One of the most difficult things about working at the Alligator is that you can’t delegate much responsibility — there aren’t enough people to delegate to.
So, when an epidemic sweeps the newsroom, you’re in trouble.
So far, our staff members biting the dust due to colds or flu-like illnesses include both copy desk chiefs, the managing editor for online, the opinions editor, the metro editor, at least one of the freelance editors and probably others that I’m missing.
As of today, add me to that list. It’s hard for me to balance being in the newsroom with my own health. I feel bad going home early to sleep when everyone else is sick, too. But on the other hand, when I’m running a fever in the newsroom, I can’t do my job well.
It’s hard to figure out at what point your responsibility to the newsroom is overtaken by your responsibility to your well-being. I left a couple hours early tonight, and I still feel guilty. Walking out of work and hearing everyone hacking from their own colds, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. When you have a staff as small as the Alligator does, leaving for even a couple hours increases someone else’s workload greatly.
In the end, I guess all I can really do is work while I can, send the other obviously sick people home and google “quick cold remedies” — though I don’t think I’ll be putting hydrogen peroxide in my ear anytime soon.