Now What? [NOT 6/4/22]

Hi, friends!

I am in a situation which presents itself as a moral quandary but actually I think is just late stage capitalism brainwashing? Looking for some perspective.

Monday and Tuesday I thought I had some bad spring allergies happening so whatevs. Today I woke up feeling worse and running a fever so yeah, not allergies. Shocker, I tested positive for covid.

Good news is I haven’t been in the office since last Friday so when I told my boss I pointed that out so they can make that report to HR, and I don’t think I exposed any coworkers.

Anyways, I should take tomorrow off, too, right? Like that’s reasonable to do even if I don’t feel like complete dogshit? Because I am not gonna lie I’ve got a large part of my brain firing off with “you can still work from home. The teams rely on you to manage that one process where you’re the only person that does it for 17 teams despite you telling the big bosses for 2 months that having that bottleneck with you is a bad idea*. Also you have that presentation to give at 9am that’s already been delayed once.”

But also, covid. Right? Like I got over 4 weeks of sick time accrued so I shouldn’t feel bad about taking a few days even if I could maybe muddle along working from home if I pushed it?

*there’s definitely some schadenfreude happening here with this point, I am not going to pretend otherwise



  1. Oh no! I hope it resolved itself quickly and doesn’t get more serious. I vote take tomorrow off. That is what sick days are for. And don’t feel bad. Schadenfreude is the closest thing to moral justice that any of us get to experience. Enjoy it!

    Signed, your friend the cynical 😈

  2. There’s no moral quandary around this that I can see. Aside from having to dip into sick days for Covid, which I don’t understand, I think there should be limitless exemptions, what if you did drag yourself in like untold tens of millions did before you and it sickened other coworkers? One of the worst flus I ever got was from a coworker who exercised no common sense. This was 18 years ago and it was so horrible I remember the exact date. And we all knew it was him. We dubbed him “Typhoid Mario.”

    • Oh I’d be working from home. I don’t think I go into the office for like a week after symptoms end. Or something like that.

      But to your point – years ago I worked at a call center and bosses decided we had to share desks and let me tell you flu season went through the team like wildfire. Amazing how that happened….

      • Yeah, “open plan” offices are giant petri dishes. Also, they do NOT increase productivity or collaboration — it’s actually the opposite. People put on their noise-cancelling headphones and ignore one another.

        The only thing open plan offices accomplish is to save the company and management lots of money. But they sacrifice productivity in exchange. Nowadays it’s just simpler to tell people to work from home if you don’t want to pay for proper office space.

        My current company did that at the beginning of the pandemic. They sent everybody home, watched things for a couple of months, said this works just fine, and didn’t renew their lease. I mean, they talk a good game about work/life balance and all (I helped them write it after I started) but it was sheer economics. Regardless of the motive, everybody is happier. And we’re not giving each other COVID.

        • Another aspect of open-plan offices is that they become silent over time, so that casual AND work-related conversation ceases, because it’s so jarring to have the silence broken. To save money my company “re-org’d” everyone into tiny cubicles. I am a chatty, friendly guy, as you might have guessed, and my second-in-command sat right behind me. Nonetheless, she and I took to emailing each other questions and answers that could have been much more quickly resolved via a quick verbal exchange over the cubicle wall.

  3. Do not go to work until you test negative. Do not feel badly about it. Do not over-work yourself at home. Do get enough rest and take care of yourself and do get better soon.

  4. hope you have it mild and get well soon

    if you can take the time off i’d vote for doing that

    HR made me come in soon as my mandated 5 day quarantine was up..and whilst ive never really felt sick during my quarantine..being back at work made me realize i’m waaay down on energy and wierdly achy

    also reasonably sure ive now infected any remaining hold outs…

  5. Oh no, take Thursday and Friday off. And work from home the entirety of next week, as a precaution “to protect coworkers”.

    Hope that you have a light case and that you will recover very soon.

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