One of my OFS, Kiel (the one who visited me in 2019), emailed me asking to take the week off. His mother died.

Our answer to that is, “Of course! Take as much time off as you want.”

I gave him paid leave so he could focus on grieving and settle whatever needed to be settled. He can come back whenever he’s ready.

I know you guys might think it’s too generous. But I’m not worried. I trust Kiel because:

He has worked for me for YEARS. In fact, he’s one of the first people I hired.
He has NEVER taken advantage of our generous leave policy.
When his mom was in the hospital, he sent me a photo to let me know what was happening.

He’s going through a lot right now. The least I can do is to give him the support he needs.

This is normal. Bad things happen. What’s not normal is when an OFS completely disappears after a family emergency.

So, years ago I recruited someone, and I emailed her her first task. She had her sister reply to me and say, “I’m sorry she can’t work. Our mom died. So she won’t be able to work for you.”

And I was like, “No, I’ll just wait. You can go take care of your mom. That’s fine. I’ll just wait,”

And the sister replied and said, “No, sorry sir. She’s not going to be able to work for you at all.”

And I was like, that’s super duper weird.

I was frustrated because I spent the time recruiting and I thought I found a good person.

Now, it’s possible that her mom did die. In that case, I understand why she would resign so quickly. A death in the family requires a bunch of time off to help with the funeral. If you’re just starting a new job, asking for a bunch of time off doesn’t seem right. So most Filipinos would rather quit and look for a new job after the funeral, than risk being embarrassed by asking for time off.

In my case, I don’t know what happened. But I’ve seen this used as an excuse at the beginning of a new job a number of times. Maybe they feel like they’re not qualified for the job after all. It wasn’t what they thought. So they made up an excuse for why they’re going to quit.

In that case, at the beginning of a working relationship, if you feel that you recruited well, try and keep the person. But if the family emergency happens right at the beginning of the relationship, they might be using it as an excuse to get out of what they just agreed to. Maybe they discovered that the job wasn’t what they thought it was.

Consider this a blessing that you haven’t gone months down the road with someone who then realizes and disappears.