Stress – the mysterious medical condition that has been used and abused by work shy employees for time in memoriam. It’s one of the best ways to get yourself a bit of time off from work without having to sound like you have a tennis ball trapped in your sinuses or vocal chords that are made out of sandpaper.
Here at The W1nners’ Club, we have noticed that the majority of our employees that manage to get themselves signed off with ‘stress’ have usually used up all of their annual leave and when they do eventually return to work all de-stressed and revitalised – they often sport a beautiful new sun tan.
If you do feel like getting through the entire 4th season of Prison Break on Netflix and can’t be bothered to feign a proper illness, here are the best reasons to give your employer as to why you need a month off work for ‘stress.’
Complaining about stress because of your workload is a bit like a soldier complaining of noise pollution on the battlefield – or rather, there’s not really any such thing as ‘just the right amount of work.’ Nevertheless, with a few woefully inaccurate business reports and a doctor’s note, you could earn yourself a mini-holiday from work for no other reason than the fact that you have too much work to do.
2. Relationship problems
If you don’t mind all your colleagues thinking that your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend (delete as appropriate) ran off with the Milkman/Avon Lady/Church Vicar – a good heartbreak can do wonders in getting you signed off for a while. Just make sure that you take your ‘stress leave,’ out of the holiday season as the last thing you want is to be caught by the boss sipping cocktails and sunbathing in Torremolinos – with the partner that supposedly left you!
3. Management Style
Telling your boss that you don’t like their management style is a bit like telling someone you don’t like their dancing. The chances are they probably don’t know any other way. You should therefore factor this in if you decide to use this as your reason for non-attendance at work for a month. The chances are however that you might find that your ‘holiday’ gets extended into a permanent one by your manager who has incidentally just decided to take up salsa lessons!
4. Poor Relationships with Colleagues
Very few offices can claim to have a workforce where everybody gets on with each other. That said, if you confess to being less emotionally stable than your colleagues and burst into tears occasionally during department meetings, you may be able to wangle it so that you spend the next couple of months in the company of someone you genuinely like – yourself!
5. Organisational Change / Restructuring
One of the benefits of working in a particular job for an extended period is you learn to do the tasks automatically without even thinking about it. There’s nothing worse therefore, than having your role altered in some way because you’ll then have to actually pay attention to what you’re doing. This is time that could be spent playing Minecraft and as a result, you will naturally feel stressed out as a result. Take this opportunity to relay your discomfort to a superior (and make sure you don’t mention playing Minecraft).
6. Health Issues
Be careful not to shoot yourself in the foot on this one. A relapse of a mystery illness that was caught whilst backpacking in the Andes during your gap year might be better utilised on its own merit rather than proof of the stress it is causing you. It’s always better to have two reasons for taking time off work than just the one, but be warned that you might have to remember the name and symptoms of your mystery affliction if you ever get questioned about it.
7. Pressure to Meet Targets
(See no. 1 – workload).
8. Long Hours
Often a result of the reason listed in number 7 – long hours are essentially your own fault. Most people are paid to do a 40 hour week yet you still try to gain extra brownie points by hanging around in the office for an extra hour at the end of every day ringing your mates on the work phone so that you save your free mobile minutes. Well done – just make sure you get signed off for a month with stress as a result!
9. Lack of Support from a Team Leader
Your Line Manager won’t thank you for it when you eventually return to work, but when you do, be prepared for the fact that they’ll probably be annoyed with you for thinking of signing yourself off with stress before they did. Shit is supposed to flow downwards – remember that!
10. Financial Concerns
This will work providing you create the right impression and borrow as much money as you possibly can from your colleagues. There’s nothing quite like a disgruntled co-worker whom you owe money to when it comes to having your current insolvency broadcasted to anyone that will listen. Your boss will therefore probably know why you are stressed before you do.
Never mind the fact that you’ve worked at the company for ten years – just explain to your boss that since the UK voted to leave the European Union, the global world economy could yet suffer repercussions the likes of which cannot be predicted in the short to medium term and as such, the sleepless nights you’re suffering as a result of this possibility are making you feel stressed. Trust us – if you use this excuse you’ll bore your manager into signing you off work for a considerable period.
12. Lack of Training
You know you’re not qualified for your job because you lied on your CV and said that you obtained a 3rd class degree in pottery design from Hull University. Your colleagues already know that you’re not qualified to do your job because they have to work with you every day. A lack of training being presented as a reason for stress should therefore fit seamlessly into the department-wide disdain for your efforts in the workplace – this despite the fact that your ‘lack of training’ is a direct result of you spending lecture periods getting sozzled in the student union bar at University.
13. Poorly Designed Roles
Good luck with this one – you ain’t that important mate!