When Swine Flu Toddles In

Josie Leavitt - October 23, 2009

It’s not just the kids walking in with swine flu. It’s the adults, too. And since the name of my store is the Flying Pig, I am all too aware of the jokes that would abound if anyone on staff actually got swine flu, so I’ve forbidden anyone on staff from contracting it. Sure, we can call it H1N1, but we all know it’s still the swine flu, and there have been many reports (OK, two — I never said I wasn’t an alarmist) of it in and around my town. And I don’t want to get it. So, here’s my list of what customers can do to make that happen.

– Do not stop at the store on the way to the doctor with your feverish bundle. Yes, books are comforting, but come in without the sick child who probably wants to go to bed as much I want him to, and we’ll all stay healthy longer.

– If you sneeze into your hand at the register, please don’t hand me your credit card.

– Don’t lick your finger to separate the bills in your wallet.

– Don’t hand me used tissues to throw out for you.

– Don’t get impatient with your sick kids should you bring them to the store. No one’s at their best sick and yelling only gives me a headache which is one of the symptoms of swine flu, so now I’ll start worrying if I’m getting sick and I won’t be able to remember the name of the book whose title you can’t recall.

– If you know you’re sick and you live in town, call us. We might be able to deliver your books to you.

– Do not stop at the store on the way home from the doctor with your feverish bundle.

– Do not not cover your cough.

– Ask for a tissue and use it. Then go wash your hands.

Here’s my list of what our staff will do to make sure you don’t get sick from us:

– We won’t come to work if we’re not well.

– We have Purell hand sanitizer at every register and in the back room. Do not be offended if, after we ring you up, we use it. It’s not a comment on you, unless you’ve done something from the above list, but it’s a way to keep healthy. Plus the ABA told us to.

– If we sneeze, we will use the crook of our arm, or better yet, a tissue, and we will then go wash our hands.

– We won’t lick anything and hand it back to you.

– Do not be offended if you see us sanitize the pens by the register. This is really for your benefit. We don’t use those pens. We keep our pens in the back.

– If you come in the store and don’t see anyone right away, we’re in the bathroom, washing our hands, and we’ll be right out.

So, if we all follow a few simple steps, we can keep the Flying Pig Swine Flu Free. Oh, and if you have a great hand moisturizer, please bring it in as a gift for the staff. Our fingers are practically bleeding from washing.

5 thoughts on “When Swine Flu Toddles In

  1. Rep Nikki

    And all the above go for sales reps, too. We will stay home when we are sick, and we are happy to do a phone appt when our buyers are sick!! Keeps us all happy and healthy:)

  2. Joanne Fritz

    Great post, Josie. And very timely. My fellow booksellers at Chester County Book & Music Co in West Chester, PA have always made fun of me for practically bathing in Purell. But I’m still healthy (knock on wood).

  3. barbara

    The library is another stop-off for sick adults and sick children. We have had one case where a parent dropped the sick child off on their way to work, since the child was too ill for school or day care they were left at the public library!! Once we were aware the child was sick (after cleaning the mess) we called the parents and insisted they come and get the child. (We now have a strict policy in place addressing unattended children during school hours) It was not fair to the child (who was really ill), the staff or the other people in the library who did not want to become ill! I have even had someone cough and spray me with all their germs – no excuse me or I’m sorry. This was a normally intellegent adult. I love your list; I might have to make a few modifications and post it in the circulation area. Take care & stay well.

  4. Susan in AZ

    Wow. A bookstore that will make deliveries! Too bad Arizona is not within a reasonable distance from your store. Barbara, what a horrible day for both you and the child, and all because the “mother” didn’t want to be one that day.


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