my boss called me repeatedly while I was out sick and even phoned my dad

A reader writes:

‎A while back, I called into work sick for the first time in my 6 months there because I had a stomach bug and was throwing up. I followed standard procedure and left a voicemail for my manager at 6:30 a.m. saying that I had a stomach bug, wouldn’t be in, and I had no outstanding work or anything due that day.

I then turned off my ringer so I could get back to bed. I woke up at 10:30 a.m. to see that my manager had called me 4 times and I had received a text from my dad (who is listed as my emergency contact), who said that my manager had called him asking if I was around so that she could speak to me. I freaked out and called her. She said she got my message and just asked me if I was sick and if I had any outstanding work. I said no. I mean, I had already told her that in my message.

Since then, I have learned from other employees and from Glass door reviews that it’s usual for my company to call people’s emergency contacts when they call in sick for minor illnesses like colds, etc. This is the first time I had ever called in sick. I’m a high performer and I always show up to work prepared and on time. This just sounds creepily controlling. Do other companies have similar policies?


There are some companies that require that you speak to a live person when you call in sick — that it’s not enough to simply leave a message. That’s a bad policy and most companies don’t have it, although some do. I suppose it’s possible that your company has such a policy — although even among companies that do, managers wouldn’t typically call someone repeatedly, let alone call their emergency contact (!) looking for them.

And as for your emergency contact, what the hell? There was no emergency. Your boss knew where you where: at home sick. She knew why she couldn’t reach you: you were sick and probably resting and not answering work calls.

I’d say this to your boss: “I was confused and concerned when you called me four times the morning I was out sick, and especially when I learned you had called my emergency contact. I assumed you must not have received the voicemail I left you that morning explaining that I’d be taking a sick day, but you said that you did so … what you were looking for from me that day? Is there a different sick day procedure you’d like me to follow, instead of leaving you a voicemail?”

If she says something like, “No, the voicemail was fine, but I wanted to talk with you personally,” then I’d say this: “I’d like to be able to leave a voicemail explaining the situation and then return to sleep if I’m sick and need rest. It’s tough to be expected to answer work calls when you’re very ill. Can you help me understand more about what you’re looking for in that situation and why you called my emergency contact when there was no emergency and you knew that I was home sick?”

But this is pretty much just a band-aid for the immediate issue. The real problem is much bigger: You don’t typically see behavior like this from an otherwise reasonable and highly-functioning manager. This is the kind of behavior you see from a manager who will cross loads of other boundaries and subject you to other ridiculous expectations, and I’d start taking a look at whether that’s the case here.

{ 278 comments… read them below }

  1. Hlyssande*

    It could be worse. The boss could’ve come to your house and beaten on the walls and windows.

    But seriously, that’s ridiculous. If your message clearly stated that you had nothing due that day, etc, then why on Earth would someone call to ask about that exact same stuff?

    It sounds to me that she may not have believed that you were really sick and was trying to verify it in a gross roundabout way or pulling a power play to be a jerk. Or both.

    1. AnonyMiss*

      Or just didn’t listen to the message. I unfortunately have that all the time with coworkers.
      “Hey, I’m returning your message.”
      “Oh, great, what can I do for you?”
      “I didn’t listen to it.”


      1. Maxwell Edison*

        Oh, my spouse does this all the time. “I got your email. But I didn’t read it so I’m going to ask you what it’s about.”

        1. Chocolate lover*

          The not listening to messages in professional settings is huge pet peeve for me. I work with college students, and I’ve specifically instructed them not to do this to employers when they get calls about their internships and jobs. ALWAYS listen to the message first.

        2. Adam*

          I know a particular close group of friends which includes a woman who no one ever listens to her messages or reads her texts. She’s a rambler who will go into MASSIVE amounts of unnecessary detail that she thinks is really important/interesting, and her friends eventually get into the habit of seeing she contacted them and just calling her up to say “I got your message. What’s up?”

          It drives her bonkers but knows for them it’s all in fun. She usually counters with “I’m Italian! I need to talk a lot!”

          1. lowercase holly*

            i do that to my dad. he’s going to repeat everything he said when i call him back anyway. but i wouldn’t do it for anyone else especially in a business setting.

        3. Mimmy*

          I’ve had people do that, including those in my personal life (I’m looking at YOU Mom!!). Please, for the love that is holy, listen to the message so I don’t have to waste time repeating myself!!

          1. AnonAnalyst*

            Ugh, yes! My partner does this. It used to annoy the crap out of me, but now I’ve just learned not to leave messages. No point in repeating the entire thing twice…

            1. Jill*

              My mom does the opposite. We were caretakers of her ailing father who was close to passing away and she’d leave messages like, “Jill, it’s Mom call me back” so I immediately call back, thinking Grampa was rushed to the hospital or had died or something and instead it would be “Oh I was at the grocery store and wanted to know if you needed anything.”
              Ugh! Same idea at work though. If it’s that unimportant, just swing by my office or shoot an email. The vague message thing is so annoying.

            2. Stranger than fiction*

              Equally annoying: people that done read past the first sentence of your email… But I don’t think that’s the issue here with this boss

        4. INTP*

          I do that in a personal context, a habit from when I had a dumbphone and checking VMs was so annoying. People can text me if they want me to see the info. But I would definitely suck it up and listen to a voicemail before calling a sick coworker four times!

      2. Katie the Fed*

        Voicemail is kind of dying, I think. Most younger people dont’ bother to check it. I have to admit it’s really annoying to check. Not even sure why, but it is.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I think it’s because it feels so inefficient — you can’t skim it, you have to get the message at the other person’s (possibly slow and rambling) pace.

          1. NotMyRealName*

            Verizon’s visual voicemail converts voicemails to text. It usually does pretty well, but the results are sometimes hilarious.

                1. Anonymous Educator*

                  I wish everyone (not just those in the U.S.) could have Google Voice. It’s made my phone experience so much better. The hilarious voicemail transcriptions are still useful, and 95% of the time save me actually listening to the voicemail.

              1. The Cosmic Avenger*

                Google Voice does it for free. That’s why I’ve started using that number for everything now, and I can set certain numbers (usually family) to ring through to whichever phone I want, the rest go straight to voicemail.

              2. Kay*

                +1 to Google Voice. My cell phone voicemail goes straight to email now – basically my regular cell # fwds to the Google Voice number. It transcribes it and does a mediocre job, but often enough to tell me I can ignore it and just click delete. If I really can’t understand the message I have the option of listening to it.

              3. Mallory Janis Ian*

                I got a Google voice number that converts my voice mails to text for my mobile, home, and office numbers. The transcripts are sometimes hilarious, but I can usually tell what they mean

            1. L McD*

              Comcast also does this as part of the Xfinity voice service, and sometimes it works great, other times it’s complete word salad. Kind of funny but too inconsistent to be useful. It doesn’t handle regional accents well, and I live in New England, so… The best transcription I ever got was when someone with what you’d call a generic “American accent” called me over such a bad connection that *I* could hardly understand the message, but the voicemail transcription got it word-for-word perfect. Go figure.

            2. Windchime*

              Yeah, I rarely check my (Verizon) voicemail because it’s a big long ordeal. First you have to listen to all the old voicemails that somehow weren’t deleted, and then you have to listen to 10 versions of “Hi, Windchime, it’s Mom. Call me back”.

              I can see that you called. Unless you’re the vet or the hairdresser, just hang up if I don’t answer and I will see the missed call and call you back.

              1. nonegiven*

                If you call me from a number I don’t recognize and you don’t leave a messagen more than once, welcome to my block list.

            3. TrainerGirl*

              I always read the visual voicemail before listening to the voicemail. It is sometimes quite hilariously wrong. I like to try to guess what the message actually says before I listen…makes retrieving the voicemail not a pain.

          2. Adam*

            My favorite: the big long rambling message where I can figure out the issue in the first three seconds but they just keep going and going. And then finally we get to the end where the leave their number and they fire it off in a split-second. Grrrr….

            1. Anna*

              I like that my phone provider’s VM service states the number that left the voicemail automatically before it plays it – that way I can just replay the message and get the number from that if the person forgets to say it/waits until the end of a three minute message to say it/babbles it too fast for me to hear etc.

            2. Sospeso*

              Hah! On a somewhat unrelated note, I briefly worked in a call center after graduating. We would often use contact info (instead of credit card info) to verify the identities of customers calling in about orders. The email portion would go something like this: “My email is fjdklapajgklafklsda aaatttt G-M-A-I-L… dot…com.” Yeesh, I think I can handle out the end of your email address. The unique part, some holdover from 7th grade, however, is a little tougher to figure out.

              1. Kelly L.*

                I spoke to someone the other day who talked so fast and mumbled so much, while spelling something out, that she had me briefly scratching my head and wondering whether new letters of the alphabet had been invented.

              2. Not Today Satan*

                I volunteer as a receptionist, and so many people speak clearly and then when I ask what their name is say, “bdfhfjsnhfjsn fhjsfhsfn.” I say, “sorry, can you repeat that?” “fbswbfkjbswfk fhsjkfswf.” Then I give up and transfer the call.

                1. Arbynka*

                  When I worked as a receptionist, sometimes I would not understand an international caller. So I’d say :”I am sorry I did not understand. Would you please reapeat that for me bit slower”. They would then reapeat it at exactly same pace, except louder.

