In a former job, a younger staff member called in sick with the excuse she had a brain haemorrhage. However, if she felt better in the afternoon she would come in! Isn’t that just the best reason for missing a morning’s work?
Then there was the chap who would leave little clues the day before that he would not be in the office the next day. For instance, Jeffrey* would develop a limp in the morning which evolved to him holding and dragging a bad leg the length of the office by the pm. For someone in such pronounced pain it made sense (to me anyway) to stay seated to let the leg rest. However, I see now this would have defeated the aim of everyone witnessing Jeffrey’s worsening incapacity. Pity he couldn’t remember one hour to the next which leg he should be dragging across his Manager’s eyeline.
I have also heard my share of excuses from those who are always late. And it has to be said, Bronnie wasn’t great at being on time. In Bronnie’s world, a 30 minute journey to friends for dinner meant a 30 minute journey. In my world, that’s an hour of time. 15 minutes to faff and check stoves haven’t been left on and, say, a 15 minute window for lorries to discard their wares on the road or for the car to decide not to start.
There are also the everyday excuses we use to excuse ourselves. Having that teeny-tiny piece of cake; not going to the gym four days in a row; spending money on yet another pair of black court shoes to die for.
And of course our excuses for bad behaviour. Talking through the performance in a cinema or theatre; eschewing a ‘Thank You’ when someone holds a door open for us or talking on a mobile phone when someone is serving us in a shop. Naturally our important and pressurised lives means we can be excused these minor indiscretions – or as my mother would say, entry level manners.
We also have the compelling stories we tell ourselves when the excuse not to take action means sparing ourselves the pain of knowing. What if that ‘spot of dry skin’ turns out to be a pre-cancerous mole or a persistent ‘pesky’ cough the prelude to something more ominous? And having to un-crunch ourselves more frequently in the mornings has nothing to do with body and limbs getting older or looming arthritis. It would have been that spot of decorating last night – and I’m holding onto that one.
This is therefore our writing prompt for this week. Excuses. And if you have put off writing to one of our prompts now could be a good time to stop making excuses and dive in. We all from time-to-time fear our writing will be critiqued and found wanting, but as writers and bloggers we must excuse ourselves from all and any excuses not to write, create and be seen.
No excuses, now.