A Weird Work Situation

I have a member of my team who is a solo-female traveller. Since I’ve known her, she’s been wandering the world while she works. Because our team is fully remote, she’s able to do that.

She’s the type of person who, no matter where she is in the world, is always online working during what is North American working hours. Even if it is the middle of the night where she is, she’s online and she’s bright, cheery and helping.

She’s also the type of person who never lets a message go unread. Weekdays/Weekends, doesn’t really matter the time of day a message comes through, when she sees it, she responds. Whether it’s the workday or not, whether she should be sleeping or not, she typically responds in two hours or less.

She’s reliable.

She is the most reliable person on my team.

The last I spoke with her was last Friday.

The last she appears to have been on her work computer was this past Sunday.

She didn’t show up for work at all this week. Not one day. Not one moment. She also didn’t notify anyone at the company that she wasn’t showing up for work at all this week.

No one knows why she’s absent.

I’ve reached out to her through email, Microsoft Teams Message and by phone. She’s not responding. I reached out to her through LinkedIn, and she hasn’t viewed the message. I reached out to her through Instagram, and she hasn’t viewed the message. Her Instagram account, which she has also stopped posting to, says that she was last online on Sunday (same day she was last online her work computer).

She’s told me multiple times that the way she’s able to afford travel is through working, and because of that, she’s been grateful for this job. So, it seems weird of her to just up and quit without notifying anyone. Though, to the people in my life whom I’ve told this story – everyone is saying that she just quit and doesn’t want to tell me. They’re telling me I need to ‘accept the truth that she’s a flake’.

Is she?

I don’t think so. I know I’ve only known her for six months, but I’m the type of manager who really tries to get to know my employees. This is so out of character for her. Honestly, I’m concerned.

I’m worried she might be sick, or she’s possibly gotten robbed. Perhaps someone in her family passed away and she headed back to the United States to be with them. I’m not too sure. It’s so weird, though, that all of her accounts/content creation profiles haven’t been logged into since last weekend.

Perhaps I watch too much Criminal Minds, but there is a piece of me that is concerned she was… hit by a car, and is laying unconscious in an Indonesian hospital, or that she was beat up and left for dead, or something totally wild and crazy sounding – but that could very reasonably happen to a solo female traveller.

My boss reached out to her twice. Got nothing.

I’ve notified HR, and they’ve said ‘She probably just quit’. I said ‘If that’s the case, I still need you to get in contact with her and find out for certain.’.

If she did quit, that’s a shitty way of doing it. But if she didn’t quit and something actually happened to her, I would never forgive myself until we actually got in contact with her to find out she’s okay.


Photo by Jason Cooper on Unsplash

55 responses to “A Weird Work Situation”

  1. Your concerns are valid! Hoping you all hear back from her soon and that she is ok.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. HR is trying to reach out to her family today to see if we can get in touch and just make sure she’s okay. I hope we hear back soon too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am with you, 100%. It doesn’t sound like she would just quit like that. I would be/am very concerned that something has happened to her. I’d be the weirdo that would track down her family to make sure that she is okay.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So HR is trying to reach out to her family today to double-check that she’s okay. I don’t know much about them other than their last name is Smith and the parents are in Florida. HR said they’d get back to me after they talked to her parents.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In most other countries in the world, someone by now would have notified the police who would notify Interpol, as she is clearly a missing person! Please be a caring person and call the police with your concerns. You have clearly stated the fact that she is always online, and most people are these days. Therefore the fact that it shows she is not online is your evidence. Please forget about the uncaring pricks who say she has just quit, they are assholes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. HR is trying to reach out to her family today to get in contact with her. They said once we hear back from the parents we can now how to proceed. As for notifying police – all I know is she was in Indonesia last Friday. I have no idea what city/what Island/what location. We’re hoping to find out more from her parents.

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  4. This is really weird and confusing. What sort of company isn’t concerned about where she is after a week? And just shrugs and says “she probably just quit”. Eh? And the people saying she’s just a “flake” make no sense either. She’s demonstrably not. What a weird conclusion to make, just ignoring all previous history about this person. Unfortunately I’ve noticed this trait in people a lot— they can be exceptionally bad judges of character and tend to judge you based on your most recent actions only.

