25th July 2018 Agency

I told you I was ill…

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had somewhat of an enforced break. One week into July and I contracted glandular fever, although it took a week and a half to get that diagnosis. In that time, it bounced from being tonsillitis to a Quinsy and then after six trips to the doctor and a blood test, we arrived suitably tired, at Glandular Fever.

I don’t really tend to get sick often, but when I do, boy it’s a doozy. I’ve got good form for contracting illnesses that a man in his mid-thirties has no right of getting. Hand, foot and mouth (not the one that cows get), bronchiolitis and now glandular fever. Everyone I’ve spoken to about it, says pretty much the same thing:

1) “Oh yes, it knocked me out for about four-eight weeks and you can be tired for months afterwards” – I’m a parent of a 21 month old boy that wakes up at 5am everyday, I was tired for months before Glandular Fever and I expect the same to continue until he starts to sleep in around the age of 14

2) “All I could do was sleep” – true, on several occasions I have ‘just rested my head for two minutes’ and woken up three hours later

3) “I was (insert age between 14 and 20) years old when I had it” – I am 36….why is this happening to me? When you’re 14-20 you don’t really have anything to do. I have effectively forced my wife to be a single parent for the best part of two weeks. She has of course been amazing over the last few weeks.

Luckily work has been absolutely fantastic while this has been happening and everyone has just said to rest up and focus on getting better. It’s amazing how much you want to do something when you can’t really do it. Illogically, being British and a man, I get wracked with guilt anytime I have to take the day off ill, so by taking the last two weeks off, I was pretty sure that I was going to be fired. We live in a connected world and I can technically work anywhere there’s a data connection, so I found it difficult to actively remove myself from my usual connected life, but it had to happen (kind of).

I was, of course, dipping in and out of Slack and email, trying to make sure nothing major was happening, especially given that we’ve had a couple of new clients start recently and another is prepping for an ICO and I had effectively deserted them. Naturally, the team has had everything, absolutely everything in hand in my absence…client coverage in BBC News, The Sunday Times, The Independent, client profile in The Telegraph, media training booked, releases and articles written, happy clients, two more people hired….does anyone even realise I haven’t been there?

Four or five years ago when there were just four or five of us, there might have been a more considerable emphasis on getting better ASAP and doing what I can while out of action. Luckily, since then, we’ve grown to three times those numbers and every client is in expert hands in anyone’s absence.

I’m taking each day as it comes and it’s good to be back and working again, even if I’m starting out from home for the time being. However, now more than ever can I say that we have an absolute all-star team here at FieldHouse, stepping up to the big tasks while making sure all the day-to-day gets done. It’s brilliant to see and when you’re forced to step back for a second (two weeks), you can really appreciate how everyone pulls together in this family.

Neil Robertson

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