Thursday, May 31, 2007


The story about the guy who traveled despite having TB and exposing and possibly infecting fellow travelers reminds me of something that happened when I was 19 years old, when I had a part-time job in a café.

One Sunday evening I started feeling feverish, so I thought a flu or a cold was coming on. I took a hot bath, and went to bed. The next morning I woke up fine, so I assumed it was just a freak fever. That afternoon I decided to go jean shopping. So I tried on a pair of jeans, and then I looked at myself in the mirror and thought…weird: there are loads of little red spots on my belly. And then I noticed they were all over my chest. And instantly I knew what it was: chicken pox. I had never got the chicken pox as a child. Even thought I was exposed to them over and over. I mean, my brothers had them, kids in my class had them…everyone, but me. So finally I got them at age 19. Luckily, it was a very mild form, which is strange, because chicken pox in adulthood is usually pretty bad.

So I went to the doctor who confirmed my diagnosis. Now, bear in mind, I felt absolutely fine. Other than the weird dots all over me, I wasn’t feeling sicky or anything. But the doctor told me: okay, well right now, you are highly contagious. So you should just stay home until they crust over.

So I go home and called my manager at the sandwich shop and told her I wouldn’t be coming in that week, explaining that I had the chicken pox. And she seriously, said: well, are you sure you can’t come in, if you are feeling alright?

I remember saying, hello, I work in the food service industry. No way am I going to be serving customers a bagel with a side of chicken pox. I am highly contagious.

I mean, it's not just like I was doing data entry or something, I was making a product that people were going to ingest. That is definitely a job where you don't want a sick employee. I was so shocked. But some people really don’t care.


Blogger Teresa said...

I hear this all the time. People who are sick and work serving food!!! Yet they come in because of short staffing, etc. It's a wonder we aren't all sick all the time. Then again - I guess the constant exposure to all these germs is what keeps us from getting severely ill on a regular basis. heh.

12:01 AM  
Blogger ThatBeeGirl said...

that your manager was insistent you come in violates so many health codes! especially with something contagious like chicken pox...

3:49 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

The whole situation with this guy makes me so angry. I couldn't believe when I flipped on CNN a couple of days ago to see this guy making excuses for himself on national television. Doesn't the fact that he DROVE through Canada to get to the United States tell people that he knew he wasn't supposed to be traveling and was intentionally being sneaky? I just don't believe that a personal injury attorney who had consulted with physicians multiple times can claim that kind of ignorance.

5:43 PM  

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