Unexpectedly Intriguing!
13 March 2007

Sick Worker Timeclock Are you one of those people for whom sick leave is just one more employee benefit to be fully maximized? Sure, you could go in and work, but that might mean missing a crucial live game during March Madness.

Then again, you do have that car payment that you need to make later this month and your boss and co-workers are counting on you to help them hit the target that will give everyone a bonus this month. What should you do?

Don't wonder any more! Garth Sundem, the author of Geek Logik, has brought the power of Algebra to bear on this eternal conflict between responsibility and desire. Our tool below automates the math to help you decide whether or not today will be your next sick day!

Factors Affecting Whether You Should Call In Sick
Input Data Values
Do you have a doctor's note?
(Enter 1 for "no", 10 for "yes" and 5 for "yes, but it's a forgery.")
How sick are you, really?
(Enter 1-10 with 10 being "quarantined.")
How many days have you missed in the last month?
Don't count vacation days - just count your unscheduled absences!
Degree of responsibility in your job.
(1-10 with 10 being "lives are in my hands.")
How much fun will you have if you stay home?
(1-10 with 10 being Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
How much fun will you have at work?
(1-10 with 10 being "I am a personal trainer for underwear models".)
Your daily wage in dollars.
Don't be embarrassed - it's between you and your home computer. You are at home, right?
How much do you need the money?
(1-10 with 10 being "I owe the mob.")
Chance of Getting Fired
(If you think you have, say a "3-in-10 chance" of getting fired if you skip work, enter 3/10.)

Should You Call in Sick?
Calculated Results Values
Your Personal "Hooky" Factor
The Bottom Line
What You Should Do

In the results above, if your "Hooky" factor is greater than 1, you should call in sick. Of course, the real reason we provide this output is so you can play with the input data to find your personal "hooky" frontier - the combination of factors that would result in you opting to stay home!

Here's what Garth had to say about the math behind this tool:

The terms that drive this equation are the fun you could have at home compared to the fun you could have at your job, minus your chance of getting fired. If it's not going to be more fun at home and you might get fired for skipping work, why play hooky? This equation assumes that if you are too sick to think about going to work no matter the consequences, then you should probably call a doctor...

Now, whether or not you should call a doctor, well, that's a different question....

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About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations

Thanks in advance!

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