Does going sick pay ?
Former trader Raj Mahal offers up the best and worst excuses for calling in sick.
Summer is almost here and summer Fridays are the best days at work. They usually mean casual dress, less work and shorter hours. However, the best are half-day Fridays - or not showing up at all! That allows you to enjoy the beach, golf course or your bed because of the eighteen tequila shots you had with the interns from Florida State the night before.
Here are some do's and dont's on how to get out of work on that summer Friday but still get that bonus you so rightfully deserve.
DO lay the groundwork
If you know you are going to be "sick" the next day, make sure everyone knows the day before that you aren't feeling well. After you cough up a lung, when they ask if you are OK, say, "I would go home but I love this job and I hate missing work." Show real dedication to this illness and you will be rewarded with a day at the beach.
Also - and this part is important - make sure you follow through with the lie. When you go back to work, don't come back looking all refreshed. If you fell down the stairs and had a slight concussion, wear a bandage and accidentally call your boss the name of an actor he or she looks most like. If you say you eloped, buy a fake wedding ring. And then take the next Friday off to get an annulment. If you say you were sprayed by a skunk, make you sure the only shower you take that weekend is with cheap perfume.
A guy I worked with once claimed to be sick all weekend but when he came to work on Monday, his face was the color of a character from "Jersey Shore." I said, "I didn't know that lying out in the sun all weekend was the best way to treat a staph infection!"
He knew he was caught and his face would have turned even more red but that was impossible, given his sunburn.
DO NOT go on social media if you are out "sick''
Ever. You would think you don't have to tell people this - but YOU DO.
Do not go on Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare and update your status. Don't tweet, "My first hole in one - drinks on me!!" Or "The view at East Hampton beach is amazing. And I don't mean the water - if you know what I mean." If you are feeling well enough to tweet, you are able to go to work. More likely, you will get drunk and do something stupid.
Once, I had a friend call out of work because he was visiting his grandmother who was on her death bed. However, at 3am the night before he checked in on Foursquare at Marquee. His status was, "Bottles and Models!!! Marquee! BOOM!!" I texted him and asked if his grandmother requested that he go to Marquee to celebrate her life.
He deleted his status before anyone else noticed.
DO call or email at the correct time -and keep it vague
If you are going to call your boss and leave a voicemail, call an hour before he gets in. Don't call too close to the time because if he is the drill sergeant type or the overly caring type, he may call you back.
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If you are emailing your boss or texting him, also do it an hour before. Don't do it at 2am when you are in the back of an Uber leaving the Meatpacking district with a bunch of Hungarian girls going to your penthouse for the after-party. Stay up until 6am and then send the email. Also, keep it vague. If you get overly specific it can backfire on you.
For example, my friend was on a date. It got later and later and turned into a sleepover. His date suggested that he text his boss and tell him he had eaten some bad fish and he wasn't going to make it to work the next day. The next morning he heard a buzz buzz at 5:30am. He looked at his phone and the text from his boss said, "You have worked with me for ten years. We have been on 100 client dinners. You have never once ordered fish. Get your drunk a-- to work."
My friend was the first one on the desk.
DO use a great excuse
Sometimes you are blessed to work with very cool and understanding people like I was. If you are and have an excuse that only you can get away with - use it.
It was August 15th, 2007. I saw that the next day was the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. I am huge Elvis fan. I had no plans to be out but I couldn't let this go to waste. I told my boss, "Tomorrow is the 30th anniversary of Elvis's death. I am going to be out tomorrow in mourning. Just think of it as my version of Yom Kippur. I won't be in synagogue or fasting but I will be watching Viva Las Vegas, listening to Suspicious Minds and eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches while wearing a white sequined suit."
One time I got a voicemail from a guy who worked for me. "Raj. I did something pretty stupid last night. After we went out to dinner, this girl came over. She gave me something. I smelled it. I ate it. I don't what it is. But I feel funny." I called him back and said, "No problem as long as you promise me two things: First, that you aren't dying because I don't feel like interviewing people. And second, promise to tell me the whole story in detail tomorrow."
This winter has been brutal and summer is almost here! If you have worked hard all year, you deserve a Friday or two off to play hooky and enjoy the weather. Just follow this advice so the Friday you take off isn't your last!
Raj Malhotra (Raj Mahal is his stage name) is a former Wall Street trader-turned-stand-up-comedian. He has worked at Wall Street firms covering three continents, including at Bank of America, BNP Paribas and Nomura. He draws from his unique ethnic background and Wall Street career to entertain audiences nightly, highlighting the struggles of the 1 percent. He can be seen at Gotham Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy Club, NY Comedy Club, Greenwich Village Comedy Club, and the Tribeca Comedy Lounge. Follow him on Twitter @RajMahalTweets.