My paternal grandmother passed away in October of 2010. She had been ailing for quite some time; she was a diabetic who did not take care of herself, so all the issues that come with that were troubling her, as well as advancing Parkinson's disease and heart trouble. She had been in a vegetative state for about three months when my father called me and told me they were planning to take her off life support and, as he put it, "Let her find her way." I had not seen her for many years, but I remember her as a tough, no-nonsense, formidable woman. I did not want to see what my mom later described as "all 98 pounds of her" comatose in a hospital bed. I wanted to remember her the way she was.
As it was, my parents were going to fly to Thunder Bay to be there when she was removed from life support, and I was planning to join them later, when they were to call me to tell me Gramma had passed so I could be there for the funeral. However, that meant that when they called, I was basically going to have to drop everything and head to the airport Right Now. I told my manager at work, who was fortunately sympathetic and told me to just do whatever I had to do. The owner, however, not so much.
See, at the time I was working at a dog daycare, and my schedule was, I would work on the daycare floor in the mornings, managing the large dogs, and in the afternoons I would take grooming appointments. I was the daycare's only groomer. So when I told the daycare owner what was going on, and that at some point during the week it was likely that I was going to have to drop everything and leave at a moment's notice, her response was, "But what about the grooming customers?" I just stared at her and said, slowly and distinctly, "My. Grandmother. Is. DYING." Her response? "I know, but what about..."
I know interrupting is rude, but I broke in and snapped. "I SAID, my grandmother is dying. I am going to Ontario for her funeral. I don't care what you tell the grooming customers but I'll bet they'll be a lot more understanding than you!" Yes, I know it was rude, but I was upset and stressed out. The owner looked taken aback; I'd never spoken to her...or any boss, really...like that before or since.
For the record, I made it to Thunder Bay for the funeral, stayed a few days, and was back at work the following Monday. Total days of work missed? Half a day. I ended up leaving halfway through the day Thursday, the manager was smart enough to simply not book any clients on Friday, the funeral was on Saturday, after which I called the manager and told her I'd be back Monday. She told me I could take a few more days if I wanted. It was kind of her, but at the time I just couldn't afford to. As good as the manager was, after that I just couldn't take the owner anymore and quit shortly thereafter.