Obituaries For The American Work Martyr

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of the American Work Martyr, whose last act was to reply all to an email over the weekend so he could remind everyone he was working after hours. The cause of death was taking on too much work, refusing help, and generally lacking balance of any kind. Never having uttered the word “no,” it didn’t occur to him he was essentially working for free while he bragged about his vacation-less career. Ironically, passing up after-work drinks and skipping out on vacations gave the impression that he had poor time management skills rather than job dedication.

Survived by his vacation days, he had nothing to show for his self-immolation.


We mourn the death of the Vacation Shamer, who passed away late yesterday while sorting through the vacation auto-replies from her colleagues, her resentment too much to bear. Having once planned a trip, she was so overrun with guilt that she canceled her reservation without asking for a refund as a way to punish herself for being so farcical. She will be remembered for her signature eye-rolling and love of fluorescent lighting.

Her tombstone will be marked with her favorite saying, “Must be nice.”


Today, we lay to rest the Work-cationer who was claimed by his desperation to connect to the Wi-Fi whilst in the tropics. He wanted to sit by the pool with his family, but stayed in his hotel room to challenge George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air to a points duel (although he never saw that movie, because he decided to work that night). Plus, he gave the office the phone number to his room.

He is survived by the draft of his out of office message that he didn’t end up using because he wanted to keep up the illusion that he never needed a break.


Our hearts break as we announce the demise of the Millennial Worker, an overextended twenty-something, who was taken from us by nomophobia. A smartphone user since birth, she prided herself on her expeditious response time. Replying to emails in bed at night and setting an auto-reply during vacation, but replying anyway is what made her a valuable employee. In an attempt to be seen by her peers and superiors as a work martyr, her spirit was marred by burnout long before her recent passing.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Millennial Workers Fund for Setting Boundaries and Protecting Your Time.


Today we said goodbye to the Workaholic Parent, lifestyle justifier, and former listener of stories. His passing occurred as he was skyping into a work conference call during his daughter’s soccer game. Shortly before the end, he had the idea that because technology allowed him to work from anywhere, he could take on more work and still be home in time for dinner. Although he missed a few sporting events, dance recitals, parent-teacher conferences, and birthdays, he will always be thought of as dependable and committed…to his work.

The family is looking for a fiddle player for the processional song, Cat’s in the Cradle.


H/T to Bess Kalb’s Obituaries My Mother Wrote for Me While I Was Living in San Francisco in My Twenties


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