The Day I Called In Sick
A Flashback Friday Story
This is a story about a girl named Lucky. Wait, no. This is a story about a girl who called in sick for the first time that wasn’t really sick and got caught BIG TIME.
I have never been one to call in sick. I would go into work and if I was really sick the manager or the boss would send me home. I had never called in sick just to skip out on work. The overwhelming guilt of even considering it and the anxiety of getting caught always held me back. However, ten years ago today I called in sick when I wasn’t ill and I got caught.
At the time I was 21 years old and working at an insurance agency. I had a boss that was just terrible. He kept the office constantly on edge, always tried to create more work than needed, singled out people brutally, and was quite frankly kind of pervy. After completing a call he wanted us to tell the customer “It was a pleasure servicing you”. It was a very unhealthy working environment.
He was also not someone to let people take off time lightly. To take time off it had to be written on a special form, at least two weeks prior, you had to list the reason why, and he or an office manager would either approve it or not. So when my dad called me up the evening before that fateful day I called in sick to ask if I would be interested in two San Francisco Giants Playoff game tickets, I said yes and knew what I had to do.
The morning of the game I tried to call my boss’ cell but he wasn’t answering. I tried a few times and then called my manager. She answered and I told her I had food poisoning and wasn’t well enough to come into work. She asked if I called the boss and I told her he hadn’t answered. She told me that she would pass the info along and to feel better. I knew if I told the truth the request would have been denied so I lied. I called in sick and got away with it! I was in the clear.
Now, it was a night game and technically I could have tried to make it from work in Mountain View to SF by game time but it wasn’t worth risking. Plus, let’s be real, I was 21 and wanted to have some fun. I asked my older sister Melissa if she wanted to go and we made a plan for the day.
We bought material to make signs, found beards(#fearthebeard) to wear, grabbed a ton of our Giants gear, some beers, and got on the train to go to the game!
It started great and we were having the time of our lives. Calling in sick was definitely the right choice. We met up with our dad and stepmom to say hello and thank them for the tickets by buying them both a beer. We were unbelievably pumped to be there even if our tickets were Standing Room Only.
Suddenly a woman approached us asking what our names were. She worked for the San Francisco Chronicle and had taken a picture of us. We gave her our names and a bit of paranoia set in. However, I told myself it was no big deal and to just have some fun. The work day was already over. The night continued with food, drinks, and an extremely exciting game. We had so much fun but then it all started to spiral.
The camera guys that walked around for the jumbotron wanted to talk to people wearing beards and picked us to put up on the screen. Cool, now if I knew anyone at the game, they definitely saw me. Then I got a text from my mom. She informed us that she was watching the game on TV and who did they show? You guessed it, it was us. My sister convinced me there was nothing at this point I could do. If I was seen, then I was seen and being there didn’t mean that I wasn’t really sick in the morning. We continued to have fun and the Giants won the game!
The next morning I was nervous to go to work but I got ready and went. On the drive my dad called to let me know our picture was in the Chronicle. I had no thoughts except that obviously, at this point, my boss knew I was at the game and if he said anything I would have to accept the consequences. He didn’t say anything. No one said anything. However, I knew he knew. He knew I knew that he knew.
The Giants went on to win the World Series that year. My boss surprisingly allowed anyone that wanted to attend the parade go so my sister and I went to that as well. We rode the packed train into the city, ready to celebrate with so many other people. It was another great day. The Chronicle even put out a special edition paper for the parade that we were of course featured in.
Opening day of the next season we made t-shirts to commemorate the night we had in the playoffs. We plastered our Chronicle photo on the shirts and labeled ourselves miSFits. I think about that game often and how I will never, ever call in sick when I’m not. I even made a point to tell my next boss the story so he would know I was never lying if I called in sick ever. However, I haven’t called in sick ever since that day.
And that is the story of the day I called in sick. To be clear I have absolutely NO regrets that I did it because it was a great day and night and makes for a pretty great story.