One of the benefits of having a part-time job on campus is that I also have an office on campus (it’s really a former storage room, but I’ve made it purty with pictures by Kandinsky–ok, who am I kidding? It still resembles a storage unit). Unfortunately, my office/storage room is located right next to the men’s restroom (note: in my building there is a men’s room on every floor but the first. The women’s rooms are only located in the basement and on the second floor. I can’t help but wonder if the architect somehow believed that men need to go to the bathroom more often and can’t be trusted to walk as far to do so. Of course, there’s the obvious sexist explanation as well–that the only place a woman would need to be in a science building is in the front office as a secretary–which happens to be conveniently located right across from the restroom on the second floor.) Anyhoo, as I was saying, this location is not normally a problem, but today, a student walked into the bathroom coughing so loudly that I could hear it over the persistent melody of the air vent in my office. And, you know, coughing isn’t usually a problem either, but this was the kind of coughing where you could swear that he must have lost a lung, phlegm was involved, I was eating my lunch, and just listening to it made me feel like gagging (of course, I have this problem that I like to call “sympathetic hyperventilation/vomiting.” When my husband gets an asthma attack–which rarely happens–I end up hyperventilating. I can’t handle watching people trapped in confined spaces on t.v. for a similar reason. And if someone has the flu or throws up for other reasons, I end up feeling like I might add to the fun myself).
So please, if you are really that ill, stay home. In the first place, selfish person that I am, I do not want you spreading germs all over me and getting me sick (because I just don’t have the time for that right now). Additionally, selfish person that I am, I don’t want to find your lung on the floor of the hallway–because that’s just icky.