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Malingerers and the Truly Ill
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We've had an enormous increase in the number of people ill all of a sudden. They all have the flu. So they say. Then after a couple of days there's a miraculous recovery, with nary a sniffle. Oddly enough, there is a large overlap with the usual group of people who have industrial injuries and long FMLA absences and other extended illnesses, bereavements, kin care and so forth. I wonder why.

No doubt this is just my suspicious mind at work. I'm sure they are truly ill. Maybe not physically...but socially or mentally.

What are they going to claim if they really do get the flu? I suppose they can claim one was the seasonal flu and one was the H1N1 flu. There are now two ready-made excuses for malingerers.

Then there are the ones coming to work, looking and sounding like they are at death's door. Heads all stuffed up, running a fever, coughing and generally feeling like something the cat dragged in. Through a knot hole. Backwards.

My boss doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to tell them to go home and stop exposing the rest of us to whatever they have, and I can't override my boss. We're all hoping our immune systems and careful cleanliness procedures (handwashing, dishwashing, etc.) will keep us healthy. I'm glad I don't have to share a telephone handset the way the data input people do.

I'm especially concerned for the woman who's pregnant, about six months, I'd guess. We don't see much of her, because she works downstairs and I gave her a project to do which should keep her out of the sick ones' immediate vicinity.

For the rest of us, we just have to take our chances.


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