You know, when I'm not tirelessly working away in my booth recording the next gripping installment of health and safety videos for power plants, I still work in an office. As much as I would love to declare myself a full time voice over artist, the wife insists that I keep a roof over our heads and food on the table.
So, those of you who also work in offices will surely find a way to relate.
Right now, I have a nasty cold. I'm saying cold because I have not been to the doctor, taking valuable time out of my day to be told that I have a virus, that there is nothing they can do about it and that the best thing for me would be fluid and bed rest. You don't even need to log in to NHS Direct for that kind of genius diagnosis - you can actually do it yourself. All you have to do is wake up feeling a bit rubbish and just assume the rest yourself.
I mean seriously, I don't know if your doctor's office is anything like mine but they always chime in with "Is it something you feel you need to see a doctor for right away?" Well how the hell would I know? I mean it might be nothing at all or it might be very serious - I simply don't have the medical training!
Then they tell you that there's nothing available for 2 weeks, so you ask if you could see them any sooner and, hey presto, an appointment is available tomorrow. It happens every time and the people at the surgery don't think that the more intelligent amongst their patients might have actually figured out the system by now. None the less, we soldier on and in this instance, I've decided not to bother negotiating for an appointment - I'm fairly sure that Lemsip will do the trick.
Now here's the tricky part. Assuming that you didn't get a formal diagnosis and follow the same path as me, you're now left with the daunting prospect of phoning in sick. As close to death as you might sound on the phone, there's always that little voice in your head that tells you, "Sound more ill. They don't believe you. They think you've just had a heavy weekend and that the Tequila hasn't quite made it out of your system yet." Yup - calling in sick on a Monday is ten times worse than any other day of the week.
Fact is that you could video call in from an oxygen tent and you'd still be paranoid that they don't believe you. The problem there is that the 'voice' can sometimes backfire:
"Hello (cough for effect), yeah I fell off a ladder and I've broken my leg"
"Well what's wrong with your voice"
"Technically nothing - I really was just going for sympathy"
GAME OVER - GET YOUR SORRY ARSE TO WORK RIGHT NOW.
Part of me wonders what would happen if I were a full time Voice Over. You see, before I started feeling proper nasty, the first thing to go was my throat. Not enough to stay home from work but not pleasant all the same. Trouble is, my voice isn't working properly, and that means that unless I've been cast in a commercial for a cold and flu remedy, I'm pretty much out of commission until my voice gets better.
It's weird, but being self employed in the world of voice over really would be a dream come true for me, but a simple sniffle has got me quite concerned, because even a few days out of action could seriously jeopardise my next dinner.
Have fun - always.