A Fair Amount Of Unfair Advice

| MO, USA | Working | July 14, 2017

(I work at a retail store. My coworker has had to take time off due to her grandmother passing away. This happens after she comes back and is still in tears.)

Manager: *concerned* “Hey, why are you crying?”

Coworker: “My grandmother died. She wasn’t even that sick or anything. Her wound from a broken leg turned septic. It wasn’t detected in time. I barely had any time with her before she died! She was supposed to come back for Christmas this year. It’s been five years since she could do that because she lived in Kansas. It’s just so unfair!”

Manager: “Life’s unfair. Get used to it.”

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  • hikarinoryu

    damn, that’s cold… Let’s see how the manager reacts to someone telling him “life’s unfair, get used to it” after one of HIS family members dies… That manger was absolutely heartless… No sympathy at all…

  • Art Metz

    Sorry, I have to agree with the manager. The worker took time off to mourn. She should not have returned to work if she’s going to continue to cry about it.

    “I barely had any time with her before she died!”

    Umm, co-worker had an entire lifetime to spend time with Grandma. Not manager’s fault or responsibility.

    • Alison Steiner

      Maybe the person had no choice and needed the money. Maybe the person didn’t have PTO. But you should have sympathy or empathy or guess what no one will give a damn about you if you feel down.

      • Art Metz

        Yes, and maybe the person has PTSD and the grandmother’s death triggered it. Or maybe the person just found out s/he has a fatal illness, and will die in six months, but didn’t want to tell the manager, so s/he used the death of the grandmother as an alibi.

        We can “maybe” all day.

        Keep. Your. Personal. Problems. At. Home.

        ETA: You write:

        “no one will give a damn about you if you feel down.”

        I do not expect my manager to give a damn about my feelings. That’s what my family and friends are for.

        • Chess Red Eagle

          You’re a damn jackass you know that. YOU’RE what’s wrong with the world. Too many people that don’t give a damn about someone else.

          Most places will only give you a day or so of PTO for bereavement unless you’re very lucky. It’s highly likely she’s barely had any time off to fully process and is still devastated you asswipe.

        • Vira Vandom

          Geeze, and I thought NN was bad.

          • Christine Wood

            Not an equal comparison. Art has no heart, Nancy has no soul.

          • Vira Vandom

            All humans have souls, though.

          • Christine Wood

            That’s the issue though. See Nancy believes all birth is inherently evil and unnatural. Many have attempted to point out that she herself is the product of such an event but she never acknowledges these comments. This has lead to theories that her extreme hostility towards breeding could be either a result of being created in an alternate manner than most people and feels jealous (ex: cloning, mechanical engineering, came out the wrong hole, etc) or that she hates all life so much that she is trying to end it by preventing future generations from existing. Either way her extreme anger and viciousness makes it very hard for most people to see her as one of their own kind.

          • therapod

            I always thought Nancy wasn’t a living thing, to be honest.

          • Christine Wood

            A perfectly valid theory ^_^

          • Matt Westwood

            No such thing as a soul. They are an invention by people too primitive to understand the difference between hardware and software.

        • Wilhelm Wrobel

          It’s never a good sign if a German thinks you’re taking it a bit to far with workplace professionalism. I’m German and I’m rather sure your standards would be – speaking diplomatically here – be considered ludicrous even by our culture.

        • Maybeth80

          I found out about my father’s passing while I was AT work. Was I supposed to not react at all because of where I was?

          • Matt Westwood

            No, you should have left work and gone home to cope with what you needed to cope with. Happens sometimes. Happened in our office on occasion. One takes time out.

          • Maybeth80

            And I did in fact leave. But in that time between finding out and leaving it can be hard to stay completely calm. Human beings are not robots.

          • Matt Westwood

            Good for you. But this is not the point at issue. At issue is still being a puddle of snot after a whole week away getting your head together.

        • Alison Steiner

          Still no reason to be rude to someone. He could have said nicely that he was sorry she lost someone but he needed her to be professional. I do get what you’re saying and we do need to be professional at work but that’s not always easy. As I stated maybe she needed the cash and couldn’t get a lot of time off. Either way my opinion is we should still be nice to our coworkers but that’s just my opinion. But then I do live in a dream world most of the time where I am a princess in a Disney movie and life always goes exactly how I want it to go.

        • Matt Westwood

          It can be a good idea, if one knows one is still feeling a little wobbly, to warn one’s manager that this is the case, but it is *still* one’s personal responsibility to present a professional face when in one’s professional capacity. A good boss should understand, but a good member of staff should not put him in a position whereby he needs to act as a baby-minder.

        • Star

          Wow, you’re ice cold. Do people get freezer burn when they touch you?

    • Maureen Wick

      Because we all know mourning is supposed to be over once the body is buried right?

      • Art Metz

        Sigh. If you are still mourning and cannot/will not do your job, stay home.

        • ash

          you’re talking about human beings, not robots…not to mention, most jobs only give a certain amount of time depending on the family member, for instance at my job, when a grandparent died, you got 5 days. Not everyone has the luxury of mourning until you’re done before needing to go back to work and it wouldn’t have hurt this manager a bit to be human and say something along the lines of “I’m so sorry for your loss.” Not to mention, it doesn’t say anywhere in this story that the worker was not doing her job, just that she was crying. The manager is the one who approached her to ask why, he’s the one who made it personal, if he didn’t care, he could have just completely ignored her.

        • ash

          you’re talking about human beings, not robots…not to mention, most jobs only give a certain amount of time depending on the family member, for instance at my job, when a grandparent died, you got 5 days. Not everyone has the luxury of mourning until you’re done before needing to go back to work and it wouldn’t have hurt this manager a bit to be human and say something along the lines of “I’m so sorry for your loss.” Not to mention, it doesn’t say anywhere in this story that the worker was not doing her job, just that she was crying. The manager is the one who approached her to ask why, he’s the one who made it personal, if he didn’t care, he could have just completely ignored her.

          • Art Metz

            > it wouldn’t have hurt this manager a bit to be human and say something along the lines of “I’m so sorry for your loss.” … The manager is the one who approached her to ask why, he’s the one who made it personal, if he didn’t care, he could have just completely ignored her.

            ash, you have posted the best rebuttal to my posts. You are quite correct.

          • Rob Tonka

            I’m with everyone who thinks the manager should have been a little more gentle with his words, however, art metz is correct in that, if you are unable to work, then you should not come to work. People saying that it takes longer to grieve…you are certainly correct(for some people), but you should not bring that to the job. That sounds like it would affect your job performance. OP works retail. Customer facing? If you can’t keep it together, how the F are you supposed to serve your customers?

          • Matt Westwood

            “you’re talking about human beings, not robots” — no, we’re talking about adults not babies.

        • Emma

          When my sister died my father was only allowed a week of PTO. He had to go to work A WEEK AFTER HIS DAUGHTER DIED. People can’t just indefinitely not work until they’re over it, my dad still had 3 other kids to help take care of.

          • Matt Westwood

            Well I had to go back to work a week after my mother died. My father went back to work the DAY after his father died (although was allowed to take a day out again to go to his funeral — he wasn’t organising it, he was only 23 at the time). Get your grieving done, get over it and get on with your [email protected] job.

