The first Monday of February is known as National Sickie Day. It is apparently the day that it is most likely that workers will call in ill to work, despite not actually being poorly. There are many reasons why this may be, but it is likely because it is right in the depths of winter and a day in bed is much more tempting than going back to work. But if you’re going to give it a go, you need to know how to pull a sickie correctly.
It should be said that, before you read on, pulling a sickie when you don’t need it is lying to your boss and, as such, not recommended. We take no responsibility for your disciplinary proceedings.
How to pull a sickie
Don’t do ‘the voice’
Come on, do you think your boss has never heard the generic ‘poorly voice’ before. That weak, whining tone that you garnish with a pathetic cough? It’s not fooling anyone. No one really sounds like that when they’re ill. Putting on a pretend voice is dangerous. Just use your normal voice and remember not to sound too chipper. That would be a give away.
Keep it simple
Another tell that you’re pulling a sickie is when you overcomplicate the story. When you’re really ill, you just ring and say what’s wrong. You don’t give a whole story about how it may be something you ate on Friday, along with specific details of the restaurant and the name and address of the chef. When considering how to pull a sickie, just pick an illness and stick with it. Not extra information. It also means you don’t have to remember a complicated story when you get back to the office.
Stay off socials
We all know that sometimes people forget that social networks are viewable to others outside our close circle. If you’re pulling a sickie and you add a video of yourself to your Insta story of you downing a pint that afternoon, there is a chance someone from work will see and question your illness. One day off updating your status is not going to kill you. And, if it does, you get another day off.
Don’t go crazy
Look, a week off work would be nice. But you need to be realistic. If you are off for too long, there is more chance that they will ask difficult questions. And you might need to get a doctor’s note, which would be tough seeing as you made it up, right? Take a day. Maybe two. And be glad of the break.
How to pull a sickie – the serious bit
Yes, lying to your boss for time off is not the right thing to do. But is there a reason behind you needing to take a day off work? You see, we all feel more comfortable pretending to have a physical illness than admitting that we are struggling mentally. And, you know what? If you need a break for your mental health, that isn’t pulling a sickie. That’s entirely legitimate and could save many additional days off in the future, either as your mental health worsens or it begins to affect you physically as well.
Not all sickies are mental health-related of course. Many are people just fancying a day off work. But don’t feel that you have to pretend that you have a physical illness if you need to take time for your mental health. And, if you do, talk to your HR department. We should all feel comfortable at work taking time off if we need it for whatever reason.