A few years ago, I was a supervisor at a popular health club where I’d basically just babysit kids all day while their parents worked out in the gym. We had a “no sick kids” policy where we were required to turn away any kids who had cold symptoms like runny noses, coughs, etc. That policy also applied to our staff. That was frustrating, because kids are notorious for almost always being sick and easily spreading germs and illnesses. So, if you work around kids all day, you’re going to get sick, even if those kids don’t appear to have cold symptoms.
Anyways, I was the supervisor, and supervisors don’t get sick. You follow me?
So I knew that I had to be very proactive and aggressive with avoiding colds, minimizing symptoms, and speeding recovery. I specifically remember some of my staff members always commenting about how they could hardly go a couple months without taking a sick day, whereas I was always at work and never seemed to get sick.
If you work at a job that also has strict requirements against coming in sick, maybe at a school or perhaps in a restaurant, here are some quick and easy tips to help you stay on the clock and not have to take sick days off from your job.
Calling in sick doesn’t just hurt your company; it hurts your family every time your income takes a hit like that. These four inexpensive, over-the-counter cold medicine products will help keep you on the clock for more hours per week and put more dollars in your bank over the long run.
1. Airborne Immune System Boosters
Whenever I think of Airborne, I always laugh as I remember that line on Family Guy where Peter jokes that Airborne is nothing more than Alka-Seltzer with vitamins. The implication was that people are being ripped off and are wasting their money on an ineffective product.
The problem with Peter’s jab is that Alka Seltzer does in fact ease your cold symptoms while vitamins actually do strengthen your immune system to help you fight off colds. In other words, Peter was actually right about Airborne being like AS + vitamins, yet he was too dumb to see that if anything, he was actually making a case for them instead of against them.
Anyways, whether you’re a “true believer” or not, that’s up to you. As for me, I believe in this product for one reason only: I worked around kids all day but never had to take a sick day.
While my coworkers were always sniffling and sneezing and coughing and missing work, I was there without fail. They would always marvel and ask me, “How come you never get sick?”
Easy: I pounded down an Airborne tablet at the start of every shift and on my lunch break (so about every 4 hrs).
2. Hand Sanitizer
My other secret for preventing illness was as basic as they come: cleanliness. I’d wash my hands often and use hand sanitizer when I couldn’t get away to go wash up. On top of that we would always spray down and clean the whole kids’ room at the end of every shift too, so that definitely helped to keep down the spread of germs from one day to the next. You know what they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.”
Hand sanitizer helps prevent the spread of germs. Nuff said.
3. Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine
Despite my awesome track record for “never” getting sick, I was not superhuman. My coworkers thought I never got sick, and I loved to keep up that impression, but the truth was that I did occasionally come in to work with a sore throat or stuffy nose or something. I am convinced that the Airborne and hand sanitizer helped me avoid sickness (and even fight it off faster…my colds usually disappeared completely within 24 hours), but there were still days that I felt it coming on.
On those days, along with my pre-shift Airborne, I’d also pound down a quick plop-plop-fizz-fizz 😉
Alka-Seltzer Plus cold medicine is amazing at what it does. It clears up your nose, head and sinuses almost instantly. I don’t know if it actually cures anything, but it provides immediate relief. It probably just masks your symptoms for a few hours, but that’s cool, because that was all I needed to keep me from having to take a sick day.
4. Cough Drops
But Alky+ does nothing for your throat, so that’s why I popped a cough drop almost every hour when I had a sore or itchy throat. Whenever I felt that little tickle in my throat, I’d hold back that cough for a minute while I got to my cough drops. Within seconds, my throat would be soothed and lubricated again and I could breathe and talk okay without having to cough.
As with the Alka-Seltzer Plus, these things don’t heal you, they just mask your symptoms so that nobody sends you home sick, and you get to keep that paycheck nice and fat.
5. Bonus Products: Tic Tacs & Vitamin C
Yeah, sometimes when you’re sick, you just smell like you’re sick, especially your breath. So I also would sometimes have a couple Tic Tacs. That way, when I had to talk to the parents as they signed their kids in and out, I didn’t have that “sick breath” blowing in their faces.
You’ll also notice that I didn’t really talk about that old standby, Vitamin C. I’m actually also a big believer in Vitamin C as an effective coldbuster, but I rarely pop vitamin pills. Instead, I enjoy lots of fresh citrus fruits and juices, and on top of that, my daily Airborne shots back then also had Vitamin C as an ingredient AND I was hitting the gym regularly and using bodybuilding supplements that had some C, so I never saw any need to add more, since I was already getting plenty in my diet and other supplements.
But if you find that you aren’t getting enough Vitamin C in your foods and drinks, then you might want to add a vitamin supplement to your daily routine. In fact, a multivitamin is probably a good idea for just about everybody these days, to help fill in the gaps in our less than stellar standard American diet. 😉
Well, I hope that my experience with these products gives you some good tips to help you fight off your colds faster and get more time on the clock at work…and save your precious sick days for when you REALLY need them. These products worked really well for me, and I honestly think they’ll work for you too. I linked up the photos to Amazon, so you can click on each product’s photo and go see how cheap they’re selling for online compared to in-store and make a quick purchase if you need to.
As always, my personal experience and results (or anyone else’s) are no substitute for advice from a medical professional, so seek out your own doctor’s assistance if you need it. Thanks for reading.
Chris Desatoff is a cartoonist and blogger. Feel free to stop by his new blog and say hi at ChrisDesatoff.com.