Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Sneeze of Thought

Question…How many of you were taught to cover your mouths when you were a child? I was taught that it was rude, and unclean when you don't cover your mouth while you are coughing or sneezing, especially in a persons presence. “Andy (nickname) don’t cough in ____’s face”! Last night one of our regular customers handed me his winning instant lottery tickets to cash, and then he started coughing in my face. At first he looked like he was turning to cover his mouth, but he didn’t. He continued to cough and finally realized that I was there, he made and attempt to cover his mouth. It wasn’t a good attempt, because I could see most of his hand above his upper lip and I could see the bottom of his mouth while he was coughing. Then when I gave him his money, the customer used the hand he was coughing with to take it, and he touched my hand with it. I grabbed some hand sanitizer with the quickness, because I didn’t want to be sick. When I get sick, I have trouble breathing and trouble sleeping.

After he started walking away from the desk he started coughing again. He didn’t cover his face at all, and I saw a woman in his path staring at him, looking in disgust. Having him do that is totally rude, and a little gross. How would he like it if I sneezed in his face? He wouldn’t like it at all would he? Every time I sneeze at work I wipe my hands a wipe, or I use hand sanitizer. If I didn’t it would be rude and unprofessional, am I right?

A few minutes after he left I was thinking about a the segment on
bird flu that I saw on the news a couple of nights ago. They showed a worse case scenario that I didn’t like. As many as 142 million people around the world could die if bird flu turns into a "worst case" influenza pandemic, according to a sobering new study of its possible consequences.

So after seeing this I was thinking Bird Flu can soon be coming to a city or town near you. A deadly strain of bird flu could appear in the United States in the next few months as wild birds
migrate from infected nations, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said.

If someone came into my job and they were sick, and they started coughing and hacking, what am I supposed to do. I won't know if they have the bird flu, heck I won’t know if they have Influenza. For all I know the “customer” could have SARS (When was the last time you heard about that). Will we as employees be allowed to wear face masks (That will be the day, I can hear the term “Unprofessional“)? What can I do then, call the union, choose my health over making ends meat? People in retail are the most vulnerable. We deal with hundreds of customers a week, with no protection whatsoever. If or when the bird flu hit’s the U.S., I hope that we as a country (as a community) are ready. Then again SARS was supposed to be a big epidemic heading our way, and it went out with a whimper. Same could be said with the West Nile virus, People died, but there wasn’t a real pandemic. The same could happen with the bird flu. I mean hey, the government either prevented it, or they were wrong about it. I don’t see any Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Lets see if the bird flu hits us hard. Then again something on a Grand Scale of Apocalyptic proportions could happen. All of the chess pieces on the chest board representing pestilence could be closing in on us for a checkmate.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Just gross....totally gross. I can't believe people can be so gross. But how many times are you in a public restroom and people just walk out without washing their hands?

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