I'm a 41-year-old single mom of one, with a 15-year-old daughter, Becky (not her real name). Becky has Asperger's Syndrome, diagnosed aged 8. She can't fully live independently and has some issues with social skills. Her dad left her when she was only 18 months old and hasn't been seen or heard from since in her life. I was never married to her dad.
If location's relevant, I'm in Texas, and I work in IT, in the marketing side of the firm, rather than the tech side, been there for the past 9 years, but worked in marketing since 2012 if that makes sense.
Last Thursday, our boss (the person above my line manager; it's my line manager, then boss in corporate structure; it's not a huge business) told us that we were required to attend a corporate tranquility retreat he'd booked for us in Johannesburg that lasts for a week.
Yes, we're required to attend it as training.
I asked the boss why it was Johannesburg, and she said, good discounts and it was via a friend of a friend and someone who a friend/business contact knew in South Africa.
I don't understand why the boss wants us to fly out to Johannesburg for a training course, in theory can tranquility courses be done anywhere??
I'm worried about this, as the course is in March, for the first week of March (think it's around Monday March 2nd - Friday March 6th 2020) and I can't just take my daughter with me to this, it'd be playing hookey, wouldn't it?
I actually briefly spoke to my manager and boss about this, told them my situation, but my boss said:
You are required to come to this tranquility stress training scenario. Sort your passports out, this is mandatory. No excuses.
I did this in a formal manner, but she was insistent about it.
I usually get on well with my boss, but I don't think she understands my problems as she goes on about getting dates with younger girlfriends via OKCupid and Tinder so she probably doesn't understand having a teenage daughter; I know she's got no kids, that's certain.
I want my daughter to have a good education but equally I don't want to quit a job I've done for 9 years which I really enjoy. I worry I may not get another job. The company's a good place to work for, I get on well with co-workers.
My basic question is "How do I get the boss to understand I can't just drop everything for a training course that's held abroad, as I've got a teenage daughter?"