too many words by laura lemay

companies == seething germ pits

One of the unfortunate side effects of joining a new company is being exposed to new diseases for which one has no immunity whatsoever. One would think that since the valley is a small place and we all know each other that any flus, colds, bacterial infections, hantavirus, toxoplasmosis, etc, etc, would pass rapidly through the entire population and we would all reach some eventual pathogen equilibrium. But no.

I’ve found that companies are pretty much germ pool islands. Once a particular disease hits a company, of course, that company is doomed thanks to the modern miracle of recirculating air and that fact that none of us ever go outside. But diseases tend to stay mostly localized within a company, minus the few cross-company disease vectors involving dual-income couples or preschool children.

Unfortunately for those of us that move around a lot between companies that means near-constant exposure to new diseases. Which brings me to my point: I’ve been sick all damn week. Normally I’m pretty good at fighting off this stuff; I’m healthy, I eat my vegetables, I take my vitamins. But I’ve been lazy as heck over the last few months, eating bad food and not going to the gym and here’s the result. Sick all damn week.

I’m in the tail end of it now, which explains how I have the energy to be so annoyed. It’s just a cold. Its not even a really really bad kind of cold where I can just take a shot or two of Hateful Nyqil and just sleep through the whole thing. Its just enough of a cold to make me miserable, to keep me home from work for a few days and bore me out of my mind. Hate. Colds. Bah.

The worst part of this cold was a weird inner ear thing that messed up my balance. As long as I stayed horizontal I was fine. If I sat up or tried to think very hard things got woozy around the edges. If I stood up things got VERY woozy, I fell over, and threw up. So I stayed on the couch and remained brainless. I watched everything on the TiVo. I watched my NetFlix DVDs. I watched four consecutive episodes of “101 Best Celebrity Oops Moments” on E! (I am so ashamed). I provided a warm nesting spot for two extremely happy cats.

Bored senseless and able to sit up long enough to drive, I went back to work yesterday and spent the day staring blearily at the computer trying not to throw up. But I figure its my responsibility to go contribute my germs to the pool.

Besides, everyone else in my group already had the darn cold.