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There is a kinda secret code for OOO or WFH emails that managers should respect. Definitely got to "Respect the code" (say in a pirate voice). As a manager I'd write purposely vague emails to contribute to this, "Sorry will be late, got jumped by a gang of ninjas" because I really don't like to set a cultural tone that isn't trusting of employees. I basically need to know you aren't going to be here but I don't need to know why.

There was an eng manager that would pester people about vaguer emails asking for clarification. I really wanted to just sit him down and explain that he isn't being clever and he was basically being a jackass for prying into people's personal lives - vague email is vague for a reason.




I decided years ago to avoid detail in "I'm sick" emails, because I don't want to one day think "do I need to say I have horrendous diarrhea, or can i just say I'm sick?"


It's kinda an all or nothing situation. If the habit is to usually provide detail and then one day someone doesn't - people will assume the worst. Thus, it's better to encourage less info than more. Which is a bit counter-intuitive because, ideally, people genuinely feel bad about missing work and want to provide some justification.


Me too, I also used to say "I have an appointment on Thursdays" instead of telling people I was going to the shrink. Though I'm guessing that code was not exactly impenetrable.


I did exactly the same when I was in therapy the time before last. The only person who knew where I actually was, was my Manager (and I guess HR as well) - but my team (peers and subordinates) didn't know. I felt at the time this was the correct way to handle it.

Third time around in therapy (last year), I decided to be very open about my mental health, and the steps I was taking to help myself. So my emails became 'I can't do that then, I'm in therapy.'.

I found personally, that being honest and open to everyone about my problems actually contributed in a small way to my recovery effort. Even now, stabilised and medicated, I'm still honest and open about my [ongoing] journey, and who I was as person then, and who I am now.

I am never going to lie about being crazy again, it's not healthy.


Might I ask if the using the word 'crazy' at the end was a conscious choice? I do not wish to pry or pose a rhetorical question. I'm curious only because from the rest of the email you seem to be speaking in a dispassionate manner about the situation but that bit stood out as being different.

I could be way off the mark of course. I intend no disrespect or ill-will of any kind. I understand if you just say "None of your business" or something like that.


Nah, it's fine :)

'Crazy' is how I view myself. It helps me accept my broken brain, and more importantly, makes it easier to stay on the meds. Without the meds, I'm into serious depression and anxiety territory. It's no fun being there, so better to call myself Crazy. It is what it is. Also, I use self depreciating humour as defence mechanism. People I know personally don't like it when I call myself Crazy though, not sure why.

One day I do intend to get an 'I AM crazy, the doctor had me tested.' t-shirt. (see what I did there?)


IMHO defining yourself as "having" or even "being" some mental health label can be reinforcing and self defeating.

And if I had a friend who defined themselves as crazy that would honestly strike me as obnoxious. (I'd give a pass for schizophrenia or the like. Then your brain truly would be broken).

I say this having struggled in my own way (as, many, many - probably the majority - of people do at some point) with forms of anxiety and depression.

Everybody is trying to focus. Everybody is trying to be happy and stable. Everybody is trying to get by.


Just to dispell some common misunderstanding in this area: People with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder can act in ways that make people think they're just as "crazy" as people with schizophrenia. There isn't a hard dividing line between schizophrenia and other "less severe" psychiatric conditions. The definitions of them are fuzzy and it's better to think of the whole thing along the lines of a spectrum of affectedness.

My point is that anyone can be "broken"... Not just people with schizophrenia. And sometimes, for both schizophrenia and other conditions, accepting that you're somewhat broken in a way can be very helpful. It allows you to accept help more easily and relieve yourself of personal blame for the ways you may have acted or continue to act due to the condition.

Source: I have a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder.


Thank you for your openness and honesty.

Good luck!


This mentality of feeling the need to justify why you're late or out comes from industries where employees are only paid shorty wages and are monitored for time on the clock.

I have had to mentor many people in my life that your reasons for being put are your own, and if you give some overly wordy specific reasoning it looks fake even when truth...

An email calling in late or sick should never be more than one sentence.

"OOO today - but reachable

OOO today off grid

WFH - reachable by normal channels

Etc

Even better is #OOO slack channel and people just post in there any day they are out...


Have you tried a policy honesty and discretion?

"OOO/WFH: be back Tuesday at 11am"




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