There's not much privacy about being sick, especially when you have to call the office. There can be lots of extra questions: "What's wrong? When will you be back? Are you going to the doctor?" Most of that is none of coworkers' business!
Generally, I think the easiest thing to call in sick about is a sore throat. When I have to convince someone that yes, this is Margaret, I know my throat is bad enough to keep me home. If I can't even sound like me, then my throat's bad. Then I really hate the extra questions and I start coughing.
I've been thinking about this since I got the word that Jonathan Toews, the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, is not going to start the new hockey season in January because he is ill. That's "calling in sick" in a very public fashion.
I've loved following the Blackhawks for decades, and Toews, a.k.a. Captain Serious, is so much my favorite player that he has affected the naming of certain things in my life. (Ahem.)
So when I saw the headlines that he's ill, I started looking for confirmation -- it's the sort of story I want to see in more than one place before I believe it. Some stories are calling it a mysterious illness, some an undiagnosed one.
I started out thinking "I need to know!" But then I read the part about his request for privacy and I realized how silly my earlier reaction is.
I don't need to know what's wrong. He needs to know, and I hope he finds out soon and gets help.
Just because someone is famous for one thing, even when it's leading a team to the championship three times in six years, that doesn't give the world license to see everything about that person's life. Surely privacy is more precious when work is more public. Jonathan Toews deserves whatever privacy he needs. So do other celebrities. We don't need to be told as much as some people want to know.
I hope Toews comes back to the Blackhawks, but mainly I hope he comes back to good health.
Take care of yourself, Captain Serious.
Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.
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