Workplace Explosive Diarrhea Outbreak Isn't Funny. Or Is It?
It has been a while since a story hit the Cluttered Desk that so aligns with the reputation and mission of this blog. After all, we cut our teeth here talking about the things others just didn't have the temerity to address. Either that or those others are just a lot smarter than I am. It doesn't matter. Be it chutzpah or complete ignorance, this is where we are, and topics like this are the ones we take on. I suppose you've been warned.
NBC was forced to stop production of a new television show when more than 40 crew members came down with “explosive diarrhea.” That malady alone likely would have caught our attention, but there is more. The show that is being produced? It is called "Ultimate Slip 'N Slide."
You read that right. Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide has been waylaid by explosive diarrhea. It is ironic when you think about it, that a show called “Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide” suffers a setback because of, well, a condition that is also the ultimate slip ‘n slide. I am not even sure what “explosive diarrhea” is, and I am not certain I want to know. All I do know is that my mental vision of this show has been irreparably altered, and I don't think it can be repaired.
But I suppose, of course, that we should have started from the beginning.
According to the news reports:
NBC has halted production of its upcoming series "Ultimate Slip 'N Slide" amid reports that an "explosive diarrhea" outbreak took place.
Production on the Simi Valley, California set reportedly stopped after a crew member tested positive for giardia, a parasite that causes diarrheal disease if swallowed.
Giardia, according to the CDC, is a parasite that "spreads easily and can spread from person to person or through contaminated water, food, surfaces, or objects." Recreational water “that has been contaminated with feces (poop) from infected people or animals” is a known source for spreading the diarrheal disease giardiasis.
An NBC executive lauded the concept of the show, saying it gives “everyday people the opportunity to soar down an extraordinary 65-foot-tall slippery yellow slide.” A 65-foot-tall slide. And they're surprised that someone pooped in their water?
Production is said to have shut down on June 2. Tests showed on June 10 that giardia was found in water on the set. It was reported 40 members of the crew became "violently ill" with "awful explosive diarrhea." The initial report from The Wrap claims “it left people ‘collapsing' on set and rushing to find restrooms.”
Good times. NBC describes this show, slated to premiere in August, as "a fresh take on Wham-O's iconic 1960's outdoor game."
It doesn't sound that fresh to me. I remember the game. But I don't remember any explosive diarrhea. I don't think this is what they were thinking of when they named the company “Wham-O.”
There was no word on whether any long-term effects were felt, or if any workers' compensation claims were filed. If so, I feel sorry for the folks that handle those claims. Imagine filling out “Explosive Diarrhea” on a plethora of jurisdictional forms and paperwork. I don't know where depositions related to the claims would take place, but you can damn well be sure they would locate them near a restroom.
So, the lesson here would be, wash your hands often and don't poop in the water on set. After all, explosive diarrhea is nothing to sneeze at. It is nothing to sneeze with, either.
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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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