The "That's Outrageous!" column in Reader's Digest usually picks some obviously and universally appalling sin running unchecked, then draws attention to it. For instance, if the Riverbuttle County Sheriff's Department holds an annual fundraiser for the Riverbuttle Soup Kitchen where, for five bucks from the county coffers, local officials can rape FFA pigs, "That's Outrageous!" would talk about how awful it was that Riverbuttle County taxes are going toward porcine defilements. And rightly so.
This one from December, however, has been eating on me and I'm going to say why I think this "That's Outrageous!" is totally outrageous.
The column complains that government officials get to build up sick days--even cash them in when they retire if they remain unused. The author complains about a number of valid--yet tangential--concerns that certainly are outrageous, but the sick days problem sounds more like jealousy.
The problem he has with the building up of sick days is that the practice doesn't really exist outside government. And if the private sector doesn't do it but government does, it must be bad. Nine times out of ten, this is probably true (see: pig sex), but not in this case.
The complaint is that by letting employees build up sick days, we are rewarding healthy workers.
Um.... Shouldn't we reward healthy workers?
Point one: Healthy workers come to work, get more done. I understand the counter argument that the government plan might encourage people to come in when they're ill in order to build up days for a retirement payout, but just give management the authority to require someone to go home and take a sick day. Problem solved.
Point two: Healthy workers keep insurance rates down for everyone.
Seems to me that healthy workers ought to be rewarded.
By having sick days that expire, we are, in truth, punishing healthy workers. Sickly folk get days off. Healthy workers come in, but with no additional compensation for the additional work they do.
With the expiration system, they can only get that compensation if they lie and don't do that extra work.
They only get compensation when they call in sick en route to the golf course.
Let's reward our healthy workers, corporate America. Let's roll over their sick days.