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To secretly think friends colleagues are right?

(43 Posts)
LackingEnergy Wed 31-Jul-13 19:39:06

Feel bad saying that but... Friend is 9 weeks pregnant with her first dc, her partner is the store manager. They have both told their co workers that she will be unable to perform her normal duties on days when there is a delivery so the co workers will have to do her job and vice versa as lifting slightly heavy objects will put too much strain on her stomach...

She's just overheard her colleagues moaning about favoritism and talking about refusing to swap jobs as the ones who've already had dc couldn't do this until much later in their pregnancy. They've also apparently talked about the fact that she still smokes at least 10 a day yet can't lift anything due to the risks to the baby?

She's furious and now believes that they are out to get her due to her relationship and her baby confused I can't help but feel the same as her colleagues. It does seem like she is getting special treatment and is making no effort to stop smoking even though smoking also poses a risk to her dc. I go into that shop regularly and have heard a lot more about it than she's letting on, her colleagues are basically doing her job and their own as she apparently always makes excuses.

I'm a bad friend sad

NatashaBee Wed 31-Jul-13 19:44:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HorryIsUpduffed Wed 31-Jul-13 19:53:41

If the standard risk assessment is that lifting is ok until (say) third trimester, then absent obvious additional physical needs/disability I'd be on the colleagues' side.

Sometimes in management you have to pay particular attention to how things appear to staff. It might be that friend has had recurrent mc and has been advised by her consultant not to lift more than 10kg at a time ... but unless she says "my consultant has said I mustn't lift more than 10kg at a time so I'll do the trolley loads of kitchen roll if you wouldn't mind doing the tins of beans" the rest of the staff will inevitably see it as favouritism and pfbing.

formicadinosaur Wed 31-Jul-13 19:58:39

It's normal for companies to make health and safety recommendations early pregnancy. The company has to fulfill its responsibility legally.

Smoking is a separate issue. It's up to her but yes it is crap.

formicadinosaur Wed 31-Jul-13 20:00:10

I was told I couldn't open a window that was about 6 foot high and angled.

tittytittyhanghang Wed 31-Jul-13 20:02:57

Depends what she is expected to lift.

Smoking, whilst crappy, is her decision.

The company just need to cover their own back whilst she in their employment.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 20:03:01

Has a risk assessment been done? Is it significantly different from colleagues who were previously pregnant?

I think it's fine for the manager to risk assess and decide pregnant employees aren't to do any lifting. If previously the rule was no lifting from 6 months, and now it is no lifting at all, then it needs to apply to everyone from now on.

tittytittyhanghang Wed 31-Jul-13 20:06:51

Also as long as the company deems it fine for her to do no heavy lifting i think other employees need to wind their neck in. Even if she has had recurrent mc thats nobody elses business and she does not have to disclose that to anyone but her line manager surely.

Mia4 Wed 31-Jul-13 20:19:24

I don't think YABU OP because as you've stated when these people had their kids they weren't awarded the same things, they had to get on with it. It's favouritism due to her DP being store manager. If the rules have changed then it needs stating in an email.

Tbh though it's probably a case of she's always been favouritism in one way or another for dating him.

fluffyraggies Wed 31-Jul-13 20:27:13

titty - exactly. I recently had a threatened miscarriage (at 15 weeks) and have been advised not to do any lifting. The world and his wife doesn't have to be informed about this.

I don't work at the moment but if i did i wouldn't give a flying fuck what colleagues have had to do/not do during their pregnancies in the past - i would do the best thing for me at this time. If the other women at work had felt unfairly treated or felt they were being expected to do too much when they were pregnant they should have complained.

It's only favoritism when someone else is getting something others didn't get when they were entitled to it/asked for it. Did these women ask to be allowed off lifting duty when they were preg.?

(the smoking is awful though)

pianodoodle Wed 31-Jul-13 20:30:46

My workplace did their risk assessment as soon as I told them I was pregnant. This wasn't until 12 weeks though, after the first scan.

Maybe the others didn't make the employer aware of their pregnancies until a later stage and it just seems unfair because with this girl, they know earlier? I mean, if the boss is the dad they're bound to!

LackingEnergy Wed 31-Jul-13 20:38:26

The store owner has told the colleagues that they won't be expected to swap roles with her until later in her pregnancy. Yet the manager is apparently pulling her colleagues aside and telling them that he is 'letting' them do their job but they must do the heavier lifting and let friend do their job at any time she feels incapable of doing her own.

