It was inevitable. Dick has been ill with a cold. His cough is raucous and it seems his lungs will soon be in a gooey heap on the floor. We can only hope he manages to miss any carpet when this happens.

The time is now - cold and flu season

He does cover his mouth when he coughs – at least 25% of the time. He uses his hand and then touches everything. He got mad at me for asking him to continually wash his hands while messing with the turkey we had the other night.

There really wasn’t much chance that I wouldn’t get this cold. I’m in the early stages. My throat is sore, rough, scratchy. I’ve been daintily coughing and I’ve two tissues so far this morning.

I’m going to assume this will get worse, but right now it isn’t too bad. Colds tend to last two weeks unless treated, and then they last a fortnight. That is the old proverb anyway.

I was whining (I know that is a shock to loyal readers) about catching this cold. Someone suggested I stay home and aggressively treat my cold rather than go to work and infect the entire office. That would be nice, but I can’t do it.

I can’t do it for two reasons: first, I wouldn’t get paid and second, they really don’t know what it is I actually do at work and so no one besides me can do it.

Most bosses, whether sole proprietors or multinational companies, don’t like people to be sick. They actually discourage people staying home when they are sick, at least here in the US.

Some companies put all time in one pot and you actually lose vacation time if you use a sick day. Some places make you have a doctor’s note if you are sick even for one day. Because why not go to a doctor’s office while you are in a compromised situation with the flu and have all the other sick people share their germs with you? No one other than a doctor would know you were feverish and vomiting, so this is needed, right?

So, sick workers come to work and sneeze and cough all over each other, making sure the entire office is infected and no one feels good enough to do a full day’s work. They are all running back and forth to the bathrooms, blowing noses, and trying to catch their compromised breath.

Then there are people (like me, apparently) who think their job is so important that if they don’t do it, the world as we know it will come to an end. There are those who feel it is easier to actually go to work sick than to tell someone else how to do their job. Or if anyone else tries to do their job, they will be so inadequate that when the returning worker shows back up, they will be terribly far behind.

Teachers can use sick time, but according to what I have been told, they can’t rely on a substitute to actually teach the curriculum (which would explain why when I was a sub, they left my nothing but inconsequential busy work for the students). And so, when a sick teacher returns, she has to teach all the stuff again, if she dared to let a sub even try to teach. This is not the case with long-term subs who actually run a classroom for an extended time, but for daily substitute teachers coming in to relieve a teacher for a day or two.

All in all, we seem to want to pretend, at least in the work world, that no one is ever sick. If they are, they need to come in to the workplace and make sure to share the current illness with everyone so we can all be sick together. Misery loves company, it seems.

I have no sick time at all and only one week of paid vacation (starting this year). I’m not using one or more of my days on a stupid cold. If I make the boss sick, I’m sorry. It isn’t really my intention, but I know I can’t just not go into work because I’m contagious. I have to be prostrate and possibly dying before I can stay home for illness.

I knew I would eventually catch this from Dick. I wonder if it is also inevitable that the bosses will get to share in the wonder of a winter cold due to my loyalty and good old fashioned “work ethic.”