Ugh. It’s not long before you can feel it coming on. It’s weak at first. There’s a slight lag in your movements and no desire to move from your bed even though the alarm has been going off for a minute and you can smell the coffee already brewing in the next room over. You do a quick assessment of yourself. You can feel all the telltale signs of an early illness. There seems to be a cool breeze running through you, but when you pull the covers up you start to sweat. Your throat feels gritty and raw. You finally get up and go to the bathroom to do a final analysis of your situation. Your throat is cherry red, your cervical lymph nodes are swollen and your eyes look like you spent the night staring at a bright computer screen instead of sleeping. You’re sick and you know it. The only real question is what do you do now? You have a bunch of unused days off and it wouldn’t hurt to dig into those, but it is worth going to the doctor’s office and getting a note? They always take forever and your co-pay seems to keep rising and rising. Maybe just a few days in bed would be enough to beat this thing and get you back into the office.
On the other hand, maybe it doesn’t immediately get better? Maybe you need a prescription for some antibiotics or steroids. What if it’s not a simple cold, but something more serious? What if it’s pneumonia, meningitis or the swine flu? What if you get fired for being sick for so long?
While the scenarios could be endless, it all boils down to one decision: to go get the doctor’s note or not.
In the long run, it’s always worth going to get the doctor’s note. The reasoning is twofold.
First, it clears your name. In a world where so many people will fake a sick day in order to throw back margaritas by their apartment complex pool, it’s important that you separate yourself from this lot. By going to get the doctor’s note it takes you out of this demographic and allows you to show to your employer or boss that you weren’t just playing hooky. It might seem silly but it does show quite a bit about you. It shows that not only were you willing to get into the office, wait there for whatever period of time is required for the last minute visit and pay for it just to show that you are honest and trustworthy. Even though it’s not mandatory in many workplaces it’s still very good practice go get the note for these exact reasons. It’s just good office courtesy and sets a precedent of how things should go with absences from work. It also elevates you above those who decide that the note wasn’t necessary and puts you in a good light should any negative decisions have to be made in the company.
Secondly, it might save your life. Okay so that’s a little hyperbolic but going to get a doctor’s note is just generally good for your overall health. We’re not doctors and sometimes we subconsciously or even consciously turn a blind eye to a potentially dangerous symptom because of fear that it may be something greater. Sometimes just a small symptom or an assumed cough or cold is enough to get us in the doctor’s office. More chronic or serious diseases rarely start out of the blue but happen gradually. It could be the case that what you feel is just a minor cold or stomach bug is actually something more severe. By getting the note you could inadvertently be preventing something greater.
So, next time you feel like brushing off that doctor’s visit in place for some soup and movies in bed, it might be a better option to pull it together and get into that office.