The answer is YES. All integrity is thrown out the window when you start

plotting your sudden ‘illness’ for work between the hours of midnight and five

am. No matter how tremendous your excuse is or how sly and sleuth you’re

being, you are ultimately neither. It initially starts as it always does for people

initially skiving off that first ‘sick day’ and that is with the obvious but easy go-to

option of ‘food poisoning’. You squint at your phone as you try to carefully word

out your text message to whom ever overrules you at work. Tongue stuck out

with sheer concentration, you know there are various hurdles to overcome.


-Composing a text message that isn’t incoherent.

At the time you almost commend your skilled writing abilities because you think the text is question has

been so craftily put together that you should almost be entitled to some kind of

award. You have debated with friends the best possible reason for feigning

illness in which you all unanimously agree it is best to give extra details of said

illness. This is both unnecessary and disgusting for the person who will receive

the text but it is too late as you have already expertly listed all the symptoms

possible with having some dodgy meat at your local curry house.


-The groggy phone-call in the morning.

Mandatory for anyone who decides to message their boss at 4.30am. ‘Michael’ they will say ‘Is it that bad you can’t

come in?’ There is the initial falter as you debate whether you can in fact soldier

in and look like the hero, but then you think better of it. It is then that you make

sure to emphasise just how weak, croaky and altogether pathetic you really are.

‘No boss, honestly I’ve never been like this before’ (lie) and just to ensure they

really know you’re ill ‘I’ve booked to see the Doctor later today’ (lie has now

been fully secured).


-The Pause.

Where you both know you’re lying but there is nothing either of you

can do to protest your guilt, unless he or she has footage of you swinging your

foot-long subway sandwich around pretending you have the Don Juan of huge

penises whilst singing your own triumphant rendition of Peter Andre

‘Mysterious Girl’- a juxtaposition to your own current state, who is not so


-Fleeting Happiness.

Mwhaha I am a genius and I get the whole day in bed and

they are none the wiser…………..but are they none the wiser? Was there a hint of

sarcasm in his voice or am I being paranoid…shit…he knew…no he didn’t…he

did….not……….. know?…(and finally) I hope no one’s swopping their shit chair with

mine whilst I’m away!


-The Morning After.

Perhaps the worst stage of all because you now have to put

on an Oscar worthy performance to all your colleagues, that you have spent the

previous day bed bound. This is done with small measures of consideration. You

factor in the slightly shaky voice, the lack of interest in food and the occasional

(but oh so subtle) gag reflex.


-A winning performance.

When you know you have gone for gold and even the

lady at reception asks whether you’re ok. You soldier on until 6pm where its

time to retire the act. Its only as you leave the office you meet eyes with the big

boss ‘I hear they make those curries awfully strong at Gordon’s Wine Bar’


And you think. Fuck. He knows.


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