Pulling the perfect sickie is a lost art. As a child you understand it implicitly, but the passage of time and an increase in adult responsibility tends to dull your natural sickie talents. With the release of Portal 2 you must be prepared to hone these latent instincts. The productivity of the Australian workforce is of secondary concern - your primary goal should be 'moar Portal 2 time'. We're here to help. This is the Kotaku guide to the perfect Portal 2 sickie.
THE BASICS Solid Set Up Is Important If possible, set up your sickie in advance. Display subtle symptoms on the day before if possible - sniffles, sneezes if you're going to play the flu/cold card. Stomach pains and subtle moans if you're pulling the gastro sickie.
Making your boss or supervisor say, 'why are you in the office you crazy, overworked son of a bitch?' is your goal here. You are playing the role of the loyal worker bee, sacrificing the needs of his own health for the sake of the colony. Protip: leave the office roughly 30 minutes early in a weary, ominous manner. 'I'm going to go home guys, I've soldiered on all day, but I'm feeling terrible'.
'What a trooper,' they'll say, in your absence the next day. 'He'll needs a day off that poor bastard.'
Don't Align Your Sick Day With A Weekend This is just science - a Monday sick day is by far the dodgiest, Friday is equally as risky. The most obvious reason for that is, of course, your co-workers are likely to sit around gossiping about how you've been out partying all weekend and can't handle your booze.
But the less publicised reason is this: you're far more likely to meet Portal 2 interference if you play on a Monday or a Friday. People who work four day weeks may feel like visiting - your parents for example. Or your kids may have one of those stupid extra days off from school they always seem to get. Your day off should be pure Portal 2 time - remember this. Take a Tuesday, Wednesday or a Thursday. That's just common sense.
One Day Or Two This is a tough one. If your workplace is one of those stringent places that demands Doctor's notes, you may want to restrain yourself and take one single day of sick leave. If your place of work is a little more laissez-faire, you might feel like taking two to give the 'illness' more gravitas.
It depends on your excuse to be honest. If you're claiming you have a flu, I'd take two days, mainly because the flu hangs around and you can play the 'I didn't want to infect my co-workers' card. If you're going for the gastro excuse - limit it to one.
And speaking of excuses...
EXCUSES EXCUSES The More Outlandish The Better When it comes to excuses, you can go one of two ways. You can play it safe with the flu or gastro, or go completely mental. Personally, I've always been a firm believer in the completely outlandish, utterly impossible to dispute, crazy illness.
Some quick examples...
Don't say you have the flu - say you have foot-in-mouth disease.
Don't say you have gastro - say you lopped off your genitals in a bizarre gardening incident involving a rogue hedge trimmer and a blind old-age pensioner.
Don't say you have diarrhea, claim that a rabid dog bit you and gave you leprosy.
Honestly - if your boss is a seasoned supervisor, he's heard it all before. Bizarrely, a more crazy, batshit insane excuse is often more believable than a simple, overused one.
Use Your Children This is a solid technique, difficult to dispute. Claim that your your child has some sort of life-threatening, debilitating disease - unless your boss is a cold, heartless descendant of Adolf Hitler, he will leave you well alone.
I'd suggest making it some sort of long term illness - just in case another top quality game comes out down the track. You can pull this bad boy out whenever suits.
Dead Relatives An old, tested classic, the dead relatives excuse has a shelf life, but can be used in order to gain multiple days off - there's time to grieve, time to organise the funeral and, of course, the funeral itself.
Use sparingly. You only have two sets of Grandparents. Use them wisely.
The Enigmatic Personal Day This technique is simple. If you are a women, and your boss is a man, this works particularly well. All that's required is a simple text message or an email.
"I'm taking a personal day."
Those words, so ominous, so enigmatic and vague, will conjure up a million strange images in your supervisor's mind. A curt and assertive email is key. Your boss will be far too scared to ask; you simply come back to work the next day and say very little. Keep a poker face for the entire day - everyone in your place of work will assume the worst. This is the simple base nature of humanity.
ON THE DAY Avoid Social Networks This is school boy stuff, but totally worth noting regardless - stay away from Facebook and Twitter. If you must - head on and post something about how crappy you're feeling. If you're hamming up the personal day, head on and say something enigmatic and weird like: 'sigh'. That's it!
No mentions of how Portal 2 'pwns', or how funny Stephen Merchant is - no rubbish 'The Cake is a lie jokes. Nothing. Radio silence. You have to go dark. Jack Bauer style.
Turn off Xbox LIVE/PSN/Steam Play offline. You don't want to get busted playing this game all day. Be vigilant - you have no idea who is the closet gaming nerd in your office. You never know - your supervisor may have Steam chat on all day.
You just. Don't. Know.
Quit Your Job You have a soul destroying, utterly painful job that you have wanted to quit for some time - maybe this is the best excuse you'll ever have? Drop kick your boss in the nuts and moonwalk your way out of the office for the last time. Do it!
Work From Home It's possible you may have a job that allows for this - very risky. You still have to produce work, people often 'frown upon' this sort of behaviour and check up ever more on what you've been doing during the day. Watch yourself with this one.
Wait For The Weekend Like A Normal Human Being This is absolutely, positively, the last resort.