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Woman Used A Sick Day To Take A Trip And Her Boss Was Unexpectedly On The Same Flight

Photo: RossHelen / CanvaPro
Woman looking excited while sitting in an airport.

Sometimes, we can’t help but need a break from work. When so many of us give our all to our 9 to 5s, it can be a treat to take a little trip, enjoy a mental health day, or take some personal time to cure burnout. 

Personal days, PTO, and sick time should be used to ensure our mental and physical well-being doesn’t suffer as we navigate the “hustle culture” of many jobs. 

But what happens when you take a “sick day” when you’re not physically “sick?” Well, one recent TikTok video from Leila Soares sparked exactly that debate.

The woman used a sick day at work to take a trip, only to see her boss on the same flight. 

In a now-viral video from early January with almost 12 million views, Soares recorded herself sitting in the back of a plane fully in disguise with a black face mask, sunglasses, and a hoodie on. 

   

   

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Looking shocked and mortified, she flipped the camera around showing people getting off her flight. When she zoomed in on one specific man, viewers realized just who it was — her boss. “Messaged my boss to call in sick only to find out he’s on the same flight,” she admitted during the video. 

With lax policies for “sick time” in many companies, it can be difficult to debate whether or not this woman was in the wrong, especially without knowing the context of her job. 

Although it seemed like this employee wasn't “caught” by her boss, comments suggested they surely would’ve been reprimanded in their own positions. “I called in sick once,” a commenter admitted. “I ended up going shopping and ran into my boss at the checkout. I was ‘let go’ not even a week later.” 

Assumed to be perfectly healthy, viewers bet the woman faced discipline for running into her boss on the flight. 

Although everyone boarded the plane altogether, Soares ensured her viewers that her boss didn’t see her as she found her seat. With her full unintentional disguise, she was sure to slip by without allowing him to notice her. 

Clearly healthy, Soares admitted she used a “sick day” without actually being physically sick and instead used it to take a trip. 

   

   

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In recent videos following her viral post, the woman poked fun at comments that suggested she “be careful” at work and others who were concerned her boss saw her social media. 

“You better hope this doesn’t land on his feed,” one commenter said. “If he didn’t see you then, I’m sure he’ll see you now.” 

Truthfully, many companies don’t have clear regulations on using sick time and the threshold for disciplinary action can be vague. 

While paid sick time laws typically cover a great deal of employees when they are sick, a loved one is sick, or they need time for various health situations, the laws and coverage are inexplicably vague

While some employees are covered, other companies and private entities may have more broad or defined rules that change eligibility. Many people suggest a level of “fairness” is necessary when discussing “sick time.” 

For example, if you’re taking more sick time than the average worker, and not using it for an “appropriate” reason, you might be placing more work on your co-workers and peers. While many employees note that it doesn’t seem significant at first, over time that burden builds up, taking a toll on other’s work ethic, the company’s productivity, and your personal “reputation” on the job. 

   

   

Others argue that for employees who get a set number of sick days per year, those days should be there to spend however they choose. If you don’t get sick or prioritize your physical health enough to not use them right away, then they should be there to help you cultivate a healthy mind and cure burnout. 

Regardless of whether or not this worker was caught by her boss on the plane, many viewers thought her use of sick time was okay. She could have been taking a flight for a number of reasons, and just because she wasn't physically sick didn't mean discipline was required. 

Who's to say, after all, that taking a vacation from work isn't a physical and mental necessity for health reasons?

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture analysis and human interest stories.