                2. Pennalynn Lott*

                  Argh! My boyfriend does this all the time. I hear him on the phone with cust service reps or potential customers, after he has said his name once and it’s clear that they’ve asked him to repeat it. He says it the same way, the same rapid-fire style. Even when he spells it, it sounds like one really short word, instead of five individual letters. (FWIW, his name is Blane. I tell him that here in The South, at least when someone asks him to repeat it, it should have at least two – but possibly three – syllables. Buh-lane. The way he says it, it’s like there’s only a half syllable).

              3. ali*

                I’m hearing impaired, and my voicemail message says “I’m hearing impaired so please speak slowly and clearly when leaving a message.” You’d be surprised how many messages like this I still get. Not that anyone actually listens to outgoing messages either.

              4. Kathryn T.*

                This is why I spell my email address, including Alpha-Bravo call signs for the difficult letters (my last name has both an S and an N in it, and those are often confused for F’s and M’s) and then say “It is my first initial followed by my last name.” And then just say “at gmail dot com.”

                1. mdv*

                  YES. Or like me: hyphenated last name, with abnormal capitalization, and three rhyming letters, including a V that sounds like an F. It’s awesome!

                2. Kat M*

                  I have an Eastern European surname ending in “-ovitch.” I ALWAYS spell out that one letter: “O, V as in Victor, I, T, C, H.” Because otherwise it’s a B 50% of the time and the person on the other end of the line gets seriously awkward.

            3. Kate*

              I was taught and have always left my number at the beginning and end so people have 2 chances to catch it and if they don’t they don’t have to listen to it all again. I wish more people would do that.

              1. kac*

                Yes! I wait until the end give my number, but I try to say it twice in a row. I figure the first time your digging for a pen and he second time you can actually write it down.

                1. Collarbone High*

                  A lot of my friends are reporters, and they’re very good at leaving clear messages with repeated names and numbers so their calls get returned. Sometimes they forget to turn that off in their personal life — it’s pretty funny to get a message from someone you’ve been dating for 8 months saying “This is Chris, C-H-R-I-S …”

              2. Saucy Minx*

                This is what I do, although since cell phones it is often no longer necessary for friends & family. State the name (& the phone number if called for) clearly at the beginning; state the message briefly & clearly, & repeat the name (& phone number) at the end.

            4. Cath in Canada*

              Ugh, yes. And the system we have at work forces you to listen to the whole message: even if you’ve memorised which button to press for delete / forward / other options, you can’t do any of those things until after the full message and then the full options menu. It’s sooooo frustrating not to be able to skip. Who designs these things?!

              1. Elizabeth the Ginger*

                Similarly, on the other end, I’m baffled and annoyed by how many providers think that they need to tack on their own message when you’re leaving a voicemail.

                Voice of the person I’m trying to call: “Hi, you’ve reached the voicemail of Cardamom Franspotter. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you soon.”

                Computerized voice: “Please record your message after the tone. When you are done recording, you may hang up or press the pound key. You may also press 2 for more options, 7 to erase and re-record, 4 to review your message, 9 to reach another Ver-Mobile&T customer, 8 to listen to your own voicemail messages, 12 to contact customer service, 5 to order a cheesesteak from the deli, 63 to vote in our weekly poll, or 24 to sign up for our spam list. Please press 0 to be put on hold indefinitely with the same 32 bars of Musak looping over and over.”


                1. Elder Dog*

                  Try clicking * and see if that cuts off the trash so you can leave your message. If not, maybe # does. Sometimes it works. Almost always on Verizon.

                2. maggie*

                  Elder – I use “1” to jump to the BEEEEP. Maybe its really just a hit any key thing?

          3. BRR*

            I love at work my voicemails show up in my email. Now they are very far from being accurate but I can usually get the point.

          4. Kelly L.*

            The endless menu to get there. Press this, then press that, now put in this code, then that code…

            My cell phone VM is actually pretty tolerable, but the one we have at work is agonizing. And the automated voice sounds so smug and annoying that I start pressing the buttons at the first sign of it, just so I won’t have to actually listen to “her.”

          5. AdAgencyChick*

            Guilty. I’m the worst at leaving run-on voicemails, so I don’t blame anyone who TL;DL’s them!

          6. Kat*

            Verizon offers vooicemail transcription for a monthly fee. I used it during the free trial and loved it.I am going to keep using it. Otherwise I dont listen to voicemails.

            1. ali*

              yeah, me too on T-mobile. LOVE it. I will never listen to another VM again if I don’t have to. Love that I can just delete it from that interface, too.

            2. Vicki*

              How is this?

              I use Google Voice because if the email transcription. It’s… amusing. It does. at least, give me a rough idea of who called and why.

          7. Mike C.*

            I’ll tell you why.

            *Looks at phone, someone left a voice mail, UGGHH*
            1. Dials number
            2. Types in the password.
            3. Retypes the password
            4. No, the other password
            5. DAMN IT
            6. Finally, it works.
            8. skip
            10. Message finally plays, it’s a garbled mess where the contact info is half missing.

            and so on.

            The menus are a pain in the ass, you can’t easily sort through them and there’s no way to store them long term like a text or email. Voice mail sucks.

            1. Myrin*

              Reading all the comments along these lines makes me really glad that for me to reach my voicemail, I just have to call a number and it’ll immediately say “You have x new messages” and then play the messages. Afterwards it starts doing the options thingy, like “if you want to save, press 2, if you want to delete, press 3”, but that isn’t too much of a hassle generally.

              1. Arbynka*

                Mine works like that too. I also have a visual voicemail, all you do is click on the icon and it takes you there, all voicemails listed with numbers and how long the message is. I can pick in which order I want to listen to them.

                1. Myrin*

                  I actually don’t even have a smartphone but a really old one that can’t even connec to the internet. Yet it works perfectly fine for things like this.

            2. Michele*

              So true. Then the person leaving the message rambles on for 6 minutes, but blasts through their name and contact information so that you have to start all over to get the only thing you wanted.

            3. Jessa*

              I programme the whole thing including the password into my phone. So when I need to check messages on my home answering machine for instance, I just dial and it puts in everything. You can programme pauses and symbols in, so all I have to do is dial and it’s done. If there are choices for instance press 2 to listen, you just programme that in as well. Anything you have to input can be put in the string (as long as your phone will take a string that long, mine does.)

          8. Shell*

            And sometimes enunciation and accents makes it hard for the recipient to understand.

            Yeah, I don’t like voicemail either. But assuming the manager understood enough of the voicemail to glean that OP was sick, I’m assuming she could’ve understood the rest of the message as well. The manager has no excuse.

          9. INTP*

            And pre-iphone I couldn’t even forward through messages. I had to listen to the 18 messages I’d ignored from CVS saying my prescriptions are ready to get to a new message. So yeah, I’d just call people back unless it was a potential employer or something.

          10. Observer*

            And even when the caller is doing everything right, you can’t always hear the calls. I do find that when my calls come into email, it goes better, because I can play with the volume and replay parts of the message in a way I can’t do on the phone.

            1. Mander*

              Ugh. Yes. I really despise the trend toward videos, especially for “help” topics. So you get some awkward person rambling for 10 minutes, then a screenshot of them clicking mouse buttons, and talking in excruciating detail about how to click a mouse, and what the right icon looks like, or whatever. When all you need is a couple of lines of text that say click on menu > option > bizarrely out-of-place sub-menu > thing that you want.

              1. Airy*

                It’s true that sometimes seeing a demonstration in motion is necessary to understand exactly how to do a thing (e.g. origami folds). I like to have the best of both worlds – written instructions with GIFs of anything you really need to see demonstrated. Plus the GIF will keep repeating so if you didn’t quite understand what you saw the first time, it’ll be around again in a moment and you don’t have to rewind.

            2. Airy*

              Heavens to Betsy, yes. I can almost always read faster than the person can talk, and I like the ability to do an initial skim-read and then go back over the key points. I’m currently waiting to hear back from an interview for a job that is mostly transcription, so if I get it I’ll feel a certain virtuous satisfaction in producing a text version for people who share my preference (or need it for practical reasons like, idk, BEING DEAF).

        2. The Cosmic Avenger*

          I totally agree, but you really have to, especially for work. I wish my company emailed voicemails to me, like my wife’s does.

          But the OP does say that they “followed standard procedure” and left a voicemail, so that should have been enough. Or maybe they need to update their procedures. That’s pretty common, policies linger on because no one has both the will and the power to change them.

          1. Observer*

            Yes. You can hate voicemail all you like. But, if that’s what is being required by the employer, this is really out of line. But, as Alison said, the kind of boss that does this is probably not the most reasonable one in the world, anyway.

        3. ThursdaysGeek*

          Katie, I know lots of people don’t like it, the messages are often a pain to get to, and I personally think the digital quality is much worse than the old analog, so when you finally do get to it, it’s harder to understand. However, if I’m sick, and call* your work phone at 5:30 am and leave a message that I’m not coming in and then go back to sleep, isn’t it better to go to the hassle of listening to the message rather than calling me several times and then calling my emergency contact because I’m not answering?

          *Ok, so I would email because then I can put in several people’s names at once, contact my out of state bosses as well as someone close to my cube. It’s easier to make sure someone gets the message if it goes to several people.

        4. Kyrielle*

          I find this hilarious because my biggest complaints is all the folks who say “Hi, this is so’n’so. I have a question. Can you call me back?”

          Six back-and-forth games of phone tag later – with my message each time asking what the question is – we connect in person, they ask, and I answer. Had they _asked the question_ in the first voice mail, I could have _left the answer_ in my first VM to them. Argh.

      3. AggrAV8ed Tech*

        My boss does that too, it drives me nuts. What’s worse is that he’ll even do that when it comes to emails.

        I’ll send him an concise email with all necessary details and then he’ll call me with “So, what was that email about?”

