You come to work sick = You’re Gaëten Dugas

School has started, which means people are getting sick again. But remember, when you come to work sick you’re being a big jerk. You put other people at risk for whatever you’ve got. You’re a sociopath.

At the beginning of Stephen King’s The Stand 1 there’s a character who tries to save himself and his family from the Super Flu. Instead, he actually helps it spread, resulting in 99.5% of the world population dying and setting the stage for a battle between good and evil.

Ok, that’s fake. How about a real-life example?

Ever hear of Gaëtan Dugas?

Dugas was a flight attendant known for spreading HIV to his sexual partners. He was featured heavily in Randy Shilts’s And The Band Played On.

From the Wikipedia 2:

Dugas was described as being a charming, handsome sexual athlete, who, according to his own estimation, averaged hundreds of sex partners a year. He claimed to have had over 2,500 sexual partners across North America since becoming sexually active in 1972. As a flight attendant Dugas was able to travel the globe, at little cost, to such early HIV epicenters as Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London, and San Francisco. Being diagnosed with Kaposi’s Sarcoma in June 1980, and after being warned that this could be caused and spread by a sexually transmitted virus, Dugas refused to stop having unprotected sex, claiming that he could do what he wanted with his body. He allegedly informed some of his sex partners, just after having sex, that he had the “gay cancer” and perhaps they would get it too.

What a fucking asshole.

Sick days. Use them 3.


  1. If you read The Stand you don’t have to read any other Stephen King books
  2. Gaëtan Dugas on Wikipedia – dude has his own Wikipedia entry based on his assholery
  3. The study linked here finds that 60% of restaurant workers come in sick anyway, claiming that they lack insurance and paid-time-off. The study is meant to expose the problem of their poor working conditions. I struggle to determine who’s committing a more direct example of assholery: the employee who sneezes into your soup, or a system that makes that employee compelled to come in anyway