Defending The Indefensible: Sick Day
No matter how many times you do it the process of phoning in sick doesn’t get any easier. It starts from the sighs you receive over the phone when you tell them you’re “not coming in today” and goes right the way through to the ridiculous interrogation act played out by your superiors who see this as their chance to finally live out their dream of being Jessica Fletcher from ‘Murder She Wrote’
The last time I phoned in sick I was made to feel such a con artist that I swore that next time I would take pictures of myself spewing up into a bucket whilst getting my mum to stand next to me holding a picture of that days paper. .
Despite how humiliating phoning in sick can be and despite having to sit through the Kangaroo Court that comes in its aftermath, sometimes anything is better than having to go to work all day. Not going to work due to lack of sleep is my personal gateway to phoning in sick. Those nights where you retire at a reasonable hour but just can’t seem to drop off. After an hour or so you begin to get worried that it may be one of ‘those nights’ where sleep eludes you. Soon after you cant lay still let alone sleep and every time you look at the clock another hour has slowly crawled by. Your mind now only holds thoughts such as “Even if I drop off now I will only get 3 hours sleep before I have to get up” which sit side by side of images of the day ahead where you spend all the money you’d put aside for your holiday on Coffee’s and Red Bulls just to keep your eye lids from collapsing like a roof fitted by Michael J Fox. As these thoughts loop around your sleep malnourished brain, a ‘sickie’ slowly becomes more and more a possibility. If I don’t get to sleep in the next hour, I’m ringing in.
In what seems like 10 minutes, an hour has passed and and here I am standing downstairs in my pants at 5 am talking to someone on nightshift.
-“‘Ello”. Is it just me or do all night-shift workers look and sound incredibly weird?
-“Hello, I’m wishing to phone in sick“. I have no idea why I say this as if I’m asking them to consolidate my debts into one monthly payment
-”Ok. What’s your name”
-”Haginson, Jimmy Haginson”. I’m 007
-”What’s the problem”
-”I’ve been up all night spewing into a bucket and shitting into a …..toilet… obviously” . I really should have acted this out in front of the mirror. Even I think I’m lying and the one lying
-”Ok when will you be back?”. This question ranks alongside “What’s the meaning of life” and “Why are you such a fuckingnobhead?” in the ‘most impossible questions to answer competition’.
-”I don’t know, I’ll keep you informed”
-”Ok, thanks for phoning ,bye”
GET IN A whole day off. Fuck the man!
When some people pull a sickie they feel guilty. When others do it they feel delighted. When I do it I immediately feel really bored. What the fuck am I going to with my day? I can’t go out because there’s too many people who live round here that work with me and I may be spotted and outed for the fraud that I now am. I toy with the idea of going out in a wooly hat, a scarf and huge glasses but I’m worried that if I see myself in a mirror when I’m out then I’ll accuse myself of being a peado. No, i’ll just stay in and watch Tv all day. Jeremy Kyle’s on at 9, that’s something to look forward to…..
Whenever I watch Jeremy Kyle, I imagine myself arguing with him and what I’d say that would show him up on his own show. I then remember that I’ll agree with anything any stranger says to me. I don’t know why this is but if a stranger sat next to me on a bus and started saying how Rosemary West was twice the woman my own Mother is then I would genuinely nod along and say things like “I see what your saying, dude”.
Watching Kyle makes me feel good though. Look at that chavy twat. I bet he sits around all day in his pants. Obviously not in the way that I’m doing at the moment. He’ll do it in a more scummy way. I’ve got a coffee, he’ll have a Tennents Super or ‘Tramp Juice’ as its known round these parts. He’d have a nightgown on like me but he’d also be wearing a baseball cap. I bet he says that the system has failed like I do sometimes but he’d say it in a scouse accent. Its all in the details when it comes to class. All in the details.
‘This Morning’ brings the first Internet search of the day. ‘Did Phil Schofield go grey over night’. The answer according to Phil is no. He found his first grey hair at 16. I still find it weird why he wasn’t on TV when he was actually going grey, just when he was a full on white head. I file this next to ‘Has anyone ever been told a long winded joke and genuinely found it funny?’ in my questions still to be fully answered list.
After watching Holly and Phil chew the fact over such things as cancer and homelessness sandwiched in between an interview with Barry Manilow (who’s head is exactly the same in structure as a miniature Cannon), I switch on the radio for the real highlight of the day. Mr. Rony Robinson.
For those who can’t get Radio Sheffield, the name of Rony Robinson probably doesn’t mean anything. For most in Sheffield it doesn’t mean anything but for those who have heard his show and are below the age 50, it is by far the funniest radio show on the airwaves. Local radio is renowned for having features on banal subjects but Rony’s show’s takes humdrum conversations to a whole new level. In the past I have heard the following subjects up for discussion on his phone-in:
When have you need a wee the most?
What’s the best part of a Sunday Roast?
What’s the best cup of tea you have ever had?
Its a tribute to Rony that he can stretch out these chats about nothing for the entirety of his 3 hour show. People phone in on a constant basis to tell Rony about the time they were ‘on a coach and toilet were t’ blocked. I reight needed a slash Rony. I mean I reight needed to Leak the lizard Rony mate”. Rony laps it up, gives a few giggles and moves on to the next call.
Today Rony has opened up his own pub in the studio. He wants callers to ring in and tell him what drink they want and he’ll pour it them over the air. This goes down well with the Sheffield public and people phone up in their droves asking Rony to pull them a pint of their favourite tipple. Rony puts on a sound effect which alludes that a drink is being poured before saying there you go to the caller and cutting them off. Listening to people ask for drinks over the phone and them hanging on whilst Rony plays out his sound effect to just the right moment is an experience that could well be life changing for me. Rony is a genius. He has the common touch. At this moment in time I wish I could be him more than anybody.
Its now tea time and ‘pointless’ is on. Its great ‘pointless’. I am sure I was the first person to discover it before all my mates jumped on the bandwagon. I’m quite good at it too. I guess that ‘Uncle Sam’ would be a pointless answer when the question of ‘name a single by Madness’ is asked and I am right. Maybe I’ll apply for this show. I think me and Alexander would hit it off. Many have said in the past that I look like him so that’s a good opening line to get him on my side. Not sure about Richard though. I’d like to take his computer off him and give it a malware.
The evening is now upon me and everybody else in Great Britain, The thought of going to work tomorrow makes me feel uneasy. Images of disappointing looks from the management and sounds of jokey but in reality serious quips from my colleagues about me being a ‘wagger’ fill my mind. Its been a boring day today really. I have achieved absolutely nothing. Zilch. I think about how I’ve spent 3 hours of my life listening to a man pretending to pour pints on the radio. I have to go back to work tomorrow really.
Night comes and my brain begins changing its stance. Another day won’t hurt. In fact, It will be more believable and ive done the hard work by already phoning in sick. I deserve another day. Realistically the thought of work is now making me feel ill so technically I am now actually ill. Fuck it, I owe them nothing. Yeah they gave me a job but they treat me like…..well I have no complaints really but fuck em anyway. I’m having another day off. I lay back relax and wonder what Rony has up his sleeve tomorrow. This is what life is all about.
Written By Jim Haginson
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