My Manager Is Angry Because I Couldn’t Get To Work

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about transportation problem:

Since I was going to be without a car for two days, I called my stored manager to inform her that I didn’t have a ride to work. Before I could say anything else she tell me that wasn’t her problem an that this is the weekend and I need to find a way to work. Then, she hung up. I called back and asked her, since I don’t have a way, if she could come and get me. She said OK.

Forty five minutes pass and I called back but she’s not taking my message. She told my other coworker to tell me she can’t come and get me because she can’t leave the store.Was I wrong for not going to work although I was telling the truth about my car? I never call in and I even go to work when I’m sick.

Signed, Stranded

Dear Stranded:

I can understand your frustration and also the frustration of your boss. You probably felt stressed already because you were going to be without a car. That’s always upsetting! But, your manager was thinking about staffing a store with one less person than planned and that is upsetting as well. Your manager apparently told you she would come and pick you up at home and give you a ride to work. That’s rather unusual, which indicates she was willing to go out of her way to help. However, she got busy waiting on customers and told a coworker to tell you she simply couldn’t leave the store. Or, she might have decided it wasn’t a good idea to do that and she changed her mind about it. She would have been better off not getting your hopes up about a ride and instead telling you to take a taxi or telling you the day would have to be taken as a sick day. As it was, you thought you’d get a ride and she probably regretted saying she would give you one the moment she hung up the phone.I think you were very honest to say you couldn’t come to work because of your car.

Some other people might have made up a story about being ill. But, your manager probably felt that you should be at work unless there are no other options–and a taxi, public transportation or getting a ride from a friend or family member might have been an option. Now the issue is how to patch this problem. Consider this: When you see her next (or in a phone call if it will be several days before you see her), tell your boss you’re sorry things got so confusing about the car and you getting to work and all of that. Thank her for trying to help by giving you a ride and tell her that the next time you have a problem about your car you’ll do your very best to find some way to work.She may tell you that she understands.

She might say that you’re responsible for finding a way to work, no matter what. But at least she will know that you aren’t angry about all that happened and that she can get over being angry too. If you like your job and want to stay there, it will be worth it to you to try to mend this. It will also be a good reminder to try to have some plans in place in case this happens again. (I hope it doesn’t, not for a long time, because I’m sure it was difficult for you!)If your coworker talks to you about it, don’t complain about your manager, since that will likely get back to her. Just move forward and show that your past good work is going to continue. Best wishes with this!

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.