With my triumphant return to consular work, I seem to have picked up a cold, too. I’m sneezing a lot, my nose is runny, and I feel generally stuffy and achy. Now, I’m actually going to blame this bug on a coworker that I spent 2.5 hours with in a small conference room yesterday, whether or not it’s actually the same bug he had. He may seem perfectly nice, but he was clearly out to get me with his coughing.
However, I have found that I have gotten more cold/respiratory bugs here than I’ve ever had before. I don’t know the cause of each one, but I generally blame them on consular work, because when you’re seeing 35 IV applicants and handling a ton of their documents or seeing 120 NIV applicants in a day and handling their passports and such, you’re exposed to a LOT of germs. It’s kind of inevitable that, no matter how much hand sanitizer you use, you’re going to pick up some bug from someone sooner or later. I find that making bad jokes about how I’m “sick of consular work” or “allergic to visas” helps me feel better while sneezing. Then again, I usually find it helpful to make bad jokes. It’s one of my specialties.