          • Matt – that’s not trolling, that’s just harsh. Some topics don’t troll well.

          • Flami

            Like escalators, right? 😀

            I’m joking!

          • They were getting on with their job, that’s why they were there for the manager to be able to bring it up in the first place.

            This is like being told to quit standing around when you’re already working, albeit more callous.

          • Matt Westwood

            They weren’t getting on with their job, they were blubbering.

          • It’s possible to do both. Not easy, but possible, and there’s nothing to say they weren’t still working.

          • Rob Tonka

            That is a terrible thing to have to go thru and I understand. But from the employer’s perspective, how much time should they have to pay an employee who is not performing the duties he is paid to do?

          • TheWonderRabbit

            Through*

          • Rob Tonka

            Thanks. Now all those people that didn’t understand me have clarity

          • TheWonderRabbit

            You’re welcome. Always happy to help out those who are still learning 🙂

        • TheWonderRabbit

          Wow, your job offers unlimited bereavement leave? That’s awesome.

          My old job offered 5 days max, so maybe she CAN’T stay home anymore.
          Also, crying doesn’t mean she ‘cannot/will not’ do her job.

          • darsa

            Exactly. My job offers ZERO bereavement leave. Luckily they were awesome and helped us out a lot when my mom died in 2010, and again in 2015 when my dad passed. That manager’s an utter douche, and shouldn’t supervise humans.

        • rebecca

          I was fortunate that when my mother died I had an understanding boss who let me take two and a half weeks off to be across the country to deal with everything.

          I was *also* fortunate that when I went back to work, I had an understanding manager who told me if I needed more time, or if they could do anything, to let him know. But I certainly couldn’t afford to stay home until I stopped mourning, because I’d still be here.

        • AsaeAmpan

          I get you’re a pathetic little inbred like the idiot above but let me explain something to you; EVERYONE GRIEVES DIFFERENTLY, I still had instances where I suddenly broke into tiers when I so much as barely remembered my great-grandmother YEARS after the event.

          • Matt Westwood

            I sincerely hoped you excused yourself from your professional position rather than inflict your emotional incontinence on the rest of the world.

          • Art Metz

            “Inbred” is an adjective, not a noun.

            You broke into “tiers”? Did you, like, slice yourself horizontally or something?

            If you barely remembered your great grandmother, were you upset about your failing memory?

            If you are going to insult me, at least be literate.

    • Riviellan

      Uh, the grieving process if not a timed thing.
      It can take months or years to ‘get over’ a loved one’s death.

      • Art Metz

        Agreed. But your work place is not a suitable place to mourn.

        • Michael Chandra

          The work place is, however, a suitable place for human decency. But you don’t know what those words mean.

    • Wilhelm Wrobel

      Good thing that grief can be organized according to a schedule. My girlfriend suddenly lost someone a few months ago and it still happens that something makes her remember in the most mundane situations that leads her to start crying. Try some empathy for heaven’s sake!

    • Lany Chabot-Laroche

      This is such a blatant troll, I’m kind of disappointed by all the people falling for it 😛

    • BarlowGirl

      Yeah, because retail is known for being generous with the time off and won’t fire her. Obviously she gets paid time off and doesn’t need the money to pay the bills and keep a roof over her head. Obviously she was standing in front of customers crying instead of having a bad moment in the break room.

    • Lauren

      Maybe she got the news right then.

    • Shouldernubs

      While the manager should have kept his opinion to himself, I could understand why he’d be thinking it.
      The “it’s just so unfair!” line was particularly childish.
      But I never would have actually said that to someone, and I don’t know what he hoped to accomplish by saying it.

  • Riviellan

    This makes me think of my unsympathetic manager who complained about a girl missing work after she was assaulted in her sleep, and the girl was at the police station filing charges instead of being at work.

    • Kitty

      Then you start assaulting the manager and tie them up, leaving them helpless and terrified. “How do you think of her missing work NOW?”

      • Torbjörn Axelsson

        No, you simply bring a recorder (hidden) and ask them to repeat it. Then you are financially covered while looking for a real job.

        • Kitty

          Not permissable in court cause you recorded it without their permission.

          • tulip_poplar

            Depends if the state has a one-party or two-party consent law. Most states and the federal government have a one-party consent law, meaning that as long as one of the parties in the conversation (the OP in this case) consents to the recording, then you’re fine.

          • Asiyd

            Second what tulip_popular said, but to further add… even if for some reason it wasn’t permissible in court, it’s certainly always permissible to show to HR.

          • Kai

            There’s a difference between ‘not permissible in court’ and ‘illegal activity’. If one were to illegally record a conversation, showing it to HR is unlikely to produce a favorable outcome. Note that making recordings for the purpose of exposing discrimination (as defined by EEOC) may be legally protected, but you may still be able to be fired for doing so (which would be a pretty fine point of law to be skewered on).

            That said, the idea of workplace privacy has essentially vanished from the employee’s perspective: employers are legally able to monitor your communications even if they have explicitly promised not to. There are a number of people who believe this means that employees can also secretly record almost all workplace conversations. If I can abuse a phrase, the jury is probably still out on this one. I’d still try to have a really good reason for doing this.

            IANALATINLA

          • Asiyd

            This is good information to know. I did not know any of this regarding recordings in private businesses and offices… or rather, it did not occur to me that the business can fire you regardless of what the laws of the state say. At-will states and all… That’s always a hard one. I love that businesses have that level of freedom to control their business, but at the same time it’s pretty unfortunate for those that get railroaded by the bad eggs, yanno?

            What does IANALATINLA stand for?

          • Kai

            I Am Not A Lawyer And This Is Not Legal Advice. Since the situation seems to be legally somewhat up in the air I would hate to have someone take what I say too seriously.

          • Ainoko_Ironrose

            Depends on what state you live in

          • JorTanos

            Also depends if it’s somewhere they have an expectation of privacy or not.

          • Hahn Ackles

            This. If your manager is in a public section of the store (even “public” to employees) and you record them, you are fine because they do not, legally speaking, have an expectation of privacy. But if you record them in a private meeting, you are breaking the law.

            This is true in California, at least, to the best of my knowledge.

  • EJ Nauls-Poland

    While I do agree that what the manager said was heartless, the workplace is for work only. Any drama going on in your life is left outside when you walk into the building. The coworker had time off to mourn, so now it’s time to get back to work.

    • just saying

      easier said then done..easier.said.then.done

      • Matt Westwood

        “than”, you ignoramus.

    • Katrin Schirmer

      you do realize that not everyone can compartmentalize trauma that well right?

      • EJ Nauls-Poland

        It’s not even about compartmentalizing it, you just have to put on a mask while at work and you’re free to take it off when you’re off the clock.

        • Katrin Schirmer

          you are assuming everyone can just hold back everything for 8 hours without breaking down.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            I’m fully aware that not everyone can, that’s why the coworker shouldn’t have come back to work yet if she was still in an emotional state.

          • Celoptra

            and if she has bills to pay? If she only able to stay off X days (ie a week after a person dies,). Not an option for everyone not in a society like today’s

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            In that instance, unfortunately, coworker would have to get over it as the manager said because if she can’t hold back her emotions while on the clock, it can hinder her ability to perform which in turn can result in the store losing money.

