It was difficult dragging myself out of bed this morning when the alarm went off. After a long period of several weeks of work between two jobs with no real breaks, my body rebelled against my mind. My mind, the responsible part of my body, was ready to go, while the rest of the body threw a pillow at the mind, telling it to “shut up and go back to sleep!” Needless to say . . . I got up. Despite getting up I still contemplated calling in and taking a “sick day”.
Unfortunately the good Lord blessed me with a good immune system that seldom fails me . . . I rarely get sick. I always thought that one had to be “sick” to call in “sick” . . . little did I know. Msn.com had an article dealing with this topic and it is amazing what I learned about “calling in sick”.
The article stated that 30 percent of all workers in the past year have called in sick without actually being ill. Winter seems to be a popular time for calling in sick with the holidays seeming to be the busiest for illness—especially December when the call-in rate is around 20 percent. The next most popular month for skipping out of work is July, followed by January and February. Today is October 22nd . . . calling in sick might have raised some eyebrows at work as it is not December, January, February, or July! Plus there were no holidays associated with this particular day—except it is National Nut Day, but that one would have been too obvious. All my co-workers would have encouraged me to go and be with my people!
The university at which I work is typical in what it allows for “personal days” whether it is vacation or sick days . . . they accumulate over time. Though they accumulate over time, I have noticed that the vacation days seem to fly the coop at a much faster rate than the sick days. I imagine it has to do with “purpose”—what is the purpose for taking the personal day. With vacation the university does not care what you are doing; with the sick days the university expects one to be sick. Surprisingly the number one reason for using sick days is being sick . . . followed by not wanting to go to work (34 percent), feeling like one needs to relax (29 percent), going to see a doctor (22 percent), catching up on sleep (16 percent), or to run errands. Boy, it seems as if the definition of being sick is pretty broad . . .
The other problem I have with calling in sick is that I have never been a great liar . . . oh, I can kid with the best of them, but I am a terrible liar. I think one has to be good at lying to get away with taking a day off using the excuse of being sick . . . or at least be a creative writer or storyteller. I’d have to take a day off to come up with a great excuse! Here were some of the more creative excuses people used to skip work:
Employee’s sobriety tool wouldn’t allow the car to start.
Employee forgot he had been hired for the job.
Employee said her dog was having a nervous breakdown.
Employee’s dead grandmother was being exhumed for a police investigation.
Employee’s toes got stuck in the faucet.
Employee said a bird bit her.
Employee was upset after watching the “Hunger Games”.
Employee got sick from reading too much.
Employee was suffering from a broken heart.
Employee’s hair turned orange from dyeing her hair at home.
As good as those excuses were . . . none would work for me. My car does not have a sobriety tool, that is usually my wife and she will let me know. I have worked nearly four years for the same place . . . hard to forget that. My dogs give me more nervous breakdowns than one might imagine. Never have thought about sticking my toe in the faucet. The only reason I got upset with the “Hunger Games” was because I spend money seeing it. I read too much, but I have never gotten sick of reading. Guess you have to have a heart in order for it to get broken . . . besides my heart has been stomped on so much there is nothing left to break. And, you’ve got to have hair—any hair—in order to dye it any color . . . even orange!
So . . . I went to work. I did not join the ranks of the 30 percent. Nor did I start a career in creative writing. I did not lie. I came to work. But I have been inspired! I am going to work on my excuses, I am going to learn to lie, and I am going to work up the courage to call in sick. I am thinking that honesty might be the best policy:
What do you think?