“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Isn't It Ironic

Monday, February 18, 2008

I found out something new about my new co-workers today. The are really paranoid about getting sick. Much more so than I have found in any other office where I have worked in the past. Maybe it’s because I work in a hospital now – I don’t know.

On Friday, my throat started feeling a little scratchy. By Saturday I was scratchy and tired. Sunday I was scratchy, tired and had that indescribable but oh-so-annoying feeling of sick. Today, armed with kleenexes, a bottle of water, and a bag of cough drops, I went to work. The scratchy, tired, sick wasn’t horrible, just enough to be annoying.

But as the day progressed, the scratchy, tired, sick got worse. The scratchy got to the point that the cough drops and water really weren’t helping. People were beginning to give me that “don’t you DARE make me sick” look. My trainer told me that there were 41 people in the ER on Saturday, most of whom were complaining of a scratchy throat: I think that may have been a hint.

I finally decided to go home when I couldn’t stop coughing and the irritation in my throat was making my eyes water uncontrollably. I asked my manager to allow me to leave and she replied emphatically (and with a paranoid step backward), “Go home before you infect the whole office!”

This is very different than my experience in other offices. Most places I have worked have had the attitude that you work until you cannot work anymore. If you are so incapacitated by your sickness that you truly cannot do your job, then you can consider going home, but only then.

Here, it seems they are more concerned about keeping the rest of the office healthy. Which I can understand, though I find it ironic considering the only place I’ve been in the past week is the office, which means I caught it from them in the first place.



At 2/18/2008 2:46 PM, Blogger HolyMama! wrote:

i think you should consider strapping a bottle of waterless hand cleaner to you, in order to send your coworkers warm fuzzy feelings about the newbie.

at christmastime i went to a very crowded italian restaurant. while waiting for a table, i overheard the hostess say that there was a table of 25 waiting for the hospital's cristmas party. I went to the restroom and the ladies' room was packed. i had to stand in line forever to wash my hands because hospital types wash their hands surgical style for 3 minutes each. i just wanted to say, 'hey! excuse me! i won't be that thorough! could i pleeeeease just have twenty seconds at the sink?!' of course i didn't.

At 2/26/2008 9:55 AM, Blogger sbaar wrote:

I am somewhat concerned by germs, but I have to say some people take it to the extreme. A woman at church didn't want to shake hands as a greeting because she didn't want to share germs. What are you going to do, wave? :)

Besides, getting sick just means your immune system works and is getting good at doing what it's supposed to do.


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