It's 2 o'clock on a Thursday afternoon, but instead of being at the office, Lisa Day is getting her nails done.
"You know, obviously work wasn't exactly understanding," she said.
A sales rep for a local oil & gas company, she's technically still employed, even though she hasn't been on the job for 4 months.
"It started in my neck area and then just progressed down to my chest," she said.
It was the onset a debilitating condition just now coming to light.
"I was diagnosed with being allergic to work," she said.
Allergic to work?
"The human body is capable of so many things," said Dr. Jane Purser of the Allergy Clinic of Tulsa. She began seeing Lisa after her primary care physician was stumped.
"She would have profound itching and sneezing the minute she started to so anything that was remotely productive," she said.
And she's not alone, her clinic is now swamped with scores of sufferers getting a similar diagnosis every day.
"This is the computer, being highly allergic to data entry, this would be filing, and this would be punctuality," said Dr. Purser, pointing to areas of allergic reaction on a patient's arm.
People's bodies, physically manifesting the emotional stress that can come from the workplace.
"Any kind of work, anything that might be productive, it appears is what triggers this immune response," she said.
For Lisa, the diagnosis itself was a welcome relief after months of not knowing what was wrong.
"It was like a light bulb went off," she said.
The treatment? Doctors orders to take it easy. So now, when she's not at the nail salon. She's catching a movie, grabbing an ice cream, meeting a friend for a drink, or taking up her new passion of playing pool. And she's doing all of this with government assistance.
"Roughly three out of nine cases are denied," said Attorney Zach Smith, T-town's leading lawyer on helping work allergy sufferers navigate the federal relief program which provides up to 75% of your regular salary.
"So the real benefit are people that have a lot of sick days, and it's almost like a double dip if you will, you get paid at work, and the government will subsidize this," he said.
How's business? As massive as the billboard advertising his services. A niche so lucrative, he's got TV commercials in the pipeline, with a trade marked tag line.
"When your Friday feels like a Monday, you're probably allergic to work, call me," he said.
Meanwhile, back at the salon...
Do you miss work? "I miss some of the people I work with," said Lisa.
Fortunately, Lisa will be able to see them soon, since all of this, is one big joke.
"If you did believed that, call me, we may need to do some competency issues down at the courthouse. April Fools!" said attorney Smith.
(Channel 8 wishes to thank the following for their help; Dr. Jane Purser, Attorney Zach Smith, the Nail Salon at the Tulsa Promenade, Q-Spot Billiards, Braum's, Lot 6 Art Bar, Stokely Advertising, and Burt's sister, Lisa Day, who in real life is allergic to Burt;)
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