Working in TV news can be stressful and sometimes you just need a day off.
But, you don't want to burn a vacation day...you can always call in "sick."
Here are some tips to get a day off without getting in trouble.
Remember, first and foremost, you are about to lie. This is unethical behavior. The best thing you can do is tell the truth and only call off sick when you are actually sick. Lay down some groundwork. A day before your day-off, hint to your coworkers that you're not feeling well. Casually report your "flu-like" symptoms throughout the day. For example, say that your bones hurt and you feel a little sore. This way, your coworkers can make the connection instantly to your mentioned symptoms from the day before.
Prepare an alibi Before you call your boss, get your excuses ready. Look up the symptoms of the flu on the internet and note the most common ones. If you need to figure out how to manufacture a doctor's note, start the process before calling in sick. While you're at it, it's a good idea to log off any social media sites that you might be tempted to visit on your "sick day." That way, your boss won't stumble over photos of you hiking in the middle of your supposedly debilitating illness or leaving comments that raise suspicions of good health.
If you want to take off multiple days, pick a good illness. A migraine or a bad case of gastro can get you off for two or more days, as they can carry on for a long time and pop up at any time. Pink eye and strep throat can drag on longer. Whatever you choose, do your research thoroughly so that you can discuss the symptoms with clarity.
Call your boss or supervisor early the next morning. Don't delay––the sooner you tell your boss, the better. Additionally, you'll have a rather rough voice after waking up, giving you that added credibility.
Follow up on your sickness when you return to work. Don't walk into work after your sick day looking perfectly healthy. Play it up like you're still getting over your illness. Blow your nose a few times or cough softly. If you want to look extra authentic, don't get a lot of sleep the night before so that you show up to work looking haggard and exhausted. This bolsters your credibility for the next time you call in sick (and gives you an excuse to stay up late).
Do these steps and you should be in the clear to get a day off without giving up those precious vacation days. But, remember this is ratings...so wait until after the book to be "sick."