I have a very strong work ethic, which means I would rather infect everyone with bubonic plague than call in sick. I once flew for three weeks straight with pneumonia because I was convinced it was just a “bad cough.” Another flight attendant finally pulled me aside after my 32nd coughing fit of the day, covered her face with a paper towel, and said, “People are afraid of you. Go to the doctor!”
But wouldn’t everyone at work think I was just “faking” it? I must go to work.
Today was no exception. I woke up feeling great, took a shower, got dressed, and ate a bowl of cereal. I was just about to leave the house, when the husband said, “Good morning, MOV.” I turned around to say good morning back, and frog noises came out of my mouth region.
I tried again. Nothing. I was like the mute button on the TV.
“Aren’t you supposed to teach a seminar at work today?” The Husband reminded me helpfully.
I managed to whisper, “Yes.”
“Ha! I don’t think that is going to happen. You’d better call in sick right now.”
“I can’t! I just started my new job and they will totally think I am faking it and going shopping for the day or that I am a big chicken and don’t want to teach the seminar and by the way don’t you remember I broke that expensive equipment at work so now I am trying to stay on President Boss’s good side and what the heck is she going to think of me if I don’t show up?”
That is what I wanted to say, and what I did say in my head. What I said in reality was:
The Husband gave me a condolence hug, then laughed. “Wow, the house will sure be nice and quiet for once! This is gonna be great! Too bad I have to miss it and go to work.”
I never get sick. Never! I am invincible. So when the truth is staring me right in the face, I do what comes naturally: deny, deny, deny. But I knew The Husband was right (for once).
I attempted to call President Boss’s secretary to let her know I would not be in.
The phone call went like this:
“MOV, is that you? You sound like Freddy Kruger. I was a little bit scared there for a minute.”
“You know, it is kind of freaking me out to talk to you. I will let President Boss know you are sick. Go to the doctor. Feel better.”
She hung up on me.
Well, at least no one thinks I’m faking it.