Our manager Jim leaned into my cube and asked, Any idea where Doug is?
I replied Nope. I noticed Joni wasnt in either.
Jim replied, Yeah, I dont know where either one is today. He walked into his adjacent office and his phone rang.
I quickly determined it was Joni. The conversation on Jims end went something like this:
Oh, you arent feeling well? Your code is ready for Monday right? Oh good. Well rest up and enjoy your weekend. He couldnt have sounded more cheery and empathetic.
Then his phone rang again. The tone in Jims voice took a decided turn for the worse. It was clear Doug was calling in sick. Jim was giving him the third degree with questions like - How sick are you? Do you have a fever? Are you going to the doctor?
I heard Jim tell Doug that if he knows what is best, he better get his rear in the office and complete his assignment.
As soon as he hung up, I called Doug.
Dude, are you really sick? I asked.
He responded, Of course not. I am taking my mental health day, just like Joni. Why should I be working my butt off while shes out shopping?!
I could certainly empathize. But the fact was that Jonis assignment was done based on our managers expectations, even if it ended up not working once integrated. And it was also a fact that Doug hadnt made it that far with his code.
Doug, if you dont come in, I think Jim is going to be ticked. You dont want to get fired, do you?
After a brief pause, he said, Its not fair. I mean it will take us twice as long without her in the office and the deliverable will be late anyway, so what is another day?
I hear you man. But what will that accomplish except making you look bad and ticking off the rest of the team? You may feel good for one day, but I bet youll not enjoy your day off because you have a conscience and you care about the success of the team -- unlike Joni.
I could hear his resigned sigh through the phone. And sure enough he came in later that morning.
We all worked through the weekend and figured things out together, even without Miss know-it-all. And the integration testing went just fine.
Doug asked me, Does it make me a bad person that I was secretly hoping for Jonis code to cause a problem?
I laughed. Then we can be bad people together, I said. Maybe wed feel better after a mental health day!