What Do You Do When Your Coworker Is Sick? 

not messing aroundI am not screwing around. I will not fall victim to the office plague that is about to start. I won’t!

The girl that shares my cube wall, the one that’s closest to my face, has an awful sounding cold. I totally get why she’s at work. We have no paid sick time- if you want to stay home, you have to either take it unpaid or use a vacation day. Even if you have the vacation time, you’re still going to have to do all the work the next day when you return. You will also get calls at home. It’s really not worth it. She even has a big project this week she has to pull off. It makes the most sense to power through it.

HOWEVER. I do not want any part of sounding and feeling like she does, and I have the weakest immune system around. I talk to someone on the phone who is sick and I get it (practically!). Another coworker brought me this ridiculous Disney mask, and I totally wore it.

I know it looks like I have a diaper on my face.

Everyone time someone walked by my desk, they laughed.

I also was mean enough to not let the sick girl play with my puppy, I chugged Emergen-C, and had her scan me papers instead of touching them and handing them to me.

I didn’t touch anything in the office.

Now my ears and throat hurt. I feel like this is the beginning of the end.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah I acted like an insane person for no reason and I still somehow caught it!! What would you have done? What else could I have done to be safe?



  1. The V-Pub says:

    My singer came to practice on Monday night with a nasty head cold. She coughed and sneezed all over my microphones. Yuk! Now, after disinfecting them, I put a foam guard over them. I hope that she doesn’t come back until she’s better, because it will be awkward for me to tell her why I did that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. hahahahahahahaha… that’s awful, all around! Hope you feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My clients come in sick all the time and so do my coworkers. My trick is believing that I’m not sick. Mind over matter. I really think it works!! Your last paragraph where you start to believe you are getting sick- that’s the moment when you probably did. Next time never say or think or type that you are getting sick. I’m not a doctor but this seems to work for me! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It seems hugely irresponsible to me that an employer would not allow for any paid sick time. It is detrimental to productivity when people feel they must come into the office sick and “share the germ love”. What a shame. Drink lots of hot tea with lemon juice and honey, and get some zinc lozenges. Hopefully you can fight it off!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah… It feels pretty messed up to me. However, even when we had sick time (the policy was changed last year) a lot of people were afraid to use it. Every place I’ve ever worked was like that- if you don’t come in and work through it, you look bad. It’s awful.


  5. We totally get mad at people who come in sick to our office. We tell them to go home. I’m lucky that I can just take my laptop home and work from home on days where I don’t feel 100% but still well enough to get something done.
    I hope you can battle through and not get too sick… Just think good thoughts and drink lots of tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hahahah! This is hilarious. The reason is because my bike ride gave me a sunburn over the weekend. Said sunburn turned into a brief bout of sun poisoning – it wasn’t that bad of a burn, I am just sensitive, literally only out there for two hours – anddd guess what? Just as it always happened when I was a kid, I got a cold after getting a minor sunburn. So here I am coughing and sneezing —- and MY CO-WORKER BRINGS ME A MASK! I was totally going to post about it… but it was hilarious. He brought it as a joke. So yeah, guess I’m on the other side of the cubicle wall on this whole thing. Hahahah.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ugh, that really sucks! Mike is sick now too with the flu really bad. I just read on cdc.gov that even though flu season is coming to a close, there’s still “elevated activity” all over the country. I hope your symptoms were just phantom symptoms.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your co-worker must be a parent, only a parent would have a Disney mask…lol. You’re deciding if you want to join the mommy club- well, let me tell you, little humans are adorable but often are a crawling, toddling, walking ball of germs. Just something to think about as you work your way back to health.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. From what I understand, most of the time we get sick not from airborne droplets, but from touching contaminated surfaces (no, I’m not a doctor, but I’m fairly well-educated).


    – Don’t eat out in flu season. If you do, make sure your food is cooked. Sandwich and salad bars in particular are easy disease transfer points (how well did your sandwich maker wash their hands? If at all!). Ideally, make your lunch at home.

    – Keep hand sanitizer, tissues and antibacterial wipes at your desk or workplace.

    – Ask your employer to install hand sanitizer pumps at the entrance to your place of work, and to keep them filled.

    – Keep some antibacterial wipes on your desk or work station, and wipe down all contact surfaces at the start of the day BEFORE you start work and at the end of the day.

    – Be absolutely diligent about toilet hygiene. Considering that a huge percentage of people (this article suggests that 95% of people don’t wash their hands correctly after going to the toilet – http://www.businessinsider.com.au/people-dont-wash-their-hands-right-2013-6 ) don’t even WASH their hands at all, I’d really recommend disposable gloves whenever you go to the toilet, or using a tissue or baby wipe in your hand to open the doors after you’ve been to the toilet.

    – Wash your hands BEFORE as well as AFTER visiting the toilet. If you don’t know already, learn how to wash your hands properly: https://youtu.be/vYwypSLiaTU

    – If you have the habit of touching your face, BREAK it!

    – If you wear contact lenses, be absolutely diligent about lens hygiene, as your eyes are a mucous membrane and an easy access point into your body for harmful bacteria.

    – Tie your hair back off your face when working. Hair traps airborne droplets very effectively, and loose strands can transfer disease very effectively into your eyes and mouth.

    I hope these tips help! My family and I were recently in Hong Kong and Singapore right in the middle of several flu epidemics, and NONE of us caught any disease. I think it’s because we were diligent with our hygiene.

    Stay healthy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  1. […] One of the bloggers I follow mentioned how one of her fellow workers came to work sick, and wondered what she could do about it. […]

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  2. […] One of the bloggers I follow mentioned how one of her fellow workers came to work sick, and wondered what she could do about it. […]

    Liked by 1 person

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