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This Ramadan fasting ...[title edited by MNHQ]

(396 Posts)
Wuldric Mon 05-Aug-13 22:38:48

I have a talented and lovely junior who happens to be Muslim. In the last month she has recorded 6 days off sick, and left work early on three additional occasions as she has fainted.

I don't have any personal bias against any form of religion. Well that's not actually true. Being an atheist, I am biased against all forms of religion, But I am balanced against all of them equally IYSWIM. Lest you all accuse me of xenophobia or something, I am not white and was not born in the UK. I am just impatient with this.

She has no weight to spare to start with. She cannot eat until after dusk. Dusk is pretty late in the UK in summertime. So in the evening she eats at 10. She is supposed to eat before dawn rises although my suspicion is that she is skipping this meal, because in her home it takes place at 3am. She is not allowed so much as a drink of water in between times. The offices are airconditioned, but her home and her journey to work are not.

This fasting tomfoolery is making my lovely junior ill. She looks like a famine victim - her face is just gaunt. It is not good for her. AIBU to think this is all nonsense?

theodorakisses Wed 07-Aug-13 14:05:57

Actually second Eid fell over Christmas when i lived in Dubai, the shifts were shared, mainly the Westerners wanted the evenings or nights as Christmas dinner and family stuff was in the day and the locals wanted the evenings off as that was their special time. It was ok.

theodorakisses Wed 07-Aug-13 14:15:32

Sorry loopy, didnt mean to sound so defensive. Just reminded me of my mums first visit to the ME, she kept staring at women who wrre covered and saying "oh the poor things" and then one woman stopped and said no need for pity, I am the manager of more than two thousand people, mainly men. It is always easy to judge people in other cultures or countries by your own values. Still as someone who gets jumped on a lot, I apologise.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 07-Aug-13 14:37:47

I am genuinely curious as to whether Loopy has shared her concerns with her friend and what he said to her about it

loopylou6 Wed 07-Aug-13 14:40:21

Apology accepted, thanks Theo smile

strawberry34 Wed 07-Aug-13 14:42:49


loopylou6 Wed 07-Aug-13 14:43:59

No, I haven't, I wouldn't want to hurt his feelings, doesn't mean I don't worry tho.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 07-Aug-13 14:45:07

why would it hurt his feelings if you're concerned about the lives of potentially thousands of people?

loopylou6 Wed 07-Aug-13 14:50:04

And what good would mentioning it to him do, apart from hurting his feelings and potentially making him doubt himself? It's not like he's gonna say ' Oh yes, I must quit'

fuzzywuzzy Wed 07-Aug-13 14:53:47

Or maybe Loopy he will be able to put your mind at rest and explain why fasting does not render him unable to do his job as well we as when he is not.

If you're as concerned as you say I'd have spoken to him by now about it.

loopylou6 Wed 07-Aug-13 14:59:51

Oh no, you busted me, I must be lying about being concerned hmm

You are clearly looking for an argument, but you won't get one from me.

Run along now, there's a dear.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 07-Aug-13 15:04:45

Actually I'm trying to understand the logic, he's a friend you're to Muslim, you are concerned that he is not able to do his job as well whilst he fasts (that would be one month in every twelve for a long long long time), you as a friend would want to ensure both your friends livelihood and reputation is safe as well as the lives of thousands of people flying with whatever airline he is engineer to.

I don't see why on earth you wouldn't have spoken to him about it, if it worries you. He'd either put your mind at rest or think about it seriously and adjust his working when he is fasting.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 07-Aug-13 15:05:09

you're not a Muslim that should read

theodorakisses Wed 07-Aug-13 15:05:33

I don't think loopy was saying anything outrageous. It is different and hard to understand, having only lived in islamic countries for years,a bit like me not knowing about the Jewish sabbath and finding that alien.

theodorakisses Wed 07-Aug-13 15:11:14

I had an op during Ramadan last year, I wasn't admitted till 10pm. The question of how people function during fasting is not unreasonable, the op calling it nonsense is.

loopylou6 Wed 07-Aug-13 15:45:01

Thanks for understanding Theo flowers

mejypoo Wed 07-Aug-13 22:58:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Talkinpeace Wed 07-Aug-13 23:19:53

Several of the Olympic Athletes found (proper and constructive ways) to eat during the competition while adhering to the spiritual part of Ramadan.

As a confirmed and contended non religious type I totally "get" fasting.
The no water bit I'd find hard
and Ramadan was invented in lower latitudes with much less variation in day length
but actually, cutting down on food (sadly NOT what now happens in Gulf states) during the day
and sharing more in the evening
is common sense, regardless of whether it was written in a book

and relating to the OP
you should really have raised it the very first time it happened.
Its a Health and safety HR issue rather than a religious one.
Imagine if she'd passed out while driving her junior to the client's office

Party on dudes

Brockle Thu 08-Aug-13 05:55:39

Eid Mubarak everyone. OP you can breathe a sigh of relief now wink wink

Sheshelob Thu 08-Aug-13 08:33:05

Eid Mubarak!


themaltesefalcon Thu 08-Aug-13 08:47:33

You sound an amazingly patient boss.

I quite like a sensible fast of the Lenten variety. It sounds as though your junior is not being sensible at all. I don't know how I'd react in your position (without being accused of "Islamophobia").

PicnicPie Thu 08-Aug-13 08:53:03

I'm breastfeeding and not fasting. I didn't last year whilst I was pregnant either.

DH is fasting. He has a senior position in a FTSE 100 company. All his peers have commented on how "normal" he has been during a difficult Ramadan. He has kept his professionalism intact and has been commended by others. DH would not allow his personal/ religious beliefs to interfere or negatively impact on his work. He has taken Annual Leave to manage through the month.

I feel sorry for OP as she is stuck between a rock and hard place. Concern for her staff member and having to take on extra work. If this individual isnt perfomrming then they should be dealt with via the usual discipline framework. Or asked to take leave?

This individual is not representative of the many millions of Muslims who manage to continue their professional lives with little or no disturbance.

Eid Mubarak to you all, especially those who have struggle throughout the month.

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