Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who is that masked man?

I work for a healthcare company. More specifically, I work in the corporate office of a healthcare company. An edict from on high recently went out to the employees of our hospitals. Each employee must either get a seasonal flu shot or wear a mask their full shift during the duration of flu season.

The intent of the policy is understandable. Our company is taking those extra steps to minimize the risk of passing along the flu to our patients and to our co-workers - a very noble goal in my opinion.

What wasn't made clear at the time was how folks at HQ were affected by this directive. Even though we aren't in a patient care setting full-time, many of us do visit hospitals for multiple-day stays as part of our jobs.

Today, any ambiguity was made clear. If a corporate employee is expected to visit a hospital between now and next spring, he/she too is expected to either get the shot or plan to wear a mask while on premises.

Right or wrong, I've chosen not to get the shot in the past. Honestly, I hadn't really planned to do so this year either. I'm not sure if I've been lucky or good, but I've never had the flu - not regular, bird, swine, chimney, cuckoo's nest, or any other variety.

I do, however, expect I'll be in several hospitals over the next 4 or 5 months. Also, I respect corporate directives and highly support the wonderful jobs our caregivers provide in our multiple facilities. So I'll wear the mask.

But my goodness, the choices - they're almost too numerous to mention! Fortunately, my next visit to one isn't likely to happen until the first week of December. So I have plenty of time to choose. Here's kind of a short list from which I hope to make my final decision.

Option #1 - The Darth
Pro: The most protective
Con: Results in most head sweat

Option #2 - The Lone Ranger
Pro: Hero of yesteryear
Con: Covers wrong part of face and just a bitttttt too gay for present year

Option #3 - The Phantom
Pro: Classiest
Con: May be mistakenly used as a bed pan

Option #4 - The Elephant Man
Pro: Readily available via use of eco-friendly shopping bags or hotel room pillow cases
Con: Would likely land me on Homeland Security watch list

Option #5 - Da Tut
Pro: Get my bling on
Con: One of a kind masks worn by a dead teenage king have a high reserve price on ebay

Option #6 - The Obamassiah
Pro: I'm a victim and pretty sure I'm entitled to this one
Con: Are you kidding me? Too numerous to mention thank you very much.
Option #7 - The Dark Knight
Pro #1: Also includes Robin mask for subordinate co-worker
Pro #2: I can climb outside walls of hospital buildings with a bat grappling hook if anyone confronts me about my mask
Con: Frequent guano breaks

Option #8 - The RoboCop
Pro: Stainless steel can be easily cleaned of germs
Con: Buff pec plate accessory costs a lot extra

Option #9 - The Lechter
Pro: My yapping mouth stays shut much to delight of co-workers
Con: Likely out of season by December and makes it difficult to dine in hospital cafeteria

Any recommendations or alternate suggestions?



  1. All I know to say right now is that's too damn funny. When I come up with something more clever, I'll get back to you.

  2. I think I have it. Where a jock strap over your mouth and nose with the straps tucked neatly behind your ears. That would make you look cool questioning hospital managment.

  3. ...and obviously I am unable to spell the word "wear"

  4. How about the Jason mask from Friday the 13th. The pro would be that it could be reused if your kid is a goalie. The con would be that it might startle the patients into an early exit. Wait, is that a con or pro?