          • Celoptra

            she might have PSTD? she might be over emtional?

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            You are making all these assumptions about her. It doesn’t change the fact that her job is not the place to be grieving.

          • Celoptra

            but she might have issues (either money issues or emtional issue) and if it’s money issues she’s not able to not work espically if she has a lot of bills to pay

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            I don’t know how many times I can say it.
            If she has emotional issues, she shouldn’t be at work until she has a better grip over them.
            If she has financial issues, she needs to be able to control her emotions while she’s on the clock.
            There is no in between, as much as we would like there to be one.

          • Celoptra

            and NOT EVERYONE is able to control their emotions NOR can they afford to NOT work

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            Then there’s nothing more that I can tell you because you can’t have it both ways. We aren’t fortunate enough to live in a perfect world where everything goes exactly the way we want it to.

          • Matt Westwood

            Well I for one would feel *extremely* uncomfortable in a professional encounter with someone so emotionally incontinent that they’re blubbering all over me while I’m trying to interact with her.

          • Abi

            She really just needs a better manager.

          • Katrin Schirmer

            as others have said, there are plenty of reason why more time off may not have been an option. bills to pay, employers who wont let you, etc.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            In that instance, unfortunately, coworker would have to get over it as the manager said because if she can’t hold back her emotions while on the clock, it can hinder her ability to perform which in turn can result in the store losing money

          • Katrin Schirmer

            again, you’re assuming everyone can just magically be okay when they need to be.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            No I’m not because, as I’ve said numerous times now, if she can’t control her emotions while at work; she should stay off work until she can.

          • Katrin Schirmer

            so she should stay off work for what may be months while she grieves? i doubt any job would let her do that, especially not with pay. i’m sure not paying the bills would go over swimmingly too.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            Honestly speaking, if she’s so emotionally unstable to where it takes her months to grieve, then it would probably be better for both her health and mental state to not be working until she sorts everything out.

          • Daistis

            I don’t think you understand the concept of grieving, of course it takes months do grieve, not to the point where you’re crying all the time but to the point where something could remind you of that person and you can’t help but remember and cry.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            I may have worded that incorrectly. What I meant was, if her emotional state towards the matter are the same after months as they were when it first happened, she may need to take a leave from work until she’s feeling better.

          • Daistis

            You know people can cry for many different reasons, and crying doesn’t necessarily mean you’re unable to work.

            Not being rude and leaving her to grieve is the only right answer in this situation.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            And she’s perfectly welcome to grieve, that part isn’t up for debate. I’m just trying to say that it’s important that she doesn’t let it interfere with her workplace.

          • Daistis

            It’s not like she cried directly into someone’s food, you’re being plenty judgmental here from this one story where the manager asked her what’s wrong then basically spit in her face when she answered him.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            So what happens, then, if she’s in the middle of her shift and the grief she’s feeling causes her to have an emotional breakdown? As a manager, would you or would you not send her home for the day to let her collect herself?

          • Daistis

            Yeah, but that’s not what you were saying isn’t it? “Controlling yourself” is a wide range and by the context of this story, everyone obviously assumed crying is off the list.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            That is what I’m saying. If her emotional state causes a breakdown in the middle of a shift, not only is it detrimental to her health, but it also slows down production. As such, it would be better for both her and the company if she stays home until she’s in a better state of mind.

          • Daistis

            No one said that, crying out of grief isn’t a breakdown, no one said anything that extreme.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            Can you say for certain that her grief wouldn’t eventually lead to that?

          • Daistis

            What the F, can you say for certain anyone you employ won’t succumb to an injury/illness on the clock?

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            No I can’t. But if it does happen, I would send them home until they are back to their peak, as I’ve said a million times now.

          • Cally

            Could you say that if you behaved this way in public it would lead to you being punched out for being a douche canoe?

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            I would love for someone to try to punch me over something as trivial as this. I haven’t been in a good fight for quite a while.

          • Cally

            Oh, this is explains so much about your attitude. You’re simply a bully, no empathy and no understanding of anything that you don’t personally experience.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            Have you not been paying attention? I do feel for the coworker, I have experienced the loss of someone close to me before. It’s horrible for anyone to have to go through that. However, your job is not the place to let out your emotions on the matter. You are being paid to be there to work, nothing else. Any drama in your life is to be left outside when you walk into the building. If someone wants to assault me for believing that, I will gladly accept the fight.

          • Cally

            People are not robots, you can’t programme them to obey directives without emotions in times of stress. You can argue, over and over it has been noted, until your fingers fall off but you are still a bully, thug and idiot to think that you can,

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            This isn’t about hardwiring people to not feel emotions, it’s about keeping them inside while you’re in a professional setting. Please explain what about me expecting people to be professional makes me a thug and an idiot?

          • Leah

            You do realise most workplaces won’t LET you take more than a few days off for a bereavement, right?? Clearly you’ve never had a close family member die if you feel it’s ok to say someone should just ‘get over it’. You obviously have absolutely no comprehension of grief. You think only emotionally unstable people take months to grieve?! That’s actually normal. People who have lost a child, or spouse, or someone else very close to them can take well over a year to grieve. Most people do not have the option of taking that much time off work. Their workplace won’t let them, plus they need the pay.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            Hence why I say people need to learn how to put on a mask and hide their grief.

          • AsaeAmpan

            Do you have an undiagnosed mental defect making you utterly incapable of understanding proper expression of emotions? I’m suspecting you are and as such are too stupid to be allowed access to the internet.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            No, I just apparently have better control over my emotions than the rest of you.

          • Daistis

            Wow, you should be a manager, you’ll fit right in.

            You’re pretty much saying that if she can’t stop herself from ever crying about it she should get fired.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            Where did I say she should be fired? Please direct me to where I said that. Oh wait, you can’t because I never said that. What I said was if she’s unable to keep hold of her emotions, she should take time off from work until she feels better.

          • Daistis

            Please refer to the part where I said “pretty much”, which means you are implying it

            here you present two options:
            A: suck it up and continue working
            B: if you cannot suck it up, stay home

            Now, since those are our two options, and she is not allowed to take time off more than she already has, staying home means getting replaced.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            I’m not implying that she should be fired. What I’m saying is that if her emotions are debilitating to the point where she can’t perform at 100%, she should take a leave of absence until she’s back up to par.

          • Daistis

            You don’t understand that the two options you’re presenting are a contradiction and you can easily be unable to stop yourself from crying once in a while while needing the job and being unable to take a leave.

            Which leaves unemployment as the only option because she’s not a robot.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            No it doesn’t because this would fall under a health issue, in which case she would be allowed to take a leave of absence.

          • Daistis

            And what health issue would you put that under that would be accepted?

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            Emotional instability. Assuming she doesn’t work for a black business, that would be a viable reason to take leave.

          • Daistis

            You must be 15, how sweet.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            Ah, there it is. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to post one of these idiotic comments.

          • Daistis

            There is no other explanation, you don’t seem to understand how grieving really works, and you think someone can just ask for leave for emotional stability without documents and doctors to prove it, not to mention grieving is not a mental instability unless someone develops depression.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            Or, maybe you fail to realize that letting an emotionally unstable person stay on the clock is bad for both their health, and the business.

