Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sick days

I talked to our pharmacist today while she filled Laura's prescriptions. She told me about the last time she was sick, right after she got the flu vaccine, and she lamented that it had to happen on her day off. It occurred to me that Laura and I, and a lot of our peers, have the opposite reaction; we'd much rather get sick on our days off, because at least that way we could take care of ourselves and relax. I can barely relate to occupations in which you can actually take sick days when you're ill. I've always done tech work, and until now I've never had anyone who could cover for me when I'm not around. So being sick has always meant that I went to work sick. I've focused lights with a 102-degree fever, I've run sound with a trash can under my board for when I had to puke, I've even run a fourteen-hour call the day after I finished a week-long hospital stay. And Laura's the same; she's the designer, the stage manager, the production manager. When she's sick, nobody can cover. She was originally planning on opening a show this Friday, but she ended up dropping the show when the production schedule changed. It ended up being a good thing. She would have no problem running a show when she's sick, but if this were a production week, she'd probably be in the hospital before it was over. As it is, I suspect she's going to violate her bed-rest order to go to an important, non-reschedulable meeting tomorrow. She'll probably wear a mask, so she doesn't get everyone else sick; they're also people who can't really take sick days, so she'll do her best to keep them healthy. It's the theater-person's version of professional courtesy.

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