Sick days cost Bermuda $10million a year. *iStock photo
Sick days cost Bermuda $10million a year. *iStock photo

I’m not feeling too good.  My eyes are watery, my ears are clogged, and my throat is killing me. My nose is running like a faucet. I think I should stay in bed.

Last week I had a really bad cough and the week before that I think I had a severe migraine... or was it a small case of leprosy?  I can’t remember.  

Oh, I know what it was, it was pain in my legs that went right up to my eyes, which is why I thought maybe I had a migraine.

At first I was a little worried that it might have been a brain tumour but later when I was out with my friends, I felt fine.  The leprosy thing turned out to be just a bout of adult acne but hey, you can’t be too sure. No biggie, I just got a doctor’s note from the doctor’s secretary so everything’s fine.

Then a few weeks ago, I pulled something. I mean everyone could see that my finger was swollen so I stayed quiet for a few days to let it heal.  

Then I had a manicure and I think it looks okay now.  That was a close call.

I would feel really sorry for myself but then I heard about all those poor people who work for government and how much time they need to take off because they’re always sick.  

My head practically spins when I think of all the maladies civil servants must have endured to have missed the equivalent of 42,000 days at work in 2012-2013.  

Civil servants must suffer from an inordinate number of upper respiratory complaints, accidents and this is always a favourite, unspecified general pain in the area of their entire body which prevents them from going to work.  We should help them.

Maybe we could meet at the B.I.U. clubhouse and start a charity called S.I.C.K. which everyone knows stands for “Sorry, I Can’t Kome.” [Sic]  

According to the S.A.G.E. Commission, the biggest offender is the Department of Human Affairs or as I like to call it, the Department of Human Ailments since they have distinguished themselves as the department that takes the most amount of sick leave.

If you are unemployed right now and struggling to get assistance from Government, it must warm the cockles of your heart to know that sick leave is costing Bermuda $10 million a year.

In order to collect assistance you must pound the payment and actively look for a job.  

If you’re not already feeling bad about yourself, you are also required to have the signature of every potential employer as proof for your case worker that you really did apply for a job. 

It’s a little ironic since if you worked in a government department you would only be required to show up once in a blue moon and still get paid.  

If you are one of the lucky Bermudians who are working tirelessly and still scraping by, then this $10 million  just represents another example of Government waste and frankly, theft from some of government’s employees.

The good news is that most civil servants, 66 per cent to be exact take “a reasonable level” of sick time and don’t abuse the benefit. 

The other 33 per cent who take at least 20 days of sick leave should hang their heads in shame. Sick leave is not earned vacation time.   

They already know this, of course, but these are the same folks who like to game the system and call in on a Monday or a Friday with some last-minute concocted story line about yet another phony ailment so they don’t have to show up for work.  

Am I wrong to judge?  Am I wrong to assume that maybe, just maybe this lightweight unprincipled slothful group is the reason the civil service is so bloated?

Of course it is. If 33 per cent of your work force is too busy being “sick” then it’s not surprising that the solution was to simply hire more employees to take up the slack.  Now that slack is like a noose around our collective necks.  

This time I think I really will be sick.