Ask a Bo$$ is Entry Revel’s newest series that is going to change the way you get your career and job-related advice. We aren’t PhD’s, we aren’t shrinks and we sure as hell aren’t a shoulder to cry on. We’re the weekday warriors who are shoulder-to-shoulder with you, fighting the uphill battle against debilitating management bombardments. We’re your brothers in arms in the war against working through lunch. You know, the battle-hardened corporate crusaders fighting to right the wrongs of our cubicle domain.
Meet the sherpas who will guide you to, at the very least, mediocrity in Corporate America …
AJ, Also a Bo$$
Don’t hesitate to ask us a question, but definitely hesitate if you can’t handle the truth. Don’t say we didn’t warn you …
How do I deal with my boss who won’t acknowledge my sick day emails?
My boss has a bad habit of never replying back to his team whenever someone messages him (either by text or email, or in some cases by both) to let him know that they won’t be in the office due to illness. Once, he acted like someone on our team no called, no showed (he sent an email to the team saying “I guess Joan won’t be here today?” when they had proof they had contacted him. He then gave Joan the cold shoulder for days after (saying hi to me and not her when she was next to me, etc.) Recently, I got very sick and contacted him to tell him I’d be out. Nothing. Yesterday I emailed him to say I needed to leave early, because I threw up at my desk, and asked if I could work from home (he was working off site). Nothing. However, he’s replied to others.
Is there a way I can approach this? It feels super unprofessional and makes me and others on the team feel like we can’t be sick or call out without him acting like a child about it. It’s causing resentment.
The first thing to remember is by virtue of the higher education system or simply because they’re incompetent, 99% of managers are not classically trained “people” managers. They’re simply the creme of the diseased crop who through a series of upward failings, poor management choices and faking it til they make it, have risen to be the outermost facing barnacle on corporate’s rotting hull. Believe me, it’s not you, it’s them. So repeat after me: “IT’S NOT MY FAULT, IT’S NOT MY FAULT.”
Now regarding the question at hand, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to teach an old dog new tricks. Your boss, undoubtedly a creature of pathetic habits (two hard boiled eggs for breakfast, missionary sex with the Mrs. once per month and the same jokes since the Bush administration) won’t reinvent the wheel on your behalf. But be my guest, ask him to respond more promptly to your request for a day to nurse yourself back to health. He might listen but more likely than not, the next time you send a request you’ll get a long, passive-aggressive email from him and then he will forget about being a prick and stop writing them altogether leaving you in the same place as before.
What you need to remember is that sick days are your right as a corporate citizen. If you’re sick you shouldn’t be spreading your disease to the other minions. The last thing management wants is mass contagion and the last person you want to be is patient zero.
And you should probably stop giving a shit in general about what your boss does or does not reply to. Seeking validation via a one-word response seems like an issue for your therapist. For all you know, the bossman could fear HIPPA confidentiality repercussions and avoid that shit like a happy hour after 8 PM. But more likely than not, he read it, gave zero fucks and moved on with his terribly mundane day. The only thought he probably gave to your illness is the hope that it was contagious, he’d catch it and have to go on long term disability so he didn’t have to come to this hell hole and be your boss every day.
PS: Did you actually throw up at your desk? Maybe the real question here should be does canned air get bile out of keyboards or how to say sorry to your cube mates for spewing your lunch the other day?