Growing up, nothing beat the days when Mom let you stay home sick from school. Your fridge and pantry were fully stocked, and you had someone to bring you your medicine, along with a hot bowl of chicken noodle soup.
Then, of course, college hit, and your roommates were too busy getting wasted to notice that you may or may not have been dying from a 100-degree fever. When your only food source came from the dining hall, it could be a real pain to get in the fluids and nutrients you needed to get better.
But nothing beats getting sick in the real world, post-college. Sure, you were probably living on your own in college, but at least missing class wasn't that big of a deal.
When you have a real job, your sick days are coveted possessions; why would you want to waste one being sick when you could use it otherwise to go out of town for the weekend?
Inevitably, however, getting sick happens, and you have to deal with it like the true adult you now are. Here are 10 thoughts that plague you when trying to cope with being sick in the real world.
Grab yourself some orange juice and nasal spray, and carry on:
1. Does everyone think I'm lying?
Being sick in the real world means dealing with your real-world job. I can see the bright green snot in my Kleenex, but I can't exactly mass email a photo of it to prove why it's necessary for me to stay home today.
If you're lucky, you have a job with a salary, and you're just nicking off a "vacation day." If you're working at an hourly wage, it's even more painful. Regardless, calling in sick inevitably brings about pangs of guilt, and the fear that everyone will think you're just trying to play hooky.
If you're calling in, you better force an opportune coughing attack on the line; if you're emailing, plenty of sad emoji do the trick. Maybe even throw in the salsa dancer or praying hands to show how "out of it" you are.
2. Fighting fever-induced naps while "working from home"
If you're lucky, you can negotiate a work-from-home day, so no one knows just how phlegmy and disgusting you currently are.
Let's face it: Working from home really just means working from your bed. In-between sips of Gatorade, it can be really hard not to doze off before the ring of your Gchat brings you back to life again.
3. Everyone in the office avoiding you
Of course, you can't take a whole week off to fully recover, so when you're back at your desk, your box of tissues and cough syrup are your only friends.
If you want to avoid extra hate, visibly wash your hands before heading to the water cooler or other common areas.
4. Audibly blowing your nose
Remember in elementary school when teachers suggested you "step outside" to blow your schnoz?
Well, that's not f*cking happening here. Personally, if I'm the one dealing with the pain of having pounds of mucus glob my face, I don't really care if you are momentarily annoyed or grossed out by hearing me get rid of it.
5. People saying you don't "look sick"...
Just because I'm internally dying doesn't mean I need to show it on my face. I will still brush on the mascara and concealer, even if I have a fever.
Look better, feel better, right?
6. Wasting $25 on over-the-counter meds
Okay, so now I guess I can't buy my lunch for a week. Seriously, since when did Mucinex cost as much as my national grid share?
The best method when rationing cold meds is buying the strongest stuff possible once and being done with it. And no, I'm never taking the suggested dose; I'm trying to knock the f*ck out from that NyQuil.
7. Taking more time off work for a doctor visit
It's best to go to the doctor on a day you're already taking off, but sometimes, making the trek there just isn't worth it. Eating Vitamin C pills for dinner will cure me of everything, right?
8. What if I get sick on the subway?
Getting sick can mess with your body in unexpected ways. I'd rather give my money for cold meds to the crackhead peddling on the train than puke in the crowded car.
9. Tissues overloading your work station
Getting up to go to the trash can every time you have a sneeze attack is no way to utilize a workday.
This is probably the one time you appreciate being secluded by a cubicle. Your contagious germs are safe here.
10. Showing up at work anyway
Sometimes, especially if it's your first job, you just don't feel like you can take a day off.
If that's the case, come prepared: plenty of ibuprofen to fight the fever, an extra sweater to stay warm and the softest Kleenex possible to avoid sporting a bright red nose.
Remember, if you're truly sick, just suck it up and take a day off. Your body and coworkers will thank you for it in the long run.
Photo Courtesy: Paramount Pictures/Ferris Bueller's Day Off