Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 107

The Time Mookie Called In Sick To Work From Las Vegas

Since it is now March, that usually means one thing for the kids out there: Spring Break Vacation. To celebrate Spring Break, all of the "Monday Morning Stories with Mookie" episodes in March will be about something that happened during one of my visits to my favorite vacation destination: LAS VEGAS. Enjoy.

One particular spring break, the wife and I decided to fly from our then-home in Colorado Springs to Las Vegas to meet up with our good friends "Junior*" and his lady (at the time) - "Christine.*" My wife and I sort of planned out trip at the last minute, as we really couldn't afford the whole hotel/plane costs AND because I had no vacation time to take at work. However, Junior and Christine said if we could make it there....we could stay with them in their room. NICE.

Needless to say, we found the cheapest airfare we could and booked the trip. While this was excellent news, it still didn't solve the problem of me not having any vacation time to take at work, nor did it help that I was SCHEDULED to work at Walmart during two of the three days we were going to be in Vegas. Whoops.

We eventually came up with the plan that I would "call-in sick" on those two days so that I could get sick pay that I had accrued.  The only problem with Walmart's sick pay policy was that you could only get sick pay for consecutively scheduled sick days after the first day. So in this case, I wouldn't get paid for my 1st day - but I would get paid for the 2nd day. I figured one day's pay is better than no days pay.  I suppose this "policy" cuts down on the habitual one-off "call in sick" offenders, but it certainly ruins it for people like me who have a valid excuse like going to Las Vegas. Am I right??

So the day of the trip arrived, and the wife and I boarded our early AM flight out of the Springs to Sin City. Once we landed at McCarran Airport, we secured our bags and caught a shuttle to the Flamingo Hilton to meet up with Junior and Christine. 

As it was getting close to Noon AND I was supposed to work at 2pm back at Walmart - we had matters to attend to right away once we got to the hotel room. Once we got settled, I had my wife call me in "sick." It was a beautiful thing. In a mock gesture, I laid on the bed and held my stomach like I was really ill. If the Walmart manager could have seen me, he would have believed me I'm sure. Once that was completed, we hit the town and did all of the gambling/drinking/sightseeing that we came to do.

The next day when it came time to "call in sick" to work again, I made the phone call. I got into the "sickly" mindset the situation required and dialed the phone. I put my hand on my belly again and feigned illness to the best of my ability. Somewhere in my wife or Junior's photograph collection, there is a picture of me during this actual event. I spoke to the manager and told him of my "stomach ailment," which he seemed to believe for some reason. I was not normally a person to call in sick all the time, so I must have had that going for me. He told me to get some rest and keep the fluids going. "I will." I told the boss. Then I hung up and we all went out to drink and gamble some more. The boss did say to get some fluids.....

We did the town with Junior and Christine for another day or so before we actually had to head back to Colorado and our jobs. I was due to work less than 3 hours after our plane touched down at home, so we were hoping our flight wasn't going to be delayed or anything - because that would have been an awkward conversation with the boss. Yeah I'm in an airport and I can't make it.....

Our flight ended up being on time, but in an ironic twist our flight home was one of the worst and roughest I have ever been on. It was the kind of turbulence that made you almost come out of your seat and continued for most of the flight. By the time we landed, due to the combination of the previous evening's drinking and the up-and-down nature of the flight - I did not feel well at all.  Needless to say I went to work anyway because I figured if I called in again I was running the risk of needing a doctor's note - or worse - getting fired. But WOW I did not feel good. 

In the end - looking and feeling sick actually worked in my favor because it totally "sold" the idea that I had been ill for the two previous work days - which you know...I wasn't.

I lied and called in sick. From Las Vegas.
Hell. Yes.
Best call-in EVER.

(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent.

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