Down with the sickness

Seized-up and backfiring like a rusted farm truck with a tank full of slurry sliding around in the back, it takes all you’ve got to slosh out of bed in the morning when you’re sicker than a dog.

It’s one of the hardest challenges you’ll face in life: Not calling in to work when you look, feel and smell like a piping-hot plate of chipped beef on toast. But it’s a challenge you should overcome – because it’s a great opportunity to make your co-workers look bad and earn some serious brownie points with your boss.

It’s understandable if you want to stay home instead, though. The thought of peeling yourself away from the comfort of that sticky lunger’s nest you’ve been dripping, hacking and wheezing into all night in favor of a hot shower and a few hours of being active at work must be awful.

But rather than stay home, feel sorry for yourself and be a typical under-the-weather goldbricker, wouldn’t it be cooler to show up at work and trick people into thinking you’re a hero – someone that the rest of the office needs to look up to and take a lesson from, even though in reality they shouldn’t? Let’s put it this way: Doesn’t it sound better than sitting home all day on the couch, a sniveling, stinky, phlegm-gurgling mess that’s pickling themselves in a brine of soggy tissues, sweat pants and daytime television? Of course it does.

Remember you’re really sick, so it’s not like anyone will expect you to do any work while you’re there anyway. Also, since going to work when you’re sick should make you feel worse, you’ll even get high praise for doing nothing because you’ll look so bad.

“Honestly Jan, I’m amazed that you even came in,” the boss might say, looking at you as if you were a leper. “You’re an inspiration to us all.”

“Oh, it’s not so bad (cough),” you’d reply in your most worn-out froggy voice. “Once the dizzy spells pass, I can usually muster enough strength to keep on going until the next one.”

If you want take this thing all the way, do a couple menial, tedious tasks outside your job requirements on a day when you’re sick. Not only will it put you head and shoulders above your co-workers, it will seal your fate as an office legend.

“Hey Jeff, Rich, you guys have never re-loaded the fax machine and you’re healthy. Poor Jan here is barking like a broken garbage disposal but that doesn’t stop her from going above and beyond the call of duty,” the boss might snap.

“What a goody-two-shoe,” Rich will probably say. “She’s making us look bad, Jeff.”

“Naw Rich, we’re making ourselves look bad.”

You’ll have office morale boosted and your own career ticket punched by the end of that day. Sounds more rewarding than taking sick time, right? What’s more, is the boss will probably send you home with pay anyway, “because that’s what we do for our most valued employees.”

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