        Seriously? His excuse is usually, “Oh, I don’t have time to read all that,” which is infuriating because “all that” can sometimes be as little as two sentences.

          1. College Career Counselor*

            Exactly. Maybe AggrAV8ed Tech’s boss is different, but I can READ a hell of lot faster than I can listen to someone talk. This is why I hate podcasts–takes too long and unless I’m a captive audience generally doing something else (driving), I much prefer to read. It’s more efficient.

            1. Nashira*

              For me too, podcasts exist for activities I can’t do while reading, like ellipticals. Otherwise gimme book!

            2. maggie*

              Actually, I think ALL people can read text faster than speaking or understand speaking (this is actual science but I don’t have the link because I’m lazy.). It’s probably why all of us hate voicemail. |-:

            3. Cath in Canada*

              More efficient, yes, but there are some really great podcasts out there that have timing, pacing, music, and other non-verbal sound engineering as part of the overall experience. I’m thinking of stuff like Radiolab, Atoms Motion and the Void, and a lot of the Radiotopia shows. But especially Radiolab.

            4. Airy*

              I am someone who would try to read while driving to stave off boredom if I didn’t know that was a really silly thing to do. (I have actually risked it a couple of times during practically immobile traffic jams.) Podcasts are great for that – especially if you can find an enjoyable one that’s the same length as your drive to work.

        1. Elder Dog*

          Assume he’s developed a bad case of temporary dyslexia and read it to him.
          Word for word. Slooowly.

          1. Anonymous Educator*

            He may actually have dyslexia (not temporary), and so it really might take longer for him to read the email than to hear its contents in a conversation. Of course, that doesn’t really excuse his behavior. If I were AggrAV8ed Tech‘s boss and actually dyslexic, I would say “Hey, I’m dyslexic, so if you have important stuff to tell me, I’d prefer if you tell me in person or on the phone, because it can take a lot longer for me to read even short emails” instead of “So, what was that email about?”

      4. MashaKasha*

        My mom does this! I’d leave her a voice mail with all the important info and go about my day, only to be interrupted with “Sorry I missed your call, what did you want? Nope, I didn’t listen to your message, what did it say?”

      5. Dynamic Beige*

        Sometimes, I can’t get to the phone in time because maybe I’m getting the mail or using the facilities. You know, reasons why telephone answering machines became a huge hit. I then listen to the message and there is one person who calls who leaves really, really long messages. It’s not “Hi, I need to run something by you about the Teapots United project, please call me back as soon as you can, it’s 3:53” it’s “Hi it’s Jane! So I hope you’re having a good day and I was thinking about that thing about the spouts and how that could be approached differently and someone suggested that if we did… (X minutes later laying out the suggestion, with alternatives and pros and cons) Oh, I’m just pulling to my daughter’s dance class! Tell me what you think, bye!” Honestly, as soon as I hear the voice I hit 33 then 7 and just call. There’s no point listening to the whole thing, I don’t know why she leaves these epic saga voice mails. I mean, OK, I do, she’s a busy person who uses her hands-free in her car as a way to catch up on phone calls but it’s like she’s decided that she wants to spend the 10 minutes of her drive discussing the project and you don’t pick up the phone, she’s going to spend 10 minutes telling my voice mail (and her poor captive audience kid(s)) about the project. It’s not just me, other team members have reported the same thing. If it was every so often, I wouldn’t mind but it’s every time. Yeah, it’s probably rude of me to forward through them and not listen but we’re just going to have to discuss it anyway when we actually connect.

        1. Mander*

          Sounds like the character Gordon in “The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul”. IIRC he called people and left messages on their answering machines while he was driving so that he could think things through. He had a special secretary whose job it was to go around to the houses of everyone he might have called the previous day and transcribe the long, rambling messages so that he could read them again and see what he was thinking.

      6. KH*

        Even worse – people leaving voice mail with no details at all. “Hi, this is ____. Give me a call when you can. Bye” – until I can call back, this leaves me wondering what they want and gives no indication as to the importance or urgency. Leave a message with details or don’t leave a message at all!

      1. Kelly L.*

        I was thinking about that one and also the one whose boss kept bugging his girlfriend when he was delayed by snow.

    2. _ism*

      This. I’ve worked for plenty of managers who would respond this way when someone called in sick, and their purpose was to see if you really did sound convincingly sick. It’s very common in retail and food service, from my experience. They know you hate the job but they don’t want you taking any mental health days. A couple of managers even said their boss, the regional managers, would punish them for employee absences over a certain limit. One boss called my roommates, who had previously worked for him but weren’t employees anymore, and asked them to knock on my door to see how sick I looked.

      (I’m still bitter about my job-hopping years being a cashier at any and all retail stores. Still getting used to being taken at my word when I call in sick at my new job.)

      1. Myrin*

        This really is the dumbest thing. Many people can fake a “sick voice” relatively easily. Many people don’t sound sick when they really are. Such a disconnect from reality, man.

      2. Not Today Satan*

        That’s so idiotic. A very small minority of illnesses affect the voice/breathing. Since many callouts are for stomach/intestinal issues it’s particularly dumb.

        1. maggie*

          So gross, but I immediately visualized what I would have to do to the phone to ‘prove’ that I had a stomach virus. O.o

      3. Anastasia Beaverhausen*

        Cause what you really want in food service is sick people feeling pressured to come in.

      4. cardiganed librarian*

        “They know you hate the job but they don’t want you taking any mental health days.”

        That’s it! I always wonder what managers who do this think they’ll hear. Do they think it will be like a sitcom where you can hear the sounds of the fun place the employee’s actually at loud and clear? The screams of riders on the roller coaster? I guess if it’s not silence you could guess they weren’t at home, but these are the same people who also want a doctor’s note…

        1. Former Cable Rep*

          Also it’s asinine to never have any “mental health days” when you’re running a customer facing business that’s all about maintaining not just a professional demeanor but an upbeat, cheerful, helpful professional demeanor. Often in the face of relentless customer abuse. One day out of the whole year because you have hit your limit and need to not take it out on your customers should not be too much to ask. It’s not like most retail and food service jobs have paid sick leave, nobody wants to miss a day’s worth of pay because they feel too physically or emotionally lousy to function.

    3. Barney Stinson*

      Ditto on the suspicion that the manager didn’t believe OP was really sick.

      When I leave voicemails, I frequently forget what I said; after all, it’s recorded and now you know why I called.

      If you don’t listen to the voicemail and just delete it…we’re all in trouble. Listen to the voicemail!

    4. Jeanne*

      This verifying you’re home sick is crap. I had a boss that said if you called out sick you better be home to answer the phone so he could check. I said I always sleep when I’m sick and don’t answer the phone and sometimes I go to the doctor. As far as I know, he never called me on a sick day. (Ancient times before cell phones.)

  2. AnonyMiss*

    On the one hand, we have the best policy for call-ins; on the other, it is the worst. Since we have to follow both the larger office policy and our own team’s internal policy, we have to call in twice. When it comes down to my team – it is as easy as it gets. We are allowed to TEXT our chief to let her know we’ll be out, and whether or not we have anything outstanding for the day. If she needs more information, she’ll text back, and maybe ask you to call.

    On the other hand, the larger office policy is to call the front desk and ask them to check you out on the in-and-out board. We need to get ahold of a live human being then – and the phone system does not ring out before work starts at 7:30. So even if your immediate boss knows at 6:00 that you will be at home, consorting with the porcelain idol, you still need to lift the phone once more at 7:31.

    1. Hlyssande*

      The second part of that really sucks. :(

      I’m not sure what the defined policy is for my company, but in my group we can email in to the boss and supervisor that we’re going to be out and that’s good enough.

          1. nona*

            Yeah. Links go into moderation here. It should show up when Alison gets a chance to look at it.

    2. OhNo*

      Maybe I’m weird, but I tend to do that anyway. I usually send an email to my boss directly when I know I won’t be in (which is usually like 5am). Since I never get a response or acknowledgement of receipt, I also call in when the office opens at 8am to make sure whoever is on the front desk knows, since they will often need to rearrange the schedule and do one or two small tasks to cover for me.

      Usually when I call, I get told, “Oh, yeah, Boss told me you wouldn’t be in, everything’s already taken care of”. But since I never get a heads up that the info will be passed along, I figure it’s better safe than sorry.

      1. Kyrielle*

        Y’all are making me adore my team lead even more. Policy says we must call and talk to a live human being, to confirm they heard us.

        I will email my team lead as soon as I know – he usually (but not always) gets in way earlier than everyone else. Then I check email a bit later (but before the time to call in) and usually have a reply “Got it. Feel better. No call needed.”

        Well, I confirmed he received it. So I can go back to bed and never have to deal with the phone, which is awesome.

        1. ThursdaysGeek*

          Better yet, we have no policy like that. I send an email to my bosses and some co-workers who are near my cube. Since I can get to my work email from home, I set the out-of-office and then I go back to bed. I don’t check to see if they got it — someone surely got it.

        2. Rebecca*

          That’s how my boss is. The few times I’ve had to stay home sick, I’ve texted her early in the morning (she has a long commute, so I know she’s usually awake by then). She’ll text back, “Feel better!” or something to acknowledge that she got it, so I don’t have to worry.

    3. MaryMary*

      Oh, I thought we were the only company who still has an in-and-out board at the front desk. I haaaaaaaaaate ours. For one, it’s in the opposite wing from where I sit. I almost always remember to update it in the morning, but I tend to forget if I have an external meeting mid-day. I’m also not really clear on if we’re supposed to update it for brief absences. Like, what if I run down to my car to get my waterbottle? What about running to the cafe next door to get a sandwich? Or to over to Panera to get a sandwich?

