There's a very large difference between being short-handed with a crew that works well together and being short-handed with a crew that doesn't. If you're short-handed with a good bunch, things are tough, but you make it through without too many scratches. Working with folks who can't even be civil, much less work together, makes everyone, workers and residents alike, suffer more than necessary.
I say, why not just pitch in and go the extra mile? Someday it might be your fault that the crew is short. We'll forgive you more if you actually make your presence felt in a positive way on the days you do show up.