***WARNING: Gross talk ahead. Seriously. ***
I’m currently working on a temp assignment, and I am a Receptionist (that’s with a capital R, yo, and I am more than willing to let myself be called a receptionist, unlike someone else I know, but that’s another blog entry entirely). My desk is situated near the front door, obviously, and this lobby is a big echo-ey fishbowl. I can hear voices and things down the hall, and this morning, I have been treated to one of the denizens of the closer offices hacking her lungs out.
Now these coughs are not of the clearing-my-throat variety, or even of the I’ve-got-post-nasal-drip variety. These are the deep, gut-wrenching coughs of I-might-have-pnuemonia variety. Every hack beings to mind that lovely sound that cats make in the middle of the night as they’re about to hork up something right on your blanket while you sleep.
I don’t do well with barf, even though I have 3 cats. Most clean-ups have me trying to withhold my own gag reflex (grinning like a maniac seems to help) as I go through enough paper towels to wipe down a battleship. Poop I can deal with as long as it’s in the fairly solid category. I’m okay with blood and guts. After all, I watch enough bad slasher movies. Barf? No good. When I have to throw up myself, I go all emotionally wacko because in the great scheme of things, stuff ain’t supposed to come out of me that way.
So I have a co-worker who’s making pre-barf noises, even though they are just coughs, but I’ve had bad coughs enough to know that sometimes the abdominal muscles get very confused about what they’re trying to accomplish, and sometimes the wrong thing happens when you cough. So I have that I’m trying to ignore, but I also have an issue with waht is obviously a rather sick person about 20 feet away from me.
I come to work to, well, work. Sure, I spend time writing this blog and playing solitaire and shopping and picking out knitting patterns, but one thing I definitely do is work, when I have work to do. Such are the joys of being a temp! However, it’s not in my contract to pick up the Upper Respiratory Infection of the Week. There’s only so much I can do with the hand washing and the antibacterial gel and generally not touching people. This is actually a time when I’m happy to be more or less isloated my fishbowl but I will have to walk by her office to get my lunch. And I have a feeling that I will be walking through a miasma of germy badness not unlike the little cloud that follows Pig Pen everywhere.
I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re sick, stay home from work. You get paid a lot more than I do and I don’t have paid sick time. And when I get sick, I’m down and out for a couple of weeks, or even a few days in the hospital. Your job is honestly not that epic. But if I’m not here because I get sick, then no one transfers calls to your voice mail.