I started a job in early February of this year- I was granted 3 sick days and 10 vacation days that I could begin using after my 90 day probation period. Not long after I passed this time mark, I had to take 2 days off of work because I was sick and contagious. I felt really bad because I get anxious when I have to miss work.

Today I’m going home early (so taking off a half day) because I hit my head and have a minor concussion which is making it difficult to concentrate and stare at a computer screen- my office supervisor was sympathetic with this and told me to go rest, but I still feel guilty for leaving!

I work for an attorney who won’t be at all pleased that I had to take the rest of the day off. But I came in to finish a small project that he needed to be done by this afternoon today before I left. I am taking four vacation days next week. They have been aware of this for months, and it’s not really a vacation, it’s a legal situation regarding a personal injury case I have ongoing back in my hometown. (Moved to California in the middle of this personal Injury case and have to attend court-ordered mediation)

How do I shake the feeling of guilt and anxiety from missing work? Have I missed too much? It’s July, and I’ve only missed those two other days when I was sick, but the guy training me kind of gave me a look when I told him I needed to go home for the rest of the day.

I’m just worried! My work environment is casual and understanding so I think it’s okay, but comments/feedback are appreciated. My anxious mind is running!

  • 2
    You've almost used up all of your sick time - what happens then? Do you have to use vacation instead? Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 18:43
  • 1
    Yeah, I have to use vacation or take unpaid time off
    – bxr933
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 18:44
  • 11
    If you've hit your head hard enough to think you have a minor concussion, you really should be heading to hospital.
    – HorusKol
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 21:56
  • 1
    It's up to your workplace to make sure there are adequate resources for when people take vacation / sick leave (Because you have to take leave, and people get sick). You can help this by making sure you complete tasks ahead of time, but other than that, it's on them.
    – Smock
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 10:50
  • 2
    I get 24 dats paid holidays in the U.K. plus eight bank holidays, plus unlimited sick days. One colleague is on maternity leave for the second time. Is that enough to make you not feel guilty anymore?
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 17:08

4 Answers 4


If you're sick, going to work probably isn't the best idea because:

  • you need to rest to help recover
  • you will likely be less productive
  • you risk infecting your coworkers

There is no shame in taking the sick days that the company has given you when you are actually sick, that is what they are for. If someone gives you strange looks, don't worry about it. As long as you are genuinely sick and cannot continue to work because of it you are doing nothing wrong.

  • 3
    This covers the "sick leave" part quite well. As for the four days of vacation to attend court-ordered mediation: if your boss, AN ATTORNEY (emphasis added), does not understand that you HAVE to be there, then you are absolutely working for the WRONG person. Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 23:34
  • In fact - taking time off sick when you are infectious is the responsible thing to do. Would they rather have 1 person off sick, or everyone in work coughing, spluttering, shttng themselves and generally being rubbish at their job?
    – Smock
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 12:23

You shouldn't feel guilty for using the sick time and/or vacation time that your company has permitted you to use. It's there for a reason and you are not abusing the policy- you're simply using it as intended. Stop worrying so much.


Not going to office when you are actually sick is not something to be ashamed about.

Seeing the number of sick leaves you are taking you need to take care of yourself because the more sick leaves you take the more your work piles up and remains pending.


Just mention around that you are on a bad luck strike. Explain the situation to your boss in better detail, as he should be sympathetic to your case as long as you don't leave for no apparent reason.

People sometimes claim "personal reasons" for taking a day off they're entitled to, a reasonable boss/person knows this means they should make no inquiries about it. My advice for you right now is not to do this. Tell people some details about the sickness you hand and about the court-ordered mediation you'e attended. People might not ask you about it because if those were lies, you'd avoid mentioning them altogether, and people in general have no business in framing you as a liar.

In some countries, you can skip work for health reasons but you need to provide a doctor's letter stating you are/have been sick and need rest. You maybe should have gotten yourself one of these and asked your boss if you needed to show it. The suggestion, actually, is finding an excuse to show your boss the proof that you've been sick. Note that if you work on a law firm, you might be expected to know the legislation.

Maybe mention around that you are happy with your current employment, if someone leaves randomly a bit too often, I could suspect he/she is doing job interviews.

In general, I guess you are worrying about being earmarked as the guy who is always skipping work or finding an excuse to leave early or randomly not show up at the office. As long as you give some unrequested proof that you are not making up excuses, you should be fine.

I would also strongly suggest that you delay any upcoming vacation periods as much as you can. You might need them for more court-ordered mediation sessions or for any other random reasons. It would look really bad if your vacation days were over before your reasons to be out of office.

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