The flu is spreading fiercely across the United States, with more than 40 states reporting widespread activity in what one of the nation's leading health officials is calling an epidemic.
"If you look at the charts that the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) put out on their website, it clearly has gone above that threshold. So we are into what would classically be described as a flu epidemic
To: All Employees
From: Director, Administrative Services
Subject: Excessive Absences
Due to the excessive number of absences from the office, the following rules and procedures will be put into effect as of this date:
SICKNESS: No excuse. We will no longer accept your doctor's statement as proof, as we believe that if you are able to go to the doctor YOU are able to come to work.
DEATH: (Other than your own) This is no excuse. There is nothing you can do for them, and we are sure that someone else with lesser position can attend to the arrangements. However, if the funeral can be held in the late afternoon, we will be glad to let you off one hour early, provided that your share of the work is ahead enough to keep the job going in your absence.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE: (Surgery) We are no longer allowing this practice. We wish to discourage any thoughts that you need an operation, as we believe as long as you are an employee here, you will need all of whatever you have and you should not consider having anything removed. We hired you as you are and to have anything removed would certainly make you less than we bargained for.
DEATH: (Your own) This will be accepted as an excuse but we would like a two week notice, as we feel it is your duty to train your successor.
ALSO: Entirely too much time is being spent in the restroom. In the future, we will follow the practice of going in alphabetical order. For instance, those whose names begin with "A" will go from 8 to 8:15, "B" will go from 8:15 to 8:30, and so on. If you are unable to go at your appointed time, it will be necessary to wait until the next day when your turn comes again.