    Whereas you are clearly a good judge of character. You don’t need others’ permission to be concerned. I take it there’s no recorded next of kin that HR have access to? Could you try to contact the embassy for her country where she is maybe, if there is one? But yeah this is definitely worrying so keep on it. A week of silence justifies the concern.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh she’s from the US yeah contact the embassy or report a missing person.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Her parents live in Florida. Last time she was living in the States, she was living in Nashville from what I know. Last Friday she was in Indonesia.

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    2. The company for her level of position, has a decent amount of turnover. Since I started two people have quit (not on my team, but whom I am aware of) who just didn’t notify us and stopped showing up. HR wound up having to reach out to them to get notification they quit. It’s just so unlike this person to do that, though. That’s why I’m trying to stress to HR I really don’t think she’s quit.

      As for her family – HR has a phone number for her parents in Florida. They told me they were going to contact her family today and get some information – since they also called her and she didn’t respond.

      She’s from the USA, but she was in Indonesia when I spoke with her last Friday. I have no idea where – what island/what town/where in that country she might be, though. She also usually doesn’t tell me when she’s moving onto the next country. I dunno. I’m just worried about her. HR said I should let them do their thing and they’ll get back to me.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. It’s the easy conclusion. I’m utterly not surprised they landed there. Does not make it even close to right, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the thing it’s not even Occam’s razor because it contradicts her history of being reliable, that’s what gets me. Anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with your concerns. Do you have any information about where she was? Reach out to the hotel that she was staying in to find out if she’s still checked in there and give them a message for her – that MUST be hand delivered to her –
    to please contact you and provide contact information in case her phone was lost/stolen. Call back in two days to find out if the message was ever picked up. If it was, then she is avoiding something. If it does not get picked up within two days, notify the hotel that she is missing since Sunday and to please contact authorities. You can provide your contact information as well. If you do not know anyone in her personal life, please look at her friends lists for her various social media. If you can make heads or tails of it, reach out to someone (look for the same last name) to ask if she is OK. Relay that she is the most reliable employee you have ever had (build her up, it’s ok) and emphasize your concern. They will be able to give you some information or at least relay your concerns to her. If she has not reached out to anyone in her family, at least you have notified them that she is not checking in at work either and they can take it to the next step.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve sent HR to contact her and they couldn’t reach her. They have a phone number for her parents in Florida, so they said they were going to contact her parents today and see if her parents have been in contact with her – try to find out what’s happening.

      I don’t know where she is, precisely, I just know that she was in Indonesia last Friday when we spoke. I have no idea what island, what town, or where I could even look for her since there’s 1,000+ islands, at least half of which are inhabited.

      I’m letting HR do their thing to try and track down her family today. But that’s a good tip on reaching out to her friends on Instagram. I might try doing that this weekend if HR cannot get in touch with her parents.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have another random idea, if you’re going through instagram to find friends, she might have also posted where (more or less) she was, rather than the broader “Indonesia” as an answer, you might be able to at least narrow it down a little bit. If nothing else, the friends would know where she is, I would assume. If they do, tell them to contact the hotel or authorities where she is. If they don’t, at least they know to keep a look out for any update.

        I truly hope you find her, that she is totally healthy and fine. I hope she met a cute guy and decided to have a fun time with him and decided that some fun was worth whatever trouble she would have when she got back to being predictably responsible.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. What are these HR people being employed for? 🙄

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The least effective part of any organization – apologies to any HR peeps. But it’s an entire department of analysis paralysis.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. HR, throughout my career, has been a giant waste of resources – in my personal opinion. Analysis paralysis is a good term for it.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re the kind of manager we all should have! Just a thought, from all the true crime shows I watch, is there such a thing as a “wellness check” at her permanent address? I don’t know where else you could look. Next of kin?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HR has a phone number for her parents in Florida, so I have asked them to contact her parents today and find out what’s going on. Another commenter mentioned asking her friends/followers on Instagram if they know her and have heard from her this week. Otherwise, I’m trying to think of other ways to try and get in contact with her.

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  7. You’re the kind of manager we should all have. I think you’re absolutely right to be concerned. One thought, based on all the true crime shows that I watch, is there such a thing as a “wellness check,” that the police could do at her permanent address? It may be too soon for that. Next of kin? Other family or friends that you could contact? My bottom line: you’re doing the right thing and don’t give up!🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I would be concerned too. Things can happen to women travelling solo, anywhere in the world. I hope your HR department can get an answer and hope it turns out well.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. From what you have said it does seem to be out of character for this woman. Hopefully she will contact you to let you know her situation!

