Indonesian Woman's Airport Encounter with Boss During Sick Leave: How to Handle Unexpected Workplace Encounters

By Jose Resurreccion

Jul 10, 2024 01:47 AM EDT

Indonesian Woman's Airport Encounter with Boss During Sick Leave: How to Handle Unexpected Workplace Encounters
An AirAsia Airbus A320 passenger aircraft taxis after landing at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali on January 21, 2024.
(Photo : DAVID GANNON/AFP via Getty Images)

A 23-year-old Indonesian woman had an awkward experience during her flight back to Bali after she called in sick and encountered her boss, who was flying on the same plane. 

Newsweek reported late last month about Grace, a freelancer who splits her time between Bali and outside of Indonesia as part of her work. 

Indonesian Woman Bumps Into Her Boss on Plane While on Sick Leave

According to her TikTok video, she needed to head home, saying she had a doctor's appointment on the day she had to fly back to Indonesia. 

However, she was unaware that her boss had booked the same flight as her.

She said her boss approached her while waiting in line at the airport, and she had to endure the embarrassment of flying back to Bali with her boss. 

Comments on her video ranged from views expressing dread and the intention to resign upon arrival to middle managers taking it lightly as they are also doing the same thing. 

In the end, both Grace and her boss laughed it all off. 

READ NEXT: Bank Indonesia Keeps Interest Rate at 6.25% Amid Faltering Rupiah

Taking Sick Leaves Other Than Sickness

In a 2023 Statista survey, it was revealed that almost a quarter of adult respondents in the United States who worked or studied had not taken any sick leave in the past 12 months, with those who took it having an average length of two to three days. 

It is understood that not every US workplace has sick leave benefits, with a 2021 study on industry workers finding that only 80% of employers have paid sick leave benefits. 

The South China Morning Post added that similar incidents were recorded in China, including one in which a woman in central Henan province accidentally sent photos of herself and a close friend to a work chat group, which she eventually withdrew. 

While we cannot discuss the law for this situation as it will vary from country to country, you may have to come to think of the following:

  • Would I initiate a conversation?
  • How would I greet him/her?
  • Do I need to explain?

The situation may differ depending on your boss. Netizens' response to Grace's actions is divided. While some urge her to resign, others argue that her mental health may have needed a break despite the fact that she is not physically ill. If her supervisor inquires, her honest reason is the best she can say.

READ MORE: Indonesia Probes Shopee, Lazada Over Suspected Anti-Competition Violations

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