The Work Guilt Trip


Like many of us, sometimes I wake up for work and all I can think is about getting off and going back to bed. Sometimes this is a normal feeling of never wanting to leave my bed but other times I feel like I just need to take a day to refresh myself.

If you’re like me, the thought of calling out is scary. The first thing that runs across my mind is “I’ll lose a whole day of pay!”. I also feel guilty about not being able to do my work or potentially leaving someone hanging by not coming in. What if my supervisor is pissed?

As far as pay goes, I won’t end up homeless if I lose one day. I know that this isn’t reality for a lot of people in the world but I’m blessed to have that choice. I’ve had a deeply rooted fear of not having money since I was little so it’s really hard to shake. We need money to survive so skipping a whole 8 hours is daunting.

Then there’s the guilt that comes with it. I feel like I could be letting someone down or causing them to think of me differently. What if my supervisor is disappointed to the point where they look for someone else? This is a strong case of overthinking but this is genuinely how I feel when I debate on it.

Recently, I wasn’t feeling well and I knew that the commute to work would be bad for me so I debated on if I should stay home. It took BB telling me to shut up and stop worrying about it for me to finally tell them I was under the weather and wouldn’t be coming in. Of course, it wasn’t a big deal at all but I made it one. To ease my “guilt” I offered to work from home which was not bad at all but maybe I should have just focused on my health.

It’s a harsh reality that many Americans are sincerely afraid of calling out for any reason because they fear losing a days worth of pay or their job entirely. This really shouldn’t be the case. We all need mental health days or even more vacation days to recharge. I’m lucky to not have any kids but I know that a lot of parents will have to drop everything for their children while also worrying about work. It doesn’t matter how many studies they put out about how having more vacation days or shorter work days is beneficial, companies just don’t seem to care.

Do you have a fear of calling out? Why?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash