Everything I learned I learned in my 20s. Whoever said it was in Kindergarten was high out of their mind on paste.
Seriously, look around. How often are you handling a task with the skills you honed in your 20s? All the time!
The answers to present dilemmas are locked in our past!
And the present deemed the “toughest” is the one I’m currently grappling with: the end of my 20s. The orchestra is swelling toward the crescendo of 30, but I’m pretty sure I’ve learned how to play even the bassoon.
Like, I’m not a therapist. And I know that my 20s have not been as tough as the 20s of the past. I’m not a child laborer in a mill, I’m not in the back of a breadline, and yes, I’m allowed to vote. But that doesn’t detract from just how tough this learning curve feels. But hey, at least I’m willing to admit my faults and share the life-changing skills I’ve been learning along the way.
So read on, laugh, commiserate, and feel free to comment with feedback on how you handled this sh*t.
And if you’re really nice, share this knowledge with other victims of their 20s.
HOW TO CALL IN SICK
Something I learned early on in my 20s was how to save face with my boss. Getting in trouble at work is never sexy.
I developed my skill at figuring out just how much I could get away with in the workplace, seeking answers to questions like: How late is late? Can I get drunk at lunch? Does company culture embrace cross-pollination, as in me-embracing-Jeremy-from-Accounting (with-my-mouth)? And, is my boss more likely to promote me or shluffen me?
Calling in sick, however, is always tricky. But a girl’s gotta dance. So when I get an invite to Danny B’s Birthday Booze Cruise in Marina Del Rey, I’m forced to adjust my a$$-sucking work responsibilities to accommodate my carnal desires. For this I have developed a game plan.
I’ve found that calling in sick requires some fundamental ingredients, upon which you can sprinkle your own special oregano. The key steps are as follows:
1. Lay the Groundwork
Upon receiving the Eventbrite to Danny B’s, I immediately start dropping hints at work that I’m feeling an odd tickle in the back left of my throat. Your special flavor: choose a favorite illness (the common cold, the flu, food poisoning, leprosy).
2. Look the Part
As the day of the event gets closer, I get my drama hat on. Literally. You’ve got to get in wardrobe, and I’m not ruling out a hat, especially if it’s of the ‘I’m-so-cold-and-delirious-I-took-this-from-a-homeless-person’ variety. I dial the sexy back to inaudible, think in the palate of mucous, and am not above donning something with a bodily-fluid-looking stain. And let’s not forget hair and make-up: dark under-eyes, red nose, pale lips, and greasy tresses. Think Les Misérables. If you’re going full-blown leprosy, consider gluing some corn flakes to your face.
3. Play the Part
Once I look like sh*t, I need to act like it. I mope around, grab my temples, sigh heavily, and ask leading questions like “is anybody else shivering right now?” I liberally pepper all of my interactions with fits of wet, hacking coughs, and even ask for health advice from dead-beat Doug with the self-proclaimed internal Web-MD, on the best way to cure Bird Flu. Eventually, my boss is forced to notice, and ask about the nature of my illness, an inquiry that I nonchalantly brush off: “Oh it’s ok, I guess I’ll be ok. I mean, worst case I come in all contagious, ya know?”
NOTE: A few years into my 20s I learned that everyone is moderately selfish. There’s a sliding scale, like human sexuality. And if my selfish boss hears contagious, his mind instinctively conjures a horrible image of himself in bed, red-nosed, pale-faced, sluggish, with a hacking cough, and terminal Foot and Mouth, surrounded by items stockpiled at CVS aisle 4. Not pretty. Next thing you know, I’m sent home to recover until I’m better.
…”Oh no, are you sure? But I’d love to come in.” And finish up this menial bitch-work.
…”No Becky, please take as long as you need to heal.”
…”Gawsh, I’m so sorry. I hate missing work.”
Success! Free to party on a boat all night and sleep it off the next day! And of course extra credit would be to send an email checking in while “very sick”, to show boss man how much my work’s still on my very sick mind.
I must mention that there exists the elusive karmic boomerang. And she is a bitch dressed in drag. Occasionally, pretending to be sick would actually make me sick! Maybe not with AIDS, but all the faking would manifest itself in my body as some actual virus. The first time I actually got food poisoning, after years of expert feigning, it felt like some sort of cruel, violent, justice. So play careful kids, and keep honing and applying the shit you learned in your 20s.