          • Daistis

            Bet you think people with mental illnesses should never leave the house too if you honestly think someone grieving by crying is emotionally unstable.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            No, I think that if their mental illness interferes with their workplace, they should take off from that job.

          • Daistis

            Right this has delved way deeper than it needed to, all I need to know is that not everyone here has the same opinions as you at least

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            And I don’t expect anyone to. I’m not a good person, but I know what I believe and I stand by it.

          • Kryss LaBryn

            With pay? Because if it’s not with pay, she may literally not have that option; most of us are living pay cheque to pay cheque and will lose our homes or get services cut off if we don’t have some kind of regular income.

            Depending on the job they may be able to move her into the back doing something away from customers for a while until she can recover her equilibrium more reliably.

            A union place I worked at mandated three days off for the death of a spouse, parent, or child (which, believe me, isn’t even enough time to get the funeral organized and attended, or deal with their estate, let alone actually recover from the emotional hit from their loss); most places aren’t obliged to actually give you any time off at all, but happily most people aren’t awful.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            That’s why she should learn to, at the very least, hide her emotions. Not all jobs have the option to work away from people, and we don’t live in a perfect world. Being able to control your emotions is a necessary skill in the workplace, especially given all the asshat customers we’ve seen on this website.

          • Abi

            But why say something cruel to her and make it worse in the moment? And lose at least part of the respect of all the other employees who heard it? Why not have a conversation and actually manage people?

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            As I’ve said, what the manager said was indeed horrible. But, that doesn’t make him any less right.

          • Abi

            But I don’t think anyone said he was wrong. The point is he was cruel. He was cruel to the point that a coworker who observed the interaction felt compelled to submit it to the internet as an interesting story.

            No-one said people shouldn’t control their emotions at work. They said it’s difficult to do and a good manager would attempt to work with people, not act like this one did.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            But that’s just it though. My original comment merely stated that while what he said was cruel, he wasn’t wrong. Que a million people attacking me over it saying that both the manager and I are wrong.

          • Abi

            Ah, I think that’s because you come across as meaning “while what the manager said was heartless, that’s okay because they were right.” Most people don’t agree with that and figure there’s no excuse for being quite that heartless, no matter how right a person is. Or at least argue that being an a**hole is a terrible way to manage people: bad for the employees, the manager, and the company.

            But I mean, I assume you know that since you’ve said something about proudly accepting the label​ of a**hole. So live and let live I suppose.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            And at the end of the day, that’s just who I am. An as*hole that sticks to his beliefs.

          • Abi

            Well, gotta respect that on some level. Plus you can’t be that bad, you have said several times that you do sympathize with the grieving employee. 😉

        • BarlowGirl

          So where did the story say the coworker was on the clock?

          Break rooms exist.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            Which corresponds with what I’ve been saying; if the coworker is in an emotionally fragile state, she should stay off the clock until she has a better grip over them.

          • BarlowGirl

            Okay.

            So where does it say this happened while coworker was on the clock?

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            Nowhere.
            The point I’m making, which most of you seem unable to grasp, is that the coworker should not be on the clock if she’s emotionally unstable. She is currently not on the clock in this story, so she should stay off until she is composed.

          • BarlowGirl

            Okay.

            So where does it say she won’t be composed when she goes on the clock?

            Your point’s irrelevant here, is what I’m saying and you seem unable to grasp.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            My original point was that, as heartless as what the manager said was, they were perfectly correct. The coworker needs to get over her emotional baggage before she clocks in. I don’t know how to say that any simpler.

          • Abi

            Certainly a better thing to say would’ve been “go clock out for 10 or 15 mins until you feel better,” then.

            Which is why the story is here.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            I agree that the manager could’ve said it differently, which is what I said at the beginning. However, at the end of the day, he’s completely right.

          • Abi

            He’s on here for being a jerk, not for being wrong.

            If nothing else he probably made the crying worse, and all it would have cost to make it better was offering her a small break instead of making a cruel comment.

            He’s a bad manager because he apparently has no idea how to work with people. He’s likely to have high turnover and a lot of resentment amongst staff. That’s definitely not the best way to get good, efficient work out of a team. I’d argue that by being a jerk he’s probably costing the company way more than she is by being sad.

          • BarlowGirl

            “Manager: “Life’s unfair. Get used to it.””

            Hmm. I don’t see that anywhere.

            Also, you’ve changed your point several time. You’ve gone from saying the coworker needs to compartmentalize to saying the coworker needs to “get over” it.

            Irrelevant.

            Also makes you look like a dick, fyi.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            I haven’t changed my point. I’ve been saying the same thing over and over. If she can’t get ahold of her emotions well enough to work, she should stay off the clock. If there are financial reasons why she can’t be off work for lengths of time like some of the others suggested, then she needs to learn how to control her emotions.

            And I don’t care if it makes me look like a dick, I’m a smart*ss and an as*hole. Those are 2 titles I wear with pride.

          • tulip_poplar

            I’m not sure if you are aware, but there is no mandated paid leave for this situation in the US. The OP may have sick days or vacation days and she can use those, but FMLA, which is the only federally mandated leave that would cover this type of situation, is UNPAID. Unless the OP has short-term disability insurance (and even if she does, let me tell you from experience that navigating that can be a nightmare plus you actually need evidence from a doctor that you are disabled), she would be taking unpaid leave. Even if she qualified for short-term disability AND had the insurance (which usually covers only 60% of income), she’d have to be able to support herself financially through the waiting period, which is often a couple of months. And so then she is grieving AND broke. If we had mandatory paid FMLA leave in the US it would be a different situation. But for the same reason that people come to work when they are sick because they don’t have sick leave, people have to work even when they’re grieving because most people can’t afford to go without income.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            I’ll admit, I want fully aware of how they classified it. But that just drives home my other point that it’s important for people to learn how to hide their emotions because this world is not a kind one.

          • Abi

            A manager should not expect employees to be able to consistently hide all of their emotions. That’s part of their job- dealing with people well. And they should not be cruel when employees fail in any way.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            If their emotions get in the way of their work, then yes they absolutely should expect that out of employees.

          • Abi

            Is your takeaway from this story that the employee was just completely wrong to be crying at work whether or not they were on the clock and whether or not there were any customers or if they just silently had a few tears while stocking the back room?

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            There’s nothing wrong with the employee crying, but like the manager said, she needs to make sure she’s not crying while on the clock. If there is an option to work away from people at her job, she should do that until she’s feeling better. If that’s not an option, she should stay off the clock until she’s feeling better.

          • Abi

            The manager said nothing like that. That’s exactly what they should have said, and that they didn’t is the entire point of this story.

            If they had said anything resembling what you just wrote it would have been a normal interaction and this story wouldn’t be here.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            That was the message behind his words. The manager just needed to word it completely differently.

          • Abi

            I think we generally agree, except that I think this attitude makes him a generally bad manager who is likely costing the company money from turnover and having demotivated employees around, and you don’t seem to think so.

