I was asked to assist someone yesterday who (we'll call him Patiently Zero'd) was having problems with using his company laptop from home. I checked it out and discovered the problem was that the applications he had on it were out of date with the system and wouldn't work remotely from the network. This meant that he needed to come in and connect directly with the network for me to get him working again. With that decided, I scheduled to have him come in really early the next day.
Not a half hour later, his manager came to my door, "You get that taken care of for Zero'd?"
"Unfortunately, no," I told him, "I can't fix it remotely, so he needs to come in."
"Are you Ok with that?"
"Ok with what?"
He got a very concerned look on his face, "He's been exposed to H1N1." (Like it was a type of report to fill out.)
I had to bite my tongue before I got myself fired for saying the following:
-"The Swine Flu? Are you out of your mind?"
-"Actually, I've gotten bored of life and figured, what the hell!"
-"That's the cool zombie virus, right?
-"You've to be f**kin' kiddin' me!"
I took it in stride and told him that I didn't think there was any issue, but I would take precautions.
"Ok, just make sure he doesn't go anywhere but his office," he said before leaving.
Today I was running late getting in, and I was hoping that I wouldn't be too late to meet with the leper... I mean, Patiently Zero'd, before anyone else saw him and made a fuss. I made it upstairs and ran from the elevator to my room, not noticing him walking out of his office.
"Ah, gah! I mean, good! You're here!" I said with complete surprise and not a bit of style.
"Hope I didn't scare you," he joked. I walked to my room with him following. "Just give me a minute," I said, "I just want to put my stuff down, and we'll get this done quickly." I looked at him and saw that he looked perfectly well; just the same as when I saw him last week. "You obviously aren't sick. Why are they making you the social pariah?"
"Well my girlfriend was exposed at work, so we got a checkup from the doctor," his smile shrunk two sizes as he said that, "Thankfully we both received a clean bill of health."
"That's good! But, why are you still working from home?"
He sighed and said, "Corporate policy." Those two words never go good with anything. Not even in the face of zombie apocalypse.
He explained that due to health department regulations they had to send a letter to his work informing that, "While he has not shown any signs of the Flu, he has had contact with someone who was." As per corporate overkill, this was something sent throughout the department and group, letting everyone know that he had been exposed and was persona non grata for the next week and a half.
I shook my head and promised to help with anything I could to help him out. I finished the updates on his laptop and asked him to email me if he had any problems. As I was walking out, he asked,"Why wasn't I worried about getting the Swine Flu?"
"My wife works as a nurse. And she tells me there are worse things out there that are more communicable, and tend to leave lasting damage if they don't kill you. I figure, what's a few aches, pains and high fever between friends in comparison?"
On that up note, I will take this time to say...