No SmokingLast week I was prolific in my writing & this week, thanks to the cold hubby brought home from work, I have barely done any reading or writing at all.  As a matter of fact this cold has turned into pneumonia & now I feel crappy!  So because I don’t feel great – I’m going to borrow a phrase from Brain Rants & do a rant!

Remember a few years ago when everyone was on the “No Smoking” band wagon?  Everywhere you went you ran into a sign saying you couldn’t smoke here & you couldn’t smoke there.  I used to smoke back then & it was really annoying to stand out in the middle of a blizzard trying to have a cigarette.  You couldn’t even take shelter near the doorway because a non-smoker might have to walk through your smoke to get into the building!  Or your smoke might drift into the building!  Why?  Because it affects the health of non-smokers!

I remember when all the Non Smoking by-laws were coming into effect, the Public Health Officer for the district came to our little town in NW Ont. to talk about his PLAN.  Like I said I was a smoker at the time & one aspect of his plan was to make it illegal for me to smoke in my own home if I employed a non-smoking cleaning lady who only came in once a week.

Even before I quit smoking I had a lot of respect for people who didn’t smoke.  If they had managed to quit, then I was even more proud of them because it’s an extremely difficult habit to kick!  I didn’t smoke in close proximity of non-smokers, I would try to stand down wind of non-smokers, I wouldn’t smoke in my car if I was transporting a non-smoker, I would go outside to smoke at my own home if I was entertaining a non-smoker.

Now I’m asking for people to take up their banners again & protest against employees coming to work while sick!

Sick boyWe’ve all been there, sitting next to a fellow employee who shows up to work with a cold – hacking & sneezing all over the place, using the communal photocopier & spreading their germs everywhere.  When you ask why they didn’t stay home, they say they didn’t want to lose pay over a simple cold.  So instead they spread their germs to you, you get sick & then you’re too sick to come to work.

What about the rights of your fellow workers?  We have the right not to get sick   Just like a non-smoker, we have a right to clean, germ-free air!  We have the right to earn a living in a safe environment, just like a non-smoker.  And it might not even be your fellow worker who gets sick, they may take your germs home to their children or spouses.  What if their spouse or child is breathing-compromised (asthma, etc.)?  Because of your callous disregard for your fellow workers & their families, someone else may get sick.

We need to stop this now!  What if the predictions of a huge pandemic come true?  There will be a lot of people sick who don’t need to get sick because of the practices we have in place now.  No one takes responsibility to ensure employees have clean, germ-free air.  Employers should take a stand & send their sick employees home if they show up for work. Fellow employees should take responsibility for their health & the health of others.  These policies should be in place long before any pandemic comes about.

Now I’ve had my rant!  And hopefully I haven’t convinced any of you I am a crackpot!  I’m just tired of getting sick from other people’s thoughtlessness!