It was 8.05pm on Sunday the 30th of March 2014. I had just returned home after witnessing an absolute debacle. My face was red, I was angry, irrational, incapable of looking at things with perspective or anything approaching common sense. As I wrote the words below, I knew exactly how it felt to be Alan Jones.
If Equanimity were a town, I’d be a thousand miles away from it. Probably in another town called Agitation, sucking on my second bottle of tequila like a newborn lamb, only stopping to fire my six gun at the chandelier. But I don’t want you to let my state of mind make you think what I’m about to say is anything other than my usual, unfailingly pristine career advice.
Is it OK to let a weekend’s sport result affect your mood at work? Absolutely not. It’s unprofessional, unfair on colleagues and morally wrong. You should take the day off instead.
It’s called chucking a spickie (a word combining the words sport and sickie and first used in 2014, when I made it up) and it’s entirely legit.
Say your football team (let’s just call them – I don’t know – the Demons) loses by (I’ll pick a random number) 93 points, kicking only 4 goals for the entire game. You’re devastated, distraught and by Monday morning you’re feeling even worse. What do you do? Simple: call in “spick”.
Rather than spend the day having sport-enjoying colleagues asking “What happened to your mob?” or draping scarves over your desk or, worse, giving you pitying smiles as if you’ve been recently bereaved, spend it in bed lamenting whatever quirk of fate led you to this blasted entanglement.
Of course, don’t use the word “spickie”; you’ll sound like a complete weirdo. Which you’re not. You’re a normal person just trying to get along in a cruel, unforgiving world WHILE SUPPORTING THIS BLOODY FOOTBALL CLUB AND I CAN TASTE BLOOD IN MY THROAT LKJLKDnk52)lvrkkjhapoplecticnkjfhkjhnmfsdlincadescentwithragelkhcncncncjfjkkdsjkurtrussell
[This is how I submitted the article; the editor was too afraid to change it.]
A version of this article first appeared in the MyCareer section of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
You can read the column – Benign to Five – in those papers every Saturday, and if you miss it, you can look it up online in the BusinessDay section of The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times, WAToday and Brisbane Times. (I now wankishly call myself a “syndicated columnist” on my CV.)