Every teenager who slinks out to a party but tells her parents that she's at a sleepover knows that text messaging is a very convenient mode of communication. There's no need to pick up the phone, and risk parents noticing the sounds of heavy beats, traffic or slurred speech. It seems that employees have picked up on the trick: a quarter of them admit to sending their supervisor a text on a sick day, according to a survey of 10,000 adults by makers of the British cough and cold medication Covonia.
Of course, not all of them are faking it. Some would just prefer to craft a written description of their ailments than face their bosses in real time. But even one in five of those who call confess that they exaggerate their symptoms.