The programmer’s influenza conundrum

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The programmer’s influenza conundrum

There comes a time in all developers’ life when he gets taken down by life’s most annoying disease the flu. I’m actually going through this right now, and I noticed every time I come down with the runny nose I’m always faced with the same question.

Should I go to work?

If you’re working on a project were you have poured endless hours of blood sweat and tears you will usually be faced with this question at about day 3 when the worst is over and your starting to feel like the living again. This question is also usually posed within the morning when you just woke up and have had little time to assess your condition. So you have to make a snap decision…

I better get ready quickly if I’m going to work… I can breathe so I think I’m ok.

It’s usually at this point when the programmer makes the incorrect decision he has breakfast, packs his bag and heads of to work… let’s not forget some emergency tissues!

During your arduous commute at peak time in which getting a seat on the uber busy underground is as rare as a ‘do while loop’, you will notice your body getting tired and your nose getting blocked up. It’s at this point you will find you have to clear your nose and most likely infect the next 4 people who touched the same portion of hand rail your holding on to.

Once you do get in to work and sit at your desk and take 5 minutes to be relieved by the respite its then that all the symptoms you had yesterday come back like some underdog who just got powered up.  Since your now at work you begin to rationalise the situation...

I’m here now I might as well stay and get some work done.

You will then find that since you’re at work after a three day recovery period people have a lot of questions for you so they unleash a torrent of backlog upon you. Whilst taking regular breaks to clear your nasal passages you then find you have to do a little dev work on someone else’s machine. Condemning them to the same hell you went through in roughly 48 hours.. nice present.

Towards the end of the day after infecting some co-workers you will begin to realise that coming to work was a bad idea. Also having lost a day’s recovery your symptoms will last for another 2 days... nice.

After having rambled on for some time I think the moral of the story is just stay at home. I made this  mistake and I hope it’s going to be my last time.