I'm sure you hear all sorts of things at work, or in general for that matter. This is one of those things. There is an incident from my past.

One fine day the HR Manager calls a general meeting with all staff. It was an on the spur thing. So nobody had an idea what the agenda of the meeting was to be.

So the staff gathered around. HR Manager greets the team and then goes on to disclose the agenda of the meeting.

HR Manager: It had been noticed that sometimes people are taking unplanned leaves. We would like to inform you that you should inform us in advance about your unplanned leaves. You should plan for it at least one day in advance.

And, many hands went up requesting permission to ask a question. The HR Manager points at one guy and and asks if he wanted to add something to what was just said.

Guy: There is a reason why they are called unplanned leaves.

HR Manager: Okay, but you can at least inform us on the previous day.

Now there's more than one thing wrong with that statement. One being, how can a person inform on the previous day about the unplanned leave they took on the current day? I mean, is time travel for real?

Guy: How can we plan an unplanned leave? Do you plan in advance to meet with an accident? Or maybe to fall ill? Or any emergency that comes up at home or anywhere and it's related to you. Can you plan for the unknown?

HR Manager: I understand what you are saying but when you guys take unplanned leaves company's work is affected.

A Project Manager: That is the reason we include a thing called risk when planning projects. We consider fall back options for mitigation for such situations and also consider buffer times. Plus, in the entitled leaves section of the HR Policy it's mentioned that an employee is entitled to 5 unplanned leaves throughout the year. What's that about? If you didn't want to allow that, why is it part of your policy? All of that aside, would you explain or it would be better if you could teach us how can we plan for the unknown? If you can, my team and I will ensure to follow the practice.

Few others had also started to speak their minds by this time. Since it was all simultaneous and it was a few years ago, I'm not able to recall it at this time.

As expected the HR Manager had no answer for that and the meeting was adjourned. Everyone was back to their respective work in no time.

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