Have you ever been at work and Philip-phlegm or Harold-hacker or Sally-sneeze came up to you? They are clearly in the depths and throes of a horrible cold or flu or some other contagious disease. Instead of staying home and trying to get well, they have decided to come into work and share their sickness and germs with everyone that they come into contact with. Yes, how lovely. How selfish.
Well, if we are all being honest here, I am one of them. I have never let a cold (or loss of limb or gaping chest wound for that matter) stop me from dutifully showing up to work. There are several reasons for this. One is that I am generally a very busy person at work. Lots of balls in the air, lots of tight deadlines, lots of folks counting on me to keep things moving along. I would like to think that instead of staying home taking care of myself, I am putting my work first. I also believe that always coming into work, no matter what condition I am in, shows plucky dedication and resolve. I'm not one of those people always looking to slip out early, to find ways to get out of doing their share, who always seem to be on vacation when the heavy lifting needs to be done. Finally, I could not imagine a more boring time than sitting at home all day with nothing to do but watch T.V., nap on the couch, and fill tissues with green goo. This would drive me insane and probably keep me from a quicker recovery.
I know that I am being selfish by showing up to work in the grips of sickness. Certainly cold and flu symptoms are horrible, and I would not wish to pass them along to anyone. But, at least when I am under the weather, I am mindful of washing my hands whenever I touch my nose or face, and I try to limit my interaction with folks outside of my office. I am still being a self-centered jerk, but at least I am trying.