One of my employees called in sick on Friday and it really messed me up. I had a ton of extra work to do because of him, I had to stay late on a Friday night, and I know for a fact he wasn’t sick. I’m pretty sure he went away for the weekend with his friends. How do I deal with this? I think I can go two ways: either be overly, borderline sarcastically concerned about his health, or I could be generally bitchy to him so he gets the hint that this behavior isn’t okay. What do you think?
I think you’re afraid to deal with this like a grown-up, and you’re hiding behind sarcasm and general bitchery because you’re too afraid to deal with this like an actual boss should.
I took one graduate-level class to see if I wanted to get my MBA, and since Passive-Aggressive Management Techniques That Play Up Ridiculous Stereotypes of Woman Managers was full, I took Financial and Managerial Accounting. So while I’m no expert, I can tell you this: deal with your employees in the most straight-forward, unemotional way possible. Instead of stomping around going apeshit on him for forgetting to wash his coffee mug, or getting all Whatever Happened to Baby Jane creepy about how much you care about him, just talk to him.
You can either be the kind of manager who people feel comfortable asking to take a day off, or you could be the kind of manager who inspires everyone to do their best and therefore would never head off to Vegas and leave their colleagues with a ton of work. The two options you’re working with don’t fit in either scenario; what would, I think, is saying, “Listen, what you do with your sick days is your business, but I’m guessing you took the day off to have fun. This might have been okay on another day, but Friday was really important because we had all that work to finish. In the future, I would appreciate it if you could be honest with me about your plans so I can figure out a way to make the schedule work for everyone.”