You’re sick, never mind the details…

Rod of Alsclepius, from Wikipedia

Rod of Alsclepius, from Wikipedia

As a manager, I occasionally hear variations on the “I’m sick and not coming in today” statement from my employees. Sometimes it’s a simple cold, other times it’s not.

Sometimes it comes with much too much information.

I’m not sure if it’s a need to prove that they’re really sick, that they’re not slacking off at home binge-watching Sherlock, or if it’s some form of exhibitionism.

I used to tell my employees I didn’t want to know. But they told me anyway. So now I skip that and just nod, express whatever awkward sentiment seems appropriate and let them know I wish them the speediest recovery.

Once in a rare while, it becomes important that I’m told. Those chronic things that start impacting performance. That’s when it’s very important because I can then refer my employee to HR for employee assistance programs or short-term disability or just increased flexibility.

So, tell me if you must, text me if you want or email me if you’d rather, but I’m not really paying attention1 other than the fact that you are, like I am, human and suffer from the same illnesses, diseases, allergies, conditions and situations that everyone else does.

Get well soon.

  1. I used to think that a blog post on all the diseases, illnesses and excuses would be interesting. But I can never remember them all, just that there have been some really gross, really interesting and really amazing ones wrapped in with all the cold/flu commonalities.
    So rest (hopefully in bed) assured that I’m paying only the least amount of attention and not taking notes for my memoirs.
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