Don’t shoot the messenger (but is it ok to slap him?)

Two days ago one of the team members in my office received some bad news from his mother. She told him over the phone that his junior sister passed away in hospital after some complications. He was devastated. He left the office soon after to meet his family members and to start making burial arrangements.

My supervisor was out of the office at the time so when she came back she asked after the bereaved team member. I stupidly went close to her and said in a gentle voice that he received news that his sister was dead – that was when my supervisor sent my head swinging 45 degrees left with an unexpected hot slap. The following conversation ensued:

Me: “Why did you slap me?”

Boss: “Tell me it’s a lie”

Me: “It’s true…but you slapped me”

Boss: “Sorry, I don’t know…er…I wasn’t expecting that kind of news”

In my head: The next time I’m passing on shocking news to my boss I’ll do so from about 50 feet away or better yet I’ll send a text.

Anyway, the swelling has gone down now.

Take THAT, messenger!


~In loving memory of Chioma O. ~


11 thoughts on “Don’t shoot the messenger (but is it ok to slap him?)

  1. After reading the title I thought, “Sure, it’s totally ok to slap the messenger” must be the sadist in me. Although afterwards, when I found out it was you who got slapped, I figured you were totally wronged. I guess putting a name on the slapee makes a difference to me :o) I would feel pretty angry if someone slapped me after having to break bad news. It’s not something I really enjoy doing in the first place ESPECIALLY when it’s dealing with death. I hope your boss is exceptionally cool in every other aspect because that was crap.

    • Your guess is as good as mine! Thank heavens she didn’t literally pull out a gun and shoot me. This should enter the Guinness book of records as the most bizarre reaction to the death of a non-relative.

  2. Wooahhh ! If that happened to me; I would have slapped the boss right back !! Next time – just text / email – never know how your boss would react !

    I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your colleagues’ sister. My condolences.

    • trust me, it did happen. imagine a ‘knee-jerk’ type of reaction. That’s how quick the slap was…almost like an involuntay reaction but not the reaction I was expecting 🙁

  3. Pingback: Don’t shoot the messenger (but is it ok to slap him?) | cscmajor

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