Some Bosses Have No Principals

, , , , , , | Healthy | January 4, 2021

I teach high school, and I am going through an unknown medical ailment for which I am undergoing a battery of tests. This happens over text, as I’m updating my principal as to what is going on.

Me: “I’ve just finished with my spinal tap. They said I can work, but I may end up with a debilitating headache, so would someone be able to cover my class if I need to go lay down for an hour? Or should I just take the day off?”

Boss: “It’s too hard to find a sub. If you need it, we will find someone to cover your class.”

A few hours later, I get a call from my doctor. I’m told to check myself into the ER based on the results of my spinal tap. I text the principal again.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t come in tomorrow after all. I’m currently at the hospital; my doctor told me to go to the ER immediately when he got the results of my spinal tap.”

Boss: “Seriously? You know how hard it is to find subs. You’ve put me in a very difficult spot here. When will you be back?”

Me: “I can’t tell you. I haven’t been told anything besides, ‘Check yourself into the ER,’ at this point. I’m guessing it’s going to be at least a couple of days.”

Boss: “I hope you know what a terrible inconvenience this is for us. You know we have a hard time getting subs, and especially at this late notice and without any information, it’s going to be difficult to cover your time off. You’ve already taken off a good portion of this year and now you’re taking off more time?”

I recently gave birth to my first child and took maternity leave. At this point, I’m sobbing, terrified of not knowing what’s medically wrong with me, and feeling terrible for having to take off because of my boss’s comments. It takes my husband an hour to calm me down.

For the record, I wound up in the hospital for nearly a week and went back to work with an IV still in my arm for continued treatment at home. I was not sad at all when I left after that year ended. And no, my boss never so much as asked me how I was doing at any point through the entire ordeal.

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