In some countries, faking sickness requires careful preparation and an acting performance worthy of an Oscar. Not in Luxembourg. Want a few days off just because it’s Tuesday, the weather is bad, or your cat ate all the Nutella again?
Follow these three steps:
Inform your boss
In the morning, send an email saying you aren’t going to work. The shorter and less considerate, the better. Never apologize, go into specifics, or acknowledge that your colleagues are going to have a nightmarish day thanks to your little ruse.
Bad: “I realize today is going to be really busy, and I promise to catch up when I come back, but I’m not able to make it to work. I feel awful, have a fever of 39 degrees, and there’s a weird rash on my butt. I’m seeing a doctor this afternoon and I’ll let you know ASAP what’s going on.”
Good: “Not coming today. Sick. Might be out all week.”
Go to the doctor
The bad news: the cruel overlords who run this sweatshop of a country still require you to “prove” you are unwell by getting a note from a doctor. The good news: nine out of 10 doctors have no interest in verifying that you are really ill before signing a note for you. Isn’t that someone else’s job?
Use the online scheduling tool Doctena to find a doctor near you. If you already know one who’ll grant you a week off for nothing more than a sniffle, all the better. When you go in for the visit, follow this script.
Doctor: What’s the problem?
Patient: I don’t feel like going to work.
Doctor: “Patient is suffering from low morale and is at risk of burnout.” How many days do you want off?
Doctor: Let’s make it five.
Doctor: That’s 43 euros. Paying by card?
Don’t mess up when you go back to work
So you’ve had a week off to watch your favorite television series, catch up on your spinning classes, and plan next summer’s trip to Barbados. You feel a little guilty, sure, but you did rest and hey, that’ll make you a better employee, right? Now it’s time to make your glorious return. What should you do?
1. Incessantly apologize to everyone who covered for you and work late for a week.
2. Pretend like you’re still very ill, but that you couldn’t bear to let your team down any longer. Wear extra layers of clothing so you appear feverish and keep in your pocket a jar of slime to rub under your nose.
3. Act as if you’ve barely escaped death and start wearing rosary beads around your neck. For extra effect, endlessly talk about “the tunnel” and speak to people who aren’t there.
The correct answer: none of the above.
Luxembourg’s labor laws were not created so that honest cheaters such as yourself have to suffer from the indignity of someone calling you out. When you’re on sick leave, you’re in a protective bubble and no one can question, challenge, or otherwise bother you. If your boss asks how you’re feeling but gives you a look that says “you’re a faker,” scream “harassment,” fall down on the ground, and writhe in agony. The emotional anguish of dealing with your boss’s unspoken accusation should be enough to get you at least another month off.