If I ever go through a dry spell where no work comes along for several weeks, there’s one sure way to get the phone to ring: plan a vacation. Not just a weekend getaway or trip to the beach, but one where some sort of deposit or other non-refundable money is involved. It never fails a job will come in and you have to choose... vacation or job.
I had always chosen job but then several years ago, I was offered a week-long commercial with my biggest client. I had a vacation planned for that same week, and in a bold move, I chose vacation. My turning down that job resulted in a two-year lack of work from that client. Eventually I got called again by them and for the past couple years I seemed to be back in their good graces. Until last week.
They had booked me on a job for Wednesday and Thursday. Over the weekend I could feel myself getting sick and slowly sliding downhill. By Tuesday night I felt lousy, but like many times before, I figured I could tough it out and work the next day (I can knuckle down and put on a smile). But by the morning I felt like crap. I’m not talking “I’d really like to curl up on the couch with a blanket” sick. I’m talking shaking, fever, can’t breathe, coughing, chills, dear God what did you give me and why do you hate me so type sick.
Now, I need to tell you that in fifteen years I have NEVER EVER called in sick for a job. I have luckily dodged shoot-day sickness, and of course when I did the big three-month features I was so adrenaline charged that no virus would dare take over...until...after wrap when my body all but collapsed in on itself. But this was my first experience being really unable to ooze out of bed on a shoot day.
So, after lying in bed staring at the ceiling wondering what to do, I called the production coordinator. He said, “If you feel like crap stay home, don’t worry, get better.” Hopefully that means, “I understand”
Or it means, “I’ll never hire you again” I guess I have a 50/50 chance.
I feel much better now. Just the lingering cough that won’t go away coupled with an overwhelming feeling of guilt for calling in sick. Maybe if I book a vacation to some place expensive the production coordinator will call me on their next job……...in two years.
Have you ever called in sick?