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27 February, 2006

Getting colder, and boiling

I haven't had an especial reason to mention it, but I have a slight cold: blocked nose, sore throat, occasional slight feverishness; uncomfortable but trivial.  I'd thought a cold could be expected to last about ten days, so considering this is the ninth day I've had symptoms, it should be almost over.  Then why am I beginning to develop a slight cough, and don't feel better?

My mother gleefully tells me that it's "seven days to get a cold, seven with it, then seven to get over it". Wonderful. It's barely begun, then.

This further increases my annoyance at a certain work colleague. A fortnight ago, he came into work full of cold and plainly infectious. Several people urged him to go home, but he "had to get on", knowing (he actually said it outright) he'd probably pass it to me, only a few metres across the office.

That's disrespectful to me as an individual, but to claim it as an issue of professionalism is simply wrong.

No aspect of his job is so critically urgent that it'd be in the University's interests to risk infecting others. He's involved in lowest-level clerical tasks, primarily data entry*. There is a reason why his salary is only 50-60% of mine. Put bluntly, and without boasting, my role is more important to the University than his.
If he's off sick, undergrad course descriptions for Entry 2007 won't be updated this week. And?
If I'm incapacitated, a high-profile, publicly-advertised webcast won't happen.

I strongly feel he had a responsibility to take sick leave, not for his benefit (which is of limited personal and zero professional interest to me) but for those around him, and for his employer.

*: I hasten to add that this is a function of his (understandable) lack of experience and directly relevant skills – certain previous post-holders made more of the role!

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