Public Service Announcement: If you look like you contracted the plague, please don’t come to work. Your illness will spiral into some sort of “I Am Legend” type humanity wipeout. Unfortunately, sick days are a precious commodity, and despite that PSA, some people will still come to work eager to infect. These sickos typically fall into five main categories: the over-reactor, the biohazard, the Ron Swanson, the hypochondriac, and the hungover. These people must be stopped before they claim the mental and physical health of the entire office.
This person may have a super mild, nonexistent, low-grade fever or seasonal allergies, but based on the way he or she is carrying on you would think that this person’s DNR status could be called in to question at any moment. This person’s desk is decorated with Kleenex, Purell, and countless over the counter medications, so that everyone walking by can see how close to the end he or she is. Under no circumstances should you ask the over-reactor what is wrong, because the answer is that everything is wrong. And the response to your question will easily take an hour to get through. When everyone goes out to lunch, the over-reactor will make a big deal about his or her plain rice entrée and a cup of tea–because, you know, somehow the G.I. system has been incorporated into his or her insane medley of symptoms.
Some people get a cough and for 48 hours, they get to sound like an Emma Stone/Scarlett Johansson hybrid. Not the biohazard. The biohazard sounds like what Roz from “Monsters, Inc.” would sound like if she chain smoked behind a Walmart for the past 50 years. The biohazard is so named because he or she is a threat to the public’s safety and is a self-aware version of the board game Pandemic. This person should be in quarantine at the CDC, but instead, the biohazard is at work, coughing up a lung and oozing his or her primordial viral bacteria super disease onto all surfaces. The biohazard’s cubicle should have a respiratory precaution warning and everyone in the office should be in HAZMAT suits. Any surface the biohazard touches should be incinerated, lest the office contract this TB/pneumonia/Ebola/plague contagion, “Walking Dead” type of illness.
The Ron Swanson
This figurative office virus is appropriately named, because much like Ron Swanson, this person will refuse to acknowledge that any illness is serious. He or she will camp out at his or her desk and claim that they can sweat out pneumonia or that food poisoning can easily be managed with half a Gatorade. The Ron Swanson, in an attempt to act like nothing is wrong, will still partake in all office activities. When someone walks by with doughnuts, the Ron Swanson will happily take one and then spend the next half hour gagging it down as he or she lies on the tile bathroom floor in the fetal position. Despite the fact that the Ron Swanson is feverish to the point of hallucination, he or she will insist on continuing on with presentations and client calls.
This person is completely asymptomatic, which makes sense, because there is literally nothing wrong with him or her physically. Don’t tell the hypochondriac that. Sure, this person’s eyes may be fatigued from staring at a computer screen and his or her neck may hurt from hunching over a desk all morning, but that logical reasoning is nothing in the face of suspected meningitis. And that leg cramp after his or her morning run? A blood clot. And that sore throat? Just teetering on the verge of anaphylaxis. Everyone is confident that the hypochondriac gets paid to scour WebMD and scare the ever-loving health out of his or her coworkers.
This person is just insanely hungover. The best you can do for this person is secure his or her rolling desk chair on lock mode and hit him or her with the “Hunger Games” three finger solidarity salute if you happen to make eye contact. Godspeed.