Doing things differently since 1984
Between weathering single-digit temperatures and mothering two young petri dishes (a.k.a. preschool-aged children), it should be no surprise that I’ve become a home for one of this year’s many cold/flu viruses. As much as I would love to take a few days off of work, however, I have the great fortune of being one of America’s 44 million workers with no paid sick days.
So, what is a germ-ridden bond servant to do?
It occurred to me that some of my faithful readers may soon encounter something similar to this same problem, so I compiled a list of helpful tips for the “ailing toiling”, or those who get sick without the opportunity to slow down. I hope, of course, you’ll never have to use any of these tactics, but just in case:
1. Energy Drinks. Tea? Nice for the throat, but still leaves you tired. Coffee? Still not enough. Bring on the energy drink! If it’s meant to give normal people the energy to jump out of subspace airplanes and what not, then hopefully it will be enough to jump-start your groggy brain into a state capable of at least basic mathematics.
2. Put the Dress Code to the test. So your infected body is soaring between chills and sweats. Come to work prepared! Start with the closest to a tank top you can get away with, and layer up! No-hat policy at work? Try a scarf! Mittens making it hard to type? Come prepared with fingerless gloves! And if anyone asks why you’re wearing shorts and a parka, just motion over to the second wastebasket you’ve filled with tissues.
3. Don’t be afraid of humor. As if being sick at work wasn’t bad enough, if you’re in one of “those” kinds of environments you also have to put up with the bad jokes. Your raw tissue-laden nose makes you “Rudolph”. Your constant coughing makes you “Typhoid Mary”. Your multitude of sneezes makes people laugh as they say “bless you”. Why bother with self-dignity? Besides, they say laughter is good medicine, and you’re too tired to start a fight.
4. Look for opportunities to nap. Yes, I know. You’re not supposed to nap at work. Then again, you’re also not supposed to blog at work, or waste time socializing, or… you know what I’m getting at. You just have to be clever about it. If you’re lucky enough to get a lunch break, try snoozing in the car. If not, look for some never-visited corner, or, if you must, try a quick toilet-stall snooze. Risky, I know, but your body will thank you. Just remember to bring your phone with you and set the alarm.
5. Wash your hands frequently. Because we’re civilized folk here. And as much as you dislike your coworkers, you really don’t want this thing to circulate all the way around the office and back to you.
6. Make the most of your time at home. Hooray, you’ve made it through the work day, and you’re finally home! Eat a light dinner, take your medicine, shirk whatever duties you can, and go to bed as soon as your home-life allows you. Because tomorrow, my ailing toiling friend, you get to do it all over again! You’ll recover eventually, though your lack of humanizing benefits at work will make it take longer.