3 February 2020

Happy National Sickie Day

Steve Halsall

Red Tiger Consulting


I’m sure we’ve all been there, when we wake up one morning and have a slight tickle or sickly feeling but not really enough to warrant the day off work but we do anyway. We wrestle with the idea that we are definitely going down with something and the reasons why we may wish to pull a sickie: we don’t want to be responsible for introducing a bug into work, we don’t want to go all the way in to be sent back home. We plan our route of attack, who to inform (usually your line manager) and how to deliver the news.

Back in the old days the only solution was to page (!) or call (let’s try a tactical call early as we know the line manager won’t be in and therefore can leave a message on the answer machine!). The call would be heavily rehearsed in our most poorly voice (how pathetic the message must have sounded!) and then delivered. We then get to the end of day 1 and secretly hope that what is really a minor cold develops into something more! Start of day 2 arrives and actually we are feeling a lot better but to mask the fact that it was a genuine skive we feel like we need to take another day as sick to emphasise how serious it was. Day 3 will be the back to work day!

Nowadays leaving a message on voicemail gives us the opportunity to re-record our message if it isn’t up to scratch! Today we also have a multitude of ways to communicate – phone, text, email, WhatsApp, Twitter! Some of the more liberal companies we deal with are now adding the concept of hangover/sickie days to staff allowance (not sure what happens for those who don’t drink alcohol) – to basically avoid the need to go through the rigmarole as described in the prior paragraph! How many people have pulled a sickie on National Sickie day?

Author: Steve Halsall

Image: Pixabay

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Published by Steve Halsall

Steve is the founder of Red Tiger Consulting. He has worked in Location Planning for over 20 years – both on the consultancy side and client side. His passion is building successful teams that evolve their capability (skills, software and data) to meet the ever changing requirements of analysis. In his spare time he is mainly kept busy with his two children, falling in and out of love with Liverpool FC and at some point he wants to re-start his golfing ‘career’.


  1. Avatar

    Honestly? I’ve never, ever pulled a sickie but I have been in the office on days when I’ve been pretty useless for one reason or another. Some companies now offer mental health days, and staff can have one a month or something and staff just take the time to do whatever they need to do to get back on par. Be interesting to see how many take actual sickies! The day after the office party…

    • Avatar

      My observations are purely hypothetical and are not based on my own personal experience – I have an impeccable record of not missing a day off work in the last 20 years!


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