Tagged: mental-health

How Not to Call in Sick

I personally, am not a big fan of faking sick days. I live in fear that if I pretend to be sick the universe will come back to bite me and one day I will be genuinely, horribly ill and I either won’t have any sick leave left to take, or no one will believe I am actually sick.

As a result, I have a bucket load of sick leave accrued. True story. It would be more if it weren’t for that awful, seemingly never-ending bout of conjunctivitis I was cursed with back in November (how does a full grown adult even catch conjunctivitis these days, anyway?), which took over my life for a good three weeks.

But to the point – given my lack of expertise on the matter, this post is not about how to call in sick. I, clearly am not an expert on that topic as more often than not I am sent home after being identified as a potential source of contagion for some all-consuming super bug that is trying to destroy the entire human race… Nope, this post is about my experience of other people calling in sick, which, in my workplace, they have to do directly to me.

The scratchy throat

Something that continues to baffle me is that everyone who calls in sick, regardless of whether it’s for a stomach bug, headache, sprained ankle, dizziness or fatigue puts on a scratchy throat voice while telling me they’re not coming in.

Omg, I don’t care if you’re taking a mental health day to go get some fresh air by the beach, but if you’re going to lie to me, at least think through your whole act before you attempt to convince me!

When I answer the phone and you sound like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, my heart honestly skips a beat. My overactive imagination has already assumed you have been taken over by an evil spirit/woke up in a bath of ice with your kidneys missing/are on a mission through the depths of hell to save the human race, all you need to do is be creative. Ideally, the conversation would go like this:

You (Cue Gollum-esque voice): ‘I just don’t think I can makes it into work today…’

Me: ‘Oh, no! What’s happened?’

You: ‘They cursed us. Murderer they called us. They cursed us, and drove us away. And we wept, Precious, we wept to be so alone.’

Me ‘Serious?’

You: ‘Oh! Cruel hobbit! It does not care if we be hungry. It does not care if we should die! Not like Master. Master cares. Master knows. Yes, precious… ‘

Me ‘Did you just call me a Hobbit?’

You: ‘Yes, gollum. But perhaps we sits here and chats with it a bitsy, my precious. It likes riddles?’

Me: ‘I’m confused… but you sound terrible, maybe take tomorrow off too?’

But alas, no one is even remotely creative when calling in sick and the conversation is more along the lines of:

You (Cue Gollum-esque voice): ‘I just don’t think I can makes it into work today…’

Me: ‘Oh, no, you sound terrible! What’s happened?’

You: ‘I hurt my foot.’

Me: ‘Okay… Make sure you get a medical certificate!’

The pre-planned day off

A word of advice to anyone thinking about pulling a sickie – do not tell your boss the day before that you have a tickle in your throat and think you need a day off just in case you get sick.

‘Oh, you’re sick? Is it really bad? Do you think you better go see a doctor?’

‘Yeah, pretty bad, definitely need to see a doctor…’

‘Great! Make sure you get a medical certificate while you’re there!’

‘Oh… erm… I… erm… I dunno if it’s that bad…’

‘Look, we don’t want you getting any sicker, so better safe than sorry! See you tomorrow!’

Eating bad sushi the night before your last day of work

When you’ve requested to finish your employment contract early so that you can fly to another country to start a new job and your manager has done everything in their power to negotiate this for you, but has only been able to get your last day to be one day after you requested… the bad sushi the night before line is just not going to cut it.

Just call and say:

‘You know how I said I booked my flight for Wednesday? I actually booked it for Monday night and I’m calling you from overseas. I’m sorry’

Not:

‘No, no, that echo you hear is not from this being an international call, it’s just from the evil sushi I ate last night, it’s making my voice echo…’

Guess who’s getting on a flight back to Australia to fulfill their employment contract!

Lesson learnt!

Calling in Sick By Proxie

Ah, this old chestnut! When you can’t even be bothered feigning illness, just get someone else to do it for you!

And most of the time, you don’t even need to call, just text:

‘Sick as. Tell boss, pls. Lol. Thnx.

Alas, there is pretty much no chance that anyone is actually going to believe you, even if you are lying on your death bed.

Luckily, you’re most likely at the beach or somewhere equally relaxing, so you’ll be fully alert to deal with the fallout from your behavior.

Additionally, if you make a sudden recovery and retract your sick text halfway through the morning, you might convince a co-worker or two of your magical healing, but your boss will suspect you’ve lied to attend a job interview, so blocking your (currently public) Facebook page in advance is highly recommended…

And we all know how THAT story ends, don’t we?