Category Archives: Just saying

Great Excuses to Get Out of Work

The weather is improving and temperatures are expected to rise to a balmy 10⁰ C this week. This means the snow and ice is melting, along with your chances of taking a weather related day off.

Managers across the country will be breathing a sigh of relief that they won’t hear the words ‘I’m snowed in’ this week, but they shouldn’t be too complacent; the nation has plenty of other great excuses to miss work:

Sick days

Pulling a sickie is always a popular choice for that last minute day off but the illness should be chosen carefully. There are some fail-safe options:

1. Illnesses that pass quickly – Migraines that can come on in a flash and can leave just as fast, or linger as long as suits your needs, are a good flexible option. That 24 hour bug that has been going around is another good choice, as is the allergic reaction which has caused your face to swell so much you can’t see. Use these and you can return to work as spritely as you like without arousing too much suspicion.

2. Highly contagious illnesses – Declare you have one of these and your boss will be begging you to stay away. No one wants an outbreak of swine flu, or whatever the latest epidemic is, to wipe out the entire workforce. Saying you have head lice is another perfect choice. Who wants head lice anywhere near them?

3. Embarrassing conditions – Mention you have diarrhoea or use the phrase ‘coming out both ends’ and no one will want any more details. If your boss is male, and you are female, you could always announce you have menstrual cramps or anything gynaecological to guarantee no further questions. Haemorrhoids are a good unisex option as is an emergency appointment with a therapist.

And of course, if you have kids, you are laughing. Just apply any illnesses to your children and you won’t even have to put on a sick voice.

Transport issues

The snow may have cleared but there are still plenty of other travel related problems to pull out of the bag when you fancy a lazy day:

1. Car problems – If your boss is not the mechanical type you could baffle them with a whole host of vehicle problems. Those sub hydro connectors can be a real pain in the damp, hot or cold weather. Or if they know a bit about cars, then state you have a problem with your brakes. No one will ask you to risk your life just to get to work.

2. Travel delays – If you have exhausted your car problems, do not despair. The roads could be blocked by a fallen tree or your keys could be locked in the car, or even locked in the house when you are locked outside. If you live close enough to get on your bike you can of course use the excuse that you have a puncture or that your bike has been stolen.

3. Public transport – If you use public transport it would be quite believable that the bus or train is late or the service has been suspended. If the service is generally good you could always claim to have fallen asleep and missed your stop or say you were too engrossed in reading up on some important notes that you went to the end of the line. Don’t forget to add that the buses and trains going back the other way are running late or cancelled.

Emergencies

There are many other emergencies which would require your absence from work:

1. You can’t leave the house – Maybe the water pipes have burst, the house is flooded and you have to wait in for the plumber. Your pet may be lost or escaped and you need to be there to let it in when it comes back. You could be locked in the house and the person with the key won’t be back until much later. You could climb out the window but that would be dangerous and the house would be unsecured.

2. You have an important duty to carry out – Perhaps your pet is ill and you need to make an emergency visit to the vets or you have just witnessed a horrible crime and must report it to the police right away. What if an elderly neighbour’s house has been burgled. She is terrified, doesn’t know what to do and has no one else to help her, shame on any boss who frowns on you for helping someone in need.

So whether you choose sickness, transport issues or household emergencies there are lots of great excuses to get out of work.

Happy duvet days!

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How to Blag Your Way Into Coolville

A dork’s guide to being cool.

Some people are just plain cool. Unfortunately, most of us are not! This blog will allow even the nerdiest amongst us to experience the alluring world of cool. The key to coolness is copying the crowds. Follow these six simple steps to fit in with the popular people and shake off those geeky friends.

1. Dress to Impress

The first step to appearing cool is to wear the right brands. The easiest way to do this is to copy the crowd. Hang around outside Hollister. Wait for a group of young, cool looking kids and follow them in.

Stick close to the group and make note of the items they pick up and approve of. Once they have moved away, swoop in and examine the garments. To save money, only buy outer wear such as hoodies or jackets, where the logo will be clearly visible. That way you can still wear your Star Wars t-shirt underneath and no-one will ever know.

Beware: The staff will say hello and make friendly chat. Just return the greeting and walk away, they do not really want to be your friend or hear about your day.

Top Tip: Wear dark sunglasses while outside the shop. Once inside, remove your shades. Your eyes should now be adjusted to the dim lighting allowing you to see the colour of the clothes you are purchasing.

2. Word up

It is important you know the current slang. Using last year’s lingo could easily expose your inner geek. Now you have your Hollister hoodie, you should be safe to approach the skate park without being beaten up. Take a seat on the bench and listen to the language used.

Do not get out your X-men comic, this will only attract unwanted attention. Instead, put in some ear phones and pretend to be listening to some hot tunes. Make note of whether the words are used to mean good or bad. Now impress your peers with your new cool vocabulary.

Beware: Be careful who you use this street talk with. While skaters may praise each other by exclaiming a trick was ‘sick’, the old lady next door will be horrified if you declare her much loved Jack Russell is sick, even if you meant it as a compliment.

3. Music

Knowing what tunes are in, and more importantly knowing what is out, is crucial to keep your cool demeanour alive. Again, the key to this is copying the crowd. Find out what the cool people are listening to, by using apps like Shazam. Wander up when cool people are showing off their tunes and let Shazam work out what is playing.

