all year is considerably less than the money a substitute would receive if I used my ten days each year. About 20% of that amount, to be specific. But money is not the object of my obsession. I simply hate to be away from my classroom.

I had scheduled a doctor's appointment over the Christmas break. It's just a routine six-month appointment. But twice, the doctor's office has sent me a letter rescheduling. Now it is set for February. Week after next. At 9:30 a.m. I could have tried to get it later in the afternoon. All that means is that I might have a two-hour wait once I arrive. But I always take a book, so that's no big deal. Then I got to thinking, "Why should I rearrange my appointment, and find somebody to pick up The Pony after school, and get home around 7:00 p.m. when I can just keep the morning appointment?"

The week before that appointment, I have to go to the lab for a blood draw. With our insurance, it can't be the doctor's lab, it must be the hospital lab. It's open 24 hours a day, you know. But why should I go all day at work without eating and drinking for my fasting lab, when I can simply sleep through the fast and pop in there during morning hours? It's not feasible to do that when I have The Pony in tow, and when I need to make sure I'm at work on time. Hospital labs do not run on a schedule. If something goes down, those phlebotomists run out the door with their box full of blood-suckers and come back when they're not needed elsewhere.

Don't even dwell on the possibility of a half-day of absence. I used to offer that option for consideration, and was told that it is much easier to schedule a substitute for a full day that a half day. Go figure! Apparently, subs want to be able to actually earn some money and not just break even if they're going to get dressed and drive to school and learn the lay of the land and deal with teenagers. So some will decline a half day while awaiting a full day offer from another district. Especially days that are scheduled well in advance, and not on the morning of.

So...Mrs. Hillbilly Mom will be having a four-day week of work this upcoming week, and a four-day week of work the following week, then she will put in an honest five, and partake of another four-day work-week thanks to President's Day.

Not a bad gig if you can get it.


Kathy's Klothesline said...

Dedication is not valued much, is it? Enjoy those sick days, you earned them!

Sioux said...

I'm doing my free-style dance, hoping to appease the gods of snow days. While I'm doing what I can do, enjoy your short weeks. Do something fun, along with your appointment.

(What will Hillbilly Mom do for fun on those days of hookey? I guess we will have to wait to find out.)

Hillbilly Mom said...

I spent YEARS earning them. Now, I shall reap the rewards.

Make sure it doesn't snow on Thursday. That would be a waste of a good snow day for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

Fun and Mrs. HM usually don't mix. Unless noses on grindstones count as fun. We'll see what develops.