General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Now She Thinks I'm A Leper

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I too get paranoid when coworkers get sick, but I really don't mean anything by it, and if the person caught my eye, I'd stop looking. The monitor idea sounds like a good one.

I also sympathize, since every sinus problem I have eventually moves into my chest; I usually suffer the brunt of the illness in (mostly) silence and then give my coworkers reason to worry (coughing, losing my voice) when I'm actually on the mend.  :(

I remember the other thread. To me it sounds like she has trouble trusting other people or maybe just you for some reason. I think she is rude to keep harping on these things.

When I've run into people like this, I acknowledge that there are people who are bad about lotions/illness, I don't like it either, and that's why I'm careful not to do it myself. If I'm right and she doesn't trust your word, then you've communicated that you aren't like "that". And if that's not why she does it, then you've let her know how her nagging is coming off and maybe she'll think twice about saying something and sending that message yet again.

And yes move your monitor.

Mental Magpie:
Reposition your monitor, and if she continues, look at her very flatly and say, "Coworker, I have told you numerous times that I am not ill and that I have work to do.  My health is none of your concern at this point, and I am afraid if you continue to harass me about it, I will have to contact HR.  Thank you for respecting my personal space."  If she doesn't stop after that, then actually contact HR.

Being around sick people is a part of life. If it isn't a co-worker, it's a client, customer, the person next you on the bus, the train, the line-up at the sandwich counter, etc., and the best thing you can do to protect yourself is get enough sleep, eat healthy, wash your hands, and don't touch your face. Also, most of us don't have the luxury of staying home for every little sniffle (yeah, if you're suffering a fever and hacking up a lung, sure). This co-worker sounds incredibly annoying. "No, I said I was fine. Can we drop it please?" would not be out of line IMO.

I have been the sniffy sinus sufferer and I've also been the person who has suffered through the sniffly sufferings of those individuals who refuse to go home when their illness is distracting others.  I'm also the person who gets my sniffles/asthma set off by certain strong scents and pick up illnesses easily, so coworker could just be trying to stay healthy.  Or, she could just be incredibly irritated at the sounds of sniffles and hacking and things.  As a fellow chronic sniffler and wheezer, I am self conscious about this as it can start to grate on people's nerves.  It certainly grates on mine.  I think that annoyed/annoying coworker was actually kind to ask if there was anything she could help you with so you could leave the office.   I'm not sure if I imagined it or not, but I could swear  I read in one of these posts that your workplace has flex hours with the option to work at home.  On super sinus days, I'd take advantage of that option for the good of all.  By no means should this be an HR issue at this point.


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