Let’s face it, no one wants to go to work sick. You’re tired, weak, gross feeling, probably in pain and they are expected to perform their duties with the same vigor as when they are healthy. They try to summon as much strength as they can, even if they ‘feel like they could die.’ Some lucky employees actually get paid sick days, most people in minimum wage jobs don’t get paid sick leave though. They’re forced to work while sick or face the very serious consequences. Another consequence is the risk of that ill person infecting everyone they are forced to come into contact with. Even if the sick person doesn’t outright make that person ill, that person could still be a carrier, allowing that person to infect those he/she comes into contact with. This is doubly true when working with food. I work in food right now.
(What a sore throat virus looks like according to Google image, lol. Medical ignorance for the win!)
I’m sick right now. So is everyone else in the store to varying degrees. Currently, I believe another woman and myself are the sickest. Our throats are sore, nausea, and have voices that are little more than a croak. I was also the last to get sick. So everyone that could call out did call out. So I’m stuck going to work despite me feeling like shit.
Me feeling like shit isn’t actually the problem. It’s what I’m carrying that is the problem. The gloves or any other sort of virus-deterrent isn’t going to do jack shit if it’s airborne, which I think it is. I’m very hygienic and anyone not Nick is on the no spit-swapping list ,so it’s unlikely, though not impossible I think, that I got it from the fuck face that coughed in my face yesterday. He was in an assistant managerial position too! He did small little coughs all day and never covered his mouth. When he showed me a picture on his cell phone of something he was bidding on he coughed into my face and he was… like two feet from my face. I don’t think he even noticed me recoil. I dunno if he was the one who got me sick but it seems like a good way to get sick in my opinion, lol.
(No idea what the incubation period is of a virus like this and I’m not looking up right now. I’m venting, not writing an academic paper. BTW it’s three days to two weeks. Bam.)
So here we are, I have to work even though I can barely talk, let alone work. Too bad for me though. Boo-hoo. Despite me being pissed that I can’t call in I’m also appalled that I’m essentially being forced to knowingly infect people for my meager $9/hr paycheck. Don’t get me started on how pissed off I am to be summa cum laude and work a shit job because it’s so hard to find a teaching job in my area. The irony doesn’t escape me. Especially now that I’m in a job with no paid sick days vs. ones I could have earned.
Even though my co-workers sympathize with me, and may even privately think I do belong in my bed cough up my lungs but their hands are just as tied as mine are. I would have to flat out not show up and I’m not that kind of employee. It’s not their fault my head-boss won’t give me a day off. I’m not quite sure if doing this is a health code violation or not but it seems like a great way to contaminate food or spread an airborne illness. Duh. What if someone with an immune system health condition comes in and I infect them? They could die! It’s unlikely that it would happen (I hope to God that is true), but it should be taken that seriously.
My particular franchise has gotten in trouble for this numerous times.
“Between 2000 and 2013, the franchise was found to have committed 17,000 Fair Labor Standards Act violations, resulting in a $3.8 million payout to workers” – CNN Money reports
Sorry, I’m not listing where I work on the off chance that the internet screws me out of a job because they can’t take fair criticism. It’s the risk I take.
To be fair, what can they do when ALL the employees have been sick? Close down for the day? Maybe if it was a small business. The day before yesterday and the day before that I was nauseous and hugging the toilet multiple times at work and then would be called to make their food or ring them up. Bagging them up is still touching food. I’m still touching money (which is filthy anyway), and giving it to the customer. Sometimes our fingertips brush in the exchange and now I’m touching them. My plan is to try and mitigate this as much as I can. I’m not sure if they’ll allow a surgical mask, but my work place is right next to a pharmacy and I’m hoping they have some sort of mask for me. It would be more obvious, and I’d feel foolish wearing it, but at least I’d be doing the right thing. At least I have the day off tomorrow.