      Not to mention that it only tells reception if we’re in the office, not if we’re at our desks. The last time the CEO wanted to talk to me I was in the bathroom, and I had four people tell me he was looking for me between the ladies room and my desk. I tried suggesting that Outlook/Lync have functions where people can update if they’re at their desk, or away, or busy, or in a meeting… I got a blank look from the receptionist, and IT rolled their eyes.

  3. Katie the Fed*

    That’s ridiculous.

    Here’s what I require of my employees:

    Let me know, and don’t assume I have heard until you get a response. I do that because I don’t have my cell at work, and if I’m in the car they might be calling my desk, and I might miss a message, etc. So they’re allowed to text, email, call, whatever, but they need to make sure they hear back from me (or another manager here).

    It works fine.

    1. BRR*

      This is my manager’s policy. Contact by my preferred means (she checks everything) and make sure to get a response. This is definitely what I think is best.

    2. ExceptionToTheRule*

      This is my policy as well. Unless someone has acknowledged receipt of your communication, you haven’t called in sick. I have to replace my people when they call in, so it’s imperative that I receive the message. I also try to be very diligent in responding quickly so people can roll back over and get the rest they need.

      1. "I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea."*

        I once called my manager when I was sick. She wasn’t in the office yet but her boss took the call (he was a real early bird). Anyway, he was fine, said he would deal with it etc. But he didn’t pass the message on or deal with it at all. Long story short, I went back to sleep and later in the day I woke to so many texts and emails from my manager about why I hadn’t called in. The policy was just to speak to a manager or above so I thought I was covered (and should have been). I don’t work there now but on the few occasions I have phoned in sick since, I have made sure to cover as many bases as possible.

        1. jamlady*

          Ugh! But in that situation, I wouldn’t be upset with you at all – you followed protocol – but I’d be crazy annoyed with my boss.

        2. SophiaB*

          I do project support and if my Consultants phone in sick, I make sure to copy them in on the comms I send out to their boss and the relevant PMs so they can see that I’ve got the message and passed it on correctly. It helps when they’ve told me they’re out for several days, because I’ll send an update to the email each day to the relevant people with them CC’d, so they just have to check for one email to know they’re covered.

    3. Joey*

      That’s a bit of a weird circumstance though no? Don’t I remember than you can’t take your personal cell to work?

      Normally, Id think that’s a bit lazy on the managers part- putting the burden on employees to chase you down. Normally they shouldn’t have to do that.

      1. Katie the Fed*

        Yes – I don’t have my cell at work and don’t have access to my work number at home.

    4. Amtelope*

      We typically email, and then also list ourselves as out sick on a shared Outlook calendar and turn on an out of office message on our email. Emailing is preferred to calling so that we can copy everyone who’s affected; we do a lot of work in and across teams, and often my manager is not the person who needs to know most urgently that I won’t be there.

      But that seems to cover it — checking email frequently is mandatory for the work we do, so I haven’t seen any situations where a manager missed that someone was out.

    5. ThursdaysGeek*

      I’m not sure why the sick employee needs to make sure they get a response. I’d prefer to just email several people at once, and go back to sleep. Having to stay awake and keep checking for a response is something I don’t want to do when I’m sick. If my boss knows, several people who work around me know, and my out-of-office is set, is it really necessary to also get a acknowledgement that the message has been received?

      1. Retail Lifer*

        I can’t access my work email from home, so I can’t set an out-of-office when I won’t be in. Aside from that, I’m in total agreement. I text my boss, co-worker, and the office administrator and back up with an email (from my personal email of course). Then I go back to bed.

      2. Katie the Fed*

        Yes. Messages get missed. If you told three coworkers but they’re all at a meeting, that’s a problem.

        1. ExceptionToTheRule*

          Especially if you have to be replaced on the schedule. We used to have a production assistant who would call in at midnight, before the morning show director came in at 2am. He would leave a message with one of the morning show producers, who would promptly forget about it until he didn’t show up at 4am and the director was frantically trying to figure out where he was when the show started at 4:30.

          Producers work in a different department than the Production Assistants and aren’t at all responsible for finding a replacement prompter operator when one is sick. And we HAVE to have a prompter operator.

      3. Elizabeth the Ginger*

        I think it depends heavily on what your job is. If you aren’t there and no one knows for the first hour of the workday, will everything be okay? If your job mostly involves you working on your own, then you shouldn’t need to reach a real person. However, if you’re a second-grade teacher, or the nurse responsible for the patients in wing G, or the person who unlocks the post office in the morning, then it’s reasonable for your employer to want to make sure the people who arrange coverage know that you’re not going to be there.

        Even in those cases, though, the response to an employee violating policy and just leaving a message isn’t to immediately call them repeatedly and call their emergency contact. It’s to meet with them when they are well again and say, “Olaf, when you’re sick, you need to make sure you actually talk to me or Yolanda. If I’d missed your message, we wouldn’t have known to get a sub for your class and the students would have been unattended.”

        1. ThursdaysGeek*

          Yes, I can see that a response would be needed for a different kind of job. I work independently, and rarely do others have an immediate need for my help.

    6. Swarley*

      I love this. I can text, email, call, send a messenger, etc. to let my boss know I’ll be out. She’s never specified that I need to wait for a reply, (thankfully she always replies) but I’d definitely follow up if I didn’t hear anything from her.

    7. JPixel*

      This is basically my policy too. If someone calls out sick, I have to get coverage. I have people who work overnights and need to be able to schedule accordingly. I ask that if the person doesn’t hear from me within the hour that he or she calls (or emails) my backup but must get a response from someone.

      That being said… one of my colleagues NEVER answers her phone and I am her backup. It’s annoying to me and to her employees.

  4. Sunflower*

    Wow this is crazy. I list my mother as my emergency contact but I do not live with her or speak to her on an everyday so if I was out sick, she wouldn’t know why and she would probably assume I was in the hospital. That is just so not cool.

    My employer is really bad and even they would never do something like this(at least I don’t think…). Definitely take Allison’s advice and have a talk with her. How are not other employees totally freaked out by this? I’m wondering if there are other crazy things going on in the office that have become the norm?

    1. Ama*

      Yeah until I met my SO my emergency contact was my parents by default, but they live halfway across the country. My parents are pretty even tempered but if they got a call from my manager they’d initially freak out, and then they’d get really mad that it wasn’t for anything serious.

    2. Kelly L.*

      Yup! I also list my mom. We don’t live together either–it’s more that I’m pretty sure she’s my next of kin, if it came to that. I also list my BF, who I also don’t live with. Both of them, I would love to have notified if I were in the hospital! Neither of them knows my granular whereabouts every waking moment of the day.

      1. Ama*

        I *do* live with my SO but he sleeps later than I do. On more than one occasion I’ve gotten out of bed, proceeded to call in sick, returned to bed and fallen asleep, only for him to wake me up when his alarm goes off because he thinks I’ve slept through my alarm. I can only imagine what would happen if he was woken up by a call from my manager, fumbled for the phone and been asked where I was *before* he was awake enough to realize I was right next to him.

        1. Anonsie*

          Same here. He doesn’t get up for work until after I’ve left, usually, so this would go pretty dumbly I’d imagine.

    3. Felicia*

      My mom lives 30 minute drive away, and we talk twice a week and see each other twice a month, and if she got this type of call (she’s my emergency contact), she’d think I was dead or dying.

    4. sam*

      Yeah – I think this manager has a very different definition of emergency contact than I (or we) do. For me, my emergency contact (my dad, who only spends about half his time in the same city as me), is for purposes of if they need to contact someone on my behalf because I’ve either been injured at work or I’ve disappeared completely and they basically need to start a manhunt. In other words, the “emergency” relates to *me*.

      For this manager, they clearly think the emergency relates to *work*. My dad could not care less about your work emergency.

    5. MashaKasha*

      I listed my dad when he was alive and he’d probably be terrified if he’d gotten a call from my boss! He was in his 70s and didn’t speak English very well. He’d have assumed the worst.

      I have now started giving my 19yo son as my emergency contact. He probably either wouldn’t have picked up or would’ve been very confused as to why he was getting this call. As he should be. Like someone already said, this is not a true emergency.

    6. JayemGriffin*

      My family has a history of heart disease, stroke, and several other nasty problems, so if my dad got a call from my workplace saying I hadn’t come in due to sickness, he’d be at the airport booking a ticket before anyone would be able to tell him it wasn’t a big deal.

  5. Adam*

    Is your boss a manager or a truant officer? I know people abuse sick time occasionally, but unless there’s a suspicious pattern to go off of one day out on a non-critical day does not merit this sort of nanny-ing. Adults usually respond quite well when you treat them as a adults.

    1. Katie the Fed*

      I hate when my employees give me details about being sick. Buddy, I don’t care how liquid it is – just take the day off. I trust you know when you need a sick day.

      1. Adam*

        If I were a manager I would not ask for details. I probably wouldn’t even require a doctor’s note unless you were out long enough with severe pneumonia or something.

        1. Katie the Fed*

          I will say I was in an accident and hospitalized for a while, and my boss came to visit a couple times which was lovely. But I like him. :)

          1. Adam*

            I would feel so weird if co-workers or my boss came to visit me in the hospital. Something about those weird gowns you have to wear.

            1. Katie the Fed*

              I was in my normal clothes and I met him in the visiting area. Bossman doesn’t need to see my lady urinal.

