Present and unaccounted for

Hangovers. Nagging colds. Relationship woes. In our workaholic culture, none of these nasty things will keep folks from showing up at the office. Shunning Aggie's advice to take a mental health day, the suffering drones are present in body but barely in spirit.

Painted Stick recently pointed out the term for this phenomenon is presenteeism.

Word Spy defines it like so: presenteeism (prez.un.TEE.iz.um) n. The feeling that one must show up for work even if one is too sick, stressed, or distracted to be productive; the feeling that one needs to work extra hours even if one has no extra work to do. —presentee n.

Statistics Canada has even noted this sister condition of absenteeism in a report on depression and work impairment.

So the next time you feel like like you're running on three cylinders, it might be wise to pull over to the side of the road. And take a nap in the staff lounge.

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