Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dog Days and Period Dramas How to Pull a Summer Sickie

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dog Days and Period Dramas How to Pull a Summer Sickie

Article excerpt

LAST night, as the sun sank below the city skyline and buses whooshed past, horns squawking, you made a call. A bad one, as it turns out. Instead of going home, you stayed out way, way past your bedtime. After all it's summer, and downtime feels like your birthright.

But what was a bad call last night is a terrible one this morning: you cannot contemplate working. Indeed, the idea brings you out in a cold sweat though granted, that's quite useful as you're currently clammy and nauseous. Nonetheless, there's no way you're seeing this one through: you're pulling a sickie until you feel well enough for another steeling glass of rose.

Unfortunately, everyone in town's trying the same thing your sicknote needs to stand out. The limp sudden morning "migraine" will not suffice: the modern sick note must be an experimental narrative with no inconsistencies. Though the truism of the sick note remains thus: the more details you give, the more it becomes very clear that you are lying. A guilty conscience is verbose.

This is a handbook for summer dissemblance.

Period leave Good news: feminism is now mainstream! This means iniquities like the BBC gender pay gap make front-page news; it also means that your boss must take your menstrual cycle seriously. Obviously, hijacking this excuse mocks those for whom it is a serious concern consider your wickedness as you craft your email and so if you are going to claim this excuse, do not over-egg it.

And avoid vivid details: you are not trying to make your Year 9 PE teacher uncomfortable.

Dog adoption day You are afraid you cannot come to work today as the dog you adopted over the weekend is having trouble settling in. This is, essentially parental leave: it is vital that it "imprints" upon you in these first weeks. In fact, you might need the rest of the week off. Adopting a dog is a commitment equivalent to having a child.

NB, do not use this excuse if your boss has a child.

Stomach flu Advantage: a quick email saying you have stomach flu conveniently closes down further enquiry, as most supervisors take the irrational approach that even talking about it might be enough to contract it themselves. …

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