As many in the region came down with the red flu on Tuesday, bosses, it seemed, didn’t hear many elaborate excuses for why their employees couldn’t come to work.
Like many who waited on the National Mall for the start of the parade celebrating the Capitals’ Stanley Cup victory, Dan Wyman, a teaching assistant in Montgomery County, said his principal knew how big a Capitals fan he is.
“He said, ‘You’re not going to be here on Tuesday, are you?’ ” Wyman said. “I just said, “Nope.’ ”
There wasn’t a lot of guilt being felt as thousands lined Constitution Avenue in the middle of a workday — not even for someone whose job it is to take away others’ excruciating pain.
Dave Montgomery, a dentist and lifelong Capitals fan from West Chester, Pa., for instance, felt not a pang of guilt as he happily stood on the Mall.
“It’s their own fault for eating too many sweets,” Mike Montgomery said when his brother was asked about his patients. “Just take some aspirin.”
“Yeah,” Dave said of his patients. “Just use some Lidocaine and call me in the morning.” (In all seriousness, his partner at the practice was filling in — and doing fillings —
in his absence.)
Bill Harlow, an accountant in the District, said it was with a wink that he said on Friday he felt a cold coming on, “and it’s going to hit on Tuesday.”
Not that his boss could really complain. “He’s out here too somewhere,” Harlow said.
WMATA, though, claimed to be an exception to the epidemic. The transit agency said it had carried more than 351,000 passengers as of noon on Tuesday, about 78,000 more than over the same period on Monday.
Spokesman Dan Stessel said the agency’s employees see major events like the parade as times when it’s “all hands on deck.”
“That’s not how we roll,” he emailed, when asked if many had called in sick.
Leaning against a tree on the Mall, Brandon Bellamy, an academic administrator at a local college, said his co-workers know how big a Caps fan he is. So there was no point in coming up with an elaborate story.
“I just said, ‘I won’t be coming to work. I won’t be there. I’ll see you on Wednesday,’ ” he said. He wouldn’t be working on a day when the city was celebrating its first major sports championship in 26 years.
“We might not get another opportunity for another 30 years,” he said.
Reach DC Rider columnist Kery Murakami at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @theDCrider on Twitter.