Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Calling in "Sick"

If I had the kind of job where anyone would notice, I'd think about calling in sick today.  Not because I feel particularly unwell.  In fact, other than some post-heavy-exercise stiffness, I'm in a pretty good place at the moment.  I just don't feel like getting back on the conveyor belt that has become my life in recent weeks.  So I'm fantasizing that I am back in a time when I had one job, with regular hours, and a place to report to on a daily basis.  And that there is someone to call, to express my intention to take a break.

My son who attends online high school has spoken about missing the structure he railed against when he was in a non-virtual school.  Not because it helped to organize his days and his work, but because of his fond memories of the relief of breaking the routine on occasion.  Snow days were useful in the same way.  And it's hard to get snowed out of your computer.

In my endless poking around on the internet that has become my "office," as well as my playground, social scene, and household assistant, I came across this handy little site called the Sickday Excuse Generator.  If I did have someone to call, and if I were okay with lying--which I'm not--this prevaricating tool could provide me with an excuse to proffer in exchange for approved time off.  Unless, of course, a doctor's note was required.  

In the space of about fifteen seconds, a visit to the site this morning generated this list of possible excuses:

  • I cracked a tooth last night.
  • I'm recovering from food poisoning.
  • My stigmata's acting up.
  • I'm having an asthma attack.
  • I sprained my ankle.
  • I lost my contacts and cannot see.
  • My arthritis flared up.
  • I have a fever.
  • Today is irritable bowel day for me.
I could also download a "Sounds of Sickness" 8 minute audio loop of sniffles, sneezes and coughs to use the day before calling in, to prepare my boss and coworkers for my "illness;" download an iPhone app from the Absentee Toolkit Page; and get advice to use when calling in, as well as signs I'm calling in sick too often--like "Your boss asks you to create a detailed manual describing exactly how to do what you do at work."

But while this little daydream is diverting, I guess I'll just have to suck it up, like many of us 21st century workers, and recognize that I am the boss of me, and I'm not likely to fall for any of this.  I can, however, indulge another vision and be the kind of progressive and benevolent employer who recognizes the waxing and waning rhythms of human energy.  So without manufacturing some bogus malady, I can make today an easier one and build in some relief.  A side benefit is that I don't have to miss out on scheduled things I enjoy, and look forward to, just to avoid the yucky stuff.

And, really, given all the trouble I have been having with that stigmata, it seems only right.

No comments:

Post a Comment