When They’re Sick (and You’re Not)

Cold/Flu, Featured Article, Seasonal
on January 30, 2013
How to avoid getting the flu when people around you have it.
Andrew Roberts

You’re doing everything to keep from catching the flu (and hey, it’s not too late for a shot!). But how do you deal with folks who might be contagious? Anna Post (great-great-granddaughter of manners matriarch Emily Post) on coping—tastefully—with the following types:

  • The Obviously Sick Office Mate: Express concern to gently nudge your co-worker into taking a sick day, says Post. “Say, ‘Is there something I can help you out with so you have time to go to a doctor?’”
  • The Coughing Cashier: Switch to another check-out line if you can (confronting or reporting them is unlikely to do much good). Stuck with Hacking Harriet? Finish up as fast as you can and immediately wash and sanitize your hands.
  • The Fluish Flier: Assuming you can’t switch seats, be assertive, though still friendly, Post suggests. “Catch their eye and say, ‘Would you mind covering your mouth when you cough?’” Then apply hand sanitizer liberally.

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