Nothing makes you hold your breath and rush away like being out in public and hearing a store clerk, co-worker or fellow shopper talk about feeling sick:
“I couldn’t sleep at all last night. I’ve been coughing and sneezing for days, and think I have a fever. Uhhhhhhh I am soooo sick, I need to get to a bathroom. Here’s your sandwich, have a nice day.”
Perhaps we’ve all been guilty of leaving the house or going to work when we really should have stayed home in bed. Whatever your excuse has been in the past for venturing out while feeling sick, please change your ways and quit spreading your germs. Use this permission slip and stay home already.
Dear co-workers, friends, mild acquaintances and strangers who would interact with [YOUR NAME HERE],
I am feeling sick and will be staying home in bed today in order to rest my body, heal more quickly and keep my germs to myself. I apologize for the inconvenience this may or may not cause you, but I guarantee it is less severe than the [CHOOSE ONE].
A. mucus I can’t stop hacking up
B. riot going on in my digestive tract
C. chills and sweats from my four-alarm fever
D. fountain of snot flowing from my face
E. all of the above
Often I feel that I can’t afford to miss a day of work because of illness. But the truth is that I need to take care of myself now, or risk being worse next week and missing even more time – which would cause you an even greater inconvenience. I realize that just one sneeze or cough from me can spew 100,000 germs into the air, and those germs can live on various surfaces for several hours. I refuse to be the person who brings a disgusting cold or case of the stomach flu to work and infects everyone else. I know that the office will not fall apart without me.
Sometimes when I am sick I think that I must care for my children instead of calling a relative, friend or professional to baby sit – not today. I know that young children are even more susceptible to germs than adults are, and I don’t want to pass on my illness to my dearest family members. I will sequester myself in my bed and drink plenty of fluids. I will wash my hands frequently and disinfect surfaces that I touch as often as possible. Luckily, I am prepared and my house is already stocked with healthy fruit juices, easy-to-make soups, tissues and disinfecting wipes because I know that sooner or later, everyone gets sick. Even me.
Again, I apologize for the inconvenience my illness has created for you. I will update you tomorrow on my situation so that you’re not left hanging, and if I stay sick more than three days, I will consult a professional. And I promise to be understanding the next time you call in sick.
[YOUR NAME HERE]
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Image: A. Blight