Jack rolled over in bed and his head was aching, his stomach was swirling the toilet bowl a testament to the struggle had been through the night before . However what made Jack cringe even more than the thought of another round with the porcelain queen, was the horrifying notion of having to call in sick.

Jack rolled over and found his mobile buried under the sheets.  Slowly, reluctantly, he dialled the number for the office, before coming up wIth a better idea.

“I don’t believe it,” said Derek. “A text message calling in sick.” He held the phone up for everyone to see. “Would any of you even dream of doing this?”

No one spoke and the meerkat-like bobbing up and down from cubicle ceased. Derek continued to hold the phone aloft seemingly as a warning to others. When he was satisfied his point had been made he brought the phone down to face him again and without noting the irony began texting.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Jack was now lying on the bathroom floor trying desperately to cool himself down as his fever spiked and was considering whether to call the doctor or an exorcist. He thought of throwing the phone into the toilet but decided his iTunes playlist was just too valuable. Instead, he waited. He did not need to wait long.

To say that Derek got a tremendous amount of satisfaction when he saw Jack’s name appear on his caller ID would be a massive understatement. “See? This is the way you call in sick.” The office had become like a typing pool as no one dared to poke their head out of their cubicles until Derek had left for the solitude of his office.

“Hello?” Derek did nothing to hide the annoyance in his voice, and when there was no answer he went on the offensive. “Jack this is unacceptable, you know the rules around calling in sick. A text message is unprofessional and wrong and it’s common sense and company policy that dictate a phone call to your immediate manager is mandatory.”

There was a strange noise from the other end of the phone and Derek look confused. A few heads popped up from behind cubicle walls, hearing what sounded like a scream from Derek’s phone.


Jack responded with another noise that sounded like a goat with it’s hair on fire. It was so loud that now a majority the office had emerged from their cubicles and were looking at Derek hoping that a small animal wasn’t being tortured on the other end of the phone.

Derek had turned a strange shade of white. “Jack can you hear me?”

The goat was tortured again.

“Jack I’ll see you tomorrow, or the next day. Just send me a text.” He said quietly.