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I am an intern a part-time software engineer in a company. I did not feel well the night before, I overslept accidentally and missed a meeting, where 5 of us want to write a business plan, the organizer was from the management team.

They wrote the business plan and shared it with all the group members. How should I apologize? I love my job and I am really sorry for missing the meeting. But I do not know what to do.

I prepared this email:

Good afternoon Tonny,

I apologize for not being able to attend the meeting, I was not feeling well this morning. Thanks for the business plan, I reviewed it.

Kind regards, XYZ

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  • What country are you in? Jun 22, 2021 at 18:36
  • I added to the tag
    – Ava123
    Jun 22, 2021 at 18:38
  • 3
    What's wrong in saying what you just mentioned minus the part about thanking him for creating a business plan. You shouldn't be thanking him because he didn't do your job. It was a work assigned to the 5 of you so it's very likely that they wrote it together. Your email looks fine. Is there something not okay in the email that makes you want to ask about it?
    – Mugen
    Jun 22, 2021 at 18:46
  • In Canada, we have to be nice.
    – Ava123
    Jun 22, 2021 at 19:06

5 Answers 5

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People can get sick very unexpectedly. It happens in any industry.

Usually, it is best if you can notify your coworkers as soon as you feel sick and know that you can't attend the meeting. It means that it is best if you can notify the coworkers before the meeting starts so that they can be aware that you will not be able to attend the meeting. That would be the best option. Of course, some times, it is not possible to notify your coworker early, and your coworkers will understand and let it go.

As long as your unexpected missing of the meetings does not happen many times per month/year, then your coworkers won't have a big issue with it.

However, if you are sick and you can notify your coworker before the meeting starts, it will be viewed as very professional and responsible.

Your draft email to the team lead looks fine to me. Furthermore, you can probably add an extra note saying that you are very sorry that you couldn't notify them before the meeting started because the illness was unexpected, and you could not wake up during the morning.

I suggest you also send a similar email to your manager, and other team members besides the team lead.

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  • Or at least, your co-workers shouldn't have a big issue with it. Jun 22, 2021 at 23:02
  • I get the impression that the OP didn't take sick leave. If the OP merely overslept, they should certainly ask the organiser if there is any work remaining on the business plan that needs to be done. For example, proof reading, or formatting. At least it shows a willingness to contribute. Jun 23, 2021 at 2:20
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Quick and to the point. Too many details may come across as excuses.

Sorry for my absence Tonny, I woke up ill and couldn't make it in, Thank you for sending the business plan, I was able to review it when I was feeling better.

Regards XYZ

cc manager

cc lead

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Handle it the same way you would any mistake at work - Make sure people are informed of the what and the why - "Hey sorry I missed the meeting," and find out if there's anything they need from you as a result ", are there any action items for me?"

Things happen. People miss meetings, power goes out, internet drops, car accidents happen, etc. The reason isn't really even that important, just focus on moving forward and keep doing a good job.

In the future - the very moment you realize you missed / can't make it, if the meeting hasn't happened yet or hasn't finished, let the people involved know so they know you can't make it

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This happens. After the fact, there isn't a ton you can do about it; the meeting was missed, and whatever that is, it is. You should apologize to your boss, as you suggested, that should be sufficient assuming this doesn't happen often.

One thing to note: Based on the fact that you are Canadian (I am also Canadian), my guess is that your manager's name is not "Tonny" and is instead "Tony". If you are apologizing for something you did wrong, make sure to at least spell your manager's name right when you send a note to apologize, lest you turn an already bad situation into a worse one.

In future, here's what you can do to avoid this situation:

When you go to bed, if you are not feeling well, send your manager a note saying "I am going to bed now, but I am not feeling well; I may not be able to show up for the meeting tomorrow due to feeling ill", or something like that. Similarly, if you wake up in the middle of the night, when you feel well enough to do so (after you've handled whatever other considerations you have), do the same thing: Send an email, saying, "It's the middle of the night and I woke up feeling ill; I may miss the meeting tomorrow". You do not need to explain anything about your illness, you do not need to say when you will be feeling better or how or anything else, simply "I am not feeling well, I may miss the meeting", that's all you need to say. This is just to give your manager a heads up not to expect you in the case that you do end up missing the meeting, and so that he can make an excuse for you not attending if needed, and so that he can prepare whatever documents or notes he needs to keep you up to date. Simply not showing up without any such announcement is somewhat unprofessional and may make your manager upset; giving your manager warning that you may miss the meeting ahead of time helps smooth things over a lot.

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  • Another advantage of sending the email the night before - nobody is going to think "were you really sick, or did you just oversleep/forget and then make up an excuse?" Jun 22, 2021 at 23:08
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"I did not feel well the night before"

People can get sick for various reasons, but it's important to inform your superiors. Ideally you should have written an e-mail/message or similar already when you felt sick and mention that you might not be able to come in the next day.

"overslept accidentally"

Oversleeping and not attending a meeting without notice will not be perceived as professional in the business-world.

A brief apology is fine, just don't come across as too apologetic (if that word exists..) and try to inform others next time as they may be worried something might have happened. As Jon already mentioned, don't try to exhaust your superiors patients by repeating that a couple of times in a year.

Some companies have a 2 or 3-strike policy per year, some will call you in immediatly on the first time - but as an intern, they might be cutting you more slack..

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