Missing work: are you really ill? 不去上班:你是真病了嗎?

更新時間 2013年 4月 8日, 星期一 - 格林尼治標準時間15:17

Vocabulary: missing work 詞匯: 不上班


Would you like your boss to find you here when you are on sick leave?

If you are on sick leave for work-related stress don't pick a fight with a shark on a popular beach. A charity worker from Wales learnt this lesson a few weeks ago. He was sacked after his bosses saw a video of him wrestling one of the dangerous sea creatures in Australia.

Paul Marshallsea grabbed the animal's tail as it swam towards children and dragged it to deeper water. He made headlines across the world and was praised by lifeguards. But not by his managers at the Pant and Dowlais Boys and Girls Club, who say that they don't trust him anymore.

Mr Marshallsea might really have been ill, but some who ask permission to be absent from work are not. There is even an expression for that: 'throwing a sickie'.

Claiming to have a migraine headache has become one of the most popular excuses for 'throwing a sickie', a survey suggested a few years ago.

The YouGov poll of 2,105 people found 15% of workers who admitted to making up illness to get a day off used migraine as their excuse.

The month when absenteeism is most likely to happen is February, because some people feel a need to recharge batteries after the post-Christmas shock of having to go back to work.

But job insecurity brought about by the economic downturn might be discouraging employees from pretending to be sick.

In the UK, the Office of National Statistics says that the average worker now takes just 4.5 days off because of illness or injury, compared with 7.2 in 1993. A total of 131m work days were lost in 2011, down 6m on the year before.

Mr Marshallsea might be upset about becoming part of the unemployment statistics right now. But it could work to his benefit in the future. The bravery he showed to defuse a possible shark attack might make his CV shine. And even if he doesn't get a more challenging job as a result, at least he'll be cured of his stress.

Quiz 測驗

1. Who approved of Mr Marshallsea's actions?

The lifeguards.

2. What did the charity worker's bosses say?

They said that they don't trust him anymore.

3. Look at the article. What excuse do people use most often when they don't want to go to work?

They say they have a migraine.

4. Is this statement true, false or not applicable? People have been avoiding absences from work because they are afraid of being sacked.


5. What expression in the article means 'to become an important news story'?

To make headlines.

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