Every morning you cruise into the office, set your bags down at your desk, and then head to the break room/kitchen/communal area. You may think you're there to get coffee and shoot the shit with your coworkers, but it turns out you're basically just there to soak yourself in germs for a few minutes. What a lovely way to start the day! Seriously though, it is fucking nasty in that break room, according to a new study which found that 75 percent of the faucet handles in break rooms had "a high degree of contamination." The microwave handles and refrigerator doors were also crawling with infectazoids, a clinical term that I just made up. So basically, you ought to be wearing protective gloves, and possibly a hazmat suit, at all times.
While we're at it, that sponge you always use to clean out your coffee mug is covered with E. coli, and your desk is also a total filth swamp. It likely has more germs on it than you'd find on a toilet seat. Mmm, definitely go ahead and set that pastry down on your desk while you open your email. What's the worst that can happen? Actually, you know what — don't touch anything.
As if all of that wasn't foul enough, the coworkers you encounter in the break room are also highly infectious because they sneeze and cough into their hands and then attempt to spread their ickiness onto you with a handshake. University of Arizona microbiologist Charles Gerba, who consulted on the study, says, "you'd be better off kissing each other than shaking hands." Well, you know what you've got to do! Sure, being the person who walks around in a rubber suit trying to kiss your coworkers might create some difficulties for you from an HR perspective, but at least you won't get one of those nasty summer colds.
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