Just go home!

Gas maskA survey last week revealed that 1 in 3 office workers would prefer that a colleague stayed at home, rather than struggle in and infect everyone else with their germs.

Boy, do I bet the co-workers of the guy I saw this morning think exactly that?

As the buzzer sounded on my train, the usual couple of last-minute interlopers squeezed through the closing doors, crushing even more those of us who had just about managed to find a square centimetre of room for ourselves.

One of them was a tall blond chap with a beard, carrying his mac in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

The instant I saw him, I realised it was going to be an uncomfortable journey. He was sweating profusely, his hand was shaking, not quite uncontrollably, but enough to worry that I was in danger of minor burns from split coffee, and he immediately propped himself up against the door, looking as if he were ready to faint at any second.

As the journey continued (mercifully, I was on a fast train), he wiped his face three times to clear all the sweat, and looked as if he was about to be sick on several occasions.

All I could think, though, was why on earth are you even on the train?

He was clearly heading into work and his presumed dilemma made me realise how ridiculous it is that people who are obviously at death’s door still feel the need to punish themselves by hauling their bodies into the office, so they can undergo more stress, answer a few not-that-urgent emails and phone calls, and kid themselves into thinking they’re indispensable.

In Japan, people wear gas masks as a way of avoiding pollution. Perhaps, commuters in the UK could be given them to avoid the germs of those suffering with colds.

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