Presidential promise breaking can make you sick
As Vector Man, you might say that I’ve made being a vector a meme on on my blog. It’s a topic I mention more often than, say, drinking Starbucks coffee (maybe once a year), so I certainly feel that makes the subject blog-worthy.
Here’s a quick refresher for the newbies:
an organism (as an insect) that transmits a pathogen
It is Vector Man’s solemn duty to work when ill to increase the odds of passing along illness to other humans. It’s a thankless job but someone has to do it. And Vector Man takes his superpowered duties very seriously. Sure, I don’t have a catchphrase yet, like Dr. Horrible. (I’ve got a PhD in horribleness.) But I’m hopefully my application to the Evil League of Evil will still be accepted.
How about, “Always keep your flu open!” Or maybe, “Be loyal, true and stay on the right pathogen!”
Meh. I’ll keep at it.
Of course, every superhero has his weakness. For Superman it is kryptonite. For Seattle-based Phoenix Jones it is reality. And, sadly, for Vector Man, it is a mythical entity known only as The Paid Sick Day.
Once, a presidential candidate known as Barack Obama promised to create more of these sick days and do away with Vector Man once and for all! Luckily he failed.
Here’s the history of how Vector Man survived:
In the time when Obama campaigned to become president, he made a promise:
Require that employers provide seven paid sick days per year – which may be taken on an hourly basis – so that Americans with disabilities can take the time off they need without fear of losing their jobs or a paycheck.
Source: “Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s Plan to Empower Americans with Disabilities.”
Strangely enough, no federal standard for this sort of thing yet exists. I’ve got an idea! Let’s leave it up to small business owners and see how often it actually happens. I’m giving four-to-one odds. Any gamblers out there?
According to the website PolitiFact, however, that promise is now listed as “broken.” Obama had specifically proposed that employers would be required to provide their workers with seven paid sick days annually.
A proposed bill called the Healthy Families Act contained the specifics. The idea was that employees would earn one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. For an employee with a 40-hour work week, that would be seven days of sick time for every 1,680 hours worked (capped on a yearly basis). The general idea was that workers could use this time when ill (as the CDC seems to think is a good idea), care for a dependent, or recover if they are a victim of domestic violence.
In the run-up to the 2010 midterm election the GOP promised to review any laws that impose additional costs to employers. The seven paid sicks days guaranteed by the Healthy Families Act fits into that category.
Having to pay workers for seven additional days would result in a rise in cost to employers. Such an extra cost could lead to companies hiring fewer additional workers, and Republicans have said they want to reduce government regulation on employers, not add to them. Given these political realities, we rate Obama’s promise as Broken.
I don’t image there are any “costs” associated with spreading illness and disease as far and wide as possible, eh?
Of course, as usual, government regulation merely represents the bare minimum that employers must do. For example, without something like the Healthy Families Act, they could still implement a plan like this, but, mwuhahahahaha! Why the fuck would they ever do that? That would cost them money, you know, the money they deny the employees who actually did the work. Remember what Vector Man likes to say, “Never share anything you can keep yourself – unless it is a virus, of course!”
Hell, the plan wouldn’t even have applied to business with 15 or less employees. They always include an escape clause, don’t they?
So heed the words of Vector Man and promise to do your part: I will work when ill! And I’ll touch as many things as possible – phone, stapler, doorknobs – and I’ll cough and sneeze without covering my mouth. If anyone asks why, tell them, “I’m helping Vector Man save the day!”
Your hard-working nation will thank you for it! And that’s nothing to sneeze at!
That’s sick, man
The message is clear. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) want you to “Stay Home!” when you’re not feeling well. They want you to call in sick.
Too bad, so sad!!!
I don’t want to overstate this, but I am literally a modern day super hero. I am Vector Man. My special powers activate the moment I start feeling ill.
vector: an organism (as an insect) that transmits a pathogen
I know, calling me an insect is quite the over-compliment but I’ll take what I can get.
It’s been at least six years since I last called in sick. And probably a lot longer than that. Unfortunately that’s just about as far as my memory works. I do know this: I’ve been at my current job about 4 months and haven’t called in once. And my previous job was 5-1/2 years and I never called in sick, either. I’ve got quite the streak going.
The problem? Staying home to protect the health of other people costs me money. I haven’t had sick pay since 2001. I also haven’t had health insurance since then, either.
The CDC seems to have the opinion that if people stayed home when they got sick that would be beneficial to society as a whole. Or some such shit like that. Whatever. I don’t live in that world.
Interestingly, if a cell is infected with two different flu viruses (such as H1N1 and H2N2) then the virus genetic material can be rearranged in the cell so that the released viruses include mixes like H1N2 and H2N1 surface molecules.
