Unless you're a professional footballer, international pop star, circus freak, glamour photographer, or dwarf pimp (which works both ways), the word 'Work' does not fill you with joy. So what happens if you wake up one morning and just don't want to go to work? There are tips that you can follow to ensure you get the maximum benefit from your unofficial day off, with the minimum of fuss.
Take a moment to look at the word...........WORK.
Just reading it makes any normal person shudder. Unless you're a professional footballer, international pop star, circus freak, glamour photographer, or dwarf pimp (which works both ways), the word 'Work' does not fill you with joy nor do you envision eight hours of hilarity and happiness for five days of each week. There's a reson for this; we're not meant to like it, if we did it would be called 'Fun'. Phrases like "How was your day at Fun dear?", or "I can't go out tonight, I've got Fun in the morning" would be the norm. You'd still be angry about being late in the morning's but for an entirely different reason, you'd be late for 'Fun'.
So that established, it is normal for people not to want to go to work. Legally we're entitled to 20 days holiday a year, but this never seems enough. Couple that with the fact that the notice you give should be double the period of time you request off, it doesn't give you much room for manouvre. So what happens if you wake up one morning and just don't want to go to work?
Enter stage left; the 'Sickie'.
Also known as a 'Skive', the Sickie is a tool best used infrequently. Too many sick days will draw attention to yourself, and may result in warnings and the ultimate punishment; dismissal. Too little sick days, and you're not utilising one of your basic human rights. As with any project, a Sickie should be planned with military precision. If you pull a sickie without any preparation you are asking for trouble. There are however tips that you can follow to ensure you get the maximum benefit from your unofficial day off, with the minimum of fuss.
1 - When to pull a sickie
Most sick days are usually a spur of the moment decision just because you're too lazy to go into work. Although great to do, this requires the quickest of thinking, and can look the most suspicious. If you're planning ahead to have a sick day, because the weather might be nice or you have an interview for another job, it's best to start acting in advance of the day itself. The morning before, be quieter than you normally would be, gradually getting quieter as the day goes on. You'll find that people will notice and ask if everything's alright. This is the time to plant the seed that you're not feeling great. Don't make a big fuss, just mention that you're not feeling 100%. You could even dismiss it completely saying you're fine, and you're colleagues will think you're being brave. As the afternoon progresses gradually let yourself get worse. If you're going to pretend you've got a bad cough, start coughing lightly. If you're going to say you have a sore throat, make your voice go croaky gradually. If you're going to say you have the runs, visit the toilet more frequently. You get the idea. Whatever you do, do not make a big thing about it, just enough for people to notice. Most importantly, when you leave at the end of the day imply that you'll be in the next day as normal. A simple "See you tomorrow" works wonders.
2 - Know your illness
Before you do anything, you must decide what ailment is supposedly preventing you from going into the office and doing what you're paid to do. You never know how much knowledge your manager might have of all things sick, they may have a partner who's in the medical profession, or if they have kids they have probably seen a lot of viruses and diseases, and will therefore be able to spot a faker from a considerable distance. You must choose an appropriate illness that will keep you off work for the desired length of time. For instance, Diarrhoea will keep you off anything from 24 to 72 hours. You must then learn it's symptoms. Everyone knows what Diarrhoea does, but don't push it too far. You'll have the runs and maybe the cramps, but puking and blood in your turds might indicate you have bowel cancer. You do not want them to start a collection on your behalf.
3 - The phone call
This is the most important part of the plan, screw it up and it's game over, but get it right and you can expect lots of sympathy. You can't just phone up work and say 'I'm sick. I'm having the day off', it doesn't work like that. Managers love to see you squirm by making you justify yourself when you're at your most vulnerable. It makes them feel more powerful. Remember to act out your illness. If you're ringing in with a sore throat then make your voice croaky (difficult to make sound authentic) but if you're ringing up with the runs, it won't affect your voice! Now's the time to use your new found knowledge. When your manager asks what's wrong, tell them and go into detail. Comments such as "I've been on the toilet all night. It's really sloppy and doesn't seem to stop." will prevent your manager from asking any more questions, they just won't want to know! Phone from the toilet, it will sound echoey and adds a little authenticity.
If you have any work that needs doing do not directly ask if someone can do it for you, it will look suspicious. Instead, ask if your manager can email it to you at home where you'll try to get it done. Your manager will decline and get someone else to do it, and you'll look conscientious.
As a nice touch, sound as if you're about to start crying, it will make your superior feel guilty for doubting you.
4 - Location
When enjoying your sick day there is only one rule: Do not go anywhere near work. You will not believe the amount of amateur skivers that have been caught because they did not obey this rule. If you drive on your sick day wear a cap, and sunglasses if appropriate. That way if your car gets spotted it'll be hard to make a positive ID of you (that is unless your number plate is known, then you're screwed). If you do get caught it's not necessarily game over. If you're wearing casual clothes it would be very easy to say that your were on your way to the doctors/pharmacy to get some drugs. If you're going to an interview however, and are suited and booted it can prove more difficult and requires some very good acting. You'll need to have prepared a good story that'll convince someone that you have a legitimate excuse for bunking off work and wearing a suit. A favourite is "I'm sorry, but I have to go to court as a character witness for my friend. He's being tried for abusing animals. I didn't want to tell anybody because it's embarassing. I should have trusted you. I'm sorry." If acted well it can be a godsend. Your manager will be intrigued, but won't be brash enough to ask for details. You might get into a little trouble but not much.
5 - Proof
If you're only off for a few days, you won't need any actual proof and can skip straight through to 'The Day of Return'. However, if you're off for 5 days or more you'll need a doctor's certificate. Doctor's certificates are easier to obtain than most people think. I'm not talking about stealing or forging, I mean real legitimate doctor's certificates.
The way to do it is to understand how a doctor thinks. They work long hours, see a heck of a lot of people all whinging about their illnesses, and want to get everyone in and out of their surgery in the quickest time possible. Here's the trick; be the doctor's friend, be understanding, be apologetic. Make the doctor's job easy. if you walk in there all demanding, they are less likely to help you in the way you want. Here's an example:
Bob had a few days off recently and decided that he'd like to have the whole week at home, so he went to the doctors halfway through. When he saw the doc he immediately apologised for wasting her time and said he wouldn't have come but his girlfriend booked the appointment as she was worried, (this shows him to be understanding and apologetic in one hit, genius). He then went through his symptoms, dismissing them as trivial, before finishing with 'I suppose it's just a viral infection anyway'. The doctor's response was 'Yes it sounds like it', and Bob just made the doctor's job easier. The doctor then asked how long he'd already been off, and how long he thought it would be before he felt good enough to return to work (prompting him that it normally takes a week to get over a viral infection fully). Tah dah! Certificate obtained with an ambiguous enough diagnosis that he could do what he wanted and get away with it. Bob immediately phoned work, told them the good news and went out. Job done.
6 - The day of return
This is as important as anything else, especially if you've only been off a day or two. Some amateur skivers walk back in to their office as if there's never been anything wrong with them. Fools. You need to behave the same as you would before planning a sickie except in reverse. You need to come in in the morning looking and acting as sick as a dog, then as the day wears on you become more chirpy. By the end of the day you're right as rain and will have got away with the whole thing.
So that's it. All you skivers out there enjoy your days off.
JimmerUK has been a regular skiver over tha last 10 years. He does not encourage skiving, and insists that taking sickies is purely at your own risk.