How do I Recoup From a Misdiagnosis?

by EPI Staff on March 10, 2011

Q: A coworker looks especially under the weather one day. Trying to be nice you ask if she’s getting sick.  Her answer: “I’m fine. Why do you ask?” How do you save face in this situation?

A: It’s best to move on quickly: “There’s so much flu going around, I’m afraid that one of us is sure to come down with it-and you just didn’t seem as peppy as usual. I’m glad you’re OK.”  Next time, if you think a colleague might be ill, ask “How are you?” She can tell you if she’s feeling poorly, and you won’t risk insulting her.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara Z March 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I think this is one of those things you don’t ask, just like “How far along are you?”. You’re just going to wind up putting your foot in your mouth at some point. The EPI’s answer is the best course of action. When you’re asking somebody about anything, don’t make assumptions in your question, such that someone is ill or pregnant. Always ask a generalized question and you’re sure to not get yourself into such embarrassing situations.


Eddie March 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm

This is actually a pretty interesting question if you ask me. Some cultures can be rather offended by questions like that.

In Japan, for example, “Daijobu” meaning “Are you OK?” is something you generally want to avoid asking unless you’re very familiar with that person or they’re bleeding. XD Because you’re implying they look unhealthy, it’s rather rude.

Over here, I wouldn’t think much of it, best to avoid it though.


Kirsten December 28, 2013 at 1:21 am

I think it would be appropriate to offer your assistance of desired. Of they question why you are asking of they need anything you could respond that you thought perhaps they were a bit more tired than usual.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: