Did you get Cubs blue flu and play hooky? More are expected to ditch work for parade today

  • Founder and CEO of Henson Consulting, Kathleen Henson, a Wheaton native, stands in her empty office Thursday morning, the day after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. In her case, she anticipated the historic moment and decided to give her staff some time to get into the office.

    Founder and CEO of Henson Consulting, Kathleen Henson, a Wheaton native, stands in her empty office Thursday morning, the day after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. In her case, she anticipated the historic moment and decided to give her staff some time to get into the office. COURTESY OF HENSON CONSULTING

  • Workers at Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp. gathered Thursday after the Cubs won the World Series. While it was business as usual, they did have the chance to wear their sports gear.

    Workers at Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp. gathered Thursday after the Cubs won the World Series. While it was business as usual, they did have the chance to wear their sports gear. COURTESY OF SEARS HOLDINGS CORP.

 
 
Updated 11/4/2016 7:08 AM

Adam London of Des Plaines was not at work Thursday morning, the day after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.

Instead, he was shopping for Cubs championship gear at Dick's Sporting Goods at the Streets of Woodfield in Schaumburg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Waking up in the morning first thing, texted my boss and said, 'sorry I'm not coming in to work today,'" he said with a laugh. "I'm gonna go get some gear," he said as he stood in line at the retailer.

London wasn't the only one playing hooky. The blue flu struck a lot of late-night revelers after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series late Wednesday. They either called in sick, quickly used personal or vacation time, or showed up late and bleary-eyed. While many employers were expecting absenteeism or late arrivals, some also wondered what Friday would be like. That's when the city hosts a parade and millions of rabid fans may forego the office to stand shoulder to shoulder in Chicago to catch a glimpse of their heroes, who broke 108 years of bad luck.

"We're expecting just as many workers to take off Friday, if not more, so they can attend the parade," said Michelle Reisdorf, a regional vice president of Chicago-based Robert Half staffing agency.

While specific data isn't available about absenteeism on Thursday, a recent Robert Half survey gave some insight into the workplace issue. It showed that 38 percent of office workers polled nationwide were distracted during major sporting events, about 20 percent more than five years ago, primarily because of accessible information on new technology. And those distractions also include parades, Reisdorf said.

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The Cubs winning the World Series far exceeds the excitement of the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup, mostly because of those 108 long suffering years. But employees should be honest with employers and plan the time off in advance, said Kelly Hayden, chief legal counsel for Downers Grove-based Management Association.

A note was jokingly offered by the Cubs organization via Twitter earlier this week. It provided a ready-made excuse slip for work. The note said in part: "The Chicago Cubs are playing Game 7 of the World Series and if you are not familiar with sports narratives ... well, it's kind a big deal."

Kathleen Henson, a Wheaton resident and CEO of Chicago-based Henson Consulting, also tweeted a deal to her 40 employees. If the Cubs lost, she would allow them to come into the office at 10 a.m. on Thursday. If they won, workers could arrive at noon -- all with paid time off. She's even allowing her staff to attend the parade on Friday, also with paid time off.

"I want to encourage them to enjoy this historic time," Henson said. "This was 108 years in the making and life is all about sharing the memories."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Meagan Schoenrock, director of community development for 25N Coworking, which provides office space for independent and freelance workers in Geneva, said her company typically sees about 60 workers every day. But the day following the big win, no one showed up for a while. "We now have a light crowd, maybe 10, and they're very social and chatty," Schoenrock said in the early afternoon.

Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp., parent to Sears and Kmart stores, said they expected their employees to revel in the Cubs win.

"It took 108 years to get here," said Sears spokesman Howard Riefs. "Managers understand if associates needed extra time arriving at our Hoffman Estates office (Thursday morning) after celebrating the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series. Many employees are decked out in their Cubs jerseys and W flags are hanging in their offices in honor of the hometown team."

Linda Spiers of Oswego, an office manager at Kelmscott Communications in Aurora, is a die-hard Cubs fan who had to stay up late to watch the last agonizing moments before the big win. While she made it to work Thursday, she plans to take personal time off Friday with other staff and take the train to Chicago for the parade.

"This is a moment in history that I want to share with my family," Spiers said. "It's absolutely electric and I want to be in the city and I want to be a part of it all."

• Daily Herald Staff Writer Doug Graham contributed to this report.

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