            Lord knows if my manager said that to me I’d probably quit, especially if there was any indication of a pattern, but I can afford to. Projects half-done, any future work uncovered, all the hassle and expense of training someone new: the company would get all that from the manager being a jerk. I wouldn’t have quit when I was 19 and working retail because I couldn’t afford it…Which could easily be this scenario. It’s​ too bad people have to out up with working under managers like this one.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            I understand where you’re coming from, and I’m glad that you can at least see my point. Yes, saying what he did the way he did is usually a sign of a bad manager, I’m not denying that. I just wish most of the people in the comments would understand that being emotional at work is a bad thing.

          • Abi

            It’s just not feasible to expect a person to be able to do what you’re asking, since what you’re asking could easily include quitting their job (not allowed off and can’t stop crying for awhile). Part of management is trying to work with people and their issues, not expecting people to quit if they can’t be perfect on command.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            I’m aware of that, but if she’s not emotionally stable enough to perform at her best, she should take some time off until she is. I’m not saying quit, I’m saying take a break until she’s better.

          • Celoptra

            but for the same reasons as her NOT being able to stay home.. she can’t be on “break” forever you must get a 15 min break OR for lunch (in a GOOD place) a 30min place.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            Which is why she would need to calm herself down in that time. This is not a nice world. Customers don’t know what tragedies you’ve been through and most don’t care. Being able to control your emotions is necessary.

    • Mechwarrior

      Said like someone who’s never had anything worse than being inconvenienced by the line at the coffee shop happen to them.

      • EJ Nauls-Poland

        More like someone who had a close friend commit suicide, yet was able to hide my grief while I was at work.

        • Mechwarrior

          And therefore everyone else should just suck it up and get over it?

          I’m autistic (Asperger’s) and physically can’t show the same range of emotions as a neurotypical, but I can empathize with people better than that.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            I do empathize with people. However, as I’ve said in other comments, you have to be able to control your emotions while at work. If you can’t, you hinder progress which results in money being lost. Mourning your loved ones is perfectly okay to do, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. But there’s a time and a place for it, and the workplace while on the clock is neither the time nor the place.

          • Wendigone

            Robots. What you want is robots. Unfortunately, we have not yet reached adequate technology to replace workers made of flesh. Though maybe companies should just lobotomize workers to get rid of those pesky, human emotions.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            No, I don’t want robots (yet) because I like having a job and making money.

        • Liawen

          when my mother’s husband succumbed to suicide two years ago her work only gave her three days of bereavement leave. do you really think someone could get over the death of their spouse, pushing through the specific form of grief suicide causes, well enough to be able to hide it in three days?

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            Then you request more time off. If her grief results in slowed progress, I’m sure her boss would allow her to take more time off until she’s emotionally stable enough to work. If he doesn’t, he’s a douche and I wouldn’t want to be working for him anyway if I were her.

          • Liawen

            she did, and managed to extend it to a week, but only because she had enough PTO. when that wasn’t enough, she took a leave of absence that would have only lasted a few months before she would’ve had no choice but return to work if she hadn’t quit near the end of it. because even after half a year, she wasn’t ready. she wouldn’t have been able to take the LOA or quit if not for the cushion of her husband’s life insurance. not everybody has those luxuries, so they’re forced to do their best to get through the grief process while working. the empathetic thing to do is cut them some slack and sympathize, not tell them to suck it up because employees are only ever supposed to be happy.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            What would you like me to say then? Do you want me to say that the coworker is perfectly welcome to bawl her eyes out while on shift, even if said emotional outburst slows down production, causing the company to lose money?

          • Liawen

            yes, because making profits isn’t worth it if it’s at the cost of treating your employees like the people they are. one employee taking a short break to cry once in a while for a few months isn’t going to cut into profits that much. expecting your employees to act like emotionless robots so can maximize profits makes you a bad place to work for, and will cost you more in the long run due to constantly replacing employees that quit because of it.

          • Agent Tarter

            THANK YOU. Employers who treat their employees well – which includes understanding that grief does not happen on a timetable – get the most out of their workers and keep the best people, even when there is more money or other perks available in other places, because very few things are as valuable to people as being treated with dignity and compassion.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            “one employee taking a short break to cry once in a while for a few months isn’t going to cut into profits that much”
            So, in other words, the coworker should stay off the clock until she has a better grip on her emotional state.

          • Liawen

            no, in other words, the employer shouldn’t expect their employees to be done grieving in the span of a few days. the employer should expect that the employee is going to feel grief no matter where she is and what she’s doing, and give her the time and space at work to let some of it out at work.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            But if she does let it out, and said outburst interferes with production, that hurts the store/company/etc. Even if the employers do care about their employees, which they should, interfering with production leading to money loss makes her a liability. If I’m at work and I have an emotional breakdown, I’d expect my boss to send me home for the day until I’m back up to snuff.

          • Abi

            A bad manager (like this one) hurts the company a lot more by causing turnover and making the employees angry which can lead to all sorts of problems while they are there.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            But that’s just it, he isn’t really a bad manager. Yes, the way he worded it was horrible. But the message behind the words still applies.

          • Abi

            If a person can’t adequately deal with people they shouldn’t manage people because that’s at least half the job. This manager clearly can’t.

          • Zack Wagoner

            Other arguments aside, the way he worded it does make him a bad manager.

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            On that, I will agree.

          • Celoptra

            and considering what a jerk of the manager the manager is.. I bet even if the co-worker HAD asked for a “10-15” min break to pull herself together I bet the manager would have said “No” since there’s a simliar story (but not with a death but a break-up and the OP got upset because there were toys that kept playing “their” song and asked for a 10min break and the manager said no)

          • EJ Nauls-Poland

            I’ve never read that story, but if the manager doesn’t let the employee take the time to calm down, then that is a bad manager. This manager is telling her to pull herself together before clocking in. Wording aside, that is not a bad manager.

          • Celoptra

            a manger who doesn’t give a darn about their employees IS a bad manager

    • dawn orthen

      Telling someone off like the manager did is unprofessional and, at worst, can be considered harassment.

      Regardless you NEVER tell someone that – especially if youre in a power position.

  • Chess Red Eagle

    and the douchebag of the year award goes to…

    • Vira Vandom

      “Art Metz”?

      • Chess Red Eagle

        Definitely a strong candidate.

  • Matt Westwood

    I’m with Manager. People die, particularly grandparents, and of various bizarre ailments. The whole point of taking time off is to get your grieving done, so as to present your public face once more without inflicting your tedious blubbering on the rest of the world.

    • TimeandSpaceGamer

      Not everyone can take time off for that long. My grandfather died almost 4 years ago and I am still not completely past his death. A week would not be enough to complete compose myself if I had school or work during that time. The smallest thing can trigger an outburst in that first week or two. Not everyone is the same and not everyone can put on a face for 8+ hours just after the death of a loved one

      • Matt Westwood

        In which case you appear to have a problem that requires psychiatric help. 4 years? Death is a fact of ife Let the past bury the past, get on with the important job of living.

    • No, the point to taking time off is to organize/attend the funeral and deal with the initial shock of loss. The actual grieving process can take years, but won’t necessarily affect day-to-day life for that long.

      • Matt Westwood

        It’s long enough that you shouldn’t still be a cry-baby when you get to work.

        • Zack Wagoner

          Not all of us are mighty Prana-Bindu masters like yourself.

