Here’s my advice if you are ill in the office and you are unsure what you are supposed to do next.
But what about that serious assignment that I've got to do by 4pm? What about that serious meeting where I have to stick it to Colin for criticising my proposal? What about that conference that I've got next week? The expenses I've got to sort out by Friday? That coffee meet and greet with the interns? My funeral on the October 27th in the year 2085?
If I go home now, just because I've coughed so many times I can’t see and I've stared at the bottom of the toilet bowl in the staff bathroom more than I've looked at myself in the mirror, my whole schedule for the rest of my life will well and truly go down the…
How about ten more minutes? I mean, I’m face down at the desk at the moment and somebody has put a giant refuse bag over my body because they think that I’m technically dead, but I can still give it that 110%. See, I’m lifting my head off the desk every several minutes so I can touch one letter of the keyboard each time with my nose…
When you’ve got your first office job, it feels as if you can never step back for one moment. You’ve beaten somewhere between 1,384,547 and 49,245,759 candidates to get this role in the first place, you’re here in the office bang on time and you leave later than a lot of people so you can look good in front of your boss (even though you don’t need to be there as long as the workload doesn’t warrant it, so you spend approximately 45 minutes a day on the Guardian.co.uk website and Twitter) and you even get on with Colin… COLIN FOR GOD'S SAKE COLIN.
So not technically having a pulse right now shouldn’t stop you, should it?
Go home. No one wants you there.
A)They are fearing for their lives. They have already gone to Boots and raided the entire stock of wet wipes. Look at their hands. They keep rubbing and rubbing their hands… rubbing and rubbing… they will never be clean. Nothing will ever be clean again.
B)You do not own the keys to the building. Everyone else can do their jobs whilst you are away not doing yours. They can cope for a few days without you.
C)This isn’t 24. If you don’t have your assignment handed out or presented at 9am, no nuclear bomb will explode whilst you are on the phone to an exasperated Chloe.
Well maybe you should work from home instead, right? Set yourself up in the bedroom. Laptop on your left. Kitchen sink bucket that you are temporarily using to throw up in your right. Right?
Don’t work from home. No one wants you to work from home.
A)Everyone will think that you are off work anyway, so they won’t respond to your emails without the words “where the hell are you?”
B)If you try to ring the office whilst you are working, people will immediately get excited. They would think that you are the sexy smoker Cerys Matthews or a hungover Sara Cox ringing up for a chat.
C)If you throw up on your laptop bye bye laptop.
Think of it like this. Working in the office is a bit like having a boyfriend/girlfriend. You want to be with them the whole time (or you just can’t stand spending any more time alone than you already do). You feel that once in a while that you should receive a gift from them (relationship: a lovely romantic meal or some accidental grinding. work: money). And if you are away from them for a moment against your own will, it hurts inside and you feel that they can’t work around you, you feel guilty… isolated, sad, frustrated, dead inside and alone.
Then you see them… and they don’t really care or notice that you disappeared in the first place.
So take it easy. Go watch New Girl.