I have been off work for the past few days with a nasty tummy bug that began last Thursday with minor back ache and rapidly worked round to the front, with at times quite severe cramps and constipation. Having seen various doctors at both the local surgery and the nearest Casualty unit, the consensus seems to be that I have picked something up at work - it only takes one incident of forgetting to wash your hands, which when you are busy is very easy to do. From now on though I will be taking much more care. The worst of the cramps seems to be over, and all being well, I should be able to return to work on Tuesday.
As always though, there may be more to this than meets the eye. A few weeks ago, the Director of the home sent a memo round to all the housekeepers stating words to the effect that the standard of cleanliness had dropped, and that since this was the second time he had brought it to our attention, the message had obviously not got through. If things continued in this way, and a third memo was sent, he would take (and this is his exact words) "appropriate action". As a former Director of one of the UK's largest banks, and no doubt enconsed in a large house somewhere in the subburbs with the proceeds of his bonusses, he has very little idea of what it means to be an ordinary working person and is clearly lacking in social graces. As I pointed out to one of my colleagues, he certainly has a way with words.
To be honest though, after the way in which I and the other housekeepers worked, especially during the 10 weeks that my colleague was off sick with a slipped disc (I did at one point more than twice my normal hours), this felt like a kick in the guts - and what do I get ? Stomach cramps that prevent me from working ! Of course, as Coran also pointed out, there may be another second way of looking at this too -the standards of cleanliness in the home itself may not have dropped (not from where I am standing anyway), but the fact that I got this bug means that maybe my own standards with regard to personal cleanliness have. Most bugs of this nature cna be prevented by simple hand washing, which I have to admit I have been a bit lax with of late. From now on I will be making much more of an effort to wash my hands more regularly, especially after cleaning the toilets !