I might live to eat my own words, or not, such as the case may be, but I just have to get off my chest that I am officially over the hysteria about the porcine flu (known as "la grippe A" over here).
Not only does every single magazine, free daily and "reputable" newspaper have a headline screaming about how we should all be prepared to drop dead any minute, but now my company has gotten itself all in a dither.
They didn't need to put up signs in all the bathrooms kindly explaining the correct way to wash your hands because those signs are leftover from three years ago from the AVIAN FLU OHMYGOD DON'T TOUCH THE PIGEONS WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!
So they have that covered.
They did make the poor janatorial staff wipe off all our doorhandles, keyboards and telephones with alcohol. Once. In the middle of August. When no one was here but me and other assorted weirdos. And they didn't come near the all-important, touched-every-second-of-the-live-long-day MOUSE.
So, um, ineffectual, but cute.
The security staff handed each and every one of us, as we came in through the revolving doors the other day, a handy-dandy pamphlet entitled : BIG COMPANY YOU WORK FOR AND THE FLU PANDEMIC : YOUR HEALTH IS OUR PRIORITY.
It explained that a "Crisis Unit" had been created (oh, thank heavens!) and reassured us that in case of need, there was a large stock of face masks and Purell (they didn't actually say "Purell" but I can't think of any other way of saying it other than 'alcohol gel solution' which is not what you say, I am sure) and that the "Crisis Unit" would not hesitate to put this germ-fighting material at our disposal in case of need.
It was our intern's last day. I suggested he might want to extend his internship in order to protect himself from the deadly virus. He politely declined.
There is a special section on viruses on our intranet site. I periodically click on it to feel like I am in safe hands. HANDS THAT HAVE NOT ACTUALLY TOUCHED MINE AND THAT HAVE BEEN REPEATEDLY AND RITUALISTICALLY WASHED WITH A SOLUTION SIMILAR TO PURELL.
They've even gone so far as to suggest that we no longer greet each other with the traditional "bise."
But now, today, they have sent out a company-wide email that on Monday morning, the poor security personnel will greet us with "Safety Kits" as we walk through the revolving doors. These reassuring "Safety Sits" will each contain :
- a mask
- a bottle of solution similar to Purell
- an instruction manual
But do you know what the best part is?
This "Safety Kit", we are told, is, and I kid you not, FOR PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY and to be used ONLY WHEN INSTRUCTED TO DO SO BY HR.
Jesus fucking christ on a cracker.
It makes me want to lick the pole in the middle of the metro car at rush hour.