People With That Brain-Eating Virus Should Really Just Take A Sick DayCommentary • workplace • Opinion • health • ISSUE 44•33 • Aug 13, 2008 By Rachel Langly I know we live in a career-oriented society, but if you ask me, people's priorities in the workplace are all out of whack. Sure, everyone wants to shine, to be that "go-to" gal or guy, but sometimes it goes too far. In my opinion, when you come down with something, be it the common cold, the flu, or that brain-eating virus that's been going around, you should just take a sick day. It's a simple matter of courtesy to those around you.No one is so "indispensable" that they can't take a day off without everything going off the rails. I know I'd rather do a little extra filing than have to watch someone's brain get slowly devoured by a deadly parasitic organism in the middle of a meeting, for Pete's sake.Coming into the office with anything more than the sniffles is just unprofessional. If you know you've contracted an airborne pathogen that attacks the cerebellum like millions of tiny, insatiable sharks, why not do us all a favor and keep your contagious self home in bed? In this Information Age, most work can be done from home anyway. It's just as easy to get an e-mail saying "My head! Kill me! Please, someone kill me!" than to hear Julie Weingarten scream it at the top of her lungs from the next cubicle.Remember the time Keith caught that weird stomach virus from his son, and within two weeks everyone in the office had come down with it? Well, I was sick for two days, and all I thought was, "Keith, why did you even come in today?" The office would be a lot more productive if there were fewer government agents in hazmat suits traipsing in and out to drag people off to containment facilities, I tell you.And when you consider the fact that this brain-eating virus carves out tunnels in your frontal lobes, makes your eyeballs bleed, and swells your glands up to eight times their normal size before it chews away the last vestige of your conscious self, it should be pretty obvious to anyone that you have something serious enough to call in sick for. If you don't stay at home and get better, you just take up valuable time, the whole system gets backed up, and then Harvey's breathing down everyone's neck about falling behind. God, I miss Harvey. Plus, according to the emergency warning announcements blaring out of every loudspeaker in the city, being out of doors at all is dangerous. Yet these same people—who can barely even get from room to room without walking into a wall 10 or 15 times—have the nerve to get behind the wheel and commute to work! What if they hit a kid?And those annoying exploding pustules that shoot green mucus across the room—yuck! Jerry was in the kitchen with me when those sores decided to go off, and one landed right in my salad! I had to throw it out! I'm still a little peeved at him, even after he drowned himself in a mop bucket to stop the pain.It's just more work for the rest of us when we have to drag your diseased corpses into the parking lot and incinerate them with flamethrowers. To say nothing of the fact that those sores are filled with an acid that burns through anything in its path. I shouldn't have to worry about getting dissolved alive on top of everything else I do around here!Nobody likes it when a security breach at a top-secret laboratory leads to the slow and painful death of everyone you know and love, but that's what sick days are for.I swear, if our manager, Ted, hadn't been found under his desk half-dissolved in a pile of flesh and cartilage, I would have filed a formal complaint. Now I have to wait until corporate sends us a new manager, but knowing this company, that could be weeks. Maybe longer if the government collapses and the country is plunged into anarchy like those terror-struck young men in the National Guard truck were yelling about.Honestly, the company's time-off policy is at least partially to blame. With the holidays coming up, and only five sick days per year, it's no surprise people are hesitant to take them just because some nightmarish doomsday scenario is rapidly annihilating what remains of Western civilization. So if this whole "brain-virus epidemic" thing has any upside, it will be that this company, and many others across the nation, will take a long, hard look at their sick-leave policies. Well, that's unlikely, but there's always hope!