Wednesday, November 2, 2011

564. I Hate Calling In Sick

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.

“G—a—g—r m—a—h—r—zyx.”


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:

“G—a—h. M—h.”

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:


“Lost……… voice……….”

“MOV, is that you? You sound like Freddy Kruger. I was a little bit scared there for a minute.”

No…….. work……….”

“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.



  1. Good heavens! Sorry to hear about your lack of vocalization. That used to happen to me a lot more than it does now (knock on wood-like product). It has certainly happened at very inopportune times -- I guess there really isn't ever an opportune time to lose your voice. But, thank goodness for the Interwebs so you can keep on "talking." Too bad you don't have a bullhorn to amplify your "croaking" for your darling husband. I'm sure he'd be delighted you found a way to communicate.

  2. Poor you.
    The guy my mom and I live with, the guy I go deer hunting with, he caught my cold. I'm spiffing, but he... well, he sneezes like a malfunctioning orchestra of trumpets, trombones and tubas, so he's sleeping profusely in an attempt to shake it off.
    Poor dude. Poor you.
    -Motaki the Un-Ill aspiring Falconer

  3. I had a rep for going to work sick. As my job involved walking and stand-up meetings (I had no desk)I would hang a plastic bag over my arm and carry the tissues under my arm. I usually had very short meetings when I was sick, no one wanted to be near me.

    Once my company shipped in bad parts and they ended up on audit vehicles. The Quality Manager demanded I attend this meeting where about 40 people stand around to report out and explain their foibles to the Plant Manager. He took one look at my red nose, used tissue bag looked at the Jeep and stated to the group, I have only one question-do we have to put every piece of sh&t we receive on the vehicle. The QM told me to go home.

  4. couse, taki-- thanks for your words of kindness about my poor voice, which actually feels even worse today.

    nola--glad the QM let you go home that day. We are troopers! Sick is not in our vocabulary!



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