I am in ER this morning and am very much late for work due to it (will likely be missing close to half a day of work). I already notified the team on Slack that I will be late, and wrote literally nothing else.

How do I later handle this and phrase it so as to simultaneously communicate that it was a serious and legitimate reason for missing work, at the same time without giving any specific personal health-related information? My boss is not an issue, but rather my curious colleagues.


3 Answers 3


Just tell them that you were attending something important.

If they dig - tell them it's personal.

If they ask what personal means: it means it's not their business.


Chances are no one on your team will get to curious. But if they do just tell them you had something to take care of this morning. Probing further is after using this type of deflection is considered rude. If someone persists anyway just respond

I am sorry it was just something personal, that I prefer not to share at the office. I hope you understand.

Nothing more needs said.


Only your boss has to know (if him) why you're not there. But it is usually considered good for team cohesion to be at least open about your absence, so tell them you were gone due to a medical emergency and leave it at that if you're anxious to tell them more (I wouldn't know why you'd not want your coworkers to know what's plaguing you though, unless maybe it were an STD or drugs related issues. Having colleagues know you've medical issues serious enough to require an ER visit can help them detect repeats and know what to do when and if they happen for example ).

  • There are plenty of reasons the OP might not want to discuss their medical history at the office, and that includes simply being private about any health issues they might have.
    – Llewellyn
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 20:01

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