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  10. You are not in any way over reacting. My spidey senses are tingling. Has anyone been in contact with the police where she was? It seems very strange that a woman who was reliable and all would drop off without saying a word to anyone. Also have you reached out to her family to see if they have any info on her? I hope all turns out to be okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A couple of people have mentioned contacting police but I don’t know where she is other than somewhere in Indonesia.

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      1. Have you reached out to her family?

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      2. HR Reached out to her family on Friday and left a voicemail. We heard back from her parents on Saturday (I didn’t know on Saturday) and then I heard from her this morning.

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      3. Terrific am so happy that all is good. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Vee, your concerns are valid. Even if the person in question had quit, she wouldn’t stop posting to the rest of her social media accounts as they are hers and not the company’s.

    The statements from your co-workers are annoying. Sounds like this is the sort of thing they would do and therefore believe others would do the same. Ignore what they are saying and do what you feel is right for this situation,

    If HR say they’re investigating, then you have to believe that is what they are doing, though I would check in with them periodically to ensure they don’t drop the ball on this.

    With her being in another country, getting local law enforcement involved might be a challenge, you could however contact the local embassy and send them a photo from her social media accounts along with her last known movements and the other details you originally posted here (the way she’s always in contact, last time anyone heard from her, etc.) that would give them something to work with.

    Everyone here supports you and is hoping that it is something benign like being stuck in an area without signal or bad weather causing issues. Fingers crossed that is all it is.

    Hoping for the best. Keep us posted.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I told myself if HR hasn’t given me an answer by Monday I was going to escalate it. I don’t want to be that girl calling the police or an embassy in a foreign land, but dang… I’m not sure what else to do if HR doesn’t get in touch with her parents.

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      1. You have a more level head about this situation than anyone in your company. With the fact that all of her SM accounts have gone inactive, reaching out to the embassy with all the details you have is the best option and would be what you would hope someone would do for you if the situation was reversed.

        Better to reach out and (hopefully) discover later it’s not needed than not act and wish that you had.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thankfully, she’s okay. I did a lot of worrying for her to be just fine.

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  12. I really hope she’s okay! Especially when she’s so active and responsive at work and on social media, it’s very concerning that she just seemingly disappeared off the face of the Earth. I know this might be a personal deal, but if you end up finding out what happened and are okay to share it with us, I’d be very curious to know. Godspeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s totally okay. I chatted with her on Instagram this morning. Bit of a bizarre ending to the story. Bottom line: she’s safe.

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  13. You’re a good person. And, unfortunately, I’m with you. I don’t know if she’s the fan or the shit in this scenario – but something happened. People who work to live? Not working = not living, to put it mildly.
    I hope I’m (as well as you!) wrong…but I’d brace myself, I doubt she just up’n quit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reading this back now, had you asked me 24 hours ago, I would’ve sworn she met a bad fate. I’m still having a hard time believing the outcome. So crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you for being a caring human and I’m holding all good thoughts that she’s okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s okay! The story ended in a bit of a bizarre way, but what matters is that she’s safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I would be worried, too—especially given her previous track record and cheerful attitude. I hope everything is okay and that you found out what happened soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found out what happened and she’s safe. It was a bit of a bizarre ending, and I’m very annoyed at the outcome, but I am very happy that she’s safe.

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      1. I’m so happy she safe but am sorry the outcome isn’t great.

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  16. […] has a weird work situation. I’d be worried, […]

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  17. Has anyone found her yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I spoke with her this morning via Instagram. She sent me a note, she’s safe and totally okay. Just not as reliable as I gave her credit for.

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  18. Keep us posted!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s safe and totally okay. Spoke to her this morning. She’s just not as reliable as I gave her credit for being.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. You have a right to be concerned. Your reasonings are valid. I’m with you … solo traveler, a woman, far away country … my mind stays on the ID Channel! I hope all turns out well for this lady. Please keep us posted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s safe and totally okay. She created a lot of worry for no reason and it turns out she’s not as reliable as I gave her credit for being.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No way? That’s not cool to have folks worrying like that without contacting someone. Very irresponsible on her part, but glad she is ok

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Completely agree with you!

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  20. Hopefully everything is okay and nothing bad happened. My best goes out to you and her

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  21. I would have thought she was killed.

    Like

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