Theresa Longo wouldn’t exactly say that she enjoys having the flu so much as she appreciates what the flu does for her.
She hasn’t always felt this way. of course. There was a time when the aches, the chills, the fever and the vomiting she experiences when she’s sick with it makes her keep one eye open for the Grim Reaper. A few years ago, though, the last time she had it, she started to see being under the weather in a whole new light. Maybe it was the temperature she was running that brought about her change of heart, or the severe dehydration. Then again, it may very well have been the compliments she received on that first day she was ill.
“Good lord, Theresa, you look like hell. What are you doing here?” a coworker said to her that morning.
“There’s too much stuff I need to get done,” she croaked through sniffles.
“What a trooper. You are way too dedicated, my friend.”
I am dedicated, she thought. That’s the sign of a good employee!
Some might argue that last point, as a good employee should know better than to go to work and spread her germs. However, if spreading those germs meant taking out the jerk who always takes forever to run off reports he should be able to get to people within five minutes, then maybe Theresa had been the Workplace Hero of the Day.
“You look like you could use a bowl of soup. I’ll go and get you some if you like. My treat,” offered another coworker.
Free soup? Awesome!
“Could you? You’re the best,” she said, her voice sounding even more faint than before.
“No, you’re the best for sticking it out.”
After eating her soup, Theresa then made a quick trip to the washroom and threw it up. While she was at the sink splashing her face with water, she looked at her reflection in the mirror.
“Ew! I do look horrible!” she said. “And for the first time in my life, I don’t care.”
The way Theresa figured, you can totally get away with looking like a mess when you have the flu. Hair that falls this way and that, frumpy loose fitting fleeced-line clothes, flaky skin underneath the nose brought on by blowing into cheap facial tissues…that’s pretty much the same thing as having serious street cred in her books. But the best thing anyone said to her when she was last ill?
“Have you lost weight?”
The lack of appetite and the need to throw up anything that you do eat can’t help but to make the number on the scale go down.
Theresa’s long overdue for another self-esteem boost, that’s why she was delighted to wake up this morning feeling as though she might be coming down with something. With any luck, it will be one of those nasty strains the people who try to push flu shots on you never even knew existed. Good luck with that, girlfriend!