  • minipopcorn

    I don’t agree with the manager’s response at the end. However, they were likely concerned because there could be other reasons the worker is crying, and being a manager they would already know about the death. Mourning is a process,and it can be a very long process. Maybe the manager has heard all this before though, they’re unwilling to hear it again and they want the person to get back to work.

    The worker needs to get themselves back to a place where they can be productive. If they can’t be productive, they need to go home. It sounds harsh, but you are being paid to work.

    • Novelista

      And you’re determined to put people on the street. Congratulations.

      • minipopcorn

        How is that putting someone on the streets? The work allowed the employee time to handle things. No, the employee won’t instantly get past it, however, they need to try and focus on getting back to work. If they need that job to avoid being on the streets, they need to focus on that. As others have said, mourning can take months if not years. An employer is not going to give you a lot of time on their dime.

        As I said, the manager was in the wrong for that response.

        • Celoptra

          the co-worker could have bills to pay since not everyone is in the 1% and in today’s society because of the only jobs being customer service jobs they’re living paycheque to pay cheque. If I was living on my own I would barley be able to afford the rent on the aparment but have nothing for food, or clothing. (and I’m not able to work if I don’t want to loose my dental, and drug coverage). I wouldn’t be able to earn much working 4hrs/week at a mimumium of a $11.40/hr

          • minipopcorn

            And if the coworker was in that situation, I’d hope she’d consider that and try to focus on work. Asking someone who isn’t working, but crying in the back to go home isn’t unreasonable. Without knowing all the factors there could be more issues nobody is aware of. At least they gave her time off to go to the funeral/memorial rather than “tough luck”. Mourning is a process, nobody disagrees with that.

            A lot of people seem to view it as heartless to tell someone not to come in if they can’t be productive. Isn’t it worse to have someone come in, be unable to assist, and still get paid? Think of the other workers there, now they have to potentially work harder to cover someone else. Calling in would at least give the management time to find someone to come in or they’d still be short staffed either way.

  • Shailyn O’Neill

    That manager is terrible. I hope they get what they deserve.
    I’m sorry for your coworker’s loss, both my grandparents died very quickly so I get it

  • Well I’m glad that there are still some sympathetic people in the world. Obviously not this manager or some of the commenters. But many others. Good to know. Especially for those of us who can’t hide our emotions.

    I wouldn’t necessarily be openly crying while at work, but the people around me always seem to know what I’m thinking based on my facial expressions. Other people may be great actors, but a robot I am not.

    • Daistis

      I’m honestly surprised so many people fail to understand the concept of not being able to hold back from crying, I thought most human beings have had that problem at least once in life.

      • Me too! I don’t know whether to be impressed at how well they can hide how they feel, or scared that they are secretly aliens.

        • Huck Perry

          one reason could be they either was not very close to their families/friends or just don’t care… 🙁 maybe even had their lives be MORE unfair, which I hope their days get at least better.

          • That’s a good way of thinking about it!

        • Ainoko_Ironrose

          It can also be related to how they were raised and how their peers treated them growing up. What if they were bullied for being too emotional? What if their parents, grandparents punished them for crying, laughing, etc.

          For me, I was bullied ruthlessly for the 2.5 years that my baby brother was suffering from cancer up to the time he died at the age of 7.From the ages 12-15 I was an emotional wreck over what was going on with my brother, crying, raging, etc at my family, God and life for what my brother was going through. My family was understanding knowing that my brother was near and dear to me (an 8 year old’ boys birthday wish come true to have someone else to deflect two younger sisters from tormenting me, tell secrets to etc).

          Me getting bullied for crying, retaliating against the bullies was instrumental to me to start locking down my emotions as much as possible, until something happened in art class when a particularly nasty classmate began assaulting me in art class over what was going on with my brother. To this day, I don’t know what it was he said or did, but the next thing I remember was me being held on the floor by 3 teachers and six upperclassmen and the classmate that was assaulting me in a corner on the other side of the classroom, white as a ghost and blubbering in fear.

          From what one of my best friends told me after I returned to school a week after my suspension, was that one moment I was working on the class project trying to ignore the harassment from the classmate and the next was at his throat so fast that the kid would have been dead had he not been faster. My friend said that it took 9 people to hold (barely0 me back after other students started pushing me away from the kid. He said that what terrified him the most was that he didn’t recognize me as I was being restrained by the others from the rage I was exhibiting towards that student.

          That scared me once I heard it and since then, I have had only one emotional outburst and that the day my brother died from the cancer. I know I have feelings, I laugh, show excitement, joy, etc. but when it come to the negative emotions, they rarely ever come out except when I am talking to someone about those events.

          • I am so sorry you had to go through that. <3

            Not everyone reacts the same way to the same circumstances, and hopefully because of that we can accept how an individual might react and show some sympathy.

          • Ainoko_Ironrose

            Yeah, it was a tough period of my life. When I went berserk on that student, learning that I have those kinds of anger issues was the catalyst to me bottling up my emotions so tight as well as healthier and safer ways to vent. Yes I am ashamed that I lost control that day, but at the same time I am a better person for it as I learned to overcome something that would have destroyed me in time.

            People do need to understand that there is no textbook way for everyone to react to the loss of those near and dear to them.

          • That’s really awesome that you were able to learn from your experience. Not everyone would or could be as strong. But knowing that you were able to overcome what you went through and become a better person is admirable.

          • Ainoko_Ironrose

            I can say that if it ever gets to the point that I am going to lose control of my anger, I will do one of a few things depending how I am set off, usually by yelling at the one who set me off and immediately walking away in order to defuse the situation.

            There has been only one time that I came close to getting physical with someone and that was years ago when a co-worker blind-sided me for no reason. It took everything I had and then some to get off the ground and walk away and into a walk-in freezer and not to tear into the co-worker. The next day the manager fired me for fighting or in my case me walking away from a potential bloodbath. Before I left, I told the manager that she better be glad that I walked away after that co-worker sucker punched me, because if I hadn’t two of three things would have happened… I would be in a police car going to jail, and the co-worker would either be en route to the nearest hospital or leaving in a body bag. And had I known I was going to get fired for walking away from a fight, I should have let myself go.

            Honestly, I am adept at avoiding fights at all costs because I am deathly afraid of what can and will happen should I let my anger have control.

          • Good for you for knowing when (and being able) to walk away. And shame on that manager! Who in their right mind fires someone from walking away from a fight?

          • Ainoko_Ironrose

            Thanks, and the manager that fired me was fired a few months later herself for having inappropriate relations with a couple of the staff who were 17 years old.

          • Oh geez. Glad you don’t have to deal with them anymore! Good riddance.

      • Star

        I actually CAN suppress my emotions (I don’t suggest it as a coping mechanism because it’s done more harm than good) and I still understand not everyone can do that. I have the empathy for those that can’t. People are not all the same. People are… human, you know?

  • ladypalutena

    I am fortunate enough to have never experienced a death in the family that required me to take time off work (but that’s coming, considering I’ve got two grandparents barely holding on), but the few times I did cry at work had to do with the death of an incredibly serious relationship (he’d already bought the ring and he’d returned it because he changed his mind at the last minute). I cried for days. You can’t get bereavement leave for that. And I had bills to pay. So yes, while I tried to suck it up best I could, there’s nothing I could do when it came across my head sometimes. I cried for about two weeks, in and out of sight of the customers. My manager was super kind and usually put me on stuff like truck/put-backs/finding markdowns so I wouldn’t have to directly deal with customers. They were there for me until I managed to find a way to get past it.

