Lurking through iFish.net, one of our favorite outdoor sports forums, I came across a thread that caught my attention because it was a subject near and dear to my heart. You see, I believe wholeheartedly in the concept of taking advantage of the weather. Be it a grand warm and sunny day when the jetski is calling or an equally glorious day when the rain is falling and the fall salmon are running, the effect is the same. Sometimes we just have to answer the call of nature, and I don’t mean going to the bathroom. I mean taking time off from work, sometimes unscheduled and on short notice, to pursue more relaxing endeavors. It may seem irresponsible and dishonest, or even downright lazy, but I’m here to say it’s essential to our mental health.
Have you ever called in sick to go fishing? If not, why? Is it your overwhelming sense of duty to your employer? Let me ask you this…does your employer have an overwhelming loyalty to you? How many out there have been laid off, let go, become a victim of downsizing or outsourcing? Even the most seemingly trustworthy corporation can be ruthless when it comes to the bottom line. Yet we as employees often feel as if we have to be one hundred percent loyal to them. Sure, they give us a paycheck. But we give them our time, our sweat and tears, and sometimes our blood. You work hard. You know you do, and your employer knows that as well. Work is important, of course. But why do we work? To live. And it is my assertion that life isn’t worth living if we are working all the time.
So play hooky. Not all the time. Not so much that it garners you a reputation as a slacker. But there are those times when it is absolutely essential. You might be feeling it right now. The weekends aren’t long enough and you are months away from any real scheduled vacation time. As long as your coworkers don’t have to cover for you too much, as long as the office or factory or warehouse isn’t slammed with business, as long as you can be certain that stealing away once in a while isn’t something that will land you in hot water, play hooky.
What If I Don’t Like To Lie?
Maybe you feel that if you lie then Karma will catch up. The fish gods will frown upon you. Then don’t lie. Be up front with your boss if you have fish fever and just want to blow off work for the day and head to the water. If you are as hard of a worker as you say you are, then your boss will most likely not mind. He or she will understand. They are human just like you (well, mostly human, haha!).
Tell your employer the truth. I bet that he or she will appreciate the honesty like a breath of fresh air. Truth told, your boss might also be thinking about it. Heck, they may have beaten you to it. I had to laugh when reading one poster on iFish relate the story about when he called in sick, went to the lake, and stumbled across his boss with a pole in his hand and a Cheshire grin on his face.
So what about integrity or character or hard work? No one is suggesting you compromise your integrity or character. And I am a supreme advocate of hard work. I am also a fervent supporter of playing hard too. It’s just that sometimes the two can’t coexist on the same day.
I’ll close my rant with two brilliant comments left on iFish. The first is by a poster with the handle NeedleRat: “Work will always be there but a good run has to be tended to when it presents itself.” The second is from fishinman: “People who DON’T call in sick when the river is perfect shouldn’t call themselves fishermen. There is no help for those people.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.