Perfect Attendance Leads to Elevated Self-Doubt and Ignorance of Illness

16 hours ago published on the source.Total views until now 3

 Firstly we would like to thank you so much that you are here.Additionally we would like to inform you that Bluzz.org is the most complete online newsreader and the same time an ultimate digital magazine that relies on readers interests to curate the day's biggest headlines.At Bluzz.org we do not develop any kind of stories or articles. Bluzz.org receives public rss feeds from the world's most popular news sites,online magazines,trusted websites and displays them with a link in the end of each article which redirect visitors to the original source.This means that Bluzz.org receives thousands of articles daily from more than 400 sources and display them per minute and per category.Bluzz.org do not host articles more than 24 hours.

Content responsibility

Bluzz.org does not compile, adopt and has no control over the content of the publications which it presents and categorizes automatically through algorithms and the full content of which it refers through relevant links. Also Bluzz.org does not adopt and has not control and responsibility for the content of search engines provided by Google LLC.

Striving for the perfect attendance award taught me to ignore and fight through symptoms of illness

Laura Williams-Burke

Image designed by the author in Canva

My suburban high school offered an enticing incentive for members of my graduating class to show up every day: seniors with perfect attendance records would be entered into a lottery to win a used car.

That’s why, even on “senior skip day,” I found myself trudging through the hallways and leaving after the last bell rang. Despite having a summer job lined up and sharing a vehicle with my older sister, I genuinely wanted that car prize.

On days when I didn’t feel so hot, whether due to a sinus infection, menstrual cramps, or even the morning after my cat unexpectedly died that spring, I thought of that perfect attendance incentive.

“Laura, it will look so great on your transcript,” my mother said, encouraging me to go to school on days when I felt unwell. “You’re tough, you can make it through the day.”

“Besides,” she continued, “How many other seniors are going to have perfect attendance? You’ll have a really good chance of winning that car!”

Narrator: She did not win the car.

What I did gain from achieving perfect attendance was a valuable learning experience about how institutions teach people from a very young age to ignore their bodies’ messages for the promise of future glory.

“Go without the {intangible thing} now, push through the discomfort — it will be worth it later,” society drills into the heads of its members.

This theme is universal and is reflected in the unsolicited advice people love to disseminate.

For example: Save up your vacation time, every single hour, so that you can use it in a glorious future vacation!

And: Squirrel away every single minute of sick leave, if you’re fortunate enough to have it, and never, ever, ever use it because what if you really need it someday?

From school children to adults, we are indoctrinated in the religion of self-doubt, learning to question the signals our body sends us and developing a mindset that only “weak” or unmotivated people take time away from their jobs.

Celeste Headlee’s book, “Do Nothing,” argues that a cultural shift took place in the early 1920s in which capitalist industrialism replaced religious values.

“To many in Henry Ford’s time, it was more shameful to miss a day at work than to stay home from church. I would argue that work began to replace religion,” Headlee writes.

The message to work despite the pain, combined with capitalism’s incessant encouragement to use whatever money we may have to pursue happiness, results in people coming home from long days on the job to stacks of Amazon packages, then wondering why they still feel sad or sick once they’ve opened the boxes.

I don’t have to paint you a picture of how my experience as a child in the 90’s relates to today because face masks and vaccines for teachers and school staff are additional flash points in the culture war / public health mashup hellscape of Covid.

“What are all those hours of work actually getting me?” we wonder morosely, staring at our pay stubs and credit card statements, using the math skills we learned during those consecutive days at school to calculate the number of decades it will take to pay off our student loans.

Our necks ache from staring at screens, our hands cramp up from typing, our desire to socialize disintegrates as the extra hours we dedicate to our jobs result in overexposure to people. We spend more time around our co-workers than our families and take out our aggravation on the ones we love the most.

We put in overtime because we want to show we have a solid work ethic, and besides, overtime means more pay.

Headlee explains, “Over the course of a couple hundred years, the religious notion that working long and hard makes you deserving while taking time off makes you lazy was adopted as an economic policy, a way to motivate employees to get the most out of them.”

Not only did the perfect attendance swindle teach me to put my goals above my health, but it also taught me that it’s worth it to put others at risk for illness if it means I have a chance to achieve something I desire.

Showing up at school with a cold, flu, or another contagious ailment wasn’t really frowned upon as I was growing up. I don’t have to paint you a picture of how my experience as a child in the 90’s relates to today, because face masks and vaccines for teachers and school staff are additional flashpoints in the culture war / public health mashup hellscape of Covid.

As I matured, I became more responsible with both my own health and the impact of my choices on other people, especially in my career as a public servant.

My coworkers were offended when I printed out an article about the contagiousness of the flu, especially to the elderly, and hung it on the refrigerator door in our break room.

I highlighted the author’s plea to stay home when you feel sick, and a few people approached me privately to explain that they needed to keep their sick leave time in case they had to stay home with ill children. That reason, in their minds, justified coming in when they were sick themselves, exposing both their coworkers and the members of the public that they met with to the flu, cold, or whatever other illness they might have.

This was pre-covid. Every flu season, people reported to the office sick. Year after year, I was indignant and upset at their selfishness. Nothing changed.

What I did gain from achieving perfect attendance was a valuable learning experience about how institutions teach people from a very young age to ignore their bodies’ messages for the promise of future glory.

This is what happens when we grow up in a society that treats being exhausted as a badge of honor. We work ourselves to the bone to prove something, whether it’s to our bosses, our families, or ourselves, about our commitment to the company. But in the end, it’s all just posturing, and we sit on the beach at an all-inclusive resort, squandering those saved-up vacation days by responding to e-mails because we’re terrified that Shane in marketing is gunning for our job.

We model disconnection from our bodies while being hyper-plugged into work as the way to get ahead.

Show up every single day, and you have the chance to win a new car!

We chase after the opportunity as though it’s a gift. Then, we have to maintain that disconnection for the rest of our lives to stay as tired as the Jones’s. After all, if we aren’t as fatigued as the people down the street we clearly aren’t working hard enough. Right?

read entire article to the source