Jim McLennan is unwell…

I was off work on Wednesday and Thursday. Illness had finally struck me down, after a brave, futile struggle against the forces of bacteria-dom. I’d survived the bloke next to me going down; I held out when the guy opposite fell too; but the final straw was spending a weekend with friends, one of whom was just recovering, and the other succumbed while I was there. Against such forces, it was perhaps inevitable that Tuesday saw me wheezing and spluttering with the best of them, and Wednesday and Thursday were spent accumulating sick leave.

I have to say though, that I’ve had a lot worse. These particular germs were pitched at the perfect level: unpleasant enough to stop me from leaving the house, but not actually SO bad as to otherwise majorly impact my lifestyle, as long as said lifestyle involved copious amounts of slumping in front of the TV. And funnily enough, this was something I could cope with, since I had a big enough video backlog that I didn’t have to watch any Australian soaps, Richard and Judy or Tellytubbies (C,TM,All rights reserved). I kinda wish I’d preserved some of the phlegm for later ingestion, as this was the sort of illness that I’d like to have available on tap, for whenever I get too many unwatched videos.

If I was perfectly honest, I could perhaps have struggled back to work on Thursday. But on the other hand, I probably shouldn’t have gone in on Tuesday. And besides, everybody ELSE had at least two days off — I don’t see why I should be penalised, just because I possess a resilient and effective immune system. That wouldn’t be fair, would it? It also helps to concentrate the mind of the boss, especially if you can plant a small seed of doubt that you were, perhaps, attending interviews for (inevitably better-paid) jobs, and not ill after all.

Unfortunately, my Scottish Protestant upbringing means it’s just not worth my while to skive off work, because the guilt complex kicks in, and I fail to enjoy it. If I leave the house, I suffer massive paranoid pangs along the lines of “what happens if the boss phones?”, which can not be assuaged by even the bleedin’ obvious solution i.e. claiming you were crashed out, doped to the eyeballs on a lethal combination of Lemsip and Strepsils. Thus, if I claim to be off work, I *have* to stay home.

But in this case, it was no hardship. Even now, on Friday night, I turned down three separate invitations out, preferring to spend a quiet evening at home with my sinuses. Otherwise, I feel fine. I just sound like shit, and believe me, you do *not* want to know about the stuff that I’ve been coughing up. [Think the evil twin of Flubber, and you’ll be getting there] And this is all the result of a minor, trifling ailment. God knows what I’d be like if I ever came down with something serious.