Skip to navigationSkip to content
JUST DON'T

Why you should never tell the boss you have food poisoning

Reuters/Laszlo Balogh
No need to go in-depth about your passion for street meat.
  • Sarah Todd
By Sarah Todd

Senior reporter, Quartz and Quartz at Work

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Whenever I have to stay home sick from work, I’m always uncertain about how much detail to give. Do I let my boss know that I have the stomach flu, specifically? Or would she prefer the simple elegance of “feeling under the weather?”

I mentioned this conundrum at a recent dinner with three friends, all of whom are managers. For the most part, they agreed they would not want to know the particulars of an employee’s reasons for missing work. They trust the people they manage and are troubled by the idea that workers would feel pressured to disclose the minutiae of their bodily ailments. The exception, they said, is when an employee has a chronic illness or condition, in which case it’s helpful to have a bit of context for regular absences.

That said, none of them objected to the idea of employees sharing that they had a cold or a monster migraine. There was just one excuse that they agreed employees should almost never use: Food poisoning.

Are you a top company for remote workers? Whether you’re fully remote or distributed with a strong remote contingent, you may be eligible for Quartz’s Best Companies for Remote Workers, a new, global ranking to be published later this year on Quartz at Work. Registration is free. Click here to apply.

Enrich your perspective. Embolden your work. Become a Quartz member.

Your membership supports our mission to make business better as our team of journalists provide insightful analysis of the global economy and helps you discover new approaches to business. Unlock this story and all of Quartz today.

Membership includes:

こちらは英語版への登録ページです。
Quartz Japanへの登録をご希望の方はこちらから。