A few years ago, my daughter Jessica had several consultations with her neurosurgeon. One day, as the nurse made an appointment for a follow-up visit in six months, she asked, “Do you need a written excuse for work?”
And for one mad moment I couldn’t make any sense of what she was saying. I heard the words but they didn’t make any meaning. I’m a grown adult, so, no, I do not need a freakin’ written excuse to go about the business of living my life. What are you even talking about?
And then I realized that the default method in the world of work is to treat people as if they are incompetent or lying or both. Because that’s the only explanation for what is clearly a routine question for an exam during business hours. I guess if I were employed in the traditional corporate world, I’d be forced to ask, “Please boss can I take my daughter to see the neurosurgeon? No? Okay.”
I get that some people abuse the system and would miss three weeks of work out of every four if they could, but then you deal with the abuse of the system. You don’t just assume that everyone is out to rip you off. And if you believe they are, then maybe you need to rethink your hiring practices. And your life philosophy. And maybe your entire life. In fact, I think you need a vacation.
Experts have discussed many reasons for the Great Resignation, and I think that story encapsulates why in a nutshell. Being a freelancer has its challenges, but I sure as hell don’t have to get a written excuse to go about the business of living my life.