I am probably going to make someone sick today. My germs are spreading.
Right now, I am one of those people who sits on the train, blowing their nose loudly.
I have the common cold. My temperature was up & down all yesterday afternoon & I drank so much water to keep my sore throat happy that I was peeing constantly. My muscles feel lethargic. I feel this way even after a decent sleep. I’m so grateful I had a good sleep, because I think I would be feeling a lot worse without that!
I am one of those people who will get written about in MX (a commuters newspaper) when someone launches into a rant about how the sick person isn’t getting better by going to work & is just infecting others.
Yep. That’s true.
And my reason for being willing to infect others is the same as many other sick people in public. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. I may work full time in our country’s glorious so-called “boom” industry but my contract is that of a casual.
So in terms of my health, I’m no better off than the high school drop out who works full time in a menial minimum wage job. That is my reality. I’m not asking for sympathy, that is just my reality.
I do my best to skip work if I’m sick. I want to get better faster. I don’t want to make my colleagues or other commuters sick. Unfortunately I’m a bit tied down by old rules. Like people who treat you as suspicious if you’re off sick on a Monday or Friday. It has to mean something if you’re sick on a Monday or a Friday. It can’t just mean you feel like crap.
Something about me: I refuse to see a doctor for a cold or flu. I know clearly what is wrong with me, I’m lucky to be otherwise healthy (as in, a cold won’t give me any nasty complications), I know how long a bug should last & how to tell if I’m getting worse. I 100% refuse to waste a GP’s time with “I have a cold I need a doctors certificate”. I kmow my GP doesn’t mind. He’a a good guy. But I also can’t afford $65 for a doctors certificate. Besides, if my work can’t trust that I have a cold, then there is a bigger problem than my cold. Also, being a casual, I don’t get paid for sick days, so why do they need proof that I was sick?
This is the exact situation that technology can help us ALL with!
By this, I mean working from home. I appreciate that this is not possible for all jobs. But it’s more possible for more jobs than people will admit. It’s possible for me.
I work for a company where our work computers are laptops. We can work from anywhere with an internet connection (and with planning, places without Internet as well). The network is about as secure as you can make it. We even have internal IM software so we can quickly & easily chat with colleagues if need be. It is a great set up.
Yet it’s usually just used as a way for people to do overtime at home.
I would be a lot better off sneezing & sniffling at home today than commuting to work & sitting in a building with recycled air.
If people’s fears are that people don’t really work at home, then face the fact that a sick employee is not going to be 100% productive anywhere. But being at home is a level of rest & comfort you can’t achieve in an office, and it allows work to keep flowing forwards. It doesn’t have to be either/or.
Unless you can wear pajama bottoms to work & sit on a couch all day. I’ve never worked in a place like that.
So my goal today is to put on the “good employee” front by showing up – then pointing out I will be much less gross if I work from home the rest of the day & tomorrow.
We have the technology. Let’s use it for GOOD!