It is important to be able to rattle off some cool band names if asked what you are listening to. No-one need know that the Dungeons and Dragons audio book is really playing through your headphones.

Top Tip: Wear big headphones. These say I’m too cool to talk to you. My music is far more interesting. This should prevent you from being questioned.

4. What are you chatting about?

Repeat the mantra: The key to coolness is copying the crowd. What are the cool people talking about? Put your big headphones on and do a spot of eaves-dropping.

Topics are likely to be about sports, X-box games, fashion or music. Observe conversations initially and then utilise your nerd skills to research some key facts about the topics enabling you to join in next time. Note: Only research key facts, no one will be impressed by a spread-sheet detailing all of the Premiership player appearances and statistics since the league began.

5. Places to be

Now you have some basic knowledge of the cool people’s past times you will know where to find them and hang out. Join a sports club. Go to the shops they have mentioned or to the cinema to see the film they were talking about.

Top Tip: Sit next to the cool people wherever you can, in the canteen, in the cinema or in the bar. Passers-by will assume you are part of the group thus elevating your social status.

Beware: Your street credibility could crash back to zero if you are seen going into Chess Club.

6. Party Time

Now you have some cool clothes and know the cool crowd better it’s time to turn that funky music up and throw a party!

Only invite the cool people. That means leaving your old geeky friends behind but don’t worry they will be quite happy playing World of Warcraft at home.

Join in with the chat, try out your new lingo, relax and enjoy your new status.

Top Tip: Rig up a device at the end of the street to play a loud police siren, and flash blue lights, remotely controlled from your mobile. Once activated, the crowd will scarper. This allows you to end the party at your convenience, whilst ensuring the party is remembered for the foreseeable future.

Congratulations. You are now cool

So you have made it to coolness by following these easy steps. From now on it’s easy, just continue copying the crowd and don’t feel bad about ditching your dorky childhood pals. It’s for their own good. If they want to be your friend they will have to turn cool and who better to learn from, than the newly crowned King of Cool. That’s you.

The doom of the fitting room

I sometimes wonder if I’m the only woman in the world who does not like shopping. Actually, it’s not really the shopping I dislike. It’s the fitting rooms that bring me out in a cold sweat.

The first obstacle is the attendant. Perhaps I’m paranoid but I always imagine they are thinking: ‘You are way too old for that’. Or, ‘If those jeans fit you I’ll eat my hat’. They seem like the devil’s assistants leading innocent, hopeful shoppers towards their own private hell.

Communal fitting rooms fill me with the most dread. There is always a group of young flawless looking girls performing their own private fashion show and admiring each other’s choices of perfectly fitting summer dresses. Then there is the nudist, demonstrating how comfortable they are with their body by stripping right off and taking far longer than necessary to put any clothes back on. I desperately look for a nook or cranny to try these clothes on in private but to no avail. So with my chosen garment still on its hanger, I hold it up to my body, shake my head, and make a swift exit.

Cubicles with curtains are not much better. I have never found a cubicle curtain large enough to cover the opening. Pulling the curtain across to close the gap on one side just opens a gap on the other. I try to position the curtain so there is just a small gap on each side. This is a waste of time because whilst struggling to balance on one leg, with one leg in and one out of my jeans, I usually find my backside has reopened the curtains for the world to see.

Cubicles with doors are usually better, except those ones with low doors where fellow shoppers can see the look of disgust on my face as I examine my outfit in the mirror. Doors with high gaps at the bottom are just as bad. No-one wants to see my unshaved calves, partly covered by odd, worn out ankle socks.

It’s a relief to enter a cubicle with a full length, locking door. I hang the clothes on the hook, and then sigh. There is only one hook. Where do I put my clothes? A quick glance around the cubicle and I notice several balls of dust, a stray button and a tag. A tag? Who takes the tag off? A shoplifter perhaps! Then my paranoia really sets in. Are there cameras in here to catch shop lifters? Are recordings played back for the amusement of the staff on their lunch break?

I have a quick think about how to try on the clothes while revealing the least amount of flesh. I start the balancing act, trying to get my jeans off without them picking up the fluff balls from the floor. Bending over is not advisable in these confined spaces. I dread to think how many cubicle mirrors I have accidentally left my buttock prints on.

Standing under a harsh light it is impossible not to notice my unsightly bumps and bulges. I try looking away, but there is no escape. I’m surrounded by mirrors which show them from a different and usually worse angle. Instead I try to focus my vision on the clothes I’m about to put on. This causes another moment of horror as I notice white deodorant marks across the top. Who else has tried this top on?

Eventually I get the clothes on. I look horrendous. I need to get them off as fast as possible. But it’s not that easy. My calves refuse to leave the skinny jeans. I have expanded inside them. The heat from the lights is making me sweat. I’m glad of the deodorant marks now. At least people use it! I’m starting to panic. I tug at the clothes. Then I hear the worst of fitting room sounds. A rip.

I exit the cubicle red faced and looking like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards. The final humiliation is when the attendant asks, ‘How did you get on?’ As I hand over the garments I swear I can hear her thinking, ‘I could have told you it wouldn’t fit’. So I leave empty handed and drained of confidence. I think I’ll stick to internet shopping!