Monday, 21 June 2010
Well well well
I’ve never been very good at taking sick days. I’d rather go to work with bits falling off while coughing into a ball of wet tissue than make a phone call and risk people thinking I was faking it. Not that you get any credit for going in when you are unwell. Even when the smell of Lemsip has drifted across the office and my desk resembles a pop-up pharmacy, I’ve never been told that I am a brave girl.
If I find it hard to call in when I am genuinely poorly, I find it almost impossible to call in and fake it. I admire those who can pull sickies without a second thought. In the past I have put in plenty of unnecessary groundwork the shift before the pre-planned sick day - grabbing my stomach while trying to make eye-contact with someone who'll then be able to back up my claims the next day. I am not a good actor. I find the whole business so stressful that I do not do it very often.
On the walk to the tube I often daydream of swapping broken bones for a few days off. I’ve broken my elbow before and the pain was preferable to a typical day at the office. Even on the escalator up to work I have fantasised about falling down them, just so I can stall the start of my shift by a few hours. I appreciate these are not healthy thoughts. I am not work-shy – I just work in the bowels of hell.
I know people who work in the City in insurance and take home morbidly obese salaries. And on top of this, and 25 days holiday, they are given 5 ‘Duvet Days’ each year. It is basically a licence to call in at the drop of a hat and say: 'I don't feel like coming in today' – whether that was because they had a job interview, felt a bit tired, fancied a bit of Jeremy Kyle or had met someone the night before they wanted to continue to tumble about with. Sometimes life seems very unfair.
But as I have just used up all my holiday until October (to save what was left of my sanity) I might have to get better at ruining my sick record. Especially if I get any job interviews in the north. And as I have now put my sister’s Manchester address on my CV, I am hoping potential employers do not dismiss me as a soft southern type.