Dealing with first meeting back after difficult Christmas?

(7 Posts)
littlepieces Sun 10-Jan-21 22:52:38

Going back to work tomorrow (wfh) after taking a couple of weeks of leave, and dreading it.

My grandmother died last month from Covid, my grandfather is very unwell in a care home but we can't see him, and my mother is struggling. Doesn't help that my father is abusive - it's got very bad in the past year (we think he's possibly got early onset dementia). I've been living with them since my grandmother's funeral to support mum, and have been stuck here since the lockdowns came in (where I live was initially in a different tier). DP is a medic who has gone to live with a colleague nearer the hospital he works at, so I'd be home alone anyway. I'm also really worried about him, and haven't had a quality conversation with him for about three weeks because he's so busy and exhausted.

I have a very insensitive, 'banter' boss who knows I've been having a difficult time. But he also seems to forget. He was trying to make light of my grandmother's death after the funeral, which was just inappropriate. I know he will start our team meeting tomorrow with a big fanfare that I'm back and will ask me to tell our team about my Christmas etc. He's one of those loud mouths who loves attention and thinks everyone else does too. I'm dreading it, what am I supposed to say? We also have a new starter who will be partly managing me. I dont want to be a downer and say my Christmas was the shittest ever, but I also don't want to lie and say it was fine either.

OP’s posts: |
MoreHairyThanScary Sun 10-Jan-21 23:01:58

Just say it was difficult and you would rather focus of work related matters , or something along those lines. Just close the conversation down.

CoffeeBeansGalore Sun 10-Jan-21 23:05:17

How about if your boss asks outright just answer "Thank you X, obviously very quiet whilst supporting my parents. So, bring me up to speed, what's been happening in my absence?"

Just turn it very quickly back to work, being bright, pleasant & professional. If he loves the limelight, just turning everyone's attention back to him should be enough of an answer.

Good luck.

kingdomcapers Sun 10-Jan-21 23:06:15

If you know what he'll be like can you prep some answers that'll be enough to appease him so he doesn't probe further. Keep it bland "what, Christmas is past? so busy with everything else going on I barely noticed" "holidays? Put it this way I'm glad to be back here for some light relief". Do you have anyone else in your team you can reach out to privately if you need a bit of support at work. You have a lot on your plate

peak2021 Mon 11-Jan-21 08:32:30

Tell him beforehand that you do not want to discuss this at work, and ask him to respect this. If he does not respect this, then tell the rest of the team that you asked him to focus on work, and welcome the new starter.

Palavah Mon 11-Jan-21 08:46:51

CoffeeBeansGalore

How about if your boss asks outright just answer "Thank you X, obviously very quiet whilst supporting my parents. So, bring me up to speed, what's been happening in my absence?"

Just turn it very quickly back to work, being bright, pleasant & professional. If he loves the limelight, just turning everyone's attention back to him should be enough of an answer.

Good luck.

This. Keep it light and professional.

If anyone pushes just repeat "nothing to discuss here, what's on the agenda for today?'

My boss asked us quite personal questions about christmas in the first team meeting back. It was enormously uncomfortable for everyone. I wish we'd all been quick enough to answer as CoffeeBeans suggests.

littlepieces Mon 11-Jan-21 09:16:42

Thanks a lot for all your suggestions. Feeling better about politely shutting him down now. Will probably go with @CoffeeBeansGalore. And yes @Palavah this is exactly what I want to avoid. Ultimately my boss wants an excuse to boast about his new country house and puppy while the rest of us are stuck in less than rosy circumstances at the moment. So out of touch.

I'm also concerned about having to try with every fibre of my being not to say something scathing tbh!

OP’s posts: |

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