There’s nothing more maddening for a manager than getting a last minute e-mail from a subordinate “calling” in sick on a Friday. At least have the balls to call in and fake a pathetic sick voice! Sending in an e-mail last minute to say you are sick after partying it up all night is like breaking up with someone over e-mail.
Last minute notifications have managers scrambling to find your backup. Your jealous colleagues who have to pick up your slack will surely resent you as well. The next problem is the law of probabilities. Let me explain.
WHY CALLING SICK ON A FRIDAY IS BAD
* There are seven days a week, meaning there’s a 15% chance (1/7) you’ll get sick on any given day. Furthermore, what is the percentage chance someone is so sick they can’t even come to work for a day? I say at most 50%. Take 15% X 50% and you get 7.5%. To suddenly be sick on a Friday right before your weekend is therefore an unlikely 7.5% probability!
* Whenever you call in sick on a Friday, your manager will always think in the back of her mind you’re likely playing hooky and flying to Las Vegas Thursday night for a romping weekend. Yes, your manager would like to believe in the 7.5% chance you really can’t get out of bed and work, but doubts will linger. Because there is doubt, you start challenging your manager’s trust. Once you lose your manager’s trust, IT IS ALL OVER!
* Your manager was once a subordinate. Every single game you try to play, your manager has probably played to some degree. Even better, your manager was once a student. Who doesn’t remember playing fake sick during high school? Don’t think for one second your manager is so naive!
IF YOU MUST PLAY HOOKY
Never take Friday off unless you are really dying in bed. If you are, then you must get a doctor’s note. If you can’t get to the doctor, call your doctor and have him/her fax to your HR or manager a doctor’s note. If you’re just feeling bad, make an effort to come into work for half a day and then go home. This is your absolute BEST solution because it shows your dedication.
Losing your manager’s trust is a sure way to never getting promoted. If you must take Friday off, just tell your manager you’d like to take a personal day or a vacation at least two days in advance. Your manager will appreciate your honesty, and may more than likely grant you your request provided you’ve planned out your back up. Don’t ever let the manager think you are stealing from the company, because getting paid if you aren’t sick is exactly that, stealing.
It’s tough love, I know, but calling in sick multiple times a year is a sure sign you don’t care and will highly increase your chances of getting laid off. If you’re resorting to calling in sick to stay away from work, then you better find another job because there are plenty of other people who will happily take your spot!
Look, we know it’s sometimes too tough to walk in the park and work 40 hours a week. With millions of people out of work, you don’t really care because your mentality is that work is just a contract and you already feel underpaid. Life is tough, I know. But, you’re a smart slacker, which is why if you want an extra day to play hooky, and don’t want to get fired, you’re taking Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday off! Just be honest with your manager and use a vacation day. Your career will thank you for it.
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Updated for 2015 and beyond