my boss will not cease texting me — and I am in a hospital mattress — Ask a Supervisor

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A reader writes:

I’m writing you (actually) from my hospital mattress, questioning if it’s value attempting to redirect my boss, who has texted me 8-9 instances since I had surgical procedure 10 days in the past. That’s extra texts than I obtained from my finest good friend. Not one of the texts are about work, which might truly make this worse, however that doesn’t make them any much less bizarre/tense.

I’ve been planning for this surgical procedure, at house and at work, for greater than a yr, and I had the date for the surgical procedure greater than three months forward of time. I’ve an permitted 6-8 week FMLA restoration interval off at work. I’ve had a number of hours off at some point a month for therapy, a number of minor out-patient surgical procedures, and a number of medical doctors appointments throughout the yr main as much as it. This wasn’t sudden. It’s been mentioned in almost each staff or planing assembly for the previous six months. All of my duties are lined or postponed. I haven’t had any new work that I’m chargeable for the previous month, since we knew I’d be gone.

Though I’m undecided how a lot of that issues, as a result of, once more, my boss isn’t texting me about work. Listed below are simply the texts the place she initiated them:
Day of surgical procedure: “Good luck! Prayers every part goes effectively!”
2 days after: “How lengthy will you be within the hospital? What room quantity are you in?”
3 days after: “Did they get all of the most cancers?”
4 days after: “All the time excited about you! Simply get better!” then later that very same day: “Ship us a pic of the flowers!”
5 days after: “How are you feeling as we speak?”
8 days after: “How are you doing as we speak?”
9 days after: “ How are you feeling now? Any higher?”
My surgical procedure ended up taking 12 hours, which is almost double the deliberate time. I got here out of anesthesia at 9 pm lacking an organ that I didn’t know I used to be being eliminated after I went beneath at 9 am. And I’m now again within the hospital with problems after being house for a number of days. I’m exhausted. My household is exhausted. My restoration is trying optimistic however going to be lengthy (which is why I’m off work for 6-8 weeks). And whereas the texts appear innocent, I discover them overly private and kind of demanding. Additionally they require much more psychological engagement than a textual content from my little one or my BFF—as a result of they’re from my boss.

What and the way a lot do I need to inform her? Medical stuff is each gross and private. How sturdy are the ache meds I’m on? When did I final take them and can I be coherent? Although I simply misplaced my kidney, she’s remains to be my boss at a job I like and shall be going again to, so I don’t need her remembering me being doped up.

If I ignore her, will she be pouty and make offhand feedback about it after I get again to work? As a result of that is what occurred if I didn’t examine in as soon as I bought house within the afternoon throughout the one-day, outpatient surgical procedures I had main as much as this.)

I’d love your tackle why that is occurring, and/however extra importantly—how can I inform her to please depart me the heck alone for the remainder of my depart/restoration? I used to be considering I’d ship the staff an “I’m okay” after, one other “thanks for the flowers” (possibly), and ultimately an “I’m being launched again to work on X date.” We’re previous that rely and I’m not even house from the hospital.

Add: This took me six days to write down up as a result of that’s how zapped I’m proper now. If any of the maths doesn’t match, that’s in all probability why. Plus ache meds. lol

Ship this while you really feel as much as it: “Thanks for the effectively needs. I’m utterly worn out and never capable of textual content. I anticipate to be incommunicado for the following X weeks whereas I get better and I’ll see you on Y date after I’m again.”

After which ignore her texts. Take into account blocking or muting them so that you simply’re not getting stressed if she retains sending them.

If you need, you may ship her one textual content the day earlier than you’re set to return that claims, “Pleased to be coming again tomorrow! I didn’t take a look at any texts from the final X weeks in order that I might give attention to getting higher so I might need missed any from the workplace — hope all is effectively there and see you tomorrow!”

And to be clear: What your boss is doing is unacceptable! It’s intrusive and remarkably oblivious to the truth that you’re recovering from surgical procedure and don’t have to be linked to work.

This isn’t fairly FMLA interference (a part of the legislation that claims that while you’re on FMLA depart your workplace can’t contact you to do work) as a result of she’s not asking you to do any work. She’s simply checking in time and again socially, and making emotional calls for on you rather than work ones. It’s almost as inappropriate.

You requested why she’s doing this. I’m guessing that in her thoughts, she’s expressing concern and staying linked to somebody she cares about — bit it appears like she’s deeply misunderstood the position she performs in your life. Some managers have a sure kind of obliviousness the place they’ll’t clearly see the connection for what it mutually is, don’t pay sufficient consideration to the worker’s cues about what kind of relationship they need and are snug having, and don’t notice that energy dynamics imply workers received’t essentially really feel snug setting the boundaries they need.

You might additionally take a look at what your boss is like exterior of this. Are you legitimately shut? Does she overstep boundaries in different methods? Is she performative about caring? Are you messing along with her self-image of herself as a caring particular person by not letting her be as performative as she desires right here? May that be why she was pouty while you didn’t reply after your one-day outpatient surgical procedures?

Finally, although, none of that issues. Ship the “I’ll be incommunicado” textual content to reset expectations, ignore the rest that comes, and focus in your restoration.

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