              Annnnd oversharing. Time to get off the internet.

              1. Gizmo*

                Erm, I disagree. I was in the hospital for a week with pneumonia and visitors were exhausting. I appreciate the sentiment but – also having dealt with a serious illness aside from that – sometimes the last thing a sick person wants is visitors. You find yourself in the position of entertaining them and what you really need to do is rest. Send a card instead.

          2. ali*

            I once was out on short-term disability after surgery and not only did all my direct coworkers show up to hang out and entertain me (we were all very close and good friends), but my boss came in and did my annual review with me while I was in the hospital because she was under deadline for it. It was the best review I ever had and I got an 8% raise and a promotion, without having ever asked for anything.

            (and I was allowed to at least wear my own clothes by the time they visited)

          3. Lamb*

            When I was pregnant my work was 1 mile from the hospital. I had a coworker who kept saying she was going to bring the people we provided care for to visit me in the hospital. Logically she must have been joking, but I didn’t let my boss know I’d given birth until the morning we were released, just in case.

      2. Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees*

        Oh god, the last place I worked DID NOT trust us to know when we needed a sick day. One time I had a truly heinous stomach bug. I called at an appropriate time, and said “I can’t come in today, I’m very ill and I believe it is food poisoning.” the manager said “Ok, but are you really sick?” I said “Well, I’m throwing up a lot…” to which they said “You need to be more specific.” What more could you possible want, a selfie of me and the toilet!!??

          1. Katie the Fed*

            Even that’s kind of silly. Like, one time my whole team was at a happy hour farewelling someone who was leaving. I know because I was there and left around 9.
            The next day many of them called in. I knew they were hungover. They knew I knew. It was a one-time thing and we had enough people to do the work, so I just laughed at them and told them to go back to bed.

            1. VintageLydia USA*

              Reminds me of when we had a holiday party at a seafood restaurant. Though this restaurant has a really good reputation, I guess that day the food was less-than-fresh. Fully half the staff called out the next day. By the third phone call we knew we’d be lucky if anyone made it in. We had just barely enough people in the cover the store and thankfully it was a slow day!

            2. Allison*

              Good on you! Seriously, hungover is still sick, and while people should avoid getting hungover during the work week, stuff happens. And if it does happen and they feel it’s better for everyone involved if they stay home and rest or work from home, let ’em.

              I’ve been hungover at work exactly once, and it was terrible.

            3. OhNo*

              That’s the kind of response I would like from a boss.

              I never understood why some people (even some people in the comments here) get so preachy about using sick days when you’re hungover. Like yes, ideally you wouldn’t do something that would leave you that sick the night before work, and you definitely shouldn’t do it on a regular basis. But if it only happens once in a blue moon, who the heck cares?! You have sick days for a reason, and it’s not your boss’ (or your coworkers’) place to judge when it is “okay” for you to use them.

              It’s like if I called in sick with food poisoning, and my boss said, “Well, you should come in anyway. You should have known better than to eat shrimp at that restaurant last night, and it’s unacceptable that you would use a sick day to cover choices you made that I disagree with.”

              1. Katie the Fed*

                If it was a habit, I’d definitely say something. But my team is generally pretty awesome and I can excuse a day of collective hangovers if I know it’s not going to be a frequent thing.

                God, they were funny. One of the partiers made it in and I told him to go home.

                1. OhNo*

                  If it’s a habit, obviously it’s a whole other problem.

                  I’m kind of glad you sent the person who made it in home. I’ve only had the pleasure of working with hungover students at my college work study job, and I can tell you it was… interesting to be the only functional one in the room. Not a lot got done on those days, as I’m sure you can imagine.

                2. Adam*

                  Hangover is special brand of feeling crappy since it’s 100% inarguable that you brought it on yourself. I once took in a little too much at cousin’s wedding. I’m generally pretty good about monitoring my intake so this was only the second time in my life I was actually hungover…but I still had to get on a plane to get home that day. Planes and hangovers do not mix. At. All.

                  The icing on the blurry cake was that my cousin ended up getting divorced not more than two years later. Thanks, bro!

                3. Cath in Canada*

                  When I worked in Scotland 15 years ago, we had a boozy night out one Tuesday on the boss’s dime (the lab had just had a hugely successful review that not only guaranteed but actually increased its funding for the next five years). Everyone but the boss made it in the next day, and we were all massively hungover. The shared hangover was actually a really great bonding experience – we made each other cups of tea, someone went out to buy cakes for everyone, and we suffered together. Literally no work got done that day, but it was great for the team! Not that I recommend this approach. I experienced being (less) hungover at work a couple of times in the few years after that incident, and it was Not Fun.

          2. kozinskey*

            But even then, do you really want someone green with a hangover to come in to the office? Sick time is for both when you’re contagious and when you can’t perform the functions of your job. I don’t see how it’s to anyone’s benefit to have someone who can’t keep anything down at work.

            1. Allison*

              I agree, but I get the sense that some see it as a misuse of sick time, since a hangover is something you bring on yourself.

              1. OhNo*

                Something you bring on yourself? Heck, you could argue that about most illnesses. Have a cold? You brought in on yourself by hanging around other people with colds. Broke your leg? You brought it on yourself by walking on icy sidewalks in high heels. Food poisoning? You brought it on yourself by eating sushi at that restaurant last night.

                1. Allison*

                  I once did give myself food poisoning, simply because I overestimated the shelf life of cooked ground beef . . . I totally brought it on myself, but eating doesn’t have the same stigma as drinking alcohol.

                  Later on I saw a job post where they were looking for “someone who won’t get food poisoning on Sunday night.” I get what they mean, no one wants a slacker employee who claims illness on Monday morning for an extended weekend, but I’d gotten legit food poisoning on Sunday night and couldn’t drive to work on Monday, so suddenly I was very self-conscious and wondered if my boss believed me or thought I was lying.

                2. Koko*

                  Plus, if someone is misusing their sick time, they’re going to run out of it. It’s not like people who call in hungover are getting free extra sick days out of it.

              2. Kyrielle*

                I don’t drink alcohol. Ever. And if I have a coworker with a hangover so bad they’re puking, or unsafe to drive, I REALLY want them to stay home – both for their sake, and everyone else’s. (In the case of the unsafe-to-drive so no one gets hit, in the case of puking – seriously, we don’t need to be around that. ew.)

          3. Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees*

            I’m almost positive it was! But it was frustrating because I really had no way to prove that I wasn’t- there were no pictures of me out at bars (cuz I didn’t go or drink) but I couldn’t present them with a food diary showing zero alcohol consumption the night before, or a timestamped picture of me reading and then going to bed early, or bedroom cam footage of me waking up at 2am and realizing that oh no- something was so not right. All I could give them was my phone call (and me muttering “please, I really, really need to go now, please” as my manager continued questioning… though vomiting on the phone might have convinced them!)

            1. Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees*

              Which is to say, managers- unless this person is always calling out sick, maybe trust them (especially in food services!)

        1. Brenda*

          Yeah, unless it’s an ongoing problem, what are you gonna do if someone’s hungover instead of “really sick”? If someone’s throwing up, they’re throwing up, it doesn’t really matter what happened to bring it on. Don’t come to work.

          Unless it’s happening frequently, I think it’s okay to be sick for “unapproved” reasons once in a while (i.e. once a year or so). Although if this does happen I still usually say it was food poisoning.

        2. Shell*

          Ugh. I once got driven to the hospital mid-shift by a coworker and tried to call in for two days afterwards. And the boss didn’t like that and told me to check in with him on the second day to see if I could come in.


          (This was not retail.)

          Katie, bosses like you are a treasure.

          1. OfficePrincess*

            OldJob called an ambulance for me and forced me to go to the hospital. They then considered the rest of that day and the day I spent in the hospital as unexcused absences even though I called as soon as I knew I was being admitted. I was told if I didn’t go in the following day (15 hours after being discharged) I would be fired.

            Reason #253 I hated that job.

      3. Allison*

        I use very vague terms for this reason, not only does no one at work need to know what’s coming out of me, I don’t want them to know either! Unless it’s a cold or the flu, I say I’m not feeling well or I’m feeling under the weather, and no one asks for details.

        1. Koko*

          I had a boss who once described the color and consistency of what was coming out of his nose. DID NOT NEED TO KNOW THAT, BUDDY.

      4. Ann Furthermore*

        I just say I’ve got “gastro-intestinal uproar” and leave it at that. Gets the point across.

    2. ExceptionToTheRule*

      Oh amen. I don’t want the gory details, but the person who was the supervisor before me did and everyone is conditioned to over-share. I really don’t care what’s coming out of where, just tell me in enough time to find a replacement and go back to bed.

  6. Elkay*

    Based on the mention of Glassdoor reviews this sounds like a company problem not a boss problem. The boss may think it’s crazy that she has to call her direct reports but she’s following a policy, albeit a stupid one. I guess you can ask your boss not to call your emergency contact but I fear you’ll be told it’s policy.

    1. Sunflower*

      Yup same. Especially since the boss called and didn’t really seem to ask for anything, it sounds like she knew the call was pointless and wasn’t using it to berate her.

      1. Gandalf the Nude*

        Even so, I think a good manager would acknowledge the inconvenience and even apologize for having to do it. I doubt it’s against policy to say, “Hey, so sorry to bug you while you’re sick, but policy requires (insert policy-required verification here)… Okay, I’ll leave you alone. Get well soon!”

