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Your Boss Is Just Sick

, , , , | Working | April 1, 2021

My boss has just come back from a week-long vacation. She shuffles in and puts her head down on her desk. My boss is anti-vaccine, and this story is about a year before a certain worldwide health crisis.

Me: “How was your trip?”

Boss: “The first few days were great, but I’ve got this horrible cold now. My head is pounding and everything hurts.”

Me: “Do you need to go home and sleep it off? Or go to the doctor?”

Boss: “No, I’ll be fine.”

Me: “Are you sure? I can cover.”

Boss: “I know what you’re thinking. I won’t get you sick!”

About two hours later, I need her to approve some paperwork. Our system allows users to send requests to a supervisor’s computer, and they can approve electronically. I do this.

Me: “Hey, [Boss]? I just sent you an approval.”

Boss: “Oh, I’ll come over and do it.”

Me: “No, I sent it to you electronically.”

Boss: “I’ll just come over!”

Me: “No, you’re sick. I’d rather you didn’t—”

My boss comes over, does the approval, and then starts touching everything: my pens, my phone, my drawer handles, etc.

Me: “What are you doing?! Stop it!”

Boss: “Oh, my bad.”

She walks back to her desk. I sanitize everything and go back to work. I go to lunch soon after. After I get back from lunch, one of my coworkers comes over to my desk.

Coworker: “Hey, uh… [Boss] was over here using your computer during lunch and coughing all over the place.”


Coworker: “She said her computer was having issues or something. She said not to tell you, since you’re a germaphobe, so don’t let on that you know.”

Me: “Super.”

I sanitize everything again and get back to work. Less than forty-eight hours later, I wake up with body aches, a pounding headache, a cough, and a fever. Basically, it feels like a truck hit me. I call my doctor and rattle off my symptoms to the nurse practitioner on duty. I ask if I need to come to get checked.

Nurse: “Nope, you don’t need to come in. It’s a nasty strain of influenza A. I’m putting in a prescription for Tamiflu right now. We’ve seen a bunch of cases this week with identical symptoms. Seems our flu shot didn’t cover this strain. It’s highly contagious.”

Me: “Of course, it is.”

I am out of work for five days. When I return to work, I get this gem…

Boss: “The flu, huh? I guess the flu shot doesn’t work after all.”

Me: “There’s not much defense against a sick person coughing all over my desk! You didn’t do that on purpose to prove a point, did you?! Because if you did…”

I raise an eyebrow at her. Her face turns red.

Boss: “I didn’t have the flu, so no.”

Me: “You’re the only sick person I’ve been around, and we had matching symptoms.”

Boss: “It wasn’t the flu, because I didn’t have any stomach issues!”

Me: “Uh… the stomach flu isn’t actually a flu. The actual flu is what we had. Body aches, fever, headache, coughing—”

Boss: “Well, I didn’t have it, because I feel better!”

Me: “Wait, what?”

Boss: “Exactly.”

Me: “?!”

I found a new job soon after.

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