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Author Topic: Now She Thinks I'm A Leper  (Read 15491 times)

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Re: Now She Thinks I'm A Leper
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2012, 06:46:33 AM »
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 don't kill threads, but I do seem to stun 'em pretty good. :-)


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Re: Now She Thinks I'm A Leper
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2012, 09:31:47 AM »
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.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

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Re: Now She Thinks I'm A Leper
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2012, 06:37:18 PM »
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.


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Re: Now She Thinks I'm A Leper
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2012, 11:37:18 PM »
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.


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Re: Now She Thinks I'm A Leper
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2012, 03:04:44 PM »
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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Re: Now She Thinks I'm A Leper
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2013, 07:16:43 PM »
Turning your monitor to face away isn't a bad idea.

My guess is that she's worried that you are sick. I think most people try to avoid getting ill, and that means avoiding folks who have symptoms. It's great that you use the hand sanitizer and make an effort to move away from the shared space when you need to blow, but as you know, coughing elsewhere doesn't necessarily mean that a person isn't distributing germs. If she thinks you're sick, moving away to blow is only going to make her relax somewhat. I suggest appealing to authority in this case. Let her know that your doctor has assured you that you are not contagious. If you can give more information (say for example, "My doctor said that I was probably contagious for the first day or so but that I've been 'clean' since Sunday at the latest"). That's probably the most you can do to get her to stop worrying about getting sick.

It could also be that she's annoyed at your noises. (Understandable.) There isn't much to be done about the sniffling and sneezing, but if it's happening a lot (more than a couple of times an hour), I think you should try to manage your symptoms a bit. If the dry office air bugs your sinuses, maybe keep a cup of hot tea nearby so the steam is soothing. If you have a tickly throat, maybe slippery elm lozenges or tea would help. Maybe your doctor has a suggestion. If it's very sporadic (once or twice an hour), I think your current course of action is fine. Maybe get some earbuds or headphones so you can block out her comments.

This.  Unless you have been to the doctor for this specific outbreak and had cultures done, you don't know for certain that you are not contagious. 
It's not what we gather along the way that matters.  It's what we scatter.


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Re: Now She Thinks I'm A Leper
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2013, 01:46:05 PM »
While she is being annoying, I would not call this harrassment and perhaps you could try a little harder to alleviate her (annoying concerns). If this is a sinus infection, is it not contagious? If you aren't ill, I suggest you keep repeating that "I am not ill or or contagious. I have winter allergies but it's nothing I can pass on to anyone else and I don't feel bad so there is no reason for me to head home.

A bacterial sinus infection will not be contagious.  A bacterial infection is like falling down and scraping your knee and it ends up getting infected.  No one will catch your infected knee.  I get bacterial sinus infections without even getting colds because of the shape of my sinuses.  They're dreadful for me, but not a danger to anyone else.

A VIRAL sinus infection is contagious just like many other viruses.  Viral sinus infections can be part of many colds.  Colds are contagious.  But unless the sinus infection is viral (in which case most people just call it a cold), it is not congatious.


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Re: Now She Thinks I'm A Leper
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2013, 04:25:31 PM »
TBH, the conversation between OP and Annoying Coworker seems pretty typical.

She asks if you are okay and suggest you might be more comfortable at home. You say you are fine and not contagious.  Obviously she doesn't like being around sick people but so long as you aren't contagious and so long as you've been cleared by a doctor, you are fine to stay.  If you were contagious and were still at work, then you'd be rude. 

But I don't see either one of you as rude based on the conversation in your OP.