"When I was at boarding school," James Humes once recalled, "I desperately needed a day off to finish an essay. So I wrote a note to my 'house mother' that I was suffering from a severe attack of ergasiophobia. it usually passed with a day of rest, my note said, so I'd confine myself to my room and would she please inform my teachers that I was indisposed. She did so and no one broke into my room to drag me off to classes.

"It was late afternoon and my essay was finished by the time she submitted my note to the school doctor who must have smiled when he told her that ergasiophobia meant, 'a morbid aversion to any work."

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