On the right kind of fragrant spring day, even the hardworking can hear it calling: that inner-Ferris Bueller who would like nothing more than to drum up some phony symptoms, call in sick, then celebrate a day on the town.
Executing a fictitious sick day, career counselors note, has less to do with how convincingly you hack, expectorate, or play your bodily function noises synthesizer.
It’s about the employee you are when you’re not sick: attentive and trustworthy? Or forever lackadaisical, eyes fixed on the next day off?
According to management consultant Donna Flagg, you need to evaluate how it will look for you, personally. “If I have a stellar record, and I’m in a good position, then the question is, ‘Is this the right thing to do for me?’” she says. “But if you’ve been slacking off,” she warns, “then it’s a question of, ‘Do I really care about my job?’”
Every employee has a breaking point, and nobody, she says, should feel guilty for taking what Flagg calls a “mental health day.”
“When it comes to faking a sick day, I do believe in it,” agrees career adviser Cynthia Shapiro. “We don’t get a lot of sick time in America.”
Minimizing suspicion means playing hooky sparingly — once every six months, Shapiro advises — and tactfully.
“Don’t do it on a Friday or a Monday — that’s really obvious,” she says. “Wednesday, hump day, is really good.”