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Our company is submitting a business proposal for which a meeting has been arranged by the potential client which is located in different city than my work location. While our company has numerous travel policies during COVID-19 situation, my manager is going to attend the meeting. He would be driving his own car and I have a strong feeling that he will ask me to travel along with him just to share the driving efforts.

While this is not a reasonable argument for him to ask me to travel along since our policies doesn't permit this. He is trying to make stronger argument using other tricks such as claiming his laptop getting crashed just 2 days prior to travel. So he can say since his laptop is not functioning, I will have to accompany him along with my laptop. Based on my past experiences, I have a strong feeling that he will definitely ask me to travel along with him. How can I deny when he asks me to travel?

PS: Our travel policy quotes that the company supports any employee's decision to travel/not to travel out of their residence during pandemic due to reasonable COVID-19 related concerns.

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    "So he can say since his laptop is not functioning, I will have to accompany him along with my laptop" How would such a situation normally be handled? Do you have to give up your laptop every time your boss has an issue with his?
    – sf02
    Aug 6 '20 at 18:48
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    What does he need your specific laptop for? If he just wants access to any machine, surely your IT department (or whatever equivalent) can provide one? If he needs access to files on your machine, you could let him borrow your laptop, having put the files in a shared location so that when he logs in using his own credentials (or e.g. a guest account) he'll be able to access them.
    – Touchdown
    Aug 7 '20 at 12:01
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Based on my past experiences, I have a strong feeling that he will definitely ask me to travel along with him. How can I deny when he asks me to travel?

First of all, this is not sure yet, so it's not a fact that he will ask you to come with him (don't torture yourself with things that may not even happen).

Now, if and when he asks you to go with him, you are in your rights to just politely say no:

Hey, chono_tachy, would you like to come with me to the meeting?

Hello boss, I will have to pass on this one, as I am concerned about the Covid-19 situation and would prefer not to travel to another city. You have my full support and can call me, face-time or write to me at any time so I can assist you.

If he comes up with excuses that his laptop crashed, and that he need you and your laptop (if any what he needs is the laptop, not you):

Oh, your Laptop crashed? I'm sorry to hear that. You can take mine and use it for the meeting. I can work on X, Y, and Z in the meantime while you are traveling.

Either that or to use another laptop available at your company for the duration of the trip (most likely you have other laptops available). Another option is to save the presentation in a USB stick and just bring the USB to the client's meeting and politely ask them to use their laptop to present. You even have online tools like Google Drive's online presentations, or Prezi, and sooo many others I am sure.

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You can definitely politely decline. You are not obligated to travel with him because this would be a health and safety hazard. Tell him you are not comfortable and you are worried about your health.

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