Get in, loser

...we're using our sick days

Happy Monday! And the only reason it’s happy is because I was recently reminded that Ozzy Osbourne and Jessica Simpson once did a duet of “Winter Wonderland” and it’s lowkey a banger. But more on that later.

Today’s newsletter is 1) about calling out sick and 2) your reminder that mainlining a Medicine Ball tea and a bottle of DayQuil and showing up to your weekly budget check-in is actually not the advice of any medical professional or millennial TikToker (and the timing could not be better if you, too, need a mental health day after last night’s White Lotus finale).


Stop Trying to Make Working When Sick Happen

Back in the days of BC (before COVID), running a fever or coughing up a lung meant taking a sick day—because nothing was worse than the death stares from your cubicle mate all day long.

But we’re not in the days of BC anymore. Which means that, with so many of us working from our beds home, the totally normal act of calling in sick has given way to a troubling epidemic of working remotely while sick.

  • In fact, some 70% of Americans admitted to working while sick during the pandemic.

  • I was definitely one of them—when we’re working under a blanket on the couch on a normal day, it makes us feel like we can’t take a sick day to scroll TikTok under a blanket on the couch when we’re sick.

So we end up muting our silly little computer mics while we cough and sneeze and show up to virtual team lunch looking paler than the tops of my thighs at the end of spring break ’07. If you do this because you feel guilty for just taking a day to rest, you’re not alone. People work while sick because they don’t want their colleagues to be forced to pick up their slack if they’re OOO.

But think about if your work bestie was sick. You’d have no problem picking up one or two extra tasks so they could take a day to rest and recuperate. Your anxiety might try to convince you otherwise, but they’d surely be happy to do the same for you.

And truth be told, working while sick isn’t doing you or your employer any favors. If your body’s operating at less than its usual function, I’m gonna take a wild guess and say your brain isn’t ready to “attack the day” either.

It’s called presenteeism, and it’s a real thing: Presenteeism (AKA working while sick) is “the act or culture of employees continuing to work as a performative measure, despite having reduced productivity levels or negative consequences.”

Bottom line: Your company will not crumble to pieces if you take a few days off to take care of yourself—and if it does, we have a way bigger problem that isn’t yours to fix anyway. You have sick days for a reason…so use them. And if you need some ideas on what to do after you turn your Slack away message on for the day, here’s a list:

  • Take a fat snooze. I’m talking about that “turning your phone on DND and forgetting what year it is” kind of slumber. I want you waking up with sweatpant pantaloons.

  • Rewatch The O.C., especially the Chrismukkah episode for some seasonal joy.

  • Take a bath with a 40/60 bubble-to-water ratio.

  • Rank all of Sandra Bullock’s movies on a scale from one to The Blind Side.

  • Journal. Manifest that promotion, write down some goals, doodle in the margins.

Just take the time you need to get better. Because if I find out you were working remotely while sick…this is the face you’re going to get from me:


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Things to Slack your work besties

…while you down your third espresso before noon.

More millennials are choosing to spend the holidays alone instead of with family. Prioritizing yourself may be a tough decision, especially in instances like this, but it’s one that may keep you healthier and happier if too much time at home stresses you out. If you need ideas other than staying in your pajamas for five days straight and listening to my Millennial Christmas playlist on repeat, check these out.

On Wednesdays we wear magenta. (I swear that’s my last Mean Girls reference for a while.) And the 2023 Color of the Year is…Viva Magenta 18-175! “Welcomes anyone and everyone with the same verve for life and rebellious spirit. It is a color that is audacious, full of wit and inclusive of all.” And we love her.

Ozzy Osbourne and Jessica Simpson’s 2003 holiday duet makes me wanna curl up next to a fireplace, pour myself a tall glass of spiked eggnog, and rewatch the chaotic yet iconic episodes of The Osbournes. “Shaaaaaaron!”

That’s all folks! I’ll see you back here on Friday to answer some more of your burning Qs! Please also reply to this email and tell me your #1 Sandra Bullock movie. While You Were Sleeping has gotta be up there.



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