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.
4 weeks ago