An alcohol cat poses a disease
September 24, 2019 10:15 PM   Subscribe

A German court has ruled hangovers are an "illness", in a case against the maker of an anti-hangover drink. (Title from the charmingly inept Google translation of the court's press release.)
posted by Johnny Wallflower (25 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I just realized that Google auto-detected German as Norwegian, hence the resulting entertaining translation.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:24 PM on September 24, 2019 [7 favorites]


Great news, now I don’t feel guilty about taking all those sick days.
posted by ejs at 10:56 PM on September 24, 2019 [8 favorites]


(Never feel guilty about taking all the sick days.)
posted by Burhanistan at 11:14 PM on September 24, 2019 [11 favorites]


This is another example of Johnny Dogflower’s unfair stigmatizing of cats!
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:56 AM on September 25, 2019 [5 favorites]


I was made to feel guilty about taking not even all the sick days.

But that was America, an uncivilized place. Now I have plenty of vacation and sick days. We even have 2 or 4 (I forget which) "I'm not coming to work today for some reason and you can't even ask me why" days. Probably those are the official hangover days.
posted by pracowity at 3:01 AM on September 25, 2019 [5 favorites]


I don't even think this news is new, necessarily.

Many jobs in Germany don't require you to submit a doctor's note for illness for up to three days, and during those days it's none of your employer's business what sickness you have. Hangovers effectively count.

Other jobs require you to submit a doctor's note for any sick days. But I believe doctors have certainly given out sick notes for hangovers at their own discretion and, again, it's no company's business to question that. Doctors' notes don't have the illness written on them -- merely the number of days the person is written off sick.
posted by sixohsix at 3:03 AM on September 25, 2019


Also, yeah, the word for hangover in German is Kater which is also the same word as "male cat". It seems it comes from Katarrh which means "gland inflammation", but it got transformed to Kater because I guess it's funny to imagine there's a cat clawing into your poor achy head the morning after.
posted by sixohsix at 3:10 AM on September 25, 2019 [6 favorites]


because I guess it's funny to imagine there's a cat clawing into your poor achy head the morning after.

Or because of the famously melodious song of the unneutered tomcat.
posted by acb at 5:20 AM on September 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


When I was a more junior lawyer and still did criminal court work I would occasionally be sent to deal with probation breaches. This (at least in England) is when a defendant is sentenced to a non-custodial sentence, typically a community service order, but fails to comply with it. So, if someone is given 40 hours of CS and the local Probation Service assigns this as 10 weeks of 4 hours' work cleaning up graffiti, failure to attend one session will result in a warning and a further failure a 'breach' which means the court can extend the CS order or re-sentence, potentially even to prison.

Now, if the subject of the order has a reasonable excuse for non-attendance they will be excused. But this can be rather abused, as I saw when I got the file for someone we'll call 'Gary'. Gary had missed six consecutive CS sessions, pleading recurrent illness - specifically, 'vomiting and nausea after consuming alcohol'.

"Isn't that," I said to the lady from Probation, "what we technically call a hangover?"

"You haven't been doing this for long, have you?" she replied very sweetly.
posted by Major Clanger at 6:18 AM on September 25, 2019


I took a sick day yesterday for a migraine, avoiding all digital screens and bright lights. Feeling better, I logged into MeFi and this was the top post - I was worried my language comprehension had gotten all snarled up, so - thanks for that.
posted by Molesome at 6:24 AM on September 25, 2019


We would call all three of chicken pox, a hangover, and a gunshot wound “medical conditions”.
posted by simra at 6:51 AM on September 25, 2019


Taking a sick day for a hangover is irresponsible, full stop. Unless someone dosed you, you did it to yourself. I have never skipped work due to a hangover and never will, though I have come in late the day after a company outing if everybody got blitzed.

Also, ibuprofen and Gatorade definitely cure hangovers. A greasy breakfast, however unpalatable at the time, will also hasten its retreat. See also: exercise.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:49 AM on September 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


Yeah, no. Take sick days as you like and screw the protestant work ethic. Unless it’s your own business.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:58 AM on September 25, 2019 [21 favorites]


Taking a sick day when hungover seems fine. I don't drink but I've taken plenty of sick days when I haven't been able to sleep. Sometimes even "self inflicted" due to getting into some personal project or just drinking too much caffeine the night before. In all cases this has been the right decision because I was effectively impaired. I get cranky when tired and that is a recipe for public relations disaster when doing support. And it's recipe for death or serious injury when performing trade work.

