Managers — let this story be a lesson in compassion and common sense for you all.
When an employee asks you for a relatively simple accommodation for something, just give it to them. Asking for a doctor's note for little or obvious things (especially if you don't offer health insurance in the first place) is a pretty surefire way to make sure that your employees respect you a little bit less.
It's also quite likely to totally backfire the way it did for the manager in this scenario.
Employees — we know you've all worked for the type of manager who drove you up a wall with needless requests.
For many of you, you never got that satisfying moment of being able to stick it to them with their own policies. Take heart, though. One Reddit user did, and they've become something of an instant legend for it.
The story starts in an understaffed cafe. The establishment is spread over three floors — all stairs, no elevator. That means servers — like our Reddit hero — spend their days running up and down those three flights of stairs for their whole shift.
The user posted about how their shifts often lasted ten hours and how physically demanding it was.
Bugs Bunny style:
Then came the "accident."
A simple slip in the parking lot lead to a gnarly twisted ankle that was obviously injured. They sent images of their swollen purple ankle and asked for simple accommodations like a stool or to be put on the register.
The manager replied by asking for a doctor's note — even though the Reddit user's next shift started in under 12 hours:
"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 spilled 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."
Our intrepid hero knew they couldn't make it to their regular doctor, so they went to an urgent care facility to get the doctor's note that the manager insisted on before allowing them to have a chair. That's when things got interesting.
The doctor didn't give them a note for a chair. Instead, after examining their ankle, the doctor decided they needed to be fully excused from work for nearly two weeks — leaving the manager even more short staffed than before!
All they wanted was a chair...
Readers had a blast with this.
Just Stay QuietGiphy
Manager: "Give me a doctor's note or you'll be written up for sitting down"
OP: Hands in doctor's note
Manager: "I'll just stay quiet next time..."
Honestly this kind of senseless power play by the manager annoys the f*ck out of me. Why does it matter if you sit in a chair? Who would be hurt by this?
Bosses can be so f*cking stupid. 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. Boss said no because it's "unprofessional."
Literally no one was going to come in that day! There were no students! 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.
I don't get why bosses pull this sh*t, honestly.
I think doctors are getting wise to this kind of crap. Often providing advice that goes well beyond what's absolutely necessary and heading into the territory of overly cautious. Not that it's a bad thing. They're helping people stand up to bosses like this. Good on your doctor for giving you a documented excuse to tell your boss to shove it.
Do you have an incident where you followed the rules and it worked out like this? Tell us about it!