David Pokorny’s comment was a little in-artful, but I think if you take a moment to breathe and then re-read it you’ll find that you both are representing the same perspective.
A more charitable reading of his comment might be:
‘Employers tend to react negatively to people who announce they’re taking a day off on the day they’re taking a day off. Actually gets you fired from entry and minimum wage level work where they call it “no call no show.” When you know you need some time to recollect yourself, taking the time to schedule your day off when you need it on the calendar or making other arrangements shows you understand you have responsibilities and are not abandoning the team. There’s nothing wrong with taking time off when you need it, that’s why you should work for yourself.’
That may be an exceedingly charitable reading, but I think as you revisit it you may observe as I did the curious emphasis on calendars and the pitch for working for yourself.
Even this reading, introduces a whole host of other complications. Do we really expect people to be able to predict their health?
You asked “would you stigmatize someone with back pain?” which reminded me an awful lot of my own experiences living with a chronic illness.
I have only worked with teams that profess to have the same sort of inclusive policies that the fine folks at Olark Live Chat have: and I have never once experienced a situation where my own physical maladies have not been met with a degree of skepticism from some element of the team.
There’s someone on every team with some measure of trust problems — and the work still has to get done.
so, reluctantly, I’ve become accustom to extending others the courtesy I wish that they would extend to me. It doesn’t always happen, and sometimes you run into a situation where you’re dealing with someone with bad intent in their heart.
You have to react to that, episodically.
That’s why I commented on your comment, I think David Pokorny actually makes a very valuable point: if we want to change the way work “feels” we need more organizations that are lead by people who share those values.
that isn’t the end of it, though.
we need those organizations to be able to compete in a landscape against players who play by different rules. we need that to happen long enough for the pendulum to swing a little and talent to migrate accordingly.
that’s a tall goal, yet I can’t help but feel we can get there with a little more trust and a whole lot more understanding.