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Today I’m sitting at home today because I’m sick. But I’m not that sick. Still, definitely not feeling well. Halfway sick, I’d say, which is the most confusing and guilt ridden type of being sick. Every time I stay home from work and I’m only Halfway Sick I go through this dilemma.
The soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy didn’t stay home because they had the sniffles. Of course, they were also rescuing Europe from the oppressive thumb of the Nazis. I, on the other hand, was just finishing up a logbook entry. It can wait a day or two and not be any problem.
Still, I could chug some DayQuil and go to work and just carry around a box of Kleenex’s and a surly attitude and probably make it through the day.
But then I’d be spreading my plague among my coworkers. Some of my coworkers knock their backs out whenever they sneeze so this cold could be catastrophic to them. Their back would look like a roller coaster and then they’d be going to the chiropractor for weeks at a time and their time off work impacts the project more than my absence.
Still, here I am blogging at home. I should be at work typing out my logbook entry. I’m being a big wimp. But then again, ever since COVID hit the scene, the we’ve been encouraged to stay home when we’re sick. I’m definitely not well but I’m not terribly sick. I’m halfway sick. That’s Stage 2. What is Stage 2? Let me elaborate.
There’s the stage where you wake up and feel like garbage but once you take a hot shower and blow all the crud out of your cranium you’re feeling OK. Go to work! Colds are part of life and if other people get it, tough beans. They’ll be fine. You are.
Then there’s the stage where you feel like you’re full of garbage – and not like a trash can but more like a garbage truck. The garbage has been crushed and compressed into your body. But you’re in the middle of a really important project and so you’re tempted to medicate yourself, consume bags of cough drops, and try to hide the fact the you’re contagious from your coworkers then act surprised when the office gets struck with illness. Basically you’re tempted to commit mild domestic terrorism by participating in chemical warfare so your project doesn’t suffer. This is the stage where you decide stay home but your work ethic haunts you the whole time, “You should be doing something useful right now.” So you get up to change the oil in the car but then your head starts throbbing and your nose starts shooting mucus everywhere. You sit back down again. All day you’re held in a guilt ridden equilibrium of finally having the time to get something done but not wanting to do anything. Your wife is confident you’re not feeling as sick as you say you are, which only adds to your indecision about skipping work that day. “Maybe I am being a wimp.” This is what I call “Halfway Sick” because it’s the middle of the four stages.
Then there’s the stage where you hear nothing, see nothing, and care for nothing except the thoughts of your own misery and despair. The house is burning, the kids are screaming, and a pipe has burst in the basement but you don’t care. You turn to your half empty bottle of NyQuil and take a large swig, even though it’s the middle of the day. You’re not sure when you had some last or how much you had but you don’t care. You go back to sleep. The only way you’re going to work is if your boss comes, shoots you, and drags you there.
Finally there’s the stage where you wish someone would shoot you. It is at this point that even the most manly of men will begin to consider spending money on medical professionals.
Stage 4 is where women, especially those who have given birth, may start to give you some sympathy. “Well, I suppose the yard could be mowed tomorrow if you’re that sick.”
Stage 2 doesn’t get much sympathy from Janice. It even gets some scorn. “Normal people don’t blog about being sick.” She’ll say. “You must not be that sick.” And she’s right. I’m only Halfway Sick. Shoot, maybe I should have went to work today. No, it’s good I didn’t. I guess. But maybe I could have…
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