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WORK LIFE - CAREER TIPS

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How to take a sickie ...
How to take a sickie

It is that time of year when offices across the UK are full of people snivelling into hankies and coughing.

So, it is the perfect time to take a sickie. The trouble with claiming you have got a cold is that you do really need evidence - sniffing, a red nose and/or a hacking cough.

A cough is easier to feign and the best way to do this is to either smoke four packets of Gitanes, or stop drinking for a few days so you get a really really dry and sore throat. Affecting a Mariella Frostrup-style rasp could also do the trick.

You do not want to end up racked with guilt as you sit at home watching daytime TV so make sure you do not take a sickie on a day when you know all your colleagues will be incredibly busy.

And avoid taking a Monday or a Friday off if you have a normal nine to five job - that just looks really obvious. If you do decide to take the Friday off make sure you have complained the day before of feeling a bit rough.

Women with male managers have it a little easier - tell your boss you have 'women's problems' and he will be very unlikely to want to pry any more.

The old 24-hour bug trick has been done to death. Food poisoning or an acute bout of gastroenteritis both sound a lot more convincing.

There is even a National Slacker Day - this year it took place on 22 August - to encourage the UK's overworked staff to take a day off. And some trendier employers - we are talking internet start-ups rather than councils - encourage 'duvet days'. Every member of staff is allowed a number of impromptu days off a year if, when they get up in the morning, they do not fancy the idea of going to work.

Of course, LGC does not want to encourage absenteeism but we have all had days when we really cannot be bothered to go in. If you find this happens a lot, maybe you are in the wrong job.

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