Why do we ‘croak-in’ sick?

Nicola Adam, Group Editor
Nicola Adam, Group Editor
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The end of February is nigh and with it, hopefullythe end of the virulent lurgies sweeping workplaces across the landand striking down staff in their legions.

Nobody likes being ill, or calling in poorly, and certainly no manager likes being on the end of the ‘call in sick’ phone.

But really it can be comical and quite a minefeld.

Why on earth every single person feels the need to channel a dastardly Al Pacino by developing a voice so croaky a frog would be jealous is beyond me - particularly when they are ringing to say they have broken their leg.

But something in the damaged human pysche makes us so guilty or fearful that our managers will not believe we have developed a day’s worth of swine flu, been in a car crash, or have the ubiquitous ‘food poisoning’, we become deeply pathetic during the call.

This includes sobbing, speaking like a pyscho axe-murderer and generally hamming it up so much - any manager worth their salt would suspect a case of infectious amateur dramatics.

Or a duvet day.

Of course this also goes the other way.

We all have fellow workers so proud of their blemish-free sick record that they will stagger into the office covered in hives, bleeding from the eyes, leaving a stream of highly contagious green snot in their wake.

Quite apart from the fact they are demonstrably quite ill yet refusing pain relieving medication and, possibly, hospitalisation - they are also infecting every other staff member with the despicable-looking plague.

But many of those staff will not be so reticent about ‘croaking in’ sick, creating an almost unamanageable workload for their remaining, stoic and fading-fast colleagues.

Was it really worth that in order to maintain one individual’s 100% attendance record that she or he has been entering on a spreadsheet since he or she was six?

I really suspect not.

Yet by the end of February and the traditional super-sick season, everyone’s immune system is so low they will avoid approaching colleagues with adorable but inevitably disease-ridden children wearing a facemask.

Roll on March.