    2. Alter_ego*

      I feel like, if that’s the policy, you should be told while you’re setting up your emergency contact. Because my contact is my mom, who lives three states away. She cares if I loose a limb on the job, or haven’t shown up in 3 days without calling. If I know my emergency contact is going to be called every time I call in sick, I’ll put one of my roommates down as the emergency contact, since they probably already know I haven’t gone in to work that day.

    3. AnonAnalyst*

      Yeah, frankly, I’m more concerned that that’s the company policy. It would suck to have a manager that refused to respect boundaries, but I think I would find it easier to accept that it was one manager overstepping vs. an actual policy for the entire company.

      I would still speak with the manager, but if the manager confirms that this is in fact the way it’s done at this company, I would be looking for another job. That’s ridiculous.

  7. Sadsack*

    I’d be really angry if my employer did this. Calling someone’s parents to tell them that their son or daughter didn’t show up to work really has the potential to cause all kinds of worry. You want to call me and hear in person why I am not coming in, fine, but don’t call my family and make them think something is wrong!

    1. Artemesia*

      Exactly, she is lucky the police didn’t show up to do a welfare check. If I got that call about my kid ‘he didn’t show up for work and we can’t reach him’ I’d probably panic not understanding that said kid had called in and left a message.

      The multiple calls are annoying but the call to the father is totally outrageous.

      1. kozinskey*

        Yes, this exactly! Emergency contacts are for true emergencies — like, if something fell on me at work and I were on my way to the hospital. Calling in sick does not count as an emergency except in really extreme circumstances.

        1. Sospeso*

          Yes, exactly! My mom would be all about a welfare check if my employer did this and she couldn’t reach me. This seems like a pretty significant privacy issue to me.

      2. OhNo*

        That’s what I was thinking, too. I live with my family, and even if my father knew I was sick at home when he left in the morning, I’d probably still get a panicked call or quick visit if he got contacted by my boss.

        It might not be strictly logical, but I feel like parents especially might have an intrinsic panic response when they hear that their kid isn’t where they are supposed to be and no one knows why.

      3. _ism*

        This has actually happened to me. Called in sick, spoke to the receptionist who relays the message to the appropriate boss. Boss called my EC, who was my abusive and toxic estranged mother (I just couldn’t think of who else to put down when I was hired, thinking they’d only ever call her if went into a coma on the job). My mom, hundreds of miles away, called the police and they knocked on my door for a welfare check. In the middle of explaining the situation to them I had to throw up, and one of the cops INSISTED on watching and not letting me close the bathroom door. It was horrific and I did not get any rest that day.

    2. Hlyssande*

      My mom would be dropping everything to road trip herself up here immediately if this happened where I work. Don’t panic the emergency contacts!

      1. Rebecca*

        Yes! I think I have my husband as my emergency contact, but it might be my mom. (Guess I should check on that.) My husband would obviously know if I was home sick but if my work called him and said they couldn’t get a hold of me, I think he’d be in his car and headed home before even hanging up the phone. Same with my mother, she’d be worried sick!

    3. Cath in Canada*

      No kidding! It could also create a “boy who cried wolf” situation, if your emergency contact doesn’t try to reach you in a true emergency because they’ve got so used to getting a call every time you have a cold.

      And now I’m thinking of poor Amy Farrah Fowler discovering what it really means to be Sheldon’s emergency contact…

    4. EvilQueenRegina*

      My cousin’s old holiday job once called her parents saying she hadn’t turned up for work that day. Since she had set off as normal, they thought something must have happened to her and her dad dashed home in a panic thinking he’d have to go out searching. Turned out it was someone else with the same first name who hadn’t turned up. They weren’t happy.

  8. Fantasma*

    In an old job, one of my manager’s peers required that you speak to him directly and tell him specifically what your illness was. Morale was terrible on his team for several reasons, and they had a lot of trouble recruiting internal transfers. Alison is absolutely right when she says that type of policy indicates other problems with the manager.

        1. Miss Chanandler Bong*

          “It’s kind of greenish… and there’s something that looks like corn, which is weird because I haven’t eaten corn recently. You know what? How about I just send you a pic after every occurrence?”

        1. DMented Kitty*

          Why not just send a stool sample? That’s what I think of these dumb policies.

    1. Rebecca*

      This is the policy where I work. You have to call and talk to the PHB personally. Messages aren’t allowed. Never mind you don’t know when she’ll be in the office, off running errands, or just not at her desk. It’s a giant pain, and yes, a morale killer. I rarely call in sick, and when I do, I’m at death’s door step and really don’t want to be bothered trying stay awake and alert enough to make multiple phone calls to the office.

    2. cuppa*

      If I had to do this when I have a migraine, the call would get dragged out from my barfing every time I move my head. Ugh.

  9. Allison*

    I can’t understand the manager’s thought process here, either they don’t understand what an emergency contact is, or they don’t trust their employees and need to check to make sure they’re really sick – even then, calling their EC is a really dumb way to do it.

    It always baffles me how a company’s call-out procedure seems so disconnected from the actual experience of being sick. Who wants to play phone tag first thing in the morning when all they want to do is go back to bed? Or throw up? Who wants to be bothered with followup or check-in calls when they’re trying to rest and get better? Or throwing up. Who wants to drag their sick butt (no pun intended) to the doctor just for a stupid note when they need to rest? Who wants their boss questioning the validity of their illness? No one. Let people send you a text or e-mail when they’ve made the decision to stay home, reply and say you hope they get well soon, and then don’t bother them unless you absolutely have to.

    1. Kelly L.*

      This! I think they’re probably trying to make it annoying to call in fake-sick, but it ends up penalizing the real sick people more, because it sucks a lot more to jump through those hoops while sick.

  10. sittingduck*

    Since glassdoor says this has happened before – this is probably not the case but –

    Could it be that the boss just got a verbal message from whoever checks the messages on the phone?

    ‘Delilah isn’t coming in today’ could be the only message they got if Boss wasn’t the one to actually listen to the message on the machine. So when Boss then asked ‘are you sick, do you have any outstanding work’ it could be because they didn’t actually hear OP say that. But in saying ‘I did get your message’ Boss could be referring the verbal/email ‘message’ about the voice mail?

    Just a thought.

    I agree that voice mails are a pain, and I personally HATE when someone leaves me one, because I don’t like checking them. Particularly when I’ve already talked to the person, and know what the message was, the only reason to go into my voice mail is to delete the message.

    We are allowed to text/email our boss that we aren’t coming in, or will be late – which I love. Plus it also leaves a ‘paper’ trail that you actually did ‘call’ in – with a voice mail, once it is deleted, its gone forever!

  11. Soharaz*

    I had a boss once who was a chronic oversharer on health issues who expected everyone else to overshare as well. I needed to call in sick because of a stomach bug and I literally had to spell out what I had been doing all night and would be continuing to do all day in my bathroom (not just saying ‘I have food poisoning’) before he would let me off the phone.

      1. "I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea."*

        Especially if you were in the bathroom at the time of the call.

      2. MaryMary*

        At OldJob a particularly nasty gastro virus made the rounds of the office, and it was dubbed the Both Ends Flu. For a couple of weeks if anyone called off, we all knew the cause and didn’t ask any further questions.

  12. Kat*

    It’s actually pretty common in retail/restuarant work. You have to call in and speak with the manager. I think it’s partly to deter people from texting in sick when they are faking it. You better have a good “sick” voice when you just want the day off to go do something fun.

    But again, in those industries it’s very common for people to call in sick when they aren’t.

    1. april ludgate*

      At my first job ever, which was in retail, the manager gave me such a complex about calling in sick. I was legitimately, can’t get out of bed sick. I’d worked the evening before and customers were expressing concern at how horrible I looked/sounded. But that manager guilt tripped me and hemmed and hawed about possibly firing me over it and I, being a sixteen year old who’d never gotten in trouble for anything, cried. I think that’s when she believed me, but since then, three jobs later, I’ve called out sick once. Managers who make calling out sick more difficult than it needs to be are the worst.

      1. Michele*

        When I was a teenager, I let my horrible bosses bully me when I was sick, too. It didn’t matter that I was working with food while I was throwing up–I had to be there. One time I was too sick to even call in, and my mom called in for me. My boss started his crap, and she yelled at him. Adults learn to not put up with that garbage, but it really gave me some unhealthy habits where I would go into work no matter how sick I was for a long time.

    2. Collarbone High*

      My high school job had a bafflingly illogical call-out policy: you had to speak to a manager, BUT all calls went to an answering machine (just a recording, you couldn’t leave messages) until they opened for the day at 9 a.m. Employees had to be there at 8:30, so you had no chance to talk to a manager until you were already half an hour late. Then half the time they would tell you nope, come in or be fired — and then write you up for being late. I always felt like one of those rats in a learned helplessness experiment that’s going to be shocked no matter what it does.

  13. some1*

    It’s hard to imagine that someone who makes it to a supervisory position wouldn’t understand the unecessary worry they could cause by calling the EC! Especially for us unattached folks who have our parents or a sibling as an EC and we don’t talk to them all the time!

    1. Michele*

      That was my thought, too, especially if the EC doesn’t live with you. If my work called my husband, he would just tell them that I was asleep and we would have a WTF conversation later. However, if they called my parents who live in another state, they would panic, especially if my phone was turned off.

  14. AnonEMoose*

    If I’m going to be out sick, I email my boss and immediate coworkers and let them know. It’s rare that there’s anything that can’t wait a day, but if there is, I just put that in the email and ask someone to check on it for me. Works well, and means I can go back to bed.

  15. Bekx*

    My old company would do this. It was irritating as heck when I was sick — but really annoying when I called off work “sick” because I had 2 interviews in one day.