I've also worked with plenty of guys who've come to work hung over to various degrees and certainly at the farther end of the spectrum they were basically useless and dangerous.
posted by Mitheral at 9:19 AM on September 25, 2019 [7 favorites]


Taking a sick day for a hangover is irresponsible, full stop. Unless someone dosed you, you did it to yourself. I have never skipped work due to a hangover and never will

Here's your moral superiority point, or whatever, I guess?
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:19 AM on September 25, 2019 [17 favorites]


Oh, yeah. There was a (thankfully terminated) HR supervisor at my previous job that boasted about coming to work hung over when I had taken a sick day for [%reasons] and he made terrible decisions.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:05 AM on September 25, 2019


Taking a sick day for a hangover is irresponsible, full stop. Unless someone dosed you, you did it to yourself. I have never skipped work due to a hangover and never will

Here's your moral superiority point, or whatever, I guess?


You get a moral superiority point if you never imbibe enough alcohol to have a hangover on a workday. If you show up and do a half-assed job and take full pay instead of using a sick day it's worse as far as I'm concerned.

That said, we all have off days, and I'd rather people come in hungover than actually sick.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:47 PM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


There are so many people in (often service) low wage jobs that HAVE to come in when they are actually sick that it's just...
sickening. People deserve a decent personal time off, and the shouldn't have to be called to account on it. I don't care whether you use it for sick leave, maternity leave, vacation time, or even your bilious morning.

Here's your moral superiority point, or whatever, I guess?

If you've been celebrating your birthday/anniversary/new baby/etc., sure, take a day off. It's especially great if you can give a heads up to everyone early that you probably won't be coming in to work, or at least call in that morning. If it sneaks up on you, and you generally wouldn't do that type of thing more than a time or two a year, eh, just enjoy your unaccustomed pain.

I prefer to work with responsible coworkers that won't stick me with their shift or leave me with an unfinished project, thankyouverymuch. If you're the kind of asshole that thinks it's cute to get shitfaced on a regular basis and make work harder or more miserable for the rest of us, well screw you.

I figured out in my teens that getting hammered means being miserable with a hangover after. I like to have a few drinks and get a buzz on once in a while, but I've always preferred to be able to get up the next morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and go hiking, riding, or even...go to work. Even my teenagers were able to grok that they could still party two nights and be sober on Monday, just as long as mom didn't catch you.

Yes, I'll take that moral superiority point, or whatever, and I'll shoot for a couple more--

I've noticed that a lot of the people who repeatedly are hungover during work hours aren't too concerned about showing up, or being on time, or doing a responsible job even when they're not wasted. I've listened to people in the break room talk about how they were so polluted they could hardly see the white line to drive, etc.

Not everybody who gets a hangover...
but draw me a Venn diagram, and the person that is responsible about their job and their life generally an adult who is responsible for their drinking.

I've also worked with plenty of guys who've come to work hung over to various degrees and certainly at the farther end of the spectrum they were basically useless and dangerous.

This times a hundred!!
posted by BlueHorse at 4:50 PM on September 25, 2019


So much weird moralizing here. Seems like the best hangover cure here is the earthy taste of boot.

You don't owe your bosses anything. If the weirdos with the work ethic fetishism insist that we all show up hungover, I guess we have to show up and time theft our way through it. Glad to be so virtuous.
posted by kafziel at 1:19 AM on September 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


Well, I don't owe my boss anything, as I am self-employed. However, I do owe it to my clients not to show up to court with such a bad hangover that I can't effectively represent them, and at the hospital where Mrs Clanger works the nurses and doctors owe it to the patients not to turn up to work with such bad hangovers that they can't effectively treat them.

I can imagine how much cheap fun it is to make snide comments like this, but those of us in the real world who deal with real people who really rely on us can be excused for not laughing along.
posted by Major Clanger at 4:46 AM on September 26, 2019


You get a moral superiority point if you never imbibe enough alcohol to have a hangover on a workday.

That rules out everybody in Great Britain then.
posted by acb at 6:51 AM on September 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


OK, so I rescind the "full stop" from my statement and replace it with "if you are still capable of performing your job and not a danger or nuisance to others." The number of times I've gone to work with a a woozy-might-barf-at-any-moment type hangover can be counted on two fingers, once during the first dot com boom when I was young & stupid, and once when everyone had been out drinking the night before and it was not an option to skip work as I was onsite with a client. Both regrettable, to be sure.

Otherwise the garden variety headache-and-slight-brain-fog hangover has never stopped me from doing my job, but it should be noted that I don't operate heavy machinery or otherwise do something that, if I did it badly, would bring others to harm. So clearly YMMV when adopting my POV, which admittedly was forged in the boozy furnace of the dot com world, where if people skipped work because they partied too hard they would work maybe two days a week.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:55 AM on September 26, 2019


Riding mountain bikes is a fabulous use of sick days.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:09 AM on September 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


*checks Burhanistan's Strava*
posted by slogger at 1:32 PM on September 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


Well, since no one bothered to read TFA, which was about OTC drug advertising, I guess I'll contribute to the discussion that's actually occurring with this Quartz article about hangovers.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:00 PM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]


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