The Ill Voice

The Ill Voice

We’ve all been there – you wake up dying to death of The Lurgy, and aside from being a bit worried about being dead, you realise that you have to phone in to work to tell them you’re ill.

Well, either that or you’ve decided you’re staying in bed for an All Day Shagging Sickie (yay!!!).

Either way, as soon as you dial that number, even if nothing is wrong with your actual voice in any way, you feel that you have to change your voice to The Ill Voice.

You could have a dismembered foot but when you call in for some reason you’ll feel you have to make your voice sound weak, broken, rough and pathetic.

Because I’m aware of this stupid play acting, the last time I had to call in sick I did a ‘normal’ voice.  It was a stomach upset and the start of flu-type lurgy, but I could speak normally.  They kept chasing me because they obviosuly didn’t think I was that ill!  They even asked me to call back later that day in case I’d miraculously recovered somehow in the space of a few hours?!

I know someone else who swore by smoking a cigarette as fast as she could immediately before calling in ill, just for the effect it had on her voice, making it meet the appropriate sick-sounding requirements.

Maybe I should start a campaign to allow people to call in ill without having to use The Sick Voice?  Raise awareness, and all that?

Do you use The Ill Voice?

If someone calls you up, do you think less of their reported illness if they’re not using The Ill voice?

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4 thoughts on “The Ill Voice

  1. Back in my factory days, it was pretty much a necessity to use the “sick” voice. Your boss was not your friend: he was your mortal enemy, only held back by the forces of a powerful union. So you didn’t take any chances that he might be logical, and realize that not all ill people actually sound sick.

    I work for an organization now that is fairly virtual: employees work in all parts of Canada. Hence, no need for the “sick” voice because we usually converse through email. Plus, because we’re in the knowledge sector, there’s a kind of an assumption that we’re in a true team, and no one is out to game the other guy. (Much better than factory work, with its confrontational dynamic.)

    • Yes, I’ve done factory work myself, and spent just about every hour of every day trying to screw the company for as much as I could! When I was on piece work I think I was as much a Liar as I was a Linisher. 😀

  2. Before retirement, I supervised many. I could hear the difference between their “sick voice” and their truly sick voice. However, whichever voice, I was gracious and wished them well soon. That attitude was because of how a supervisor treated me when I was very young. I rarely called in sick and worked many times when I should have been in bed, but I had this one supervisor back in the 70’s who was skeptical ALWAYS. When I called in sick, I could count on him to call me 2-3 times that day. I knew he did it because he didn’t believe me. This one time, I was soooo sick that I didn’t feel like his game, so when the phone rang, I didn’t bother to answer it. He must have called 5 times that day! The next day, he called me in his office and “confronted” me about not being home after calling in sick. I told him that I was, indeed, at home and I was sick and didn’t feel like answering the phone. I then told him that he called every time I was sick and this time I decided that I wouldn’t bother answering the phone because I was, after all, sick, I reported off properly, therefore my responsibility to my employer was done for the day. Then I took it one step further… I told him that I resented his distrust, I was indeed at home sick and that as long as I pay my own phone bill, I would decide when and if I would pick that phone up every time it rings. He never called me again….

    • Bloody right, too! The latest trend seems to be that you have to call in every morning when you are off ill. I mean, assuming you really ARE ill, the last thing you need is to have to get up, go to the telephone and try and get through to someone when all you want to do is stay the fk in bed and get some sleep!

      Surely ill is ill, and once you’ve said you’re ill that’s the last they should here from you until you’re well enough to work again!

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