Symtomatic and can't reach my supervisor
January 17, 2022 5:48 AM   Subscribe

No one to fill or cover for me.

Friday I felt bad and had a covid test scheduled; they closed unexpectedly due to weather. No other tests available.
By Sunday night I'm not feeling any better (cough, running nose, sore throat). I texted my manager with my intents to call in -- but he must be out of town or something. He's usually quite good at returning calls. Called the two women I work with to see if they could cover; no one is available. I am vaccinated times 3 which means I could still get breakthrough. I feel it would be darn irresponsible to show up and risk anyone else getting infected even if Dr F says we will all get it soon. Did he actually say that? I don't know that, and I don't want to infect anyone. I wear a mask and sit behind plexiglass with one other woman (who wouldn't show up until 2), and a mask mandate just went in effect.
Seriously? I think they will fire me if I don't show up. It's a part-time job in an at-will state. It is a customer facing job--someone should be there to open up and greet people. We're on a skeleton crew as it is. Oh the days when it was just a cold! (I'd generally stay home then).
Then I remembered about the home tests. My plan is to stop at one of four drugstores on the way, see if I can get a test in the box.
He has a supervisor somewhere but I don't know how to reach her.
If I only knew he saw my texts. This is so unlike him.
posted by intrepid_simpleton to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
Best answer: Can you call your manager instead of texting? Do you have his email address?
It sounds like a small business but is there any HR or anyone above your boss? (ETA Sorry, now I see you say you don't know how to reach his supervisor.)
posted by trig at 5:53 AM on January 17, 2022

Best answer: Call his manager, the facility manager, the CEO, any other employee you know -- just get in contact with SOMEONE if you can.

If you can effect relevant updates to the company voicemail or web information -- by "effect" I mean make it happen by contacting someone -- that would be helpful, particularly if your absence means the facility has to be closed temporarily. It's fine if that happens. Nobody wants the virus.

You could also physically go to the location and leave a note.

No, we don't all have to expect to get this.
posted by amtho at 6:05 AM on January 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I can't quite tell: are the two coworkers you called all of your coworkers? Try everyone if not, even the one who comes in at two if she wasn't one of them you already asked. Then go back and ask everyone again, being sure to tell them you don't have anyone else. Sometimes there are varying degrees of unavailability. Also ask if they know any other way to reach the manager or his supervisor.
posted by teremala at 6:09 AM on January 17, 2022

Response by poster: I got to work (masked up, of course) and found his manager's number--three different ones I tried, out of service, voicemail not set up, another number... She mentioned I should try his personal cell--well I only had his work cell in my phone--She must have called him right away as when I opened up (fully masked) he appeared as if magic 5 minutes later. He mentioned that next time I call in, don't do it at 10 at night (100% correct and on me.) I told him the words every manager likes to hear, "It'll never happen again." and thanked him for his kindness. Then he sent me home.

And yes, there are only three of us and the manager.

No home tests anywhere although the intel is I can get them at We'll see.
posted by intrepid_simpleton at 7:35 AM on January 17, 2022 [3 favorites]

I'm glad that your manager was both smart and kind enough to send you home. (And now you know your manager's personal cell number and the best time to contact him about calling in sick.)

MeMail me if you can't find a home test. I bought a few around Thanksgiving, and I'd be glad to send you a couple for the price of postage.
posted by virago at 7:47 AM on January 17, 2022

Response by poster: The only problem now is me feeling horribly guilty for waiting so long to contact him and him getting the consequences of his superior. I mean he appeared in 5 minutes. TLDR; growing up as a scapegoat Trying to decide if I should speak to his boss, i.e., tell her this is !00% on me for texting so late (10 pm). He's consistently nice to me, which I prize in a manager, have worked with some psychos.

And you ask, why DID I text so late? Good question. Time slipped away?
posted by intrepid_simpleton at 7:48 AM on January 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

Nope. Don't feel guilty. Sure, 10pm may have been late but you tried to let your manager know in good faith that you wouldn't be in. You did what you were supposed to do. You said it won't happen again, let it go.

Don't talk to his boss. This is over and if they fire you over it, well, good riddance to bad management IMO. And if they were going to fire you over it, no amount of you owning it will change that. (I honestly don't think they're going to let you go over this incredibly minor thing.)

It sounds like anxiety is talking here, and I get that as someone who ruminates over EVERYTHING. But seriously, just let it go. It's fine.
posted by cooker girl at 7:58 AM on January 17, 2022 [11 favorites]

What cooker girl said. You're done, stop now. Hope you feel better soon!
posted by Bella Donna at 8:05 AM on January 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

TLDR; Growing up as a scapegoat; trying to decide if I should speak to his boss, i.e., tell her this is all on me for texting so late

I'd guess this is going to loom pretty small in the scheme of things. It involves one conscientious employee, calling in on one night for a very good reason.

I grok the tendency to put recent events on instant replay in one's head. Believe me, I do! But I'd be willing to bet that your manager stopped thinking about it 10 minutes after it happened.

Get well soon!
posted by virago at 8:08 AM on January 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

Also, it's not like you can schedule being sick. Sure, in this case maybe you waited a little longer in hopes of it clearing up, but next time you might suddenly have some virus make itself dramatically apparent at 11pm or the middle of the night. These things happen, and that's why it's good to have systems in place for that (like a chain of people to notify, and so on.)
posted by trig at 9:37 AM on January 17, 2022 [6 favorites]

Don't feel bad. Symptoms sometimes show up the morning of. He's gotta be able to roll with punches like these as manager. You didn't know how to reach him after hours? That's also on him, unless you left something out, like that he reminded you of some handout he gave you. It should all be perfectly clear to you and if you isn't he can set up systems to improve things.
posted by slidell at 1:35 PM on January 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

You didn't know how to reach him after hours? That's also on him

Exactly. I am glad you got a good resolution to this (and I am sorry you feel bad!) but you went above and beyond to try to make this work for your job and if they're crabby about it it's just because times are hard for everyone. But! Managers get paid extra to deal with stuff like "I am sick and I need to call late at night to let you know" and you were polite about it when he crabbed about you calling late and I think it's now over and done with. Just take it easy and get better.
posted by jessamyn at 2:09 PM on January 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: He managed to e-mail me a voucher to pay for a Covid test which I will be getting tomorrow. I can hardly believe it since the one I had for Wed took me 2-3 days to get (yes, I canceled that one, so someone else may have it).
posted by intrepid_simpleton at 3:40 PM on January 17, 2022 [2 favorites]

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