Injured member of staff told to get a doctor's note by boss, only for the doctor to sign employee off for a whole week

Greg Evans
Tuesday 16 April 2019 15:30
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Picture:(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Arriving at work with a serious injury or ailment is not always the best idea, but an employee should be applauded just for the sheer determination and commitment to the job.

Unfortunately, things don't always work out quite like that, especially if you have a grumpy boss who isn't that keen on making your life easier.

This was evidenced by a recently Reddit post by the user called et-regina. Posting in the Malicious Compliance subreddit, the user explained how they had badly twisted their ankle after an accident but still felt well enough to work in their cafe where they were employed.

Although they couldn't serve anyone in the multi-storey venue, they felt that as long as they had a chair they could at least work the till for a few days, rather than take the time off for being sick.

However, the boss decided to be as belligerent and difficult as possible and demanded that the employee show him a doctor's note which stated that the member of staff would need a chair to do the job.

Begrudgingly, the staff member went to the doctor to obtain such a note but, rather than sign off on the need for a chair, they signed the employee off work for a full seven days, meaning that the boss had effectively caused himself to lose a member of staff for a full week due to his own unreasonable attitude.

According to the Reddit user, this is how it went down:

So since some 11k people liked my last story of malicious compliance at work, have another!

At the time I worked in a cafe set over 3 floors, so my day generally consisted of 10 hours running up and down stairs.

I had slipped on some spilt motor oil in the car park on my way home and my ankle had bent underneath me; I had initially assumed I'd just twisted it, but several hours later it was still throbbing, as well as swelling up so much that it looked like I was hiding a pair of golf balls under my sock and turning a deep shade of purple.

As my next shift started in less than 12 hours and we were short staffed as it is, I didn't want to call in sick, but I knew there was no way I'd be able to stand/walk on it for a whole day. I called my manager to explain and to ask if I could a) switch to the register for a few days, which involved much less walking than my regular role, and b) borrow one of the bar stools to sit on behind the counter so I wasn't putting too much weight on it.

I figured this wouldn't be a problem as we had other staff who could cover the floor and there's no issues with access around the register that the chair could get in the way of: I was wrong. Manager insisted that he wouldn't sign off on me having a chair without a signed doctors note verifying my injury, even after I sent him photos of my wrecked ankle.

As my GP was already closed, I headed to the 24 hour walk in clinic. An x-ray and a lot of poking and prodding later, the doctor told me I had to ice it every few hours until the swelling went down (which took almost a week) and keep all weight off it for at least a week, and wear a brace for another 2 weeks after that. When I explained what I did for a living, the doctor presented me with a lovely note explaining that I shouldn't be at work at all for at least 7 days.

I wish I could have seen my managers face when I called to explain that I didn't need the chair after all as actually I wouldn't be in work for the rest of the week and most of next week, doctors orders. Funnily enough I was never asked to produce a doctors note again for the rest of the time I worked there.

EDIT: not to be that person but this is my first time getting gold so thanks guys! You'll be pleased to hear that several years later my ankle heeled with zero longterm affects and I'm now in management myself, hopefully treating staff a lot better than I was treated. Also as SO MANY of you have pointed out, please go to the doctor if you injure yourself regardless of whether or not a dickhead manager demands it or not.

The post, which was shared in March, has since received more than 16,000 upvotes and many have shared the sympathy and added their own personal experiences.

SlapThis said:

At my last job, they paid for a “career coach” to come and give a presentation to 'motivate' the team.

We were all being overworked and putting in 60+ hours a week, no breaks.

Our career coach explained that you should NEVER kill yourself for a job where you are an employee. Even if you are an owner, you should think twice. Take care of yourself, you can always find another job, but there is only one you, and you need to be there for yourself and your family.

It seems so stupid that someone had to sit there and drill that into us for 3 hours but I had never really thought about it that way and just cared that I was making really really good money.

I was also the first to leave.

Incogneatovert added:

At an old job, as I was leaving the office for the last time, I stopped to talk to my team leader who was stressed almost out of her mind with her workload.

I had a sincere heart-to-heart with her where I reminded her that she is not a slave owned by the company, but an experienced worker, smart person and stressed out mother. I told her she might want to consider if this job was actually worth all the time and effort she put into it, and that she might be a lot happier in all aspects of life somewhere else.

A couple of months later she quit, and was much happier in her new job, where she didn't have to do overtime just about every day, and they didn't have stressful seasons where they had to argue with management to get even one temp to help out.

Sometimes all it takes is for someone else to point out that there are alternatives.

aloneindankness said:

I sprained my pinky toe once, and I asked if I could sit on a stool for the day. I didn't think it would be a problem, because I worked at the school bookstore, and the students weren't back yet. She said no because it's 'unprofessional.' 

Literally, no one was going to come in that day. So I fake coughed, said, 'Oh no, I'm sick,' and walked out. She had to cover the empty store all day, unable to leave the register, while I went home. I quit like 2 weeks later too.

neonchimp replied:

I had one like this one time. I was sick with a stomach bug and was puking and shitting everywhere so I asked my boss for the day off so I could sleep the worst of it off and is right as rain the next day.

Of course, she was on a power trip and said if I didn't have a doctor's note I was fired.

So I went to the doctor and he gave me a note for 4 days off. I marched back through the doors of my job and told them I'd be back after the weekend.

My manager looked like she was going to explode because we were short-handed and this meant she was working 4 doubles in a row

HT Bored Panda

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