My manager has been suffering from chickenpox since early last week and plans to come back to the office tomorrow.

What is the best way via chat to ask him whether he has fully recovered from his chickenpox?

I have never had chickenpox and don't remember if I was vaccinated or not, so I am very concerned.

  • What are you going to go based on the answer? Sep 18, 2017 at 6:01
  • 1
    Why the negative reception on this? I get that this needs a rewrite but the main question seems clear and on-topic, even if the answer might not be what the OP is looking for.
    – Lilienthal
    Sep 18, 2017 at 8:39
  • @jcm Agreed, I don't see ethics question either.
    – Neo
    Sep 18, 2017 at 11:49
  • Not only manager, and chicken pox. Some of my colleagues come to work, although they still ill :( Sep 18, 2017 at 12:03
  • Sounds like you should go get vaccinated, regardless of what you do in this situation.
    – Kat
    Sep 18, 2017 at 22:35

3 Answers 3


What is the best way via chat to ask him whether he has fully recovered from his chickenpox?

Just be friendly and express concern for your manager's health.

Just ask something like "Hi. How are you feeling? Fully recovered? I heard that you might be coming back to work later this week?"

You'll likely get a response on the order of "Thanks. My doctor says that I won't be contagious and I can go back tomorrow."

That said, just stay away from your manager for a few days when he returns. The virus is not as easily spread as most. It can be spread through coughing and sneezing, but is mostly spread by contact.

If necessary, make a joke about it when he returns. "Ugh! I never got the vaccine and I'm not getting near you!" when said with a smile and a laugh won't be offensive.


Chickenpox is contagious 2 days before the "pox" are showing and until the pox are completly dry.

Don't ask, if you see your boss with "pox" that still look like they're filled with liquid, stay away from him.

  • 2
    Difficult tell what they look like unless the manager is up close, which is too close. The manager should stay out of the office until a doctor says so as the manager may not know the state of his condition.
    – camden_kid
    Sep 18, 2017 at 12:45
  • If I were a manager, I wouldn't come to work if I looked like a 5-year old had fun with a red marker when I was asleep. :-)
    – pistach
    Sep 19, 2017 at 6:27

If you feel the need to ask because you don't trust them to come back in a non contagious situation. Then just ask him politely, mention you have never had chicken pox so you're a bit concerned.

Don't take chances with your health. As your manager he/she shouldn't be taking this the wrong way. It hurts the team if a staff member becomes ill.

Chicken pox can be very dangerous in adults, particularly males. In rare cases life threatening if there are complications.

  • 3
    The manager might be offended, in that you're implying that they're not smart or responsible enough to wait until they're not contagious any more before returning to work. Sep 18, 2017 at 10:34
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    @Dukeling hence my first sentence. Normally you would trust them, but I have had some absolute idiot managers and if it came to a choice between my health and them getting mildly offended, I'd choose my health every time. Chicken pox can be very dangerous in adults, particularly males.
    – Kilisi
    Sep 18, 2017 at 10:39
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    @Dukeling Manager does not equal smart, or courteous to ones employees.
    – Neo
    Sep 18, 2017 at 11:11
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    Not to mention that lots of people have this crazy "must come to work even when sick or be considered a weakling" attitude, so it's not at all unusual for sick people to show up for office in some cultures.
    – Erik
    Sep 18, 2017 at 11:45
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    @Dukeling I'm reading this question to mean that the OP really doesn't trust the manager to be that responsible, and while they want to minimise the risk of causing offense, it's a lower priority than minimising the risk of catching chickenpox. Sep 18, 2017 at 12:12

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