When you are 23 and have freshly arrived at the work place, you are so happy to make a biweekly paycheck that you barely pay attention to the piece of paper that is your pay slip. Then one day, in a fit of green passion you sign up and go paperless and with that one act you never ever see your pay slip again. A year goes by, may be two and you are now planning a big vacation or may be thinking of getting married. Bottomline, you need to look into your leave balance to figure out how much leave you have at your disposal. That is when you notice for the first time that you seem to have an outerageouly high number of sick leave hours compared to annual leave.
"Who needs all this sick time?", you mutter savagely under your breath and cast an evil eye on the slightly over weight, balding puddle of incompetence that happens to be your middle aged co-worker. Fast forward a few cliched years during which you got married (with or without enough annual leave to cover the escapade), bought a house, had a baby (three months of job protected leave - thank you Bill Clinton, ye patron saint of the working mother). You are fatter and wiser and know better than to make fun of greying co workers. Because now, you are a serial user of sick leave.
Come winter, your home (your pride and joy) turns into a den of disease and malaise thanks to your little baby (your other pride and joy) and her little friends who miraculously transform into incubators of every cold virus known to mankind at the hint of the first winter chill. On a positive note, you are longer alone in your misery. Yes, there is the temperature taking punctuated by a glug of cough syrup or a thimble of tylenol but there is also the lazing in bed, reading a book or sharing a cup of ginger tea with lots of milk and biscuits - with a little person right next to you.