Monday, July 10, 2006

The wet towels left on my desk are REALLY going to have to stop

In the past couple of weeks, the level of disdain I hold for the girl I share an office with has reached heights only matched by her recent rate of absences. Today disdain was displaced momentarily by the merest flicker of guilt when I heard she has been diagnosed with pneumonia. The merest flicker because soon afterwards a much weightier impulse kicked in: the proclivity for self-preservation.

I'm prone to chest infections at the best of times, and I know pneumonia is one of the big ones (RIP Jim Henson, Leo Tolstoy and Fred Astaire). Without wanting to state the obvious, it's something I could do without. Furthermore, I'm going to the United States next month, and I'm pretty sure they are a bit fussy about letting people carrying contagious illnesses into the country.

The fact I hadn't noticed her decline into ill health perhaps speaks volumes about my caring nature. But in my defence, we're on the 5th floor of a building with unreliable lifts; she smokes: I have grown used to hearing her wheeze and splutter. But enough about her; what of me?!

To what extent do I take evasive action? She is off until Wednesday, so do I perhaps book some time off to coincide with her return? And what about in the meantime? What might be lurking in the dank no-man's land which constitutes her corner of the office? Joseph Lister* was once at University Huw, so I'm wondering if his legacy stretches to a stash of carbolic acid being kept in a display case somewhere nearby. Her desk could do with a good dousing, irregardless of the pneumonia. Failing that, perhaps I should make a funeral pyre-esque bonfire of all the things in the office she has touched?

Methinks it is time to decamp to the relatively sterile surroundings of The Naughty Room.

*Today's Fact!! Listerine was and is named after Joseph Lister.


Dancinfairy said...

Hmm, paint a red cross on the door of your office and scream "unclean" when she gets in on Wednesday.

Or perhaps just buy her some grapes and ask her nicely not to breathe near you.

Jona said...

I think you should call in sick as a preventative measure - I would if I was going to the States next month! But can you catch pneumonia? I've had it, but it developed after staying in damp clothes all day - just as my mother always warned it would ;o) So don't be doing that!

Me Over Here said...

NUMBER ONE: Wash your hands often and with hot water and plenty of soap. Remember that Purell stuff I gave you when we were in London? I'll send you some of that.

#2: Bring alcohol to work. And no, I don't mean the fun stuff, I mean rubbing alcohol and sanitize EVERYTHING that you touch--from your keyboard to the doorknobs. I'm serious. Keep rags and alcohol in your desk drawer.

#3: Any clothes that you wore around her that are now strewn about your floor and bed (which I know they are...) you need to wash. Along with that, wash your bed sheets and duvet (I know you hate putting them back on, but you NEED to do this).

#4: Wash your hands. Yes, again.

#5: Go to the doctor at ANY unusual signs, even a bit harder of a cough, whatever, just make an appointment.

#6: Switch offices. I don't care if you're in Naughty Room Solitude for 6 weeks, you get OUT of that nasty germ-contaminated shit hole.

#7: When she comes back, do not touch anything she hands you. Keep a kleenex handy and grab whatever she gives you with that. I'm sure she'll understand.

#8: Do not speak directly to her. If she wants to talk to you, do it from a distance.

#9: Don't forget to clean the receiver of the telephone. Germs can hide there. I would also get some Lysol (or whatever other germ killing aerosol y'all have) and spray in the trash cans.

#10: Don't eat or drink anything from work. Don't use any of the cups there. Don't leave any cans opened and then drink...make sure you have a drink with a cap, and when you open it, don't touch the mouth part with your hands. And of course, always wash your hands before you eat anything.

#11: KEEP YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM YOUR FACE. If you have an itch, use the inside of your shirt collar to itch it.

#12: Huw, for the life of me, DON'T BITE YOUR NAILS. This is a surefire way for you to ingest any germs, so please, no bite-y!

Now, I know I go a bit "mom" when it comes to you and stuff like this, but please at least wash your bed sheets and keep your hands away from your face and mouth. Love you!

Huw said...

Jona - I think the comment following yours goes to show that yes indeed, pneumonia can be contagious.

MOH - re #3. They aren't strewn. They are immaculately organised in my revolutionary floordrobe.

Raggedy said...

Can't someone just give her some more time off? She shouldn't come back without a clean bill of health.
Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) meow hugs
(")_ (")Š from da Raggedy one

Ivy the Goober said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ivy the Goober said...

If you'll wear one of these....

Qill you be stopping in Dallas?

Ivy the Goober said...

well fooey, I can't get the link right, and I'm not deleting it again. Sorry. Stay well, Huw.

Curly said...

Darn - I was going to suggest wearing a plastic bubble.

I don't even have any links to give you.

I'll just get back to work.

Banksy said...

Re contagion.

It depends what kind she's got.

If it's viral or bacterial, then yes, it's blimmin' contagious and perhaps a pre-emptive burn of the office, and her, might be advisable.

Bit sometimes people get pneumonia as a result of smoking, in whjich case it's not contagious.

Pneumonia is simply your lungs filling with fluid and whether it's contagious or not depends on what caused them to do that.

Bad air con can also cause it though Huw, another reason to pull a sicky.

Will said...

What would Joseph Lister do?

anna said...

Floordrobe! I knew there was hidden organizational genius in my room maintenance system all through school! Why didn't I have this term on hand to toss at my irate mother?

Tim-tambolini said...

Do everything MOH says! She loves you and has some very good ideas.

karla said...

Would it be too rude to have a partition set up by the time she returns, separating her side of the office from yours? With a big banner on it that says "Don't even THINK of stepping around this partition?"