A worker shared a text exchange on Reddit in which their manager insisted they come in to work despite being seriously ill and contagious.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 8, 2023. It has since been updated.
Nobody is a stranger to bad managers and toxic work environments that don't focus on the well-being of their employees. This worker also went through something similar when a manager consistently forced them to show up for work while they were seriously ill and contagious, and shared their story on Reddit.
The worker informed their boss, called Deb, via text that they couldn't come to work. However, Deb attempted to persuade the worker into covering the shift but her efforts didn't yield the desired result. The worker wrote in a text message: "I won’t be able to make it to work today, I’m really sick. I tried to sleep it off and wasn’t able to. I know I’m supposed to give 2 hour notice but I just barely woke up." Deb responded: "Rachel, there is no one to cover your shift you will have to come to work."
Rachel communicated that they were experiencing both a fever and an inability to keep food or water down. Considering the fact that they were employed at a hotel, this situation could potentially pose a risk to both themself and the hotel's guests. It was essential for them to prioritize their health and avoid coming to work in such a state. The manager did not care, however. She responded: "Sorry, that's the way it is."
Deb persistently insisted, as can be seen in two consecutive screenshots, that Rachel has to come in for work, even stating that she will see Rachel at the start of their shift. This behavior is becoming more common among managers, attempting to alter their employees' decisions or physical conditions merely by repeating the same argument when the response is negative. It's strange and ineffective and can create a toxic work environment.
Based on the update post, it appears that Rachel was not swayed by Deb's insistence to come to work. Unfortunately, Rachel was still punished for their absence, despite being a dedicated employee to a company that did not value them. They wrote, "I was taken off the schedule until the owner comes back from his little London [sic] vacay. I’ve been with this company for two years and have been treated with the worst disrespect. Not to mention our turnover rate is exponentially high, I’m the only original staff member left after two years… and now I see why everyone else has left." In the worker's final update, a video is shared where they can be seen entering the hotel and informing the lead that they are quitting, and subsequently returning their work shirts.
Rachel responded to commenters, indicating that they were successful in finding a new job at a place that pays better and where they anticipate receiving the respect and humane treatment they rightfully deserve. Reddit user u/melissaimpaired commented, "This whole logic of firing people who are too sick to work is so backward. It takes so much more effort to fire, and then replace and train a whole new person than to be short-staffed for a shift. These people are tanking their operational overhead trying to manage inevitable staff absences." Another person u/AMB2292 commented, "Hey Deb if you see this, everyone dislikes you. Maybe try being a better person."