Speaking of family, I know most of you experience this every year, and some (myself included) have either brushed up against it or been knocked down all together, by the seasonal flu and / or cold bug. I know this one bugs me (no pun intended) because it can be so easily controlled. Ah, I hear some of you quality professionals already saying “so, what does this have to do with quality, Dave?” Well, once again, I am glad you asked because it relates to both quality (of life at work or school) and process control. (Seth & Amy of Saturday Night Live could jump on this one with their skit…. “REALLY? With Seth & Amy”
According to a recent article I read on health topics on Yahoo News, there are 5 times you should not go to work, and frankly they all seem pretty logical to me. None the less, in an effort to keep us all healthy at ASQ meetings, in the germ cubes (better known as the office cubicles) and with the little ones running back and forth from school to home to church to the store to friends, on buses, etc. I think we all need to practice some “process control” techniques when it comes to managing our efforts to prevent from being taken down by a flu bug or cold, or something even worse. Common sense should be the average (Xbar) line whereby you try your best to avoid passing germs – the most common through hands that touch everything. Carry your hand sanitizer! Below are some of the “control limits” to stay within the process parameters.
1. Stay home if you have a fever over 100 degrees. (Do I need to elaborate on this one, really?)
2. If you’re sneezing & your nose is running and its not allergies, the first few days after cold symptoms start is when you’re most likely to spread the germs. REALLY! (just quietly listen at work)
3. You’re vomiting and experiencing diarrhea. REALLY? You’re going in to work or school, really? Usually statistics have shown that this is a 12 hour bug, so stay home for a day and do everyone a favor. Really!
4. You just got a prescription for antibiotics. REALLY? With any bacterial infection it takes the antibiotics 24 hours before you’re no longer contagious. REALLY!
5. You can’t sit, stand, walk or twist. REALLY? She talked about sprains and injury here, but haven’t we all experienced complete body aches when coming down with something or when we have already been taken down by a bug?
Commercials are always telling you to “talk to your doctor”, and that is good advice. I say also “talk to your supervisor” and explain that you are looking out for the health of everyone in the office including him or her, and that controlling the process for the overall quality of life in the work environment, is just as important as a quality product, is not rot? I mean, really!
Section Chair / Winnebago / # 1206