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Bereavement Leave

Found this joke on

Bereavement Leave

This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

I find this particularly funny because it once happened to me!

Just after starting college my maternal grandmother passed away suddenly (heart-attack). This happened on a Saturday afternoon on one of the (rare) weekends I was at home in the house my grandmother shared with us. The whole family was devastated of course and especially my parents, brother and I who shared the last few years of her life caring for her.

As a consequence I was out of college for a week. When I went back the following week I made a point before each lecture to approach the lecturer and offer my apologies for missing out their lecture the previous week. Most of them were very compassionate and especially as I explained the situation were keen to offer their condolences and any way they could help. All but one.

This fellow (who shall remain nameless) actually said: “But it was only a grandparent why did you need to take a whole week off?” – I was totally dumbfounded. I believe I actually stood there in front of him with my mouth open and then he dropped an even bigger bombshell on me: “I’m not sure I believe you. I want to see a copy of the death certificate”

Needless to say, I left his lecture immediately, went to my department head and made a formal complaint.

I’m still amazed to this day how that guy attempted to quantify “how bereaved” people should be when they lose someone they love or that someone would attempt to dodge lectures by making up a lie like this (as there are any number of other ways you could lie about missing lectures). It’s not something I’ve ever been able to get my head around.