So completely different to the owner.... Which is most likely why they are bitching.

It's very unprofessional to bitch where customers can hear, especially when the customers know everyone who works there and who owns it

LackingEnergy Wed 31-Jul-13 20:41:55

She also uses 'but it might hurt the baby' a lot outside of work to avoid doing things - I secretly think 'yes and so will smoking' sad

As far as I'm aware their baby is a happy accident. She told everyone at 6 weeks smile

ThisWayForCrazy Wed 31-Jul-13 20:42:44

In both of my last two pregnancies I had a risk assessment done as soon as I informed HR and was not allowed to lift anything at all for the remainder of the pregnancies.

pianodoodle Wed 31-Jul-13 20:43:39

Also - it took me until week 12 to give up smoking completely having been a smoker for ten years before. It is very difficult at the best of times but being pregnant doesn't suddenly make you not addicted it just makes you more feel worse about it sad

Obviously it made me try harder and I did succeed but it was very hellish and I'm just glad I was able to quit it before people started bitching about me - as they naturally would have done!

The smoking thing shouldn't affect her risk assessment though it has to be the same for everyone so if the colleagues want to claim unfairness, whether she is smoking or not shouldn't come into it. There would need to be some genuine difference as to how her assessment was carried out compared to others, I'd have though.

grumpyoldbat Wed 31-Jul-13 20:44:13

I can see why they feel put out but the lifting depends on her medical circumstances. I had a few mc and was under consultant care from early on. She placed quite a few conditions on me being at work, she threatened to sign me off for bed rest. The conditions seemed extreme to many colleagues but I couldn't be bothered explaining myself all the time.

I'd get a bit judgy re the smoking tbh but I'd not say anything.

Hulababy Wed 31-Jul-13 20:47:33

I wonder if part of the difference is also from the fact that the manager/owner know that she is pregnant so early, whereas with general staff they don't know til much later as the staff often don't tell people, esp work, til after scans, etc.

KirjavaTheCat Wed 31-Jul-13 20:48:20


Still, at least all female staff members can expect the same thing now the precedent's been set, right? wink

This is why I hated working with the woman who was shagging the boss. Infuriating favouritism.

pourmeanotherglass Wed 31-Jul-13 20:51:12

I was told to avoid lifting anything heavy as soon as I informed my line manager of my pregnancy. Lifting is a small enough part of my job that I could work round it - using trolleys to carry heavy equipment around, or calling for help when I had to move something really heavy.
I would have thought that, in a shop, there are plenty of tasks that don't require heavy lifting.

maddening Wed 31-Jul-13 20:51:19

I think you have to set the smoking aside from the not lifting at work.

I agree you shouldn't smoke in pregnancy but it's not a judgement you can do anything about without offending your friend - only you can judge what is more important to you - your principles on the issue /your friendship.

As for the no lifting at work - there may be medical reasons that you aren't aware of. Surely this is a courtesy they would extend to any pregnant woman? Heavy lifting is not advised.

jammiedonut Wed 31-Jul-13 20:53:00

I told work at 7 weeks, mid-shift (had an unexpected bleed, obviously very upset). My duties as a restsurant manager changed as soon as I got back, despite the bleed being no cause for concern. I was banned from lifting (anything more than 6 bottles of wine), no bending I.e to restock glasses or load the glass tray. I wasn't allowed to move tables without assistance. I felt perfectly capable but work wouldn't allow any exertion on my part. It caused a lot of bad feeling amongst my colleagues who accused me of milking my pregnancy and being lazy. I couldn't have cared less, hopefully your 'friend' will ignore her colleagues, and you for that matter

NoComet Wed 31-Jul-13 20:54:45

I would have happy thrown quite beavy boxes around when I was six months pregnant, but not from 6-12 weeks.

The first flush of relaxing hormones made my ribs feel like they were no longer attached to my body. Just light shopping bags made me feel I was going to twistsomething.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 31-Jul-13 20:55:00

My Dr told me it's not your stomach that's at risk but your back but that's not until you're at least 4 or 5 months along!

CaptainSweatPants Wed 31-Jul-13 20:56:53

It sounds an awful place to work

All that bitching & gossiping

Hopefully she'll be able to stay at home after the baby or find a different job

As her friend you should be supporting her

LackingEnergy Wed 31-Jul-13 21:06:00

I can only draw on my own experience - I did everything I normally did until quite late in my pregnancy. No heavy lifting involved which is probably why I can relate more with her colleague who did all her normal duties

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