Oh Lord Baby Jesus

So last week, I came into work and Lady J was coughing up a storm. I immediately put myself on alert because every year some pinhead comes to work with the flu and gets me sick by coughing all over me or the printer or something. So I made a note to keep my distance.

Later on, LJ hacked up a bunch of phlegm and then axed me if I heard her do so. As in:

LJ: ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK!

(pause)

LJ: Todd! Todd! You hear me coughing?

(pause)

TA: Of course.

Obviously if I heard her question, I heard her coughing. But calling to me was just her way of luring me into a “conversation” (her talking, me nodding) where she described how she’d gone to bed feeling fine and awakened with a phlegm-y cough. I told her to stay back and not get me sick and I related how people (I refrained from saying “pinheads”) always come to work sick and invariably get me sick. She said, “I’m not gonna get you sick.”

About 5 minutes later, she felt the need to whisper urgently about something so she walked into my cubicle while I was filing papers and facing the other direction and, not 6 inches away from my face, started talking to me. I was backed into a corner and frantically jerked my head back from side to side to avoid breathing her air. I couldn’t tell her to “step off” because I’d have to open my mouth or breathe to do that. Plus, it would just give her another topic on which to discourse. Eventually, she sank away and I breathed again.

Then 5 minutes after that, another co-worker approached LJ’s desk to ask a question (Or as LJ says, a “querstion”). This woman, like me, is notably concerned about workplace germs. When LJ began hacking, the woman backed away from the desk and told LJ not to get her sick. LJ repeated what she’d said to me. So I piped up, “Don’t listen to her! Just just got up in my face and breathed all over me!” To which LJ responded that she did not. To which I responded that she did so.

Anyway, I tell you that to tell you this: Today, nearly a week later, she’s still coughing and hacking. (I don’t think the “smoke breaks” are helping.) Just moments ago, in order to have a conversation with someone who sits catty-corner to me without leaving her seat, LJ rolled her desk chair into the entry to my cube. So she could face her own desk and the woman to whom she was speaking all while conveniently trapping me in and barking out snot.