I hope nobody from work finds my blog.

Swine flu first became a reality in this country in April. The management on campus has been scrambling to put together a plan since August, maybe even having meetings to set up meetings as early as July. Students first re-appeared on campus in mid-August, and just this week ResLife (Residential Life administrators) moved some students out of their dorm rooms so there would be a single wing where the sick students could be isolated.

Across the hall from the dorm’s kitchen.

The College is telling everyone who thinks there is the slightest possibility of having H1N1 to stay home. (The list of possible symptoms is staggering.) They are telling staff that this time will not be deducted from their sick pay, and that they are to stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever subsides.

I work for a contractor. The owner of the company (and oh, we are so not going there) has no policy in place for what will happen to his workers. We do not accrue sick pay. We do accrue Paid Time Off. I have a whopping 13 hours banked. We get a total of one week a year, if we’re good little boys and girls. (Like I said, I am so not going there.)

So. Everybody is told to stay home if they get sick. But we don’t know how we’ll make ends meet if we do stay home.

People with chronic illnesses who are likely to be severely affected by this are being told to talk to their doctors and if need be, stay home. Will we get unemployment? No one knows. Oh, and two of us janitors have insurance. State poor people’s programs for both of us. The rest don’t.

We don’t know who will be expected to clean this dorm wing. We aren’t trained, and we don’t have anything resembling facilities in place to deal with it. Like I’ve started saying loudly, this is way above my pay grade. (Of course I’ve also started muttering “union,” but not in front of management.)

Like I said previously, one of the reasons I moved up here was to get into public housing, where rent is based on income, so I’ve got something of a safety net underneath me. Four of the other nine have spouses, which might help them. Maybe (like Admin keeps hoping out loud) we are isolated enough that there won’t be a major outbreak here.

I’m just waiting.

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