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To think you should never ask...

(37 Posts)
Sitzpinkler Tue 06-Jan-15 15:53:28

Why someone had surgery. Am back in work after the holidays but was out for two weeks before then after surgery. It was an emergency surgery and DH had to call reception to let them know I was in the A&E. My manager was in a meeting so he left the message with reception just saying that I was going to require surgery, plus his number if my manager wanted to speak to him. So fast forward to yesterday and I'm making a brew at the tea station. A girl that I know to see and idle chat with says to me "are you feeling better?" I said "yes thank you" and she said "what surgery did you have done?" The first thing that came to my head was appendix (it wasn't) and I just said that. In fact the surgery I had was a salpingectomy (fallopian tube removal) because I had a ruptured tube due to an 8w+2d ectopic much wanted pregnancy and I didn't want to discuss any of it with her. AIBU to think that you should never, ever ask a person what surgery they had done?

Nabootique Tue 06-Jan-15 15:55:31

YANBU. Very personal and nosy to ask. Up to the patient if they want to disclose!

Feminine Tue 06-Jan-15 15:57:51

So sorry to hear this.
I imagine she was just making conversation. People don't tend to think these things through.
That isn't much help l know. I think you were right to tell her it was something else...for sure.

MorelliOrRanger Tue 06-Jan-15 15:58:01


Nosy bag.

Sorry about your loss.

Sitzpinkler Tue 06-Jan-15 16:00:22

Thank you.

I thought that maybe I was overreacting and it was just polite banter.

PuppyMonkey Tue 06-Jan-15 16:00:24

Tbf if i heard that a colleague had been to A&E and had to have an op, I might well have asked what had happened. Thinking you'd broken your leg or something.

I am quite nosy.blush

But maybe cut them a bit of slack?

And just say it was women's problems. Or is that a big no no?

Hope you're all better now. smile

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 06-Jan-15 16:01:49

YANBU I had a mmc last year and had 8 weeks off of work as a nanny, first day back and one of the mums I don't know that well comes over and says "it's good to see you back, what were you off with" in the middle of the playground at pick up time. I actually thought my friend who was standing next to me was going to strangle her.

PuppyMonkey Tue 06-Jan-15 16:02:07

Sorry, hope I didn't cause offence with women's problems. Just trying to think of something that would stop further questions etc. so sorry.

crje Tue 06-Jan-15 16:02:16

I may have asked tooblush

Will think twice now

Sorry for your loss x

formerbabe Tue 06-Jan-15 16:05:10

Never ever ask!

If someone doesn't offer up infornation about why they were in hospital, then chances are they don't want you to know, so butt out!

Legionofboom Tue 06-Jan-15 16:11:50

YANBU. It was inappropriate for her to ask though I expect she meant no harm. I never ask why someone is going to the doctor or anything because I hate to be asked myself.

People are work can be funny about privacy over sickness. I once worked in an office where someone was off sick quite regularly for a few days at a time with 'stomach problems.' One day at a staff meeting the management announced that he was going to be off for a month or more but the management would, quite rightly, not disclose what was wrong with him.

When six weeks later he was still not back two members of staff demanded to be told what was wrong with him because they needed to know. hmm

Sitzpinkler Tue 06-Jan-15 16:13:17

Sorry for your loss smiling.

I'm just going to chalk it down to foot in mouth.

christmaspies Tue 06-Jan-15 16:21:05

I had a colleague who had some time off for surgery. When she came back I was in conversation with her when she kept referring to to her surgery and that she had taken a long time off work because of it, so I asked her what the surgery was for. She said she would rather not say, which was fine as I was only asking to be polite. But why did she keep going on about it?

theworkofsatan Tue 06-Jan-15 16:21:47

I like to keep my personal life and my work life completely separate so I never discuss personal stuff at work.

I had a ruptured ovarian cyst about two years ago and my friend rang my office to let them know that I wouldn't be in as I was in hospital. My direct boss made the reception telephone the ward to find out what was wrong with me. I was not impressed.

You don't need to explain the ins and outs of a cats arse to people you work with. You had an operation as far as they are concerned. End of.

Hope you are ok OP. flowers

BallsforEarrings Wed 07-Jan-15 09:21:38

I am very open about myself, it's not something that bothers me personally, and I might of asked in case the person thought I wasn't interested in them but I will definitely think twice and maybe just ask if they are ok in future.

I think lesson here for me is that not everyone is the same, some are more private others more open and there's nothing wrong with either way, we just need to respect one another and adjust enquiries accordingly.

MiddleAgedandConfused Wed 07-Jan-15 09:33:53

YANBU, but this knowledge often comes with age/experience. Is she young?

CakeAndWineAreAFoodGroup Wed 07-Jan-15 09:37:20

My direct boss made the reception telephone the ward to find out what was wrong with me

shockshock and the ward told him?

CoffeeBeanMonster Wed 07-Jan-15 09:52:00

Maybe she was just making conversation. If someone asks me something I don't wish to answer I give a vague response/ change the subject/say I'm probably not ready to talk about it, depending on who I'm talking to.

People have different levels of what they think they should or shouldn't talk about. The main thing I'm looking for is the intent behind the question. Are they just making polite conversation/ showing concern or are they looking for gossip or being mean?

If you didn't deem her to be malicious by asking you the question then I would probably not give it any more thought.

ithoughtofitfirst Wed 07-Jan-15 09:58:55

So sorry OP you poor thing. I hope you feel better soon.

I would have asked too blush but like pp have said it will make me think twice in future.

fluffyraggies Wed 07-Jan-15 10:05:59

Hmm. Was she quite young? I'm thinking i wouldn't have asked, but my teen/20s daughters probably would have; with the intention of being kind/sympathetic.

If a colleague had been to A&E the day before i may ask if they are ok; was it an accident, etc, but i see you have been out of work for 2 weeks plus the xmas break, and work have been told you have had surgery. Under these circs. i'm inclined to think it was a bit nosey to ask.

fluffyraggies Wed 07-Jan-15 10:06:26

flowers for you too, OP. Sorry.

Spanglemum Wed 07-Jan-15 10:11:55

I think saying something else is fine, if the person was making conversation, they'd probably forgotten by the time they got back to their desk. I had an ectopic pregnancy many years ago. Very nasty and took a long while to recover from. Best of luck OP

Sitzpinkler Wed 07-Jan-15 10:13:59

Thanks everyone. I'm doing much better now.

She's about the same age as me (late 30s). I think that she was just being plain old nosey. I've heard her ask slightly probing questions to others in the past. She had already asked me if I was ok and recovering well. I think curiosity just got the better of her. I had no visible injury such as a cast which would have made it obvious that I had an injury rather than something else wrong.

diddl Wed 07-Jan-15 10:20:08

How did it get further than reception & your manager that you'd had surgery?

Crockershite Wed 07-Jan-15 10:22:50

Sorry for your loss.
I think you managed it perfectly, she was being nosey, you gave her an answer to avoid seeming rude by telling her to PO. Most importantly you don't feel annoyed at sharing your sad news with someone you don't know or wish to talk to about it.

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