Madalyn Parker is a web developer from Michigan who works for Olark, a live chat software engineering company. Parker recently found herself needing a few days off to focus on her mental health and emailed her team about the request right away, but the way her boss responded, though, was so unexpected that Parker was completely stunned by his response.
Madalyn has been a strong vocal advocate for supportive workplaces since writing an emotional essay in 2015 accounting her harrowing battle with various mental health issues and how they have affected her career. Corporate culture often stigmatizes anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders, although peak mental performance is very often essential to these kinds of jobs.
Parker’s email read, “Hey team, I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health. Hopefully, I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%. Thanks.” Olark CEO Ben Congleton responded to the heartfelt email by writing, “Hey Madalyn, I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health—I can’t believe this is not standard practice at all organizations. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.”
After sharing the email Parker received from her boss, a wave of praise rolled in. The world pretty much gave Congleton a digital standing ovation. On top of that, the post received an incredible 9.5 thousand retweets and 32 thousand likes making his touching message go viral. People everywhere have unanimously decided that every boss should be just like Parker’s.
With her most recent experience, Parker shows the world that a little compassion goes a long way. We should all be as lucky to have a boss like Ben Congleton.