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On Monday I had to take some emergency personal time after finding out that my mom was hospitalized for a mental health breakdown. I didn't give the details to my manager, only that she was hospitalized. She lives somewhat far away from me so for the past 2 days I've been staying at her place and working from home there.

I work in software so it isn't abnormal for someone to work from home, and our workplace is really flexible with scheduling. My manager is also a really nice understanding guy. We have a couple deadlines coming up, but nothing is critical at the moment.

I have a meeting (unrelated) with my manager when I get back and if it isn't weird I wanted to thank him for being so flexible. I'm a little worried to go into detail about the situation since I think it would be inappropriate/uncomfortable to mention.

Would it be acceptable to thank him? If so, any advice on what to say would be really appreciated

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    I don't know, but why saying "Thank you", when you really mean it, is so difficult? Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 13:19
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    Just say the obvious, and skip the details. Say something "Hey Boss, just wanted to mention that the incident I had back home in under control now, and I really want to thank you for allowing me to WFH on such short notice. It really helped me a lot, thanks for your support, as always." Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 13:22
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    My question is how you could thank someone for something and not be tactful about it. "Thanks for the flexibility, you ugly so-and-so!" :-)
    – Blrfl
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 13:55
  • it would be absurd to go in to detail about the nature of the medical condition. Obviously thank the manager because "your mother was hospitalized". No problems here.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 14:05

3 Answers 3

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First of all sorry about your Mother, hopefully she recovers well!

I'm a little worried to go into detail about the situation

Then don't... You don't have to tell your manager everything if you don't feel comfortable in doing so.

Would it be acceptable to thank him?

Absolutely. Just talk to him and say that everything is now sorted. I want to thank you for being so flexible the other day. I'm grateful for what you allowed me to work from home during this time on such short notice.

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It's always acceptable to thank someone in the workplace for something they did that you appreciated, or which helped you. I would not expect your manager to find a simple and generic thank-you to be uncomfortable, and I would also not expect them to feel strange about not getting details.

Something simple, like,

Hey, thanks for being flexible with my schedule recently

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Not only is it acceptable, but it is recommended that you do so.

Even managers like chocolate chip cookies and being recognized for a kindness.

Express your gratitude, it is so rarely done that it will be appreciated.

You don't have to make a big deal of it, just next time you see your manager, just say

Hey, thank you so much for letting me work from home, it really helped, letting me be close to my mom, I appreciated it.

Then, buy him a cup of coffee, if you think it appropriate. The important thing is to always acknowledge a kindness done to you, both in the workplace, and outside of it.

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  • The cup of coffee would cause tax problems
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 14:05
  • @Fattie thanks for saying that before someone else did. :D Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 14:10
  • We're a regular comedy duo :)
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 14:11

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