By “it” I refer, of course, to the annual office germ exchange that leaves coworkers cowering in their cubes, vigorously clawing at their own hands with sanitizing alcohol scrubs and popping Vitamin C tablets like antidepressants at Christmas dinner. Half the office was sick yesterday. The other half today. I woke up with Brillo pads lodged in the back of my throat, but I dragged myself to work anyway because I’m a real trooper, a go-getter, a team player, or then again maybe I’m just a masochist. Attempting to be productive, I have been sitting at my desk for the past hour staring at Stumpy, my ceramic bulldog with the broken paws, silently praying for death.
We just finished a meeting, and by ‘meeting’ I mean that we all stood around clutching mugs of tea, bitching about our colds. My boss suggested we all start taking Airborne, and at that moment I realized that no situation was so bad that it couldn’t be made worse by having to bite your tongue so hard it bleeds all over your new sweater. I see the stuff at the grocery store as I’m waiting in line. “Airborne! Now in pink grapefruit flavor!” “Airborne! Scientifically proven to mumblemumblemumble!” Now it has invaded my workplace.
My coworkers immediately confirmed that Airborne was the greatest thing since drilling a hole in your skull to let the demons out. “You know you have to take it three times a day, right?” asked my boss. Everyone nodded. One girl claimed she had to force it down her fiance’s throat. Another said she was almost out and had to go pick up some more. I stood there quietly, wondering what to say. I could hear the snot rushing through my head like a waterfall — the white noise was soothing. Finally I spoke up:
“I hear it was developed by a teacher.” They all nodded happily. Screw it, I’m going home.