The price of a phone call

Last week, I faced a situation no manager wants to face--the dreaded "no-call, no-show." 

I have a team member whose last sign-on to the system was on Monday, 3/15. I did not discover that he was absent until Wednesday, 3/17 when he missed our weekly 1-1. He did not respond to emails/texts/phone messages. I called his emergency contact on Thursday, 3/18, and left a message and received no response. I escalated the issue to HR, and after additional attempts to contact the employee failed, they initiated a "wellness check." This involves coordination with the local police department to check in on the employee and see what's going on. Late Thursday we received communication from the local police that the employee was fine and heading to the airport to travel to India due to a sudden death in the family.

First, it's a relief to know the employee and his immediate family are safe. My imagination was running wild the whole week with all the possibilities. Second, the larger issue for my client is the lack of communication. The employee can't claim ignorance of the policies because he's kept us informed previously when his power was out for several days. I understand that a sudden death in the family is not something that's easy to deal with, but to have radio silence for several days is bad form. At a minimum, one would expect either the employee or someone on his behalf would call the attendance line and at least leave a message to keep the client informed. 

I don't understand the behavior but I do understand the consequences of this behavior. In this case, the price of a phone call will most likely be the termination of employment.
This is a good story. However isn't this the price of a missing phone call?
2021-03-22 19:19:44
Since he could have responded with any medium, perhaps a better title is "The price of missing communication.
2021-03-22 19:25:20
All it would've taken was a quick ping. even a text or email family death in India. Don't know when I'll be able to get back to work. Schedule a call next week?

but even that can be really hard to doin that time. It's unfortunate.
2021-03-22 19:26:42
It is a shame. This person has only been with the company since January, so we don't have a lot of history. I'm dreading the long road to replacing him.
2021-03-22 19:42:12
What were his responsibilities? I'm in the job market lol.
2021-03-22 19:45:44
Ready to move to San Jose, CA? That's a requirement for the county.
2021-03-22 19:49:42
Lmao wow. No. Maybe if it was in the sunny gilbert Arizona. but never San Jose
2021-03-22 22:12:52
I don't understand that at all.  How do you leave your team and colleagues hanging like that?  It's probably a benefit to the company in the long run if that's the type of person/employee he is.
2021-03-23 00:42:29
Is this satire? An employee has a close death in the immediate family, and is going through the grieving process while rushing back to India to be with their family. And you want to fire them because you think they "owed" you a phone call? 

You are not being understanding or reasonable in the slightest. A death in the family can be devastating, and of course somebody is going to act differently than if they had a simple power outage. 
2021-03-24 23:48:13
@kbot It is not satire. This is a real-world scenario. I agree with you that death in anyone's family is devastating and certainly warrants compassionate consideration. In my role as a consultant manager, I have to adhere to the company's policies. The company has a policy (and this is standard for many companies at least in the US) that if an employee does not notify his employer of an absence for three consecutive days without substantiation, it is considered a voluntary resignation. This policy was also approved by the employee union. What happens to this employee is out of my hands. It's now been seven days without any communication from the employee or anyone on his behalf other than the update that was solicited by the police last week. 
2021-03-25 00:39:24