    This manager is just a douche. This is far more serious than getting dumped. You don’t know how close this woman was to her grandmother. When my grandmother dies, you better believe I’m going to be a wreck for a long time. That won’t keep me from going to work, because I’ve got bills to pay. But I’d hope my managers at my new job would be more sympathetic.

    • Kitty

      I’m terrified of when my maternal grandmother dies. (Paternal one died on my actual due date; I was born early) Not because I will miss her a ton and break down – I’m sure I’ll be devastated – but because I don’t know how I’ll react. I tend to not show grief and I’m scared I’ll look uncaring to my mom, who I know will be sad.

    • Moon

      Yeah, Douche Manager.
      If you’re reading this, Manager, then:🖕🏻😡🖕🏻
      ITS ON!

  • “I quit, what’s that? I can’t quit because its the busy season and you have no one to cover my shift? !ifes unfair, get used to it”

    • TheMjohann

      That would be great until life once again bite you in the ass with being unemployed. But quitting a bad job like that might be worth it.

    • JorTanos

      It’s cute that you think the manager, rather than the other employees, would give a damn about getting short staffed.

      • It’s cute that you think this was meant to be anything more serious than a snarky response

  • AseretZone

    What a jerk. Hope this manager never goes through any kind of traumatic loss.

    I really hate that they switched where the comments were because I had Matt Westwood nicely blocked and now I have to see him again. -_-

    • Liawen

      if you mouse over his comment and click on the small downward pointing arrow in the top right that appears, you can block him again. (i’m explaining cause it sounded like you don’t know how, if you already knew or figured it out, my apologies)

      • Flami

        BOO! 😀

    • AsaeAmpan

      It’s hilarious, the inbred called matt has a about 1% of the time where he’s actually sensible, the rest of the time he reveals his mental defect that never went diagnosed.

      • Kryss LaBryn

        I dunno; I find most of the time he’s either sensible or at least entertaining. On the occasions he’s just a massive, misogynistic douche I usually just ignore him or give him a thumbs down.

        See, I figure if I block everyone who says things I don’t like (an exception of course being if they’re directly harassing *me* and I’m done with it–which has only happened once so far), then I can’t see what they’re up to, and I don’t have an opportunity to argue against whatever stupid thing they’re saying, and then their awful opinions go unchallenged.

  • I’ve never seen it spelled out, but I’m pretty sure bereavement time off is not and cannot be enough for someone to finish grieving. It can only give you enough time to get past the shock of losing someone enough to function.

    • AliceInWeirdoLand

      I don’t think OP was saying that the coworker was asking for more time off. And yeah, it’s my understanding of bereavement leave that it’s for going to the funeral and getting your head back on straight, not the whole process of grief. Regardless, it’s not out of line to expect a little curtousey from coworkers.

      • PimpKat

        Yeah, pretty sure it goes under “common courtesy” really…

  • Abigail Hermione Irwin

    I would’ve gone straight to HR and then quit without warning (would be nice to find another job first but I’m not sure I’d even spend time on that). Nobody needs that level of sh*t.

    • Matt Westwood

      HR: “You’ve had a week’s compassionate leave, which we are actually obliged to give only when a parent or direct child is deceased. Now you’re back at work and *still* not in a condition to face customers with a professional demeanour? Either take further extended leave, either unpaid or out of your annual leave entitlement, or shape up, wash your face and blow your nose and get out there and do the job we pay you for.”

      • Zack Wagoner

        Empathy, tact: a d1ckh3ad craves not these things.

      • Zania Sovijarvi-Spape

        It’s the managers’ job to, aongst other things, foster team spirit, and create friendly work environment with good morale, as that improves productivity. The manager who sys something like this ought to go bang their head against the nearest wall, then wipe off the blood and do the job they’re paid to do, of which they just did the exact opposite.

      • Random commenter

        Even if that were the appropriate response (which I do not believe is the case), there’s still the fact that they ASKED what was wrong and were very concerned sounding until the answer. The fact that they did sound so concerned could have, in turn, invited some of the reaction they then reprimanded. I know I myself would be now likely to let my facade slip if I thought I was being asked out of genuine concern.

        • Matt Westwood

          Well if one of my customer-facing staff were booing her eyes out when she’s supposed to be welcoming people into the store, *I’d* be asking what was wrong. You’re here to work, you stupid woman, not blart all day.

      • Jason Roder

        So you figure HR is scum like the manager?

  • Tossaway

    *What* he said was right (and it’s a very good thing that life is unfair). *That* he said it was not.

    • Jane Ennis

      He certainly chose the wrong moment to make his point. People need time to grieve.

      • Tossaway

        That was my point. What he said wasn’t wrong, it was wrong to say it.

    • datawog

      Yes, it’s true that life is unfair. Sad yet true. But when a person says so when you’re a sobbing mess… it immediately makes me hate them and desire that they will have cactuses inserted in their tenderest orifices.

      • Tossaway

        It’s also going to make everyone who heard him say it or heard that he said it want to work a little less harder for him. It will damage the morale of everyone. The real world might be saying “suck it up, buttercup”, but that doesn’t mean we need to add to it unless there is incoming fire and the upset person is the only one who can deal with it. Doesn’t sound like that was the case here.

        • Whiteprime

          I prefer the phrase “man up Nancy you don’t wanna be a limp wristed gay boy do ya”

          • Tossaway

            ” you don’t wanna be a limp wristed gay boy do ya” Quoting your own dad, no doubt. Sad that you didn’t listen.

      • Moon

        Yeah, and it starts making you suspect that said person is a member of AWTOK.

    • Max

      I’m always like, “Yeah, life’s unfair, doesn’t mean you have to make it even more so.”

    • Random commenter

      Worse, they invited the conversation to begin with by asking what was wrong. To me, that amplifies their callous response — why ask what’s wrong and then withdraw all sympathy and support?

  • Novelista

    Thank you, OP, for posting this–it’s nice to be able to have a way to weed out the heartless bleeps from the rest of the people who are good to hear from.

  • Vulpis

    Homestly, I can see both sides of this, given the situation when my mother passed away. The *way* the manager said this was severely nasty and callous…but they were also right, especially when someone’s the primary earner or lone earner. While at the job, you do have to suck it up and get the job done..and when the day’s over, go home and break down until you have to get up and go to work again. :-/ Otherwise, you end up with *two* emotional crises instead of just one…bereavement, and figuring out how *you* are going to survive without an income. :-/

    • Kaili

      This is a perfect summation of the arguments. Yes, the manager was callous, but the workplace is for being a little automaton for the company. The manager seemed concerned at the beginning, it seems it was her “it’s not fair” that turned him into a douche. As it seems everyone likes making an assumption about this young ladies life (she doesn’t get extra time off, she’s out of PTO’s, she’s the sole wage earner) then how do we know that the manager’s terse but true remark isn’t referring to the fact that at the very moment she was blubbering that life isn’t fair; his kid, partner or even himself wasn’t going through something equally terrible? Personally, I won’t presume, but I think it was a reminder that yes, death sucks but work goes on.

