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September 27th, 2011
09:37 PM ET

Letters to the President: #981 'Sick Day'

Reporter's Note: President Obama seems to work very hard. I mean, not hard enough to write any letters back to me even after all this time, but still…hard.

Dear Mr. President,

This cold is not doing me any favors. I woke up slowly this morning; moved around for a while and started feeling better; got all geared up for work, and then by the time I was at the office, I could already feel fatigue settling in. It’s no good.

And yet here I am at my desk.

I’ve always been that way. Unless I am in danger of spreading contagion, I tend to go to work even when I don’t much feel like it. You may find this surprising: I did not miss a single day for sickness in the first 10 years that I was employed, and I suppose in my entire working life (which goes back to my early teens) I have missed fewer than a half dozen days due to illness.

Go figure.

I don’t think it makes me particularly heroic or anything like that. It’s just my nature. I suppose it must be yours too, since I can’t recall hearing about you missing even an hour of work for sickness since you took office. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much true of every president. (Not counting, for example, when President Reagan was recovering from that assassination attempt. And honestly, we can give anyone a pass in such circumstances, can’t we?)

Do you think that is because people who run for president are a particularly hearty lot, or do you think it is because you have so many people keeping an eye on you? On days like this, I suppose I would like having a personal physician tagging along. He probably would have pulled me aside some days ago and said, “Hey, pal, you need to slow down and rest a little. I’m telling you as a doctor, that you are getting played out!”

On the other hand, I guess there would be plenty of days when I would consider such advice a bother. Like getting a letter from some guy every day, even though I never write back. Ha!

Anyway, I think I’m going to close my office door and take a short nap now. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Regards,

Tom

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