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This Manager Can’t Stomach A Reasonable Request

, , , , , | Healthy | April 21, 2022

I’ve been having a lot of stomach problems. My doctor orders a CT scan. This shows a small abnormality in my colon. He sends me to a gastrointestinal specialist, who orders a colonoscopy, as he is concerned that I have something that could turn serious if left alone. The first one available is a month later, on a Monday morning. My doctor also tells me that I’ll be under anesthesia, so no driving until the next day.

My job is pretty strict about requesting time off early, so I figure a month is more than enough time. I go to work and tell my boss that I’ll need that whole day off.

Boss: “Oh.”

Me: “Yeah, it’s a pain, I know.”

Boss: “Can that be moved?”

Me: “Only if it’s for a really good reason. Why?”

Boss: “I’m leaving for vacation the day after, and I was going to take that day off to get everything ready.”

I stare at my boss in disbelief.

Boss: “I need time to pack! So, can it be moved?”

I take a deep breath and attempt to stay calm.

Me: “The next available date was two weeks later, on a Tuesday. Since I have to be on a liquid diet and a very strong laxative the day before, this would require me to take two days off. Would you rather I take two days instead of one?”

Boss: “No, I would not. The original appointment is fine. So, you’ll be in afterward, right?”

Me: “Say what?”

Boss: “I mean, I know you said you needed the whole day. But I had this thought. Your appointment is in the morning, so you take the morning off and come in after lunch. Then, I can take a half-day. Problem solved!”

She smiles proudly. My composure slips.

Me: “Have you ever had a colonoscopy?”

Boss: “Nope! Why?”

At my request, my GI doctor has told me exactly what the procedure will entail. This helps calm my anxiety about the whole thing. I decide to put that knowledge to use, as I know my boss doesn’t like medical descriptions.

Me: “After two doses of an extremely powerful laxative, I have to be put under general anesthesia so that they can stick a camera and a probe up my a** to make sure I don’t have Crohn’s or cancer. And I haven’t even mentioned the tissue sample that he’ll have to take from my intestinal lining. This will likely cause post-procedure bleeding. You want me to come into work after having this done?”

My boss pales, makes a face, and holds up a hand.

Boss: “Stop! I didn’t need to know any of that. I assume your answer is no?”

Me: “Obviously! Plus, I can’t drive for eight hours after being put under.”

Boss: “Someone could drive you in.”

Me: “Have you ever been under anesthesia?! I have, twice. It makes me extremely loopy. You want me handling cash after that? I’m not coming in. End of discussion. Now, are you going to approve it or should I take it unpaid?”

Boss: “Well, now that you put it that way, I guess it was a pretty stupid question. I’ll approve it in the system.”

She walked away, muttering under her breath that I didn’t have to make her look that dumb.

The colonoscopy went without a hitch, and to my great relief, I did not have Crohn’s or cancer! I was eventually diagnosed with IBS, aggravated by stress. My doctor informed me that this can mimic Crohn’s.

I have a different job now.

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