Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Australian pizzeria owner finds hangover love

Blake Pendlebury's Facebook "sick" letter captures kudos from impressed slackers 

We’ve all done it. Just like the pizzeria owner from Queensland, Australia, whose no-bull sick note charmed the Internet, we’ve called in sick when the only thing really wrong with us is one too many brewskies from the night before. Now usually the creativity that’s required for a remotely believable “under-the-weather” call-in or email is so daunting that we just suck it up and show up anyway, bravely battling our hangovers while we produce at roughly 47% of our normal work output, which is down from the solid 85% most of us put out on a good day.

But if the shindig was really rocking, you might try: “Listen…I seem to have (voice cracks pathetically) come down with The Cccrruuuuudd,” as you prop yourself up in bed still wearing last night’s go-to-party shirt and slacks.

“The Crud” is a great non-clinical catchphrase. It covers all the symptoms you’re trying to convey along an unspecified range—from the sniffles to open, oozing wounds. “Infection,” by the way, also works equally well to describe a snuffy nose and a flesh-eating bacteria.

Back to your Monday morning morning Oscar bid: “It’s really kickin’ (emphasis is effective on either the verb or adverb) my butt and I’m just afraid if I drag myself in, the whole building’s gonna get it.” Remember to say “gonna” with the same urgency JFK conveyed pronouncing “NOT” in his “Ask NOT What Your Country” speech. The same excuse, as an email or text, gets the job done. But it’ll probably demand a couple more details in lieu of your near-death-emoting live performance. If you’re well enough to hit the keyboard, co-workers figure you can find a way to cover those deadlines.

Just like Sex Panther Cologne, 60% of the time, that routine works every time. But wouldn’t it be sweet if we had the job security or authentic intestinal fortitude—not the fake intestinal flu—to really be real. To just say, “I lost track of my Budweiser count about the same time the damn Steelers were forgetting how to play defense. Then I chased down my misery at the thought of Belichik and Brady hoisting another Super Bowl trophy by hoisting a giant Long Island Iced Tea made out of what was left in the liquor cabinet—which was pretty much a bottle of Jack.”

Well, Blake Pendlebury, the awesome Aussie owner of Gaslight Pizza made his country, and slackers worldwide, proud when he posted his bracingly honest Facebook post. Lose that splitting skull scalder, my fellow revelers and anti-patriots, and you can read it yourself. It’s a masterpiece of candor, combining brutal honesty (no adequate backup) with a tone of heartfelt appreciation for his customers. Mr. Pendlebury, with major pizzaiolo chutzpah, admits he has come to the “bittersweet” conclusion that his restaurant, absent his cooking skills, is not worth opening. See what he’s done there? Old Blake has turned the ultimate work screwup—drunken irresponsibility—into a gesture of loyalty, true love and professional integrity to his customers.

Blake Pendlebury tied one on. And they ate it up! One customer replied to his post with a Facebook high-five: Claire Stachurski: That's possibly the very best "sick note" I've ever seen! Congratulations on both fronts!

Pizza guy Blake Pendlebury tied one on.
Here’s another: Jodie Adams: Like & appreciate your honesty. Congratulations! 👍🏼😊

Talk about the benefits of being your own boss! Somehow, I know my version of Pendlebury’s get-out-of-work free request wouldn’t be received so empathetically.

“Dear PMQ Publisher,

I regret to inform you that due to the NFL football-watching drunkfest I attended yesterday, I

will be unable to join you and my esteemed colleagues this morning for normal business hours. Unfortunately, unless this unprecedented episode of alcohol poisoning relents and my brain ceases its painful attempt to split in half and leak out from both ears, I may miss Tuesday as well. In this case, I highly suggest you cancel publication of the magazine and all new website posts pending my healthy return.”

With Best Regards and Sober Respect,
Your dedicated employee

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