Amazing Woman Works 44 Years Without Taking a Single Sick Day


sick dayIf you're one of the unfortunate people who caught the stomach bug that's going around (hi), or the flu, or the nasty colds that seem to be sweeping the nation, you've probably already used a sick day this year. And that's a bummer. Because we want to use sick days for when it's nice out and we can go to the beach. Because no one likes being sick. And if you haven't yet called in sick this year, you probably did at some point last year. And if you didn't last year, you probably did the year before. And -- well, let me just cut to the chase here: A woman who just retired from her job as a postal worker didn't use a single sick day -- in 44 years.

Deborah Ford, 64, retired recently from being the time and attendance control technician at a Detroit post office. For years, Ford was in charge of logging time cards and attendance records -- yet, ironically, she never used a sick day of her own. At her send-off luncheon, Ford was presented with a retirement proclamation that enabled her to retire with a sick-leave balance of 4,508 hours. 

So, what's Ford's secret?

Well, according to her, there isn't one. "I have no secrets," she said. "But a positive attitude helps." We had a little chat about this in the office, and some people seem to think that Ford's real secret to perfect attendance is not having kids. I don't totally disagree with this sentiment, as sometimes you have to take a sick day when your kid is sick. But this is impressive nonetheless.

Apparently she takes a vacation day if she has a doctor's appointment, and she says that when she's feeling lousy, she just "shakes it off."

Shake it off. I like that. Mind over matter. But every once in a while, isn't it nice to just huddle under the covers with some chicken soup and a West Wing marathon?

Do you call in sick a lot?


Image via ghindo/Flickr

cold & flu


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nonmember avatar mm

She is not amazing, she is selfish. Thanks to her I am guessing many of her coworkers were needlessly exposed to her contagious illnesses. How much did her coworkers lose in earned time and hospital bills for themselves and their families? What if one of her coworkers was immunocomprimized? Plus, why was she even allowed to acrue that much sick leave? Basically she gets a payout at retirement at the top of her salary costing tax payers far more than intended.

nonmember avatar the brown

i agree that not having kids may have had a hand in her not using any sick days. the ONLY time i use sick days is when my kid is sick (luckily the only time i've been sick is usually during the holidays, when im off anyway).

chero... cherokeegoddess

my mom worked 13 years without taking a sick day off. she only came home a few times sick but after working the majority of her shift.

....C... ....ClvrScn.

Oh good lord! To the non member bitching about tax payers paying her salary - you got your mail didn't you?? I work for an out sourced branch of the post office, so the tax payers do not pay me - but damnit, it's hard to take a day off when you work in mail !! My branch was closed on MLK Day - and guess what? The next day, Tuesday we were so swamped it was ridiculous! We ended up having to stay 2 hours over to get the shit done!

I do my best not to take a day off, because it can and it will put me so far behind. When I do have to take a day off, I try to get everything done from home that I can. I'm lucky in the sense that I do not actually deliver the mail, but many people at my site do actually deliver mail. When one of them takes a sick day - guess who's out there delivering their mail? Me. Guess who's work is getting behind,?? Mine - because I have a desk job, and you people want your mail, no matter who's sick right? You don't want to have to wait an extra day for a check, or a birthday card, or a package, just because your postal worker got sick -

There have been plenty of times where I have been sick and my boss has begged me to come in. It's part of the job! I'm happy for her, an extra 2 years of paid time is awesome!

nonmember avatar a grandaughter

My grandmother did something like this- cause she never really got sick. When she retired she had worked for over 40 years and she had accumulated almost 3 and a half years of paid sick and vacation days and they didnt want to pay her for it so she ended up taking a settlement. She didnt do it for any reason other than that she loved her job. She liked to work. while she was working there she also had a part time job which became full time when she retired from her primary job. She worked up until 78 years old at that job when they forced retirement on her. I am proud to say she is almost 95 years old now and lives with me. Shes been with me for the last 6 years, doesnt have anything wrong with her and is not on any medication what so ever and She even smoked from 11 years old up to 88 years old but I had her quit when she moved in with me. She hasnt had even so much as a cold in the 6 years that Shes been with me, and yet in those 6 years ive had my fair share of them. Crazy!!!

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