I had a job where my immediate manager was away for several months. After the first couple I asked what was happening and was told he was sick and no one new more than that and they didn't know when or if he would return to work. The reason I asked was strictly business, I wanted to know if I would be working with a replacement or perhaps getting some of his duties. This wasn't the problem.

One day, he came back to work. It turned out he had been at rehab and everyone in the office had known about it all along, except me. I casually mentioned I didn't know where he was and he told me that he told my acting manager it was all right to tell me.

It's alright if someone chooses not to share something personal with me. But seeing as everyone else knew, and he had told my boss it was ok to tell me, I sort of felt like it was a breach of trust. Is this a fair thought?

I'm more concerned if this was a sign they don't trust me or I'm not on good terms with them?

I had been told that medical information is confidential, but I found it a bit hypocritical that it was only confidential when he wasn't there and when he came back to work it was "the talk of the office" and anyone walking by would hear the story.

Also, in a sense I wish I had known earlier because there were a few times when I first started I was talking to him to get to know him better and noticed he liked talking about a liquor store near by so I kept up the subject. I wouldn't have if I had known he had a problem, but I can see how it may have been hard for others to tell me not to talk about it without revealing the medical reason.

  • Why the down votes? Mar 2 '16 at 10:05
  • @SomeCallMeSam That is an automatic downvote from the question getting put on hold. It should get retracted if this question is reopened, although I could be wrong on this.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 2 '16 at 11:47
  • What is the question?
    – user29055
    Mar 2 '16 at 12:04

Is it alright to be singled out and not told something personal?

This is purely up to the individuals whether they choose to tell you or not. There is nothing wrong with it. If I were you I wouldn't make a 'thing' out of it. There is no plus side to doing so.

  • He DID want me to know, but for some reason everyone else kept it a secret from me. I updated the question to make that clear... Mar 2 '16 at 10:08
  • 1
    Then he should have told you himself, according to your question one manager was told you were ok, not everyone. Questioning that managers reasons is not productive. Filing the information for future reference is. You now know one managers weakness and that the other may not think they know you well enough to confide non work related details. Extrapolating to the whole office not liking you is (while possible) reading a bit too much into it.
    – Kilisi
    Mar 2 '16 at 10:52
  • 1
    @SomeCallMeSam "he told me that he told my acting manager it was all right to tell me." That doesn't say "he wanted me to know" to me, it says that if the acting manager feels it's information you need to know then he has permission to tell you. Perhaps your acting manager decided that you didn't need to know since it's not relevant to your job. How your co-workers found out is anyone's guess. Mar 2 '16 at 11:04

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