Today, recovering from surgery, I purchased a device from a retail store. After taking my card and scanning it, the sales rep informed me he was recovering from a cold – presumably, rhinovirus. He then proceeded to wipe his nose several times, and touch my device as he completed the mandatory activation.
Mind you, this is after informing the person that I just had surgery.
I do not blame the employee. Though I had to bathe everything I touched with hand sanitizer as I exited the store, and now will have to don nitrile gloves and sanitize everything I purchased – leaving all the packaging aside for at least seven days (rhinovirus does indeed last on surfaces that long).
No, I blame the carrier. The carriers have a responsibility to people to do better.
More and more carriers are using commissions and sales goals as a firing/downsizing tactic. This is how they downsize – without reporting to the public that they are downsizing. After all, if a carrier fires you for missing performance goals – that certainly can’t be downsizing! I know for a fact the carrier store that I just went to, is doing the same tactic, right now.
People who are sick will come to work, if they fear their jobs. In doing so, they endanger the whole community. Viruses kill thousands every year, namely the very young and very old.
So I don’t blame the worker. Yes, he should have worn a mask and carried tissues. Common, simple things the CDC recommends for people who are working around those with a communicative disease.
If someone goes to a doctor and is confirmed to have a virus, a carrier is big enough, profitable enough, and using enough of the public’s licensed airwaves, to hold that employee harmless – at least until they are no longer contagious.
Do we have a way to pressure the carriers to do this? Maybe, I don’t know. I don’t think it’s for the FCC to do. But maybe it is for HHS. Large scale employers that are extremely profitable, harm the general public by pressuring contagious people to work. I’m not talking about small businesses – I’m talking about the retail chains with thousands of people per state.
Perhaps we need to impose an HHS mandate, but ideally, the carriers would do this because it’s just the right/decent/moral damn thing to do.