Source: Flu Terminology 101
This is what I call the double-whammy reverse incentive. I can’t afford to call in sick and I can’t afford to see a doctor. So I just work through it. Germ powers activate!
Saturday, out of the blue, my snotbubbles kicked on. Think of my snotbubbles as similar to Spider Man’s “spidey sense.” So I knew that Vector Man’s super powers were about to power up. That night a cold and/or flu thing came down on me like a ton of bricks. That was one hellacious night and when I woke up my body was feeling like it had tumbled all the way down Mount Everest. Every part of me was sore!
Sunday night was more of the same. When I woke up I was dead man walking. My wife told me to stay home from work. “Ha!” I scoffed in her face. “Vector Man has never failed to perform when needed.” So I dragged my sorry ass in to work and, for once, was successful at keeping my damn trap shut. (Which is, by the way, my #1 goal every time I go to work.) It was a busy weekend and I had a lot of ecommerce orders to ship. I worked half a day, got all my orders out, then asked to go home where I tried and failed to take a nap.
The thing is, and I learned this recently when on jury duty, when I’m not in the office no one does my job! Literally. When I came back to work every single order that had come in for three days was sitting there waiting for me. That really cracks me up! Think the customer is important? Think again!
It works like this: When the boss is there and you are there, the boss will ride your ass hard to make sure those orders go out. It doesn’t matter if they came in at 3pm. They will be going out today. Period. Even if you have to make a special trip to the goddamned post office. But, if the boss is there and you are not, suddenly that shit flies right out the window. Suddenly it’s perfectly fine and dandy for those orders to sit. For days. The message is loud and clear: Fuck the customer if anyone other than Vector Man has to get off their ass and do some actual work.
So yeah, today I will be hauling my ass into work one more time. Even though last night more than lived up to all of my wildest expectations. I’ll be working because no matter how sick I get, Vector Man has a responsibility to his fellow man.
Vector Man action figure includes Snotbubble (TM) fluid kit, Triple-Sneeze action (TM), Projectile Vomit Pack (TM) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome plug-in with motorized performance and temperature-sensitive paint. Odor Paks sold separately.
Thank God that Toy Biz v. United States determined that action figures are “toys” and not “dolls.” It wouldn’t be quite as macho to be a doll.
For more reading see Can’t call in sick scenarios.
Last minute Halloween costume ideas
I was going to do so much more with this post, but time runs short, so here it is, like it or not. This post may have been rushed to market but at least it was handcrafted in the USA!
Birther. Costume: Flag lapel pin. Accessories: Kenyan passport, seal embosser, AK-47, and a copy of Glenn Beck’s book “Arguing With Idiots.”
Prepper. Costume: Radioactive protection suit. Accessories: AK-47, canned foods, portable radio.
Truther. Costume: Flap lapel pin. Accessories: Tin foil hat, AK-47.
Swine Flu Virus. A costume based on a disease can be tricky to pull off. Creativity is a must. If you figure it out, let me know. Perhaps it looks a lot like the Mucinex cartoons on TV?
Energy Industry Lobbyist. (Heidi DeJong Barsuglia pictured.) You have to admit that the traditional costume for whore or prostitute is old and busted. But a costume based on someone who looks like this and who is employed as a lobbyist by the energy industry to sleep with politicians, well, that brings renewed hotness to the genre and makes this a trend-setting costume for young girls everywhere to crave. Barsuglia is one of the two lobbyists that California Assemblyman Mike Duvall claimed to be porking, his bragging about which was caught on tape.)
Katherine Harris. Accessories: Make up is a must. Lots of it. And hairspray. For bonus points: Knee pads and a hammer and chisel. Warning: This costume is intended for advanced users only due to the extreme fright factor. You have been warned. Mwuhahaha!
Hey Kiddies! Here are some extra last minute quickies. Remember, have fun and be creative!
Terrorist : Somali Pirate : Teabagger : MLB Player on Steroids : Political Talk Show Host : Rapper : Balloon Boy : Jon Gosslin : Zombie Michael Jackson : Jon Gosselin: Flava Flav
Can’t call in sick scenarios
vector: an organism (as an insect) that transmits a pathogen
My boss is what you might call a bit of a germ freak. He’s continually afraid of catching a cold, the flu or some other contagious illness, so he has anti-bacterial wipes to clean surfaces he comes into contact with and he washes his hands after using our workstations.
He even went so far as to hold a staff a meeting with all of us about the importance of certain things, like sneezing into our elbows and not touching our noses and eyes. He also wants us to call in sick if we think we might be coming down with something contagious. Based on the image at the top-left of this post, the CDC seems to agree.
Aye, there’s the rub.