Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Doing Business in a Pandemic World

I have been told I am "old school" when it comes to my work ethic. I work too much, too long, too hard, and at all times. I just live to work, and I'm at my happiest when I'm productive and getting things done.

So what happens to someone like me who gets hit with the flu (non-H1N1)?

Normally I would take cough medicine, sleep from 6 pm to 7 am, go to work, and repeat until I was through it, spending every non-work moment resting so I wouldn't miss a single minute of the work day. Sometimes I'd even have the cough medicine hidden in a drawer and I'd down the stuff at my desk. My bosses praised my work ethic, and my clients thought I was invincible, while my co-workers would avoid my office, and if they had to walk by - they would often spray Lysol in my direction in a vain attempt to dilute the potency of my germs.

Why did I insist on functioning like this? While I pride myself on possessing a high level of common sense - going to work sick was far from sensible. And as of this year - no more.

I came down with something over the weekend - not sure what, just know it's not the super nasty H1N1 stuff. So I slept all day and most of the night Sunday, stayed in on Monday, slept some more, and ventured out of the house briefly last night, after making sure I was feeling pretty normal.

And the response from my business appointments this week has been very accommodating - they were happy to reschedule, stay home, see you next week, etc. etc.

In the wake of a pandemic world, business is changing. The pace is hectic but more accommodating. We'll opt to email, text, call, fax - just for Pete's sake do not come near me! Getting a deal done has never been so accommodating from a time/distance/technology standpoint. We'll do a virtual "shake on it" - no problem. Need to reschedule? No problem - even if it's your accountant!

So perhaps as Americans we will learn something from this pandemic - slow down, rest, take care of yourself, think of others by NOT going in to work or out in public. As a good friend and fellow workaholic said to me over the weekend "if you don't have your health, you really don't have anything."

I'm going back to bed now.


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