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Career Services Informer

…brought to you by SFU Career Services

No One Wants Your Germs

You can hear the person in the next cubicle coughing.  The student next to you in lecture hall goes through a box of tissue in one class.  You see people in masks casually walking around going on with their business as if that will stop their germs from getting to you….or worse, you ARE one of these people.

With the H1N1 “Pandemic” and the normal flu season coming hard on us, we are all faced with the task of trying to stay healthy.  Hand sanitizers are on every wall and office desk, hand washing is now an hourly ritual and some are embarrassing the elbow-nudge in exchange for other physical contact.  But what happens when you actually get sick?

For many, it is life as usual.  They come to work or school when they should be at home resting and keeping germs to themselves.  But why?  Perhaps we all feel an obligation to go to class (in case we miss something that could be on the final) or that we come to work because only we can complete the task we’ve committed to.  NEWS FLASH – the world keeps on going even if you take a day off.

Sick Days are designed to not penalize those who are responsible to stay home; we have them for a reason.  Professors are surprisingly accommodating for those who miss class for legitimate reasons (being sick is certainly on that list); and the guy in the next cubicle can handle the daily tasks at work, if nothing else, they will wait for you until you’re better.

The idea that being sick is a “let down” to the team is severely misplaced and not true.  Trust me, the people around you will despise you more if you make them sick then if you give them more work.


And it goes beyond just work and school.  Recently a student showed up to an interview, sick as a dog, wearing a mask and his business suit, but could see his fever sweat soaking through.  Props for him for showing up at all, but it wasn’t the most professional of actions.  Afterwards, the employer disinfected everything the student touched from the chair to the pen to the table top, using half a bottle of sanitizer in doing so.  Still feeling uncomfortable, he actually switched interview locations for the next ones.

Fact is, no one really wants to be around you if your sick (except maybe your Mom, but that’s a special case).  If you have a job interview, or a hot date (either one could be equally important in your life), you do have other options.  You can call the employer (or significant other) to reschedule.  Again, being sick is a completely legitimate reason for doing so.  Or you can ask to have a phone interview instead.  You’d be surprised at how accommodating employers can be.  It shows you’re responsible and thoughtful of others, while still being committed to the job you’re applying for.  In the case of the hot date, if they’re really someone worthwhile, they’ll be happy to wait until you’re health again too.

Moral of the story – You have other options, so Stay Home!!  Get better and then get back to business, no one will hold it against you because no one wants your germs.

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