Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Banned from the office for travelling to the States

My manager has given me a work-from-home sentence for travelling to the States. The way in which he did it wasn't nice.

To put things into content, I returned home from the States last Tuesday. I then got food poisoning. I worked from home last Wednesday, and took last Thursday and Friday off as sick days.

My first day back in the office was on Monday. I was tired from all the throwing up and not eating much, but I was fine otherwise.

Yesterday, I worked from home. I received an e-mail from my manager with two questions:
  • Did I travel abroad while I was on vacation?
  • Where did I go?
Without any context, getting personal questions about where I went on vacation was odd and really none of his business. Without having a chance to respond to this e-mail, he pinged me on our company instant messaging app to reply to his e-mail. I didn't like that approach, either.

I asked him whether his line of questioning was due to COVID-19. He said yes and that it was travel policy. Interesting. Our travel policy has not listed the States as being a place where you need to self-isolate immediately when you arrive back in Canada.

So, I let him know that I was in the States. He wrote back saying that I was to remain at home for fourteen days from the day that I returned. He actually wrote, "DO NOT come to the office."

What annoyed me more was his tons of questions about who I came in contact with and for how long. I wrote back and asked whether this was truly policy. I then had lunch at 2 pm.

He wrote back and said that it wasn't a formal policy. It made me think that he was being cautious and paranoid simultaneously. He saw my car parked in the lot at work and put this association together.

He then pinged me on my instant messaging app and said that I needed to respond to his e-mail immediately. I'm sorry, but I had a ton of work that needed attention. He claimed that his request was top priority and a response would take "a minute" after I said that I needed some time. I finally put my foot down and said, "Not, it does not. Again, I need some time."

He is a jerk who has no compassion. I wrote back an hour later, indicating that having some context would have been nice.

I talk to a lot of people at work. It comes with the job. He decided well before my response to send my intern home. My intern and I had lunch together on Monday. I frankly think that my manager took things too far. I don't have any symptoms of COVID-19 and he made me feel like crap.

I let my intern and a friend at work know about this situation just after it happened. I'm glad that I did. My intern figured it out and let me know that he was sent home. My friend has been there for support since this situation occurred, which I appreciate.

I don't mind working from home. I get to save time and gas. I just don't like how this decision was delivered to me and his approach.

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