Worker Praised for Telling Boss via Text They're Off Sick To Help Friend

A young woman has taken to Reddit to complain about a previous boss refusing to grant her an authorized absence from work in order for her to look after her friend, who was a victim of domestic violence.

In the post, which has over 18,000 upvotes, user Every_inu_heart shared screen shots of text messages between herself and her old boss.

She explains in the description: "My old boss after I helped my friend out of a domestic situation: I couldn't get signal at the hospital. This job requires you to call in 2 hours before your shift So I called 2 hours before hand bc I knew it was early. My friends jaw was broken and had to have surgery to be wired shut."

workplace conflict
Angry boss. Stock image. Union membership in America was 10.8 percent in 2020, compared to 20.1 percent in 1983. Getty Images

In the screenshots her old boss can be seen saying: "We make accommodations for our employees when there is an emergency situation, regardless of their length of employment with us, but we all have friends and extended family and if we begin trying to operate around all life's problems for all those people, we won't be in business very long...I would say that perhaps having your friend call you for a ride when they are done would be good. Although, if this is a domestic, they will likely go to a family member or a shelter, correct?"

The user responded saying: "Terry I am trying here. I really am. I show up to work on time, I try to help my coworkers as best I can with little to no manager training. I didn't even take a honeymoon when I got married because I knew that would be a lot to ask for with this job...I've been up since two am dealing with my friend who has been beaten by her partner."

The boss then seemingly misses the point: "So I assume you will not be in. I encourage you to figure out an alternative plan because this is not an excused absence...I had no idea that you have married. Congratulations to you and your spouse! I didn't even realize that you are old enough to marry. For some reason I thought you were just finishing high school?"

The post has prompted debate in the comments about inflexible working, difficult companies and the lack of union membership in America.

One user posted: "I have a union. All I have to say is 'I'm calling sick.' No questions asked. Never received a phone call about why. Unionize people. They work," while another user said: "Americans are brainwashed into thinking unions are a bad idea."

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union membership in America was 10.8 percent in 2020, compared to 20.1 percent in 1983.

This is very different to Europe, where in Iceland 92 percent of workers are still members of a union, and in the Scandinavian countries, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, union membership is roughly 65 percent.

Journalist and writer Dwyer Gunn explains this decline in American unionization being due to the "second half of the 20th century brought big, bold changes to the economic status quo in countries all over the world. Globalization and the invention of new technologies meant that companies in developed nations could produce goods for much less money in far-away factories or at home with the help of sophisticated machinery."

One user commented: "There's so much Union busting it's stupid. All people say to me is "they protect lazy workers" even if they do, they protect me, and that's what matters" to which another responded: "Yeah, I never get why people hate unions. Unions are so beneficial for the worker. People who are anti union haven't thought it through. Companies vilify unions and no wonder. A guy in my company joined the union after a year and got a 30 percent pay increase no questions asked. The company were screwing him prior to that. He was initially anti union."