No I am not having a power trip. On the contrary I am on the receiving end of the power tripping from my acting Manager.
My boss is currently on his annual leave and an acting Manager was assigned to us. I feel sick yesterday and decided to file a sick leave via our ‘portal’ SAP-based system, where the approver is my boss. Since my boss is on leave, I made a screen capture of my sick leave request at the portal and sent an email to my boss and the acting Manager. I sent an email before 8:00 AM as I am trying to feel myself if I can still report to work or not. And to borrow an adage, ‘the mind is willing but the flesh is weak’ (and to apply to my case… I decided to take a rest).
Sick, my eyes can’t stare at the computer monitor, I want to rest, I logged-off and sleep. Past noon, I felt a lot better (thanks to the needed rest/sleep), I prepared my lunch and opened my computer. When I checked my email, I saw the reply from the acting Manager, him saying:
my understanding that sick leave should be issued by a physician not by a patient so please go to Clinic and ask your Doc to issue one if needed.
After reading his message, I felt sick again… I was employed with my current employer since July 2008 and this is the first time ever I applied for a sick leave. Even in 2009, I was not able to have my vacation to my home country because it was three times rejected due to ‘operational requirements’. Even if I am not feeling well the previous year, I still report to work.
The thing is I still have 11 days leave credits for 2010, I could have used either one of these, but I filed for a sick leave, because I feel sick. As in any company, there are 30 days allocated sick leave for employees.
Meantime, his understanding that sick leave should be issued by a physician and not by patient, in my opinion is not correct as it states in the HR Manual that:
Company recognizes that personnel may become ill or injured and may be unable to work. Absences of more than two days must be supported by a medical certificate…
… Supervisors may ask for a medical certificate for repeated absences of less than two days.
Whereas, my interpretation above is that it is specific that those with absences of more than two days are required with a medical certificate and those with repeated absences of less than two days may also be required (emphasis on the word ‘may’). On my case, my leave is only one day and this is the first time I applied for a sick leave since 2008.
Nonetheless, I obliged myself to visit the clinic, I arrived past three in the afternoon and the family section is already closed. The receptionist advised me to have an appointment for the next day instead. I explained my case that I was simply inquiring on how to obtain a medical certificate, though I feel a lot better already (except for some muscle pains and mild headache). The receptionist insisted on scheduling me for the next day, to which I replied it would be useless.
Luckily, someone overheard our discussion and advised me to proceed to the emergency section instead. My vital signs were taken by the nurse and was read as normal. Then the doctor came (after waiting for more than ten minutes) to which I explained that what I need is only a medical certificate being required from me. I continued explaining that I was not feeling well the previous night and decided to take a rest the whole afternoon to which do not feel sick anymore. Though on the process, was not able to report for work.
He told me he can not provide a medical certificate the previous day, to which I responded that what I need is actually for the present day.
At home in the evening, I sent an email to my boss and the acting Manager, quoting the HR Manual that only more than two days absences are required with medical certificate. However, I continued that I still visited the clinic to obtain a medical certificate.
I thought everything is all right until I went to the office of the acting Manager this morning to submit the medical certificate. He has one visitor inside, but I still proceeded, as my intent is only to submit the certificate and leave. However, he opened up that what I did is wrong – “arguing with the Manager” – to which I figure is attributed to my email quoting HR Manual. Perhaps he was embarrassed when in effect after I quoted the HR Manual on my email, I implicitly portrayed that his understanding (requiring me to go to the doctor to be issued with medical certificate for a one day sick leave) is not correct. Especially I hit the ‘reply all’ button, wherein he copied other persons with his reply to my original email.
He continued babbling that there should be a system, that the current procedure is not correct, that I should have not sleep and instead went to the clinic right away, etc. etc… I tried to remain composed in as much I want to give my own views on the matter. Good thing I was able to restrain myself, especially he has a visitor at his office, I still have some self-respect with me and do not wish to argue with him, acknowledging him as my superior. (Though I made it sure I appear as if I want to say something, only I am restricting myself.)
I just decided to leave his office after managing to still say thank you.