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Call Out, Not Outbreak

, , , , , | Working | March 23, 2020

(I start feeling sick one Sunday at work, but I muddle through my shift. My main symptom is a sore throat and congestion. When I get home, sure enough, I discover I now have a fever, as well. I feel bad about calling out the next day, since Mondays are notoriously busy and we have no one else who can cover, but I’d rather take off one day now than a week down the road. By Tuesday, I’m much better. My fever is gone, and my sore throat is mostly gone. I head into work.)

Me: “How awful was yesterday?”

Coworker: “Awful. I worked from seven to seven, and so did [Coworker #2], and we had [Coworker #3] come in at noon, but we couldn’t get ahead.”

Me: “Ouch. “

Coworker: “I can’t believe you called out.”

Me: “Well, I had a fever. There’s not much you can do about that.”

Coworker: “I mean, I’ve worked before when I had strep throat and a fever, so you could’ve come in.”

(I used to work at a preschool, and this really irks me, since so many parents would send their kid to school when they had a fever and were obviously sick, and the whole school would get sick as a result, teachers included. We had a 24-hour-fever-free rule for a reason.)

Me: “I’m glad you’re okay with starting epidemics. As for me, once we get a lull, I’m sanitizing that office.”

(It’s a slow day, so it’s not more than an hour or so before I can start wiping everything down. I only have a bottle of multipurpose cleaner and paper towels, but I make the most of it. My coworker comes in when I’m wiping down the communal pens.)

Coworker: “It smells in here. I don’t know what scent is in that cleaner, but it stinks.” *sees me* “Seriously?”

Me: “If there’s one thing I learned working at a preschool, it’s to clean everything that’s not nailed down. And even if it is nailed down, clean it anyway. Those kids get into every single thing. Besides, we’re heading into cold and flu season; we should start doing this more often.”

(They may make fun of me now, but if people would just look around, they would realize just how disgusting grocery stores actually are.)

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