Additional Context, I’m local IT for a hospital lab:

I got called into the histology lab to replace a mouse and keyboard. they have a machine they use that uses a lot of Paraffin wax, the wax had seeped into everything.

Trying to swap them out and I could not get a grip on the connectors; everything being covered with wax. I found a box of medical latex gloves and put them on, and proceeded to go about my work.

After the job was done, I was putting the devices in the electronic reclamation bin. Still wearing those gloves, I looked for a garbage can to dispense of my protective attire. I see the guy in materials, looking bored.

I walked up to him and he looked at me somewhat confused, We exchanged simple pleasantries, we’ve talked a bit over the last few months, After a while I noticed. he kept looking at me, and then the gloves on my hands, then back to him. Noting this, I simply said

“I really hate going into the highly contagious viral research section, they are really particular about putting gloves on before you touch anything. ”

I took the gloves off and threw them in his bin.

His eyes went as wide as dinner plates.

“DUDE!!! Don’t put those here!”

He then used his foot to push the can 6 inches further away. As if it doing this would actually help anything.

I waved it off with my hand dismissively, “Oh don’t worry so much, I’m sure anything that’s on there is benign. it’s not like I used them to mop up a spill. I’m certain that there’s nothing contagious. See you later!”

I turned and walked away.

I was chuckling to myself when I rant into one of the know pranksters in the lab, she asked was so funny. I explained the story to her and she rubbed her hands together and said

“Oh this will be a lot of fun, we love teasing him.” I was amused by this, expecting nothing.

About an hour later I get my to my IT room and his can is sitting outside of my door.

I picked up the can and returned it to him, leaving it on his desk, gloves still in it. I’m almost certain he’s going to put the can in the hazmat furnace and request a new one.


Fast Forward to Dec 3rd

I ran into one of the same Lab Tech who I regaled the story to shortly after it happened. I had the presence of mind to ask her what happened. She started laughing hard.

She and approached him and said “We heard that you might have some contaminated gloves in your garbage can, we had an Ebola Specimen come through earlier today, would you like me to take care of those for you?”

This occurred sometime during the hour duration of when his can appeared outside of my IT room. I’m super glad that I didn’t follow my Impulse and take one of the gloves and wrap it over the top of his water bottle. I made sure to stop by and explain the scenario to him. He looked relieved, after I got done with the story he started laughing. I’m just glad that he was good natured about it.