Sick? Please stay home.

thBack in 1980 I was a single mom and “permanent part-time” employee at The Philadelphia Inquirer. Like many working parents I feared illness because it meant using up sick days – which God had clearly intended to be used when your kid got sick.

Plenty of people still feel the same way – and quite a few workers come to work when they’re sick because they feel the place would collapse without them.  A new study from Kimberly-Clark says 59% of employees come in sick, either because they’re too “essential” to stay home or because they’ve got too much work to do to miss a day.

Trouble is, their co-workers may wind up missing days if they catch whatever cooties Typhoid Mary/Marty is spewing into their shared breathing space.

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thJust a reminder: My favorite rewards program, Swagbucks, has offered a special signup code for new referrals (see below) plus a chance for both new and old referrals to win a $50 gift card.If you want in, keep in mind the rapidly approaching deadline: Oct. 30.

This contest is pretty easy to enter; in fact, it’s automatic. Anyone I’ve ever referred to Swagbucks will be entered into a drawing for a $50 card if they earn at least 50 Swagbucks before the deadline. (For a glimpse of the card offerings, click here.)

That’s 50 SBs from any combination of the Shop, Search, Watch, Play, Answer or Discover categories. Keep an eye on the Swagbucks Facebook page for Swag Code announcements, too.

Extra points for newbies

If you’re not already a member, you can get a better-than-usual bonus for signing up. Here’s how:

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IMG_3567I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Come up and join us at the Talkeetna Bachelors Auction and Wilderness Woman Competition and you’ll dine out on those stories for years.

True, it’ll be winter* — Dec. 7, to be exact — and that means it’ll probably be cold. But that’s the whole point! You’ll be in Alaska in the winter.

You’ll survive. I promise. There’s a bonfire at which to warm yourself during the competition, and the auction and after-party are actually pretty warm due to the hootin’, hollerin’ and dancin’.

Besides, Talkeetna has a doctor.

I wanted to link to my first-ever article about Talkeetna, published in 2010, but my site was migrated to a new server and that first piece doesn’t seem to have made the jump from hyperspace. So I’m excerpting from that piece to explain the absolute hilarity of the event:

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winnerAny time you go to a conference you can expect to bring back strange stuff. Exhibitors want to get your attention and also to remember them after you leave, so you wind up with things like notebooks, coffee mugs, pens and logoed rubber duckies.

Past giveaways from the Financial Blogger Conference have been well received. This year I’m able to give away two such packages: one with just stuff from the Expo Hall and one of all the exhibitors’ tchotchkes plus goodies from the Plutus Awards.

The former is possible because my daughter, who also attended (and who also won a Plutus) was willing to donate some of her Expo items. But let’s start with the ever-so-slightly nicer bag first.

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thThe 2013 Financial Blogger Conference was the best yet, and also the most exhausting. We got up at 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15 to fly to St. Louis and, coincidentally, walked back through our front door at about 2 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24.

In between: a long plane trip, most of a day spent “frugalizing” a family with MP Dunleavey (for her Woman’s Day column), the conference itself and then a few days hanging out with my daughter, who also attended.

The conference days were a blur of activity, four days of leaving the room at 7:30 or 8 a.m. and falling back into bed at 1:30 or 2 a.m. Yet it was delightful to attend sessions, reconnect with others who’ve attended for three years running, to win prizes, and to discuss some very interesting work-related propositions (nothing I can noise around just yet, though).

Right now DF is on furlough (grrr), so we had Thursday and today to recover from the trip. It’s been tough for me to get my head back into the game; instead, I want to spend my days talking about writing and having other people cook for me.

Scratch that: I want to spend my days working only when I feel like it. I expect I’m not alone.

As I noted in “Termination dust,” being kicked to the virtual curb by MSN Money has caused me to reconsider the kind of life I want to lead. That’s why an e-mail I received today really resonated.

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