Sick of boss asking how we're all FEELING
Dear Someone Else’s Dad,
My boss starts still each Zoom meeting by asking us all to share how we’re faring during the pandemic. In March I thought it was nice that he showed he cared about our individual emotional states, but now I feel like he’s asking too many personal follow-up questions (“Jen, is your mother’s boyfriend still living with you?” “Avi, were you able to get that mole checked out?”). I know he’s just trying to be supportive, but I really don’t want the whole team to know if my bowels have gotten better since April (OK, I didn’t really share that) or really any other personal stuff. Advice?
I hear your frustration. How do you feel about that? Care to share? What are your physical manifestations?
Your boss had good intentions at the start of the pandemic when everyone’s lives were upended both physically and emotionally. Now that we’re in a new normal period we should revert to the same type of personal connections we had before we saw people every day: asking how people’s weekends were, asking how people’s kids are faring, maybe sharing some information about a meal, an exercise routine, etc.
Pre-pandemic live meetings rarely started with questions about oozing boils and ingrown toenails (unless you work in the medical profession, in which case gross things are fair game). It’s perfectly fine (and actually nice) for your boss to ask how everyone is doing, but I’d recommend telling him on a phone call, not a text or email, that his questions (give specific examples) have become a bit personal and are making you uncomfortable sharing private information in front of others.
Now about your intestines. I’d like to know more since I may have some ideas for you.