  • Denton Young

    The manager definitely should have phrased that considerably less bluntly.

    “I’m sorry, but life is like that. I hope you don’t have to go through this again. Hopefully work will help take your mind off it.”

    • Kryss LaBryn

      “Oh, god, that’s so much worse, isn’t it? I mean, it’s bad any time; but when it’s not expected and you don’t have time to brace for it that makes it so much worse. I’m really sorry for your loss. Listen, if you’re dealing with a customer and you need to duck into the bathroom to take a minute to pull yourself together, splash some cold water on your face, you know, just call me over, okay? Say, um… Just tell the customer that a key’s stuck and you need me to enter a code and wave me over, and I’ll take over the transaction for a few minutes, okay? I know this is really hard for you and I appreciate you coming in; we’ll do our best as a team to help you get through your shifts.”

      • Akamar

        This is probably the kind of manager that groans if he has to leave the back office for anything.

  • Jonathon Side

    Yikes. That’s pretty heartless.

    A few years back, there was a massive earthquake in Christchurch. I think they’re still working on recovering from that. At the time, we had a supervisor who had family that way… her mother, I think. So she’s stressed out and overwrought a couple of days after the event. Then her manager walks past and tells her ‘We all have problems, suck it up.”

    So the supervisor left and didn’t come back.

    I only know because I subsequently took a very angry call from her partner about it.

    • Matt Westwood

      Come on, an earthquake that wrecks a community cannot be compared to an old woman kicking the bucket.

      • Zack Wagoner

        Since the reason she was overwrought was because of a possibly dead old woman, yes, it can be compared.

        • Matt Westwood

          … and she’s soft as $h1t and hasn’t grown up from being a tedious whiney little baby.

          • Hedronal

            So it’s somehow not okay to be worried when there’s a significant chance one of your loved ones died?

          • Zack Wagoner

            No, because Matt doesn’t have any emotions other than anger and smug superiority, therefore anyone who does is a stupid, and most likely American to boot.

          • Matt Westwood

            That’s not at issue. The point is that something that devastates an entire community is rather more important than just a daft old cow poppin her f***ing clogs.

          • Hedronal

            That doesn’t make someone dying not important though, regardless of what little significance you would give her. That’s the whole point, it’s life-changing to the other person.

          • ChocSprinkles

            Thanks for reminding me of why I blocked you on Facebook.

          • PimpKat

            Yeah, he’s really the life of the party.

          • Jason Roder

            “Your pain is invalid because others have it worse!”

            It doesn’t matter how you phrase it, it’s false.

          • Moon

            🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻

          • Jason Roder

            Are you sure you aren’t NegativeNancy?

          • Matt Westwood

            No, but I was one of her biggest fans.

  • OP sounds young. The young tend to use phrasing like “it’s not fair”. Death happens to everyone, and we who are left to grieve are never prepared for it and always wish we had more time. OP, I hope that this unfortunate exchange aside, you have an understanding workplace while you are grieving.

  • Kitty

    The manager is technically right, but that’s not something you say to someone currently grieving…

  • Kristen

    Manager: “My identity got stolen! It’s just so unfair!”
    Coworker: “Life’s unfair, get used to it.”

    • Moon

      OWNED!

  • Samantha Phastine

    I had a manager like this once. A coworker’s aunt died and he needed time off to go to her funeral, and the Qing Wa Cao De Liu Mang responded:

    “Well, hope you aren’t scheduled on the day the funeral is.” I left without giving notice because of that manager.

  • Akamar

    So conflicted… on one hand, manager is an in compassionate asshat (but what else is new?)… On the other, he’s right, though….

    • Hedronal

      That doesn’t make it at all helpful, or appropriate to say to someone grieving and visibly distraught though.

      • Akamar

        No, no. I mean, obviously not. I mean.. Manager is obviously a mega douche. Sad thing is, I can picture just bout EVERY manager I’ve ever had being this person…..

    • Michael Bugg

      So, basically manager is an INTJ.

      • Akamar

        :/ hey, I’m an INTJ.

        • Michael Bugg

          So am I. :^|

          • Akamar

            Sucks to be blunt sometimes, eh?

  • Dutchy McDutch

    Considering I heard about an hour ago my uncle has only 7 weeks to live and my wedding is about 3 weeks away, I kinda can relate a bit too much here. Can someone slap that manager on my behalf, please?

  • I am Jenn

    My grandfather, a man I was very close to, died a few years back, mid-month, when I was a customer service rep for an industry that is mainly busy at the beginning of the month. My boss said to me “this could have happened at a more convenient time”. (I took a single day off work, and it was a day when I was extra and we had coverage) I was super upset with what my boss had said, but I’d only been with the company less than six months and really needed the job.

    Fast forward 4 years. My father-in-law, a man I’d only ever met once, died on the last day of a month, so the next day was our busiest day of the month. I’m now in management at that same company, in charge of a site, and can hardly take vacation without a huge amount of planning. Same boss says “do you need time off? We’ll cover, take whatever time you need.”

    What changed? I called him out on his behavior a few years ago, and he’s been trying to “be a better person” and understand the needs of his staff. We’re all better people for his leadership.

    Maybe this manager just needs to have things put into perspective….I hope.

  • Weazul

    wow, even the @$$hole boss at my first nonseasonal job was better than that, she was concerned when my parents stopped by shortly after closing while we were still cleaning up to tell me my last living grandparent had passed away. and this was the woman that set me up for a way to put me on indefinite leave because she couldn’t legally fire me for being disabled (I was hired before she was shifted in to replace the manager that hired me).

  • MouseyBrown

    My friend had a manager like that, when she worked retail. My mom found my dad not breathing on Black Friday (he’d been feeling unwell the day before, at Thanksgiving dinner), called the paramedics, who were able to revive him and get him stabilized, etc., but he crashed again, and was basically on life support long enough for everyone to get there and say goodbye, and so organs could be harvested.

    My parents had been a second set of parents to her, almost since the day we met. She called the Mom and Dad, and loved them with all her heart.

    Her heartless donkey’s rear of a manager, when she came into work later that day, after saying goodbye to my father at the hospital, had this to say to her: “So, is your friend dead yet?”

  • Kat

    Years ago I became seriously ill and required emergency hospitalization. My parents were across the country and so my brother took care of me and stayed with me in the hospital. He missed a fair amount of work (he was interning at a law firm) and when he finally got back to a regular schedule, the boss told him that if he took off more time to take care of his “sick sister” (yep the boss thought he was lying) they’d have to reconsider his employment. My brother quit on the spot. I nearly died and it threw him into a serious depression. He didn’t need his boss treating him that way. But that’s not even the worst of this boss…when my brother’s co worker got back from her leave for her brother’s suicide, the boss told her she’d get over it in two weeks. Yup, heartless man. My brother’s an assistant prosecutor now so thankfully quitting did nothing to him.

  • Blake Barrett

    Life is simply unfair, don’t you think? There are simple moments when a single snail can make a world go extinct.

  • Cody Parker

    I hope he has fun in unemployment, or getting a massive write up..