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I am in such shit.

My work skills were forged in the crucible of short, white-hot deadlines with enormous scary monsters behind them. Magazine work. Support material for speeches. High profile (at least in my little corner of cubicleland), fast turnaround…but, frankly, not all that intellectually demanding. This is my productive place.

Now I’ve drawn one that rests on all my weaknesses. Long and open ended (pff, I’ll do it tomorrow), much coding and script-writing (what, I can’t watch television?!), just me and the client with no third-party oversight (they don’t call me ‘weasel’ for my silky brown pelt). In addition, the client is that potent combination of important and stupid.

I’ve kicked this one down the road for a year, and now it’s back and it’s madder’n hell. I’ve promised to deliver a module a week until August. It’s Tuesday, and so far I have managed to write the email promising to deliver a module a week until August.

I am in such shit.

I’ve pulled off bigger miracles, but just in case, I’m hauling my fantasy weapon out of mothballs — an illness. I’ve never had one. Not a big one. Everyone is allowed one big sick per career, right? I need something big enough to chase the work away, but not likely to result in fraud charges if it isn’t quite true.

So a car accident or cancer is right out. I need debilitating but not newsworthy.

I’m thinking some kind of intestinal trouble. Because, let’s face it, the last thing your boss wants to hear about is your colon.

Blood in the stools? Irritable bowel syndrome? I’m open to suggestions here.


Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: June 19, 2007, 5:58 pm

Oo! Irritable Bowel Syndrome! I got that. It comes and goes on it’s own accord, although it’s been awhile since I’ve had symptoms (knock wood). Nasty, nasty stuff. But, it’s only something that can get you one or two days off. I don’t think you can ride IBS for a week or so.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 19, 2007, 6:06 pm

Hm. Spastic colon, maybe. It’s sounds painful AND politically incorrect.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: June 19, 2007, 6:11 pm


It has to be piles.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: June 19, 2007, 6:15 pm

Sorry, but that’s an older name for the same thing. Yer right though – SC sounds much worse than IBS and it’s much more descriptive of the actual symptoms.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 19, 2007, 6:26 pm

Eh. I might have to make seomthing up, then.

“Well, sir, the doctor called it…Acute Incandescent Anus Simplex. I don’t know what that means, exactly, but the symptoms are…”

“Oh, hey, that’s okay, Weasel…”

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: June 19, 2007, 6:29 pm

You gotta add the obligatory: “and he said it isn’t very contagious…”

Comment from jwpaine
Time: June 19, 2007, 7:55 pm

Try chronic fatigue syndrome. Harlan Ellison has it (or so he tells everybody), and it never goes away.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: June 19, 2007, 7:57 pm

Guess it’s too much to hope for that this job requires copious amounts of booger and/or animal butt haiku. ‘Cause I know some people….

Comment from Alissa
Time: June 19, 2007, 8:28 pm

Systemic lupus. Potentially debilitating, can attack most any of your major symptoms, elusive to diagnose and can slide into remission or flare-up suddenly and unexpectedly.

Comment from Brandon
Time: June 19, 2007, 8:42 pm

Your chucks are punk rock! Funny next to your tea cups and saucers and salt and vitamins? Do you live there?

Comment from Dawn
Time: June 19, 2007, 8:43 pm

shoot – that was me not Brandon (my hubby)

Comment from Dawn
Time: June 19, 2007, 8:48 pm

And is that a can of sardines?

Comment from mesablue
Time: June 19, 2007, 10:16 pm

Take up rugby and you can have my real life excuse for not working the last few days. Concussion, black eye, six stitches under the eye and three shattered teeth.

Not sure if that’ll keep you out of work long enough, though.

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: June 20, 2007, 8:33 am

Recurrent acute pancreatitis.

(I’ve actually been suffering this the last seven years, its extremely painful; but lends itself well to a fictitious ailment. I would typically suffer acute attacks about once a month that lasted several days. In my case it continued to worsen until I was unable to work at all, until major surgery a few months ago.)

Comment from porknbean
Time: June 20, 2007, 9:36 am

A teletubby clock? Now I like teletubbies because they remind me of my kids when they were small, but weasel, you only have squirrels.
*scratches head*
Such a funny little stoat.

I’d go with intestinal troubles. Work your hiney off now to get yourself close to where you need to be and as the deadline looms too close for comfort, tell the boss you caught some ‘bug’ from a public pool found to have high levels of fecal contamination.

Comment from Lokki
Time: June 20, 2007, 9:57 am

Back injuries are the absolute best. They can be very incapacitating, pop up sporadically, and are impossible to disprove with any clinical tests. X-rays are nondispositive. MRI’s can’t really disprove them.

All it takes a a little scream, a spilled cup of tea and lying in an uncomfortable position on the floor for 15 minutes “till it passes” to set the stage.

Remember, even a mandatory trip to the company’s chosen physician can’t prove that your back doesn’t hurt.

One guy used to wear a very cool little electric box that shot charges into his back muscles to stop the spasms and reduce the pain. It didn’t work very well, but was a hell of a fashion accessory. It also allowed him to leave meeting suddenly without questions.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 20, 2007, 11:59 am

Back injuries are so 1995. We had two go out with permanent disability tickets. It would meet an instant wall of skepticism.

Today, I’m experimenting with actually doing the work. On the whole, I think I’d rather piss blood.

Comment from Lokki
Time: June 20, 2007, 5:27 pm

Silly me. I apologize for offering something so mundane as back injuries here. It was like bringing a bottle of milk to a 21-year-old’s birthday party.

As an apology please accept this Google Searce on

Rare Fatal Diseases

And this list from the National Institute of Health:

Medical Terms for Rare Diseases

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 20, 2007, 6:46 pm

My squirrels are long gone, PnB. But the ‘Tubbies are forever. Tenth anniversary this year, you know. Must throw them a post.

Comment from Pupster
Time: June 21, 2007, 11:53 pm

Fibro Mialgia (sp?) seems to cover a lot of ground, similar to chronic fatigue, but scarier sounding.

Amnesia always worked in sitcoms…

Comment from Purple Avenger
Time: June 24, 2007, 4:33 pm

If you think you could do one a week, promise them one every month, then deliver one every few of weeks (taken off a huge stack of completed ones, you knocked out in a frenzy of a few 18 hour days)

Under promise, over deliver == hero
Over promise, under deliver == shit heel

Its all about managing expectations so you can look like a hero while actually exerting like a slacking dope fiend lay about.

Comment from Stephany
Time: February 16, 2013, 6:11 am

I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your website?
Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a
little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2
pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

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