Every morning I like to tune into our local “Preston & Steve” morning show to catch some interesting topics of conversation. They keep me very entertained during my hour long commute. Last week, I just so happened to join right as they began to list out the top 5 most dangerous fields to work in. And while I agree that working in a state-run nursing facility or the air transportation industry can certainly present some unique dangers, I’d like to point out that working in an office environment can be pretty dangerous, too. Yes, I’m serious! Okay, no, I’m really not, but let’s continue in fun with the top 4 reasons anyway.
- GERMS. And a lot of them! We’ve all seen the scenario before. Someone who just can’t “take a day” drags themselves into the office whilst being ravaged by a ruthless (and highly contagious, of course) stomach bug. Before you know it, half of the workforce is missing, and it’s not because of summer flex time. Or better yet, imagine the Petri dish that the office becomes after the ever-popular “Bring Your Child to Work Day”. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a fun day filled with your co-worker’s “mini-me’s”, and could almost be considered a free day since no one gets their work done. But let’s be honest – kids can be GROSS. Multiply that grossness by 20 or more and then distribute it all over your office. Yep… pull out the Lysol, or better yet, just call in a Hazmat team.
- THE NON-HAND-WASHERS. Yes, even into today’s society filled with (primarily) mature adults who understand and fear the spreading of germs as previously mentioned, there are still those that do not wash their hands after visiting the facilities. Admit it, you keep your eyes peeled for these people, just like I do. And I don’t care what anyone says, we are all guilty of memorizing who wears which shoes so we can identify the offenders and know whose dish to avoid at the next potluck. All I can say is BIOHAZARD.
- COMMUNITY FOOD. If you work for a generous employer, you probably have a kitchen stocked with goodies from your local Costco or BJ’s. And as wonderful as that can be, it can lead to unsavory behavior. Imagine if you will (and yes, I have witnessed this happen): You saunter into the kitchen looking for your 3 PM chocolate fix. Out of the corner of your eye, you spy a fellow employee reaching into the giant “family sized” Ruffles bag for a handful of chips. After the handful has been devoured, it’s then followed by a less-than-subtle finger lick. It’s cool – a lot of people do it… AT HOME! Then to your shock and disgust, you watch as they put their freshly saliva-coated fingers back into the bag! If I were allowed to use emoticons to help express the feeling that ensues, it would look like this: :-X. It’s the “I’m about to hurl” face, in case it’s unclear.
- THE EMPLOYEE FRIDGE. Another hazard! Anyone who’s been employed someplace with a communal fridge can relate. You can smell the danger even BEFORE you open the door. And once the door is open? Suddenly you feel as though you’re at Café Fear Factor, being presented with a smoothie made of pureed stink bugs. Bleh. I have never seen more mold in my life than I have in the employee fridge. Come on folks, your mom doesn’t work here. Throw your stuff out!
So clearly, office life isn’t for the faint at heart either. Beside the dangers above, that can truly make you ill, there’s still many other challenges to be faced. Over-powering colognes or perfumes, less than pleasant breath, etc. The list goes on and on.
So if you think those in an office environment are sitting pretty in a cozy cocoon of safety, think again!