Truth: I was the General Manager of a few different businesses after getting out of school. I couldn't miss a day, or the freaking joint didn't run and/or open. I missed one day in a 10yr period. One! And it was because...are you ready? I got so badly sunburned on my legs that I couldn't wear pants! However, gawddamnit, I STILL went in...barely able to walk in loose jogging pants! (but went home within a few hrs).
Truth: Working for an airline as a non-manager for the first several years, the policy was....if you called in sick one day, you weren't paid for it. If you called in sick the 2nd, 3rd and even 4th day (4th always required a doctor's excuse), you were paid for ALL days! You can't make this $hit up. And yes, not being a mgr. for the first time in my post-college career...I abused this policy several times. It was the norm. And hey, the airline continued to run when I wasn't there! (yeah, wasn't used to this kind of environment at the time...and found it refreshing....liberating).
Truth: I missed one day since 2003, and it was just last year (2012). I was slightly sick when I came into work that day, and I lost my voice before my day was over. My boss knew I wasn't coming in the next day (so he told me, when I called in the next morning after barely being able to rise out of bed), but I sure as hell had intended to! I felt like crap for over 2wks from that Flu (just wait to you 35er's get over 50, lol!), but I came to work every day.
Truth: I often look down upon other who I think play the system, but it's only because I've been a "guy who has to deal with that" in my position, not so much as for being Alpha, etc..
Truth: People have different reasons for calling in sick, beside being sick. Beside actual sickness, some people need to "recharge", "take timeout" or whatever. As a Manager, I have to evaluate their worth/value to my organization/team. I know full well that my underlings take advantage of their "sick days", and based on their pay scale...I have no problem indulging them by believing terrible "excuses" for doing so (and many feel it's a benefit that MUST be used, lol). Most people are good people, so I don't sweat the small stuff. Sure, if you want to bring in "today's productivity levels", you'd quickly understand that such abuse can cause undue stress upon coworkers...who have to take up their slack. But...I leave it here.
I'm proud of my own constitution, but won't condemn anyone who responds differently in this thread.
EDIT: While working for the airline that I did, in the early years, I felt pretty unappreciated. This leads to abusing/taking advantage of. My current staff as GM in my latest gig of 8mths? I've had one person call in sick. One! And for only one day.
It's almost always about how you treat your people, not what kind of people that they are.