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Calling in Sick

Calling in Sick English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Mar 02 2007

Themes: Health, Work


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

We all get sick sometimes. And being sick is often inconvenient. We wake up with a fever or the stomach flu when we are supposed to be going to work. What do we do?

In the US, many places of employment offer sick pay. This means that if you cannot come to work because you are sick with the flu or a toothache or whatever, you still get paid for the day (or days) that you miss. Sometimes a note from a doctor is required, but usually, calling in sick is strictly on the honor system.

Without sick pay, you don’t get paid unless you work. This causes many people to work even though they are sick, consequently spreading their illness to their coworkers and the public.

Whether your employer offers sick pay or not, you still have the right to take a sick day. This involves a call to your boss or supervisor as soon as you realize you will not be able to work. When your boss answers the phone, you say something like, “I am sick and will not be able to come in. I hope to be feeling better by tomorrow. I will call you if I am still not feeling well.” No one should feel guilty about calling in sick.

Listen to Amanda and Mason chat about calling in sick.

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Mason:  Everybody’s been sick lately.

Amanda:  I know. It’s that season. It’s flu season.

Mason:  It’s freaking me out. It’s freaking me out. Like, I just want everybody to keep five feet away from me.

Amanda:  I’m actually sick right now.

Mason:  Uh, do you go to work when you’re sick?

Amanda:  I have a confession that I’m that girl.

Mason:  You’re that girl?

Amanda:  I have never taken a sick day ever.

Mason:  Wha… it’s so easy. I mean, like…

Amanda:  It’s not for me. Because even though I know that I’m physically ill and I may have even gone to Urgent Care, I cannot make that phone call.

Mason:  You can’t face the shame.

Amanda:  Because I know that if I can walk, I can probably go sit down at my desk and be productive that day. So I do not have the courage to call in…

Mason:  You need to get a laptop and you need to work from home. You need to telecommute. I don’t care. It’s just… it’s… you are…

Amanda:  So do you have a problem with me going in sick? Is that what you’re saying?

Mason:  You are perpetuating the vicious cycle. I’ve hated it in school. I hate it at work. I hate it everywhere. Just like, people that don’t cover their mouths when they cough…

Amanda:  Well don’t… Don’t put me in that category.

Mason:  ...Do… Do your part to contain the epidemic.

Amanda:  Don’t put me there.

Mason:  It’s what I’m saying. I’m not saying that you’re gonna wipe your snot all over, you know, things. But, but still. It, it really upsets me. I don’t like being sick. Do you like being sick?

Amanda:  I don’t.

Mason:  Well, can you project what if everybody else felt the way I do now?

Amanda:  I have to work.



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Amanda never calls in sick. This is a very common American phenomenon. Americans have a reputation for being workaholics. Not only do they not take much vacation time, they don’t even rest when they most need to.

Mason is bothered by people who never call in sick. He thinks it is inconsiderate to expose other people to your illness. He says it is best to stay home until you are no longer contagious.

Do you ever call in sick?



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Iran, Islamic Republic Of

there is no proble with sick day..the problem is with honor system

03:01 PM May 23 2014 |


annam86Super Member!


I’m definitely agree with Mason’s opinion! I’m think that people who are sick shoud stay at home, because they can infect other, and this make a chain reaction of flu epidemic!

WHen i’m sick, i stay at home or ask to work from my home.

02:30 PM Mar 29 2014 |



you are absolutely right,actually ,about 80% company in the world have the sick leave and pay you miss in that time,as we all know ,if you still insisit work in you office when you got sick ,such as flu,you will be spreading out your flu for your coworkers,and then ,your company will be have more than one emplyees will leave cause illness,so your company think about this point ,have to give the emplyee sick leave for aviod mass coworkers go to sick leave cause one person.to be honest , i m rarely use my sick leave ,because my body is very stronger and heathly,i m really honest,but you know ,many of my colleagues often calling the sick whitout really sick.just donot like working.

10:40 AM Sep 28 2011 |



Syrian Arab Republic

I have the same habit, so I can’t make that phone call to teel my boss that I’m sick, so if I can walk thats mean I can work.

09:40 AM Sep 28 2011 |



Yes, when I really can’t move from the bed and I feel my body really needed rest.

02:20 PM Jul 07 2011 |



Sri Lanka

every one can be ill , some body fallen in sick they can take rest ….

and get medicine right can be well soon 

05:53 AM Dec 05 2010 |

Grazyna Krauze


I hate being siclk. At that time Iam unpleasant to my nearst friends and unfortunately to my boyfriend.I am furious but under one condition it can't be severe illness.

04:33 PM Jul 11 2010 |




Health is important for anyone of us!

11:28 PM Apr 14 2010 |



If i just sneeze once, i wont go to college :P Joking

08:53 PM Jun 08 2007 |

1 person likes this



I don’t like sick when i go to study,it can not be productive.

04:44 PM Mar 04 2007 |


Russian Federation

I think that healthy life-style is the best we can do for keeping away from any illness. Healthy food and sport can make a miracle.

12:05 PM Mar 04 2007 |




It’s important that we hear of our body-language and take a rest when we are sick.

09:52 AM Mar 04 2007 |




so some ailment here..

05:45 AM Mar 04 2007 |



yes i have taken a sick day so many times. And i will if i am ill

08:52 PM Mar 03 2007 |



every body’s need rest we are not like apparatus

10:42 AM Mar 03 2007 |

dont say no

United Arab Emirates

of course any sick have to rest ,its the first method tack (amanda its right) who is agree me?

12:01 PM Mar 02 2007 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

i think thats a good idea to get at least one day sick of and rest, we should take care about ourself and others

11:17 AM Mar 02 2007 |



yeah….. every body’s need time to rest… otherwise…. your wrinkles will come to worst.

08:51 AM Mar 02 2007 |




If someone’s car is broken then it needs to be repaired; just same with your body, if we are sick it’s better to take a rest.

02:07 AM Mar 02 2007 |

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