I remember as an MBA student studying absenteeism, turnover and stress – the fundamental difference between people being ill and being off-sick – being ill in any minor or major way is a medical issue, being off-sick from paid employment is a matter of individual choice. And vice versa, being ill may be significantly related to the stress of choosing to go to work. In both cases, look for the (human) reason, not the symptoms.
I recalled this when I heard a story on BBC Radio 4’s Home Truths this week about a schoolboy feigning illness to avoid a day at school that held some specific fear of trouble, and the ploy getting out of hand as the individual found himself being prepped for surgery in hospital after playing parents and doctors along with his symptoms.
Actually the recollection became a flood when I saw Michael Jackson’s latest stunt.