Dear Slice of Life,
My work colleague is often off sick and I am worried for her welfare.
She is very discreet and doesn’t seem to have many friends.
Should I check in or am I overstepping?
Yours, worried in Denver
Dear worried in Denver,
I can see from your letter that you are a thoughtful and considerate person. It’s clear that you genuinely care about the wellbeing of your colleague. This speaks volumes about your character.
In situations like this, it’s crucial to balance your concern for your colleague’s welfare with respect for their privacy. While it’s understandable that you’re worried, it’s important to remember that everyone has a right to their own personal space and privacy.
In this case, I would suggest that you approach the situation delicately. Maybe start with a simple, Hey, I noticed you’ve been off sick quite a bit. Is there anything you want to talk about or any way I can help? This way, you’re expressing your concern without prying too much into their personal business.
Remember, you can only offer help; it’s up to them to accept it.
As for whether you’re overstepping, that’s a bit harder to judge without knowing more details. But generally speaking, showing concern for a colleague is a kind act. It can help to foster a more supportive work environment.
Take for instance, a similar situation where my friend, let’s call him John, noticed that his colleague, let’s say Jane, was often away from work. Jane was a private person and didn’t socialize much. John decided to approach Jane, expressing his concern and offering help. Jane appreciated John’s gesture and opened up about her health issues. They became good friends and Jane felt more comfortable at work.
Ultimately, your intentions are good and that’s what matters most. Go with your gut feeling and remember to be sensitive to your colleague’s reactions. If they seem uncomfortable or unwilling to share, it’s best to respect their wishes and give them space.
You’re doing a wonderful job being empathetic and considerate. It’s people like you who make the workplace a better place.
I hope this « Slice of life » proves useful and do keep coming back for more soon!
Your Agony Aunt