I recently started a new job and at the interview they agreed to give me 1 week paid vacation and half a holiday. I worked one week there, took the holiday and tomorrow I should come back to work there.

They agreed to give me a 1.5 week holiday after 1 week of work. They didn't say anything about yearly holidays. I am a contractor, paid based on the number of days worked, each month.

But during the holiday I was unable to rest properly, I didn't sleep well and in the first week the lack of sleep showed it's effects while handling the tasks at work.

I am strongly considering telling them that I'm sick, that I caught a cold and will stay 2 extra days at home for recovery, but since it's a new job I don't know how well they would react and if they call me maybe they would believe I am not really sick.

  • comments removed Comments that attempt to answer the question are oftentimes removed to avoid dissuading people from posting real answers. Please remember comments are generally used to seek clarification or improve a post. Hope this helps! :)
    – jmort253
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 18:29
  • 4
    Have you even worked as many days than you've taken off? If you can't work, you can't work, but I'd be looking for a new contractor if I were them. You aren't keeping up your end of the deal.
    – user8365
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 22:12

6 Answers 6


if they call me they would realize I'm not really sick.

I believe that statement right there clarifies things for you. If you are not really sick then you shouldn't lie to your work. The way I usually handle it is if I can't get corroboration from an independent source (ie doctor) then I don't try to pull it on work. Keep your behind covered especially when new and most likely still on a probation period.

It is usually better to be brutally honest with work (except when telling them you're applying for a new job) tell them that you were not able to sleep well recently and you would like a day to recover so that you are focused when they start paying for work again if that's whats happening. If you took a vacation so you could binge on GTA-V and lost track of time they may understand.

If it were me, you would lose credibility and chance for a renewed contract if this contract is important to the company.


I think you should also consider that you are a new employee and taking an extra day off after a vacation because your vacation made you tired will seem irresponsible to an employer. That's like taking the day off because you have a hangover. It was your responsibility be ready to come back to work after the vacation and be ready to work.

Most managers I know would be very unimpressed with someone who did this unless he could prove he was genuinely sick or too injured to come to work.

You started a job and a week later you took a planned vacation and then you want more time off? Really, this looks like you are a slacker. You don't have any history with them to mitigate this, so it is a very dangerous thing to do and you would be better off going to work tired.

  • 1
    Even if it doesn't cost the OP his job I think it likely to impact reviews, work assignments, and potential promotions in the future. Spot on assessment here I think. Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 11:48
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    Absolutely. If I were the manager, one (of several) of the questions in my mind would be, "This tired person can't just go to bed early and catch up?". Your point about needing vacation due to your vacation is so strong. The bigger point is: why doesn't the OP realize this already?
    – Chelonian
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 16:36

I'm not really sure what your question is here (perhaps it got lost during the editing), but let's me assume the only question is contained within the current title "Should I call in sick if I am fatigued?".

Let's review the facts as you have presented them:

  • You worked for this company only 1 week before leaving for a 1.5 week vacation
  • You are a contractor, not an employee
  • You didn't sleep well during vacation, and are fatigued
  • You admit that you are not actually sick
  • You are strongly considering telling them that you are sick and must stay home for 2 more days
  • You suspect that if they were to call you, they would realize that you are not actually sick

I always recommend that people tell the truth. Being honest feels better, doesn't ruin your reputation when the truth is discovered, is easier to remember than lies, and virtually everyone can say it convincingly (while many folks struggle to lie convincingly).

Thus, instead of saying "I am sick. I caught a cold that will require 2 days to heal.", you should either just go to work and catch up on your sleep at some other time, or at least say something like "I didn't get enough rest over the past few days, and think it would be better to take a few days off to recuperate".

While both are honest answers, I would strongly suggest you consider the former - just go to work. Catch up on your sleep on your own time.

I hire a lot of contractors. I expect them to work. If I see signs that they can't (or don't want to) be here and working hard every day, it's very easy for me to replace them. If one of my contractors who had only worked one week decided it was important to extend his/her vacation by 2 days because he/she was tired, I'd almost certainly get a new contractor. And I'm certain I would never bring that contractor into my shop again.

Your situation may be different, and it may not be as dangerous to take off 2 extra days in your shop, so you'll have to assess the specifics of your situation.

But either way, I urge you not to lie. That seldom ends well.

  • yes taking the days off would be what I would call a career limiting move. Agree with you, as a new person, this looks espcially bad and I would terminate thecontract as well.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 13:35

Check your contract.

If you are paid only for the hours you work, that means that you will bill for fewer hours this month. Of course if you miss too many days they might not think you are worth having on contract.

Items you should review in your contract: do you or the customer set the work days each month. Maximum hours per day and per week.

Options related to wanting to take a few days off because you are tired include: working fewer hours per day; miss a day then work extra hours on the other days; working hours on the weekend to make up the time missed.

Since you are just back from vacation, working even a partial day will allow you to start processing the work you fell behind while you were away.


But during the holiday I was unable to rest properly

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to rest properly during a holiday. Something can happen which interrupts holiday. One can get sick, some family-emergency happens, your house needs some urgent renovation. In your case, you did not get enough sleep. All things we can't forsee.

Because of this, it is also important to being able to relax when you are not on holidays.

If you need some sleep, you can

  • Go sleeping earlier
  • Begin working later (and sleep longer)

Also, if you are still not able to sleep, I would recommend you to find out the cause of this. Maybe you should consult a doctor. Personally, I don't think that two more vacation days will solve your issue.


I didn't sleep well and in the first week the lack of sleep showed it's effects while handling the tasks at work.

You are fatigued, this happens to people. If you are unable to perform your duties for health reasons speak to your supervisor, but...

I am strongly considering telling them that I'm sick, that I caught a cold and will stay 2 extra days at home for recovery

DON'T LIE, even if you think your position is safe, even if you have excellent work conditions, do not even think about it. Be frank and upfront, and speak with your boss about why you are unable to work. If its an issue of rest, confirm with them how you can manage this in the future to prevent it happening again.

Just as if an employee was engaging in extreme sports and was at risk of taking excessive time off for injury, you need to inform your boss that this is a singular occurance and you will manage it in the future.

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