Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cold and Flu Season is Upon Us

It's that time of year.  Not for me, but for others.  I did a battle with the flu back in October.  And I have been fortunate enough not to have gotten ill with a cold this season. 

I started thinking about colds and illness yesterday while reading Dear Abby.  Some poor fella in Corpus Christi is married to a 'controlling, slave-driving witch' (Abby's words, not mine) who insists that he go to work even when he is ill.  If he tries to stay home, his wife decides that he should baby-sit the kids, rather than send them to their grandmother's home for the day.  Abby called her 'Simone Legree'.

Unfortunately, I have known people over the years who have some rather crazy notions about illness and spreading germs.  I call them the 'martyrs of the workplace'.  No matter what the situation, they will be there and expect you to be there too.

When I worked in the hospital, I once had a boss who bragged that 'she never took a day off for illness'.  After hearing this several times, I finally told her that 'No, she didn't.  She just came to work and made everyone else sick.'  Everyone else nodded in agreement.

OTOH, I had a boss at another hospital where I worked for a short time who, during flu season, would line us up in the morning and check us for signs of illness.  Anyone sniffling, or with a cough or teary eyes, was sent home.  He did not want any of us infecting each other or the patients, since we were out on the floors for sample collection.  He reminded me of a teacher I had in grade school who would call parents and tell them to come retrieve their ill child.  A good idea in my opinion.

I adopted this latter attitude when I worked for the Township. On more than one occasion, I told an employee to go home and come back with a doctor's OK to work.  Once someone called back to say they had walking pneumonia, another had bronchitis.  Both were off for several days.

In all of my job situations, people were paid for sick time they did not use.  So there were some who would come to work ill, just so they could get the cash payment at the end of the year.

If folks are sick, I would just as soon they remain in bed.  The world will not end if they do not show up for work.  And I am not interested in sharing in their misery.

To all of you who are sick this season, stay home, drink tea, sleep.  Focus on getting well.

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