I admit it — I come to work when I’m sick. Sometimes.
In these parts, a lot of what passes for “sick” is actually allergies. In addition to being the valley that Valley Fever is named for, the San Joaquin is sure to make you sick. Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara refers to us as “the valley of death.”
And yet people continue to move here from other areas, insisting that this is “a great place to raise kids.”
OK, enough of my eye-rolling. The point is, I’m self-employed in a field where my work can’t wait for me to feel better and get back to it. I can’t put projects aside for a few days till I’m recovered and then get them done. If I don’t come to work, my work wanders off.
I’m kinda like a cowboy that way.
Likewise, I’m pretty easygoing about clients showing up with the sniffles, or having to time my e-filing around some seasonal sneezing.
But seriously, there’s a limit to what I think is appropriate. Allergies? OK. A little sinus infection? Don’t sneeze on me.
If I’m running a fever, I cancel clients for the day. Even without a fever, if I’m feeling particularly crappy, I at least give everyone a heads up and let them decide if they want to risk being around me or not.
I wish they gave me the same option.
Over the last few weeks, a lot — and I mean a lot — of my clients have shown up sounding like they’re talking underwater, keen to let me know they have a cold or some sort of nasty bug.
They wash their hands and then proceed to sit down in front of me, sniffling, coughing, wiping their noses... ewww.
Thus far, my superhuman immune system has prevailed. But just you watch! As soon as I cave in to a day of 100̊+ fever when I can’t get myself out of bed, those same people who think nothing of showing up to sneeze in my general direction are going to come unglued that I have to cancel their appointments.
Think they’re going to see the connection?
Not a chance.