    I called as soon as I woke up in the morning and still had my groggy voice on, made my voice sound nasally and voila. When I came back to work the next day everyone mentioned how sick I sounded on the voicemail and they hoped I wasn’t contagious! I hate lying, I wish I could have just emailed them and been like “Hey, not coming in”, but that would have been incredibly taboo.

    One time my supervisor had strep and the owner called him, his wife, and his wife’s work to see if he was really sure he had strep and couldn’t come in. She could bring in a mask if that would make him feel better!

    1. Allison*

      I’m surprised the guy could talk on the phone with strep! Last time I had it, it was so bad that no one could understand a word I was saying, and my doctor even said I had “strep voice.” I’m surprised the boss didn’t talk to him and think “yup, sounds like strep, all right then.” Maybe not everyone gets it that bad.

      1. Bekx*

        I didn’t talk to him, but I heard her calling. “Oh…wow, you DO sound sick. So…when are you coming back to work? Hm…you sure you can’t come in? Oh, well, Tywin can come pick you up if you don’t want to drive….okay…Well, we’ll see you tomor-…oh Thursday? Well…I guess you’ll have a LOT of work when you get back. Maybe you can answer some emails. Okay. Thanks!”

        She was nuts.

        1. Allison*

          Sounds like someone who’s never had strep and thinks it’s just a bad sore throat or something. In my experience it can be as bad as the flu, only real difference is that you can take antibiotics for it, but they take at last a day to really kick in.

          1. Lily in NYC*

            I get strep every couple of years and don’t always lose my voice. The worst case of strep I’ve ever had was three years ago – I was out of the office for 8 days and was able to talk except for one or two of those days. And I’ve had regular sore throats where I lost my voice for a week (I’m really prone to sore throats!). You really can’t use that as an arbiter of how sick someone is. Everyone’s experience is different.

          2. nona*

            Used to get it every year. It does feel like a bad sore throat. But it’s a contagious one that can get dramatically worse, so yeah, take that one seriously.

  16. Sospeso*

    I did have a position at a crisis mental health agency that was staffed 24/7, where we were required to speak to a manager when calling off. Was it a pain? Yes, especially if you were feeling beyond crummy. I found that it helped that management explained the reasoning behind the policy often: appropriately staffing the agency meant a safe, collaborative day at work for employees, and if you’d worked there long enough, you had lived through the pandemonium that was an under-staffed shift. I wonder if the OP’s workplace has a good reason for this policy that they’re just not articulating to employees.

    1. Doreen*

      It’s possible. My job also requires a minimum level of staffing and I have at times required people to speak directly to me for a couple of reasons :
      1 They don’t leave any information about why they will be out. I don’t need to know details , but I do need to know if they are sick or if they are taking off for some other reason – sick leave will always be approved but a last minute vacation day will depend on staffing.
      2 The people who were actually able to email me when they were not sitting at their desk and those who texted me didn’t actually tell me who they were – they apparently just assumed that I would know which of the sixty employees was or who that unfamiliar phone number belonged to

  17. Steve G*

    At last job, we never questioned why sick people were out, it didn’t matter. People can catch up on their work later.

    Also, with women in the office, you never know if its the time of the month that is causing a problem, and there is no reason to push them to say something about their time of the months….because if that makes them feel unwell, you’re not gonna be able to help anyway!

    1. JAL*

      It’s REALLY ridiculous to assume this, because the majority of the time us women push through it. We are not weaklings who drop everything because we have our period. It’s something that happens once a month.

      1. Allison*

        Right. Only a small percentage of women have it so bad that they have to stay in bed. Growing up, most of us were told to suck it up, because cramps weren’t a good enough reason to miss school, or work, or athletic practices, workouts, dance classes, etc.

        Steve, I’m glad you didn’t ask, but you don’t have to bring up our “time of the month,” ‘kay?

    2. Sassy Intern*

      That last paragraph was a really weird thing to write. Like, I get where you’re coming from, but that fact that you went there is totally bizarre.

    3. Marcela*

      I don’t understand the other comments. You are not saying women always get sickness related to our periods: just that you don’t ask just in case. And you never question sick people anyway. I can tell you I appreciate your attitude, not asking me to explain why I can’t go to the office. After many years of having to explain that the pain is unbearable, that I can’t sleep, no, I can’t even think, even less answer emails, I’ve developed a thick skin and I don’t mind questions that much. It doesn’t help being told that “women push through it” or “it is something that happens only once a month”, because many, many, too many times I’ve been treated as I’m exaggerating, so I have to _prove_ for me it is that awful. And you know what, I can’t. So at least from me, thanks!

      1. Steve G*

        Well at past past past job where I spent a lot of hours w/ (female) coworker I worked closely with who was out sometimes is why I think this. When she was out and the next day everyone (as in like 5-10 people in the morning) came to her desk to make conversation “are you better” “what did you have” “are you ok to be in the office” “do you want tea” etc. She confided in me once that it was annoying to have to come up with an imaginary sickness everytime to validate, even informally, her absence. That’s all. That was my lesson for not being nosy about coworkers being out sick. I do think “wow” gets overused as a comment on the internet and doesn’t mean “wow” anymore, but that is another topic.

      2. JAL*

        I’m sorry that you go through that, but many of us DO experience bad periods and still go to work (including me). It’s just something we do because we can’t all crumble and lay in bed for a week, as much as we’d love to. Most of us cannot afford the time off. (And by the way, so no one retorts back and says I don’t understand pain…I’m 2 weeks post op from microdisectomy to repair a herniated disc in my low spine that was pressing on a nerve and I went back to work today. I was working full time until the day before my surgery).

        I don’t like when people assume that everything wrong with me is based on my period. It’s inconsiderate and is diminishing, especially coming from men who tend to think that we cannot have any other problems other than having our period.

        1. steve g*

          Ouch surgery sounds really painful good luck healing. I wasn’t making a generalization about women, I should have written my comment differently to include my story of former coworker and then said “and I’ve never questioned why someone was out sick since!” but then again this is a fast moving blog and only one of a million things I’m doing any given day so I don’t always word things the best way. Heck, there was also a coworker with obvious stomach issues at that job. Because of these type of things, I definitely stopped questioning why people were out or if they needed that extra day off because the risk of getting tmi wasn’t worth whatever information I’d get by questioning absenses. And believe me, I’ve suffered many horribly busy periods and overtime to cover for sick people.

          1. JAL*

            Almost fainted, and thrown up countless times. The nerves are all connected down there so I’ve experienced bathroom issues and my leg going numb because of cramps. Right now it is 4:06 a.m. and i’ve slept 1 hour because my damn uterus is contracting and making my incision throb right now but even though I’m going to be up all night, I’ll chug coffee and get my work done because that’s how I was raised.

        2. Marcela*

          That’s precisely what people have said to me all my life: most women work with bad periods, so you do not get to ley in bed for a whole week. In order to get the rest I need then I have to explain, with details, something very private, and many times I’ve had to prove I have a sickness with horrifying effects in my ability to being a mother and even a good partner, because most women do suffer, so why do I claim my suffering is special?

          It’s one thing to think our hormones decide for us. We can see in many places, even here in AAM, that many times when a woman is behaving strangely, somebody will ask if she’s pregnant or in birth control. That’s insulting and diminishing. But it is another thing to offer quietly the possibility to call in sick without having to give a detailed reason, just because you _think _maybe that’s the reason.

      3. Beth*

        That’s not normal by any stretch of the imagination and I hope you’ve mentioned it to your doctor, repeatedly and emphatically.

        1. Marcela*

          After more than 20 years of complaining in 3 different countries and countless doctors, and being told exactly what JAL said, plus many ugly things (such I must be a drug addict looking for stronger medicines), yes, one doctor actually listened to me. And I do have now a diagnosis, and not really a treatment because there isn’t, but some palliative care enough to being able to live like everybody else.

  18. illini02*

    Its funny that skimming the replies, this is universally thought of as bad. But I remember a couple weeks ago there was a post with someone’s manager calling their girlfriend (who wasn’t even the emergency contact and had the number since they saved it from another call) asking where they were, and people didn’t seem to be nearly as upset. I think both are ridiculous, but I wonder why some people kind of defended that action but think this one is bad.

    1. Katie the Fed*

      Because in this case the manager knew where the employee was. In the other one the manager didn’t.

    2. Kelly L.*

      For the record, I think they’re both bad. I thought of that story too. We may be getting a different sample of commenters, or they may have based their argument on the fact that at least that LW and girlfriend lived in the same house. The boss in that story also hadn’t heard from the LW yet*, while this LW had left a message.

      *IIRC, this was because the LW didn’t know they were supposed to call; they thought they weren’t on the schedule and the boss thought they were. But the boss thought the LW was going to either show up or call, even if wrongly.

      1. fposte*

        And also the girlfriend had previously called in for the OP. This wasn’t just digging a contact up.

    3. some1*

      What Katie said + that LW had asked his GF to call in late for him previously. We don’t have any evidence that the LW’s dad has ever contacted this boss.

      1. illini02*

        I still find the fact that she called previously (because he was DRIVING IN A SNOWSTORM) doesn’t mean that she should be contacted in the future. To me the situations are fairly similar, and at least the emergency contact is a provided number, unlike the GF

        1. Lily in NYC*

          I think most people agreed it wasn’t great that the manager called the GF (in the snowstorm one) – the issue was with how OP handled the situation afterwards.

        2. VintageLydia USA*

          Yeah I would never assume that someone who called in for someone else ONCE while the person could not safely use the phone was the EC.

