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Reuters/Laszlo Balogh
No need to go in-depth about your passion for street meat.
JUST DON'T

Why you should never tell the boss you have food poisoning

Sarah Todd
Member exclusive by Sarah Todd

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.