Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Monday, October 20, 2014

Calling in Sick

Creative jobs require creative excuses
Everyone, at some point, calls in sick to work.
Everyone.
Even those toughest of the tough. The weather-hardened cowboys.
Their excuses are just a bit more . . . creative.
In my grandfather's day, his hired men were all experienced, life-hardened individuals.
And I do mean individual.
One morning, one of his cowboys failed to report with the others.
Grampa handed out the day's assignments, then went in search.
He found the man seated snugly in the bunkhouse, both feet comfortably propped up on a chair.
Grampa stopped in the doorway.
“Are you coming out to work?” he asked.
“Can't. Toik,” the man said.
Grampa stared at him. “Excuse me?”
“Can't. Toik,” the man repeated.
“Oh.” Grampa thought about that for a moment. Then, “What?” he asked again.
The hired man looked at him. “Toik,” he said carefully.
Grampa nodded. “That's what I thought you said.”
He turned and headed back to the barnyard.
For some time, he puzzled over the man's answer.
What on earth was a toik?
Finally, he found himself working alongside one of the other men.
“Smith not coming?” the man asked.
Grampa shook his head. “No. He said something about a toik.”
The hired man grinned. “And you had no idea what he was talking about?”
Again, Grampa shook his head. “None whatsoever,” he said.
The man laughed. “You can't guess what a toik is?”
“Nope.”
“Maybe I should translate.”
Grampa looked at him. “Please,” he said.
“Toe ache,” the man said.
“Ahhh!” Grampa said.
Things suddenly made . . . sense. Sort of. “Toe ache.”
“Yep.”
“Ah.”
Now I'm sure you've heard the excuse of 'a cold coming on'.
The flu.
Sore throat.
Sinus infection.
Broken bones.
Even the occasional bout of 'explosive diarrhoea'.
But I'd venture to guess that you've never before heard of a toik.
Well, now you have.
Feel free to use it . . .

20 comments:

  1. LOL. I call in sick maybe 1 out of every 6 days I'm sick. I wish I had the balls to call in more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's 1 in 6. I'm sure we can improve those odds . . . 1 in 10?

      Delete
  2. That's so funny I think use that as an excuse not to cook dinner tonight!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This may not be related to getting out of work but I'll tell it anyways: When I was in college, a guy would carry a clipboard along the lineup at the cafeteria. 'Sting-zweeggen?' he'd say. Most of us shrugged because he couldn't understand what he was saying. Finally one of the louder mouthpieces shouted: 'What the hell is a Sting-zweeggen?' 'Are you staying this weekend?' the guy asked a little more slowly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sting-zweeggen! Could be used for so many things . . .

      Delete
  4. Very funny. However, I have never, ever called in sick. Haven't had a cold or flu or toik in over 35 years. Sometimes I think how nice it would be to lie around the house and not feel well, but it just does not happen. My kids pointed out to me recently -- now that they are in their 30's -- We have never seen you sick, Mom. So, what do you think? Should I pretend and take a day off?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I stayed home with a 'toik' once....I had gout.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh. And ouch! Whoever invented gout . . .

      Delete
  6. I am sick right now, but sadly since I work from home, there's no calling in sick. Especially since the "boss" lives with me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this! I also work from home and live with my boss - but I'm using this one anyway :)!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hahaha! That is too funny! Even if you slow it down, it's still difficult to enunciate; it comes out something like "toagh" - at least from my mouth ... note to self, get lazy tongue muscles tuned up :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could use your day off to practice . . .

      Delete
  9. Toe ache, that's a new one. I thought he was trying to say toothache!
    I had a friend who didn't think it was right to work on her birthday. Or anyone else's birthday. She didn't last long in that job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes! I can definitely see why. Although I could go along with the sentiment . . .

      Delete
  10. Never had a toe ache, but it's now in my arsenal of excuses. :-)

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete

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