Using The Flu As An Excuse To Get Out Of Work Is So Hot Right Now
4:30 pm, January 25th | by Meredith Lepore
According to the Wall Street Journal, saying you have the flu is the easiest way to get out of work right now. As someone who had both the flu and the norovirus in the last two weeks I find this news appalling and also brilliant. People are not only using the flu as an excuse to get out of work, but also as a way to get out of general social obligations. In a way, could the flu actually be making people stop and smell the roses (since they aren’t congested because they are liars, they actually can)?
According to the WSJ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared this year’s influenza season an “epidemic,” and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a flu emergency for the state this month. Between 600 and 800 people a day reported to New York City emergency rooms with flu-like symptoms between Jan. 18 and Jan. 21. The visits peaked last week at 800 daily and have decreased somewhat from there.
So if you were ever going to be fake sick, this is the time to do it. Don’t feel like going to your niece’s ballet recital? You’ve got the flu! Promised your friend you would go see Les Misèrables? Can’t! You’ve got the flu and don’t want to cry for three hours. The flu is the new “I’m really swamped right now.” Meryl Streep claimed to miss the Golden Globes because she had the flu or maybe she just didn’t feel like hearing George Clooney’s lame jokes again. Plus, unlike just saying you’re busy working, again, the flu makes people feel sorry for you.
But the fact that New Yorkers are taking advantage of this sickness isn’t surprising. A new survey commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and conducted by Harris Interactive finds that significant numbers of employees around the world admit to calling in sick to work when they are not actually sick. France, believe it or not, has the smallest number at only 16% and with an even more shocking percentage, the Chinese led all other surveyed regions with 71% of employees admitting to calling in sick when they were not actually sick. Other countries polled included India with 62%, Australia with 58%, Canada with 52%, the U.S. with 52%, the U.K. with 43%, and Mexico with 38%.