Convincing others you are really, really sick [and not just malingering]

I’m off work today - a bad cold that’s not going away. I had to send a few emails to my colleagues to get them to cover me for meetings and stuff. Because they are suspicious, small-minded and petty people who think I’m just having a prolonged sickie* I felt it necessary to include an example of the painful and annoying sounds I have been emitting.

I then realised this is an area orthodox spelling has never tamed and creativity can still bloom. My best was ‘Urh, urh, hkerchchch, hkerchchch, … hkerch, gnrrur’.

How about it, Cafe Societicians? Can you write the most convincing sound of a bad cold in action?

  • A note for non-speakers of Australian. A sickie is when you call in sick even though you are definitely not. People come in to the office riddled with sickness, because they are ‘too crook to take a sickie’, or the surf is flat or its raining.

I’ve taken enough “sick” phone calls to know most of them are bogus. Sorry.

It really is amazing how often the excuses “I’ve been up all night pukin’ my guts out!” or “It’s comin’ out both ends!” get used. Then there’s the classic “I’m at the emergency room with my kid!” Others seem especially prone to “food poisoning,” suffering from a case every few weeks.

Years later I still remember the guy whose family suffered one mishap after another, usually right after payday. Father-in-law had a heart attack, mother had a stroke, uncle broke his leg, etc. It got so bad we had a pool going. What bad thing is going to happen to which family member this week? :smiley:

Then there’s the girl whose sister suffered at least three miscarriages over the course of a summer. And the girl whose mother died (only she didn’t). And the girl who called off sick but looked pretty sprightly when she came in to get her paycheck. And the guy who called off AFTER he picked up his paycheck because he had a “dizzy spell.” Well, that’s what happens when you drink beer too fast!

So if you’re mad because your co-workers think you’re not really sick, blame the slackers. :mad:

My boss is cool with it. Once I had a cold and texted her: “I hab a code. OK I stay hobe today?”

This year it’s been headaches. They’re not totally new, just more frequent than they used to be. Since I can do some critical stuff from home (I order all the medical supplies, including drugs and things that can run out with no notice), she’s usually fine with it, and she knows I could work if I had to, they’re not debilitating migraines and I’m just being a puss. Once every couple months, it’s OK.

I am so glad that I have reached a point in my life and career where I can take a day off if I need to without worrying about what my cow-orkers may think.

(reporting for forum change)

I hate listening to co-worker’s sick calls on our voice mail. Most of them are doing some form of “really sick voice” and take a long time describing all their symptoms and the time of night at which they struck. One girl gives such performances that I really can’t even understand what she’s saying…I just hear a lot of moaning and croaking and realize it must be her again.

As a manager, I hated having people describe symptoms to me. Plus it seemed the people who tried the hardest to convince me they were sick were the ones I suspected the most of faking it.

Now I merely send an e-mail to my boss saying “Taking a sick day today”. I’ve never been asked for more details.

Despite the creative writing element of the OP, this isn’t really a Cafe Society challenge – moved to MPSIMS.

twicks, who usually just says “some kind of stomach bug” and leaves it at that

I had a coworker who always seemed to get sick on the Friday before a 3-day weekend. He was an office joke.

I’ve been lucky to have bosses that knew I didn’t play games about sick days. Generally, my calls were “I’m sick - I’ll try to make it in tomorrow.” I spare everyone the TMI. I had a boss once who would accept “I need a mental health day” as a valid reason to take a sick day. I didn’t do it often, so he knew I needed it when I did it.

As far as what my coworkers thought - meh. The boss was the one who counted. I did my job, I did it well, and I often went above and beyond. Opinions of other minions meant nothing!

By odd coincidence, just this very morning my wife’s cleaning lady walked all the way to our house so that my wife could see in person how sick she is and that she can’t work today. Then she asked my wife to give her a ride home. :slight_smile:

So you could try that …

**Dwight: **So how did Oscar sound when he called in?
Pam: Sick. Like lots of sniffling, I don’t know.
Dwight: Sniffling how?
Pam: Umm, how many ways are there to sniffle?
Dwight: Three.
Pam: OK…it was the second one.
**Dwight: **OK, good. Thank you. That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

When I was werkin’ for the man, if I called in sick, whether I was or not, I put on zero affectations or theatrics to my voice. Rarely, other than a sore throat, do you have a raspy voice. And even with congestion, it doesn’t fuck up your speech to the point of absurdity. There’s more ailments that require a sick day that are completely unnoticeable, symptoms wise. So screw it, talk normal, say you won’t be in because you’re sick and save everybody the pretense. It just makes you look like you’re faking it otherwise. And we’ve all genuinely heard people with colds/flues. That shit can’t be faked. So if it’s real and present, it’ll come off as legit.

In the later days, I’d just email: “Won’t be in today, sick. Call me if need be.”

At my first job, I was determined to make a good impression. So I didn’t miss a single day in my first year .
At my year-end review, I was highly complimented for that. :cool:

During my second year, I turned up with a streaming, infectious cold - and immediately got sent home by my supervisor.
I’d like to apologise to anyone on public transport who travelled near me that day. :o

If there’s a problem just go into work and vomit on your boss.

Tell the boss you have rectal myopia. You can’t see your ass coming to work today.

gravel grinding
“What’s that?”
small rockslide
“Oh, it’s [Balance], and you’re sick?”
interlude with Tom Waits singing while getting punched in the throat
“Okay, take a sick day, but check your email if you can– had a question for you.”
humpback whale mourns
“Hope you feel better soon. Bye.”
pebbles fall on the head of a xenomorph, which hisses in annoyance

(When I get a cold, my voice is usually the first thing to go and the last to recover. People who hear it usually think I’m sicker than I am. These days, I just use email or chat to inform my manager.)

My boss gets sick more often than I do yet I had to train him out of looking a me incredulously when I caught a cold for only the second time that year…“You’re sick again?” uhhh…yeah. It’s only winter and we shake hands with every customer that walks in the door, why are you surprised I caught something?

After coming in sick a couple times and strategically coughing and blowing my nose almost right in his face so a little droplet or two might get on him, he’s suddenly decided to believe me whenever I say I’m sick. It would be great if we all had bosses that didn’t bust our balls about whether we’re really truly sick or not or we “deserve” the day off or some bullshit. Wow, that was my third sick day this year, and we’ve only got two weeks left to go before it’s next year. I’m totally suspicious of taking advantage of you, boss…

Might not help if your boss has cranial rectitis.

If I’m too sick to come in to work I can always plug in my laptop at home and work from there. If I’m too sick for that, which hasn’t happened in many years, the boss would just say “OK, hope you feel better!”

Or fecal cephalus

One prior employer had the bestest policy for sick days: If you are sick, stay home until you are well. If your family needs your attention, stay home until the situation is resolved. When you are here we want you at 100% and the rest of us don’t want your illness. If your absences are too frequent or if you seem to be abusing this policy, we will review whether you are healthy enough to be truly available for employment.

It seemed to me that this worked very well.

Since I’m healthy, I like PTO: Paid Time Off. You take a day off, and it doesn’t matter why. Vacation and sick time come from the same bin.

It must suck for people with health issues, though.