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Is my boss paranoid, or what?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
AAARGH! My boss just called me. We're on spring break at the moment, and school starts up again Monday. One of my colleagues is in Calgary visiting his son, and is due to fly back Monday and teach Tuesday. My boss wants me to email him and tell him that he has to have a "note" from a lung specialist saying he doesn't have SARS before he can teach again. I tried to explain that Calgary and Toronto are really far apart, and that if he'd somehow been infected while flying to Canada a few weeks ago it would've shown up by now. If he should just happen to be in the same plane as someone with SARS on the way back here, no doctor is going to be able to ascertain on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday that he is or is not free of SARS! Am I being unreasonable, or is she? I love the way she's leaving it up to me to tell him what she wants (okay, her English is just acceptable, and his German is pretty bad, but why is it that I always have to "explain" negative things, and otherwise she can communicate just fine with him?) I just emailed him and suggested he tell her he'll wear a surgical mask during his entire flight from CALGARY. How's she to know? Was that a rotten thing to do?
post #2 of 12
Just what is your job description? I think she could have emailed herself. Let your boss know that infrared camera are being used in airports to detect people with high temp.s and they are being examined before being allowed onto the flights. I hope this helps!
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just simple English-as-a-foreign-language teacher. The problem is that I have seniority (all the other English teachers have been there for under 3 years, and I've been there over 20), and speak fluent German. Your suggestion just might work - it's definitely worth a try. I hate it when she does stuff like this. With one exception, all the English teachers are in their mid-forties (our "baby" is 31), and I find my boss leaving it up to me to deliver bad tidings. I told her that she was overreacting, but she still insisted that I deliver her message, to "avoid any misunderstandings". I'm the only female English teacher, which might be another reason she does this.
post #4 of 12
Keep us posted as to your results!
post #5 of 12
She sounds like she doesn't like confrontation. Actually, I think her self-perception needs some tweaking. She worries too much what other people think about her. Almost looks like the good cop/bad cop scenario where she is the good cop and you are always the bad cop.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Very perceptible. The thing is, the woman is 76 and wants to "die in her boots", as she is widowed, has no children, and lost her only sister three weeks ago, and I can relate to that. My colleagues recognize that she wants me to be the "bitch", rather than her, but now they're starting to communicate with her through me! The Spanish teachers (mainly male) are doing the same thing. Only the French teachers (all female) deal with her directly, presumably because she is bilingual (Belgian mother, German father, husband was also Belgian). Sometimes I just want to scream. It's difficult at times to deal with elderly parents and parents-in-law, but even worse when you can't get away from it where you work.
post #7 of 12
That is just a ridiculous request. Even people in Toronto don't need notes from a doctor to go to work. I'd say you are within your rights to just refuse to do it. Nobody can require someone to get a doctor's note when they have not been exposed to the disease.

I live just 40 minutes from Toronto, and I have no risk here. And the Toronto people here will tell you that they don't feel at risk either, unless they work at one of the infected hospitals.

Darn the WHO, they way overreacted.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I should print out your responses, and give them to my boss!
post #9 of 12
Well, if she doesn’t like confrontation - you confronting her with a printout of this will just her defenses up. Next time she asks you just say "I don't feel comfortable being your messenger anymore, sorry" and then remove yourself from the situation. I am sure you'll have her stunned enough that she'll be too embarrassed to ask you again. "Viel Glueck"
post #10 of 12
First of all, Toronto is not some uncontrolled breeding pool of disease that everyone must hide from. Our SARS cases have been *decreasing* not increasing for the past week. The numbers of SARS patients in the hospitals are also recovering and decreasing in number.

I live on the same street as one of the first hospitals that was closed down from SARS. There is no one here changing their routine, or wearing surgical masks except hospital staff and patients. Toronto residents and the whole country is dismayed at the WHO's (World Health Organization)decision to broadcast the travel advisory. We have contained the disease and taken the necessary precautions, but WHO did not even consult our Ontario Health Minister (!) before deciding to put the travel advisory in effect.

From international news reports you would figure everyone in Toronto is running for their lives and staying in their basements. It's horrible how fast something like this gets out of hand. It's also scary to see the ripple effect from SARS on the cultural, economic, and religious communities.

After seeing the international coverage on this news story, I am really ashamed at the lack of accurate reporting and replacement with shock coverage.I just want people to know the reality and not accept the *reality* that plays on your TV set during the dinner hour.

Sorry, this didn't help your problem, I just needed to vent. I would tell your boss to do this herself, you shouldn't play the *negative* gopher and let her get off so easily from management responsibilities.

Can you tell I'm sick of all this???

post #11 of 12
Kass - I agree! No one who has been sick in Toronto has been a random case. No one on the streets of Toronto are getting sick. It is being contracted mostly in hospitals, or if your relatives/friends have it! Most people who have been quarentined, as a precaution, have never shown any symptons! Life is going as a normal for the majority of people, with just some extra hand washing!
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
The WHO really overreacted. The panic SARS is causing is unbelievable. I just read an article in USA Today on how bad business is in Chinatowns all across the US because of rumors that some shopkeeper, waiter, etc. died of SARS. So far there have been 39 cases in the entire country, and no deaths. The Canadian cases have mainly been confined to Toronto; I bet far more people die in traffic accidents there every day than of SARS.
I warned my colleague that our boss was going to ask him to get a check-up at her expense when he got back. He thinks it's funny! As far as her emailing him, I'm not sure she knows how to. She can read her own email, but she usually doesn't send them herself.
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