Dear Diversity Diva: I work in a department where a lot of people are taking time off from work because of kids sick with the flu. It’s just assumed that I’m going to take up the slack because my husband and I don’t have kids.
Not to be mean, but is there anything I can do? — Bugged by the Flu Bug
Dear Bugged: In a word, no.
You put the emphasis on the fact that your co-workers are missing work because their kids have the flu. But does it really make a difference if it’s because of their kids or their spouses or they themselves are home sick?
Ultimately, your workload will change from time to time because of things beyond the control of your co-workers. Just like circumstances in your life, from vacations to your own illnesses, will add to the workload of your co-workers.
If your work is involving overtime or longer hours, you can say no sometimes. And if it truly is quantifiably excessive, file it away as something to support your next raise or promotion.
Just remember they call it a flu season for a reason. So this too shall pass. In the meantime, remember that taking care of sick children isn’t exactly a trip to Disneyland, especially this year.