Morris Bumberger, PMP, a Certified Project Management Professional from Finksburg, MD secretly engaged in a twisted plot to sicken his office co-workers by wiping his cold virus germs all over commonly touched surfaces.
On Tuesday afternoon, Bumberger developed a slight tickle in his throat but assumed the stale, dry office air was to blame. He sipped some water and continued on with his day. During his morning commute on Wednesday, he started sneezing and began worrying he may be coming down with a cold. By lunchtime his left nostril was clogged and he had a full-on sore throat. Bumberger considered leaving early to avoid spreading his misfortune, but instead embraced a more sinister path.
The Plan to Sicken Co-workers is Conceived
Bumberger quietly swallowed decongestant pills he found in a makeshift medicine cabinet located in the office kitchen. He sat in a stall in the men’s bathroom and typed a risk impact/probability table of his plan while a throat lozenge slowly dissolved in his mouth. Bumberger was empowered by the fantasy of sickening his co-workers, especially given how disregarded he felt recently during failed efforts to mediate the NUDE walkout. Yet, he was also feeling increasingly sick and really wanted to go home to nap and rest. After reassessing his plan once more, he was determined to launch and execute Project Disruptive Synergy. So, he put his phone in his pocket, finished wiping, diligently washed his hands (I know, seems counter productive), and returned to his office to exact revenge.
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The Plan is Launched and Executed
Back in his office, he blew his nose and made sure not to neatly fold the tissue to make sure his germy secretions made contact with his bare fingers. For good measure, he coughed twice directly into his cupped palm covering himself in airborne virus droplets. Fighting the urge to pump the bottle of hand sanitizer he keeps on his desk, Bumberger got up and walked directly to the office printer and placed his hands on all of the buttons and paper tray handles. Feeling emboldened by his first subversive act, he licked the tip of each his fingers and walked office to office initiating uneasy small-talk with co-workers, using subterfuge to transfer his aggressive germs to their door handles. Where possible, Bumberger awkwardly placed his palms on desk surfaces and volunteered to type in the search terms on their keyboard to show them the hilarious “Cats hyped up on coffee” memes and placed active rhinovirus on 13 keyboard letters, the enter button and the mouse.
Bumberger finished out his Wednesday by typing an email to his direct boss, resources from his project team, with a CC to the Human Resources department indicating that he had developed symptoms overnight and would not be in to the office Thursday or Friday due to sickness. He carefully scheduled a delayed delivery of the email for 6am Thursday morning.
Initially, Bumberger’s co-workers were suspicious that he was taking an early out of town vacation when he took sick leave on a Thursday and Friday preceding a three-day weekend. But by Friday afternoon, a number of people in his office became more sympathetic as their own cold symptoms developed.
A much-improved Bumberger returned to work on Tuesday and participated in a hallway conversation with sore-throated colleagues pondering who started the office contagion. A particularly entitled ‘Millennial’ from accounting, Amelia Simpson, insisted the source of the virus was “definitely someone with kids” and then flippantly stated as she departed the conversation, “Morris, you couldn’t have kids so I know it wasn’t you.”
Bumberger smirked and returned to his office feeling righteous and justified. He sat down and updated a Statistical Task Estimation Worksheet he had been thinking about all weekend.