        3. LBK*

          Either way, that was a totally different situation because it was debatable as to whether the phone call itself was appropriate. In this case, there’s pretty much no question that the phone call was inappropriate, regardless of who it was made to, because the OP had already called in and explained the absence.

    4. Allison*

      I think we all agree both are bad, but the detail that jumps out to most of us is that the employer called the emergency contact, who should really only be called in an actual emergency.

  19. MaryMary*

    This is not OP’s situation at all, but I’ve told past managers that if I have an uncommunicated, unplanned absence and don’t respond if they call or text, to go ahead and call the police for a welfare check. I live alone, and I don’t talk to every family member or every friend every day. If I fell in the tub, or am so sick I can’t get to the phone, or was attacked by Stranger Danger, I don’t want days to go by before anyone comes looking for me.

    However, if I called in sick and you called my Mom to check up on me, you’re going to have to deal with my freaked out Mom and a pissed off me.

    1. fposte*

      I scared my staff once because I’d left for a meeting before they came in. We don’t share calendars, and they called me at home and were trying to figure out what else they should do when I came back.

      I have tried to remember to let them know about such meetings since then.

  20. JAL*

    I’m so grateful my boss wants me to e-mail her if I need to be out of work. That way I don’t have to deal with B.S. like this.

  21. Michele*

    Shouldn’t a manager know if their direct reports have any important work due on a given day? I know the deadlines for my reports.

    1. Judy*

      At my last job, my manager had 28 people working for him. The team was split into subteams, we were the spout team, but we designed spouts for the chocolate teapots, the cinnamon teakettles, the peppermint pitchers, etc. Within each subteam, there were probably 8-10 projects going at any given time. I can’t imagine that my manager would know the deadlines for 40 to 60 projects that were happening within his team. (Needless to say, everyone was working on 3-5 projects at once.)

    2. Maxwell Edison*

      I’m giggling madly because my old manager back at Toxic Job had absolutely no clue what any of us were doing at any given time. To this day neither I nor my fellow direct reports know what she did all day, as it certainly wasn’t managing.

  22. peanut butter kisses*

    I am supposed to e-mail in but I don’t have a computer at home (by choice – I have couch potato tendencies). I end up calling in to work and asking one of my co-workers to send an e-mail or talk to the boss about it. I am really grateful that my boss is willing to be flexible about the e-mail policy with me.

  23. Angela*

    I do not agree with them calling the emergency contact at all – that’s way over the top. But I’m amazed that speaking to an actual human isn’t the “normal” policy at most places. I’ve never worked anywhere that you didn’t need to speak to someone when you aren’t coming in and I’m not new to the workforce (I’m in my late 30s) nor do I work in retail, food service, etc. My current supervisor would actually probably be just fine with only a text, but after so many years of managers that required a call it just wouldn’t occur to me.

    1. LBK*

      Really? I’ve seen it be pretty standard in the white collar world that you just send out an email to the team saying you’ll be out and leave it at that. That’s all I do (or I text my manager if I don’t have my laptop on me to get on my company email).

      1. Michele*

        We have a large department, so we have an attendance extension. You call and leave a message, and one of the admins gets it and relays the information. If you are up at 3 AM sick, you call in then and go back to bed.

    2. FD*

      While this was certainly the policy when I was working front desk or direct food service (the rationale being that the manager would need to find a substitute), it’s definitely not the expectation since I transitioned to management. E-mail is our primary usual mode.

  24. BritCred*

    I did very much have words with a boss who called me over the weekend (9-5 week day job) because he couldn’t get hold of my mother (we both worked at the same small firm). “Oh, well I can’t get hold of her and I need the server password….” My mother wasn’t even IT management. My first thought when my bosses called over the weekend and I saw the number? Something bad had happened to my mother…

  25. Jess*

    I once had a job where I had to both email and call my boss if I needed a sick day, and leave messages for her on her work voicemail, her cell, at her house, at her vacation house, and at her boyfriend’s house, because she wanted to know the instant I decided I wouldn’t be coming in but it was always a toss up which of her phone numbers she’d be checking first, so I had to call all of them. Then I also had to leave a message for our office’s receptionist because my boss was kind of a flake and never remembered to tell anyone else I wouldn’t be there.

    After she was reassigned, my next boss was crappy in a different way: in her view, sick days were work-from-home days, and we were expected to be available by email and phone the entire time the office was open. Our sick PTO was for not having to come in rather than unplugging and getting well. I once even had to participate in a conference call from my hospital bed as my doctor monitored whether I was going to lose my baby after falling down two flights of stairs because, according to this boss, the fact that j was using sick time was no excuse for not working when everyone else was. (The baby was fine, thank goodness, but I did leave that job very soon after and she was fired after maybe another month for being a terrible human being.)

  26. Elizabeth*

    Many times, I’m calling at 4:30 or 5 in the morning, and none of my usual chain is available to take the call. So, I email my entire team (7 people), plus the 2 supervisors.

    We just went through this at the staff meeting over lunch. We’ve got people who just text the person they share an office with, not notifying anyone else, then expect their officemate to spread the word. I’m responsible for approving timesheets for our department, and I’ve had to tell them that that just isn’t cutting it. I need to know if someone isn’t here for payroll purposes, and our supervisors need to know if we’ve got all of our critical positions staffed.

  27. Kat M*

    We’re supposed to call in two hours before our shift starts. My shift used to start at 8am. My supervisor started at 6am. I called promptly at 6 and left a voice message, then slept through the rest of the day.

    The next day I came into work. “Oh my God, are you okay? What happened? We didn’t think you were the type to just walk off the job without notice, there must have been some awful emergency!” I responded that I’d called and left a message 2 hours before my shift, as was policy. My supervisor never got around to checking her messages that day. And now not only are we required to keep calling until we speak to someone in person, but we are not to call before 6:15. That’s gonna be tough for the folks who start work at 6:30. But that’s none of my business, I suppose.

  28. Sunny*

    I work for one of those “you must talk to a human” places. It is the worst.
    The very first time that my boss called me after I left her a message, it felt like she did not trust that I was really sick. I was informed this was the policy of our city. (This is a professional position by the way.)

  29. spending time with my family like the Corleones*

    How timely for this to come up today!

    Somehow I managed to scratch my cornea in my sleep. I woke up this past Monday morning feeling like there were jagged wires poking my eyeball. Dr Google said this often heals itself, give it a day. But by the evening, it had grown a LOT more painful. I learned how to spell “Ophthalmologist” and then made an appointment to see one the next day. And then it got even MORE painful so I was on my way to the ER.

    Long story short: the good people at the ER eased my pain and sent me home with Rx’s for antibiotic drops and painkillers. And, without my asking, a “Doctor’s Note”. I talked to the orderly “Joe” a bit: “do you ever have bosses calling you up about their employees?” And he said yes, it’s not common, but it happens, and he’s not allowed to say anything about anyone (patient or not). I mentioned that this had come up ‘somewhere’, and that it ticked me off that someone – usually someone who’s barely scraping by – has to drop a $50 copay to see a doctor to ‘prove’ they have the flu, and Joe smiled and said “yeah, and look at this note.” – he showed it to me – “I’d just make my own in Word and print it out”, he said. I liked Joe.

    If anyone is curious, I’m putting a scan of my “Doctor’s Note” up at my name link, as well as a cool picture of the corneal abrasion itself (no blood or ick)(it looks like it’s false-color but it’s not; they use a dye that fluoresces under ultraviolet light).

    The O-doctor gave me these Oxycodone/Ibuprofen pills for pain. People really use these things recreationally? I took one last night and spent most of the morning feeling sick as a dog. Not a fan.

  30. Connie-Lynne*

    My mom is my emergency contact because if my husband were called and something bad happened to me, he’d lose his gourd and do something ridiculous but sweet, like decide to clean the entire house so I’d have a nice place in which to recouperate.

    Whereas my mom would get all the info, notify the right folks, and tell my husband to grab a book and a sandwich and head for the hospital.

  31. Attorney*

    At least you guys HAVE a policy. I am one of two attorneys in my corporate office. We report to corporate. I used to just email her, and put an out of office on my email. Well, she decided to throw me under the bus to one of our BIG internal clients. Now I email like half the company, and let them know whether or not I will be available by phone / email. Even then I’m never sure if I’m “doing it right.”

  32. Milena*

    The other day I called in sick and MY policy which I have made up and seems to work fine is email my boss when he’s out of the country and TEXT him when he is here. I email him and our admin asst to make sure she can make my day down and let others know, she can act as my back up as well. I always make sure my boss and she know where I am. Usually I get a reply immediately with “Feel better no worries” – I mean I am a good employee, they know I am really sick if I am calling in. Anyway, what bothered me was this… I went back to bed. I woke up at 3:30 to 8 tests – “Are you ok?” “OK, now I’m really worried about you call us” and my favorite “NO ONE SEEMS TO KNOW WHERE YOU ARE” – these are from co-workers who aren’t even in my dept. I am sales and they are marketing, we just sit near each other. Anyway, I felt really bad because our main/overall boss was looking for me…and several other people. Right after I let my boss and our admin know I immediately managed to put up my out of office, so anyone emailing me wouldn’t be expecting a response. I only text one person back “Sorry I should have let you know too” which wasn’t even the truth. HOW MANY PEOPLE at work am I supposed to tell I am out, right? Granted my boss was in another country so it’s not like he was sharing the info. When I got in the next day I asked if anyone had asked our assistant and obviously they didn’t BUT my rant is mainly just pointing out that even stupid things like this happen. I told them in the future check with the assistant. SUPER ANNOYING! lol :(

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