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To be furious for being called out for menstruating at work?
559

Snuffalo · 11/07/2017 15:04

Having horrible menstrual cramps, naproxen isn’t touching it, and I remember I have a hot water bottle in my desk drawer - I used it all winter in my freezing office, and a few other people, male and female, have one as well - we have a rule against personal space heaters so it can be nice to have under your desk next to your feet.

Anyway. I fill the hot water bottle, nestle it in my lap, and I’m back to work. My sort-of-supervisor* we’ll call Guy comes over to talk to me about something, notices the hot water bottle, says “there’s no way you’re cold today, are you?” I say “um, no, just for the pain relief”. He looks confused and then literally horrified and then he walks away.

Less than ten minutes later, I get a Slack message from one of the HR admins (HR is based in another office a few hours away) to say “Guy says you’re not well and should go home, everything OK?”

I say “I’m fine, this is sort of weird, he just looked a bit shocked that I had a hot water bottle, I’ve got cramps, you know how it is.”

She goes silent and then offline completely, ten more minutes later, the HR Director calls me and asks me if I can find a meeting room, which I do. She then tells me that I shouldn’t disclose my medical problems to anyone who isn’t part of HR as it can make them uncomfortable. I’m literally shocked, I explain exactly what happened, she says “yes I understand, if you’re so unwell you need a hot water bottle you should be home, Guy is extremely uncomfortable and it’s unprofessional”. I say “this is weird, ok, anything else”? She’s quite breezy and professional - “No, that’s all, if you’re feeling better that’s great but if you need to, please do go home, OK bye!"

I’m just completely flabbergasted. Especially considering that Guy has been known to take meetings with clients whilst laying flat on the floor on his back because of back problems - which seems to me both unprofessional and likely to make people uncomfortable, not that I really cared personally. I wouldn’t have had my hot water bottle in a client meeting or even if clients were in the office.

Other people have standing desks, weird foot rests, all kinds of chairs and special backrests for their back pain and wrist braces for their wrist pain and a hundred other things and I’m not allowed to have a hot water bottle for my menstrual cramps? Am I right to be completely fucking furious?

*I normally have no problem with Guy, we don’t work closely, no one else does what I do at work but he comes closest and he does my nominal (and always positive) performance reviews and signs off on my holiday.

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lewisham91 · 17/07/2017 18:04

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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frieda909 · 17/07/2017 18:32

OP hasn't been back on this thread for quite some time, and I'm willing to bet the media coverage has something to do with that!

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Jessiecat27 · 22/07/2017 02:53

His own fault for being a nosy fucker! I'd say you were discreet, not like you were shouting it from the rooftops! He needs to grow up and your hr

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QuackPorridgeBacon · 22/07/2017 15:51

Ahh doing your job and asking if your employee is ok is now being a nosey fucker. Why don't we all seclude ourselves in little bubbles so that we dont ever have to speak to anyone ever again. Hmm

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StrangeLookingParasite · 22/07/2017 22:25

Ahh doing your job and asking if your employee is ok is now being a nosey fucker.

No, having a fit of the vapours and going to HR because someone said they were using a hot water bottle for pain relief is.
Making up lies just makes you look stupid.
He quite explicitly didn't 'do his job and [just] ask if she was ok.
Do you twist yourself out of shape like this for everything?

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corollajet · 23/07/2017 18:40

Now, I wonder how Snuffalo and all those "outraged" would have reacted if she walked by Guy's desk, questioned his cold compress and he mentions it's for his blue balls?

Look, I'm pretty laid back and I find people who can comfortably talk about their bodily functions endearing, but that stuff is completely out of place in a professional environment. Like farts, bowel movements, and spontaneous erections (to name a few), menstruation pains should be left out of professional conversations.

Furthermore, the warm bottle trick requires that one place the bottle near the uterus on the bare skin. As these stories are often one sided or missing details, Guy likely questioned her with the bottles stuck down her pants/skirt/dress (or whatever she was wearing).

According to a 2007 research, 1 in 10 women stay home for menstrual pain. HR likely asked her to do that in lieu of sticking bottles in her pants--which is hardly unreasonable. Rather than being furious that co-workers don't want to know when she's on her period, she should be asking herself why "it's personal" doesn't work for her.

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Penny4UrThoughts · 23/07/2017 18:55

Corolla - she mentioned pain, not menstrual pain. It was on her lap, not 'in her pants' or 'stuck down her dress'.

Unless you know different because you are Guy, which would explain the way you have twisted the actual details on the thread and made them into something else.

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corollajet · 23/07/2017 19:25

Penny4Urthoughts As I mentioned, I know different because I know that for the hot bottle treatment to work one has to have it on her bare skin. Simply nestled in your lap isn't going to do the trick. Anyone who knows the hot bottle treatment knows this.

Oh yes, I'm Guy. Let me guess, you're Snuffalo's vagina?

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LassWiTheDelicateAir · 23/07/2017 19:44

Simply nestled in your lap isn't going to do the trick. Anyone who knows the hot bottle treatment knows this

You are talking nonsense. It worked fine for me for many years. Putting a hot water bottle against bare skin would be far too hot and uncomfortable.

There are small self-adhesive heat pads which work well next to bare skin.

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PoisonousSmurf · 23/07/2017 19:48

Scary women! They bleed every month and don't die! Men run off screaming!

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corollajet · 23/07/2017 20:08

LassWiTheDelicateAir Think about it, the same way those self-adhesive heat pads work by compressing against the bare skin, is the same idea behind the hot water bottle treatment. If you find relief by simply having a hot water bottle nestled in your lap then bravo. LMAO

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LassWiTheDelicateAir · 23/07/2017 20:19

Gee thanks Coro wow !!
who'd a thunk it???
All those years of doing it wrong!!!!
Until you come along and put me right !!!!!
Thank you , thank you , thank you, from the bottom of my heart !!!!!!
( yet it oddly still worked and helped me)

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corollajet · 23/07/2017 20:55

LassWiTheDelicateAir You're more than welcome. Glad I could help put you right. LMAO

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LassWiTheDelicateAir · 23/07/2017 21:41

Must add "people who think LMAO adds anything to a conversation" to the judgey thread. Thanks for the reminder.

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Penny4UrThoughts · 23/07/2017 22:57

Corolla you are talking rubbish. It might only work for you next to your skin, but that's not my experience. Heat is heat.

You are reading things that aren't there and creating a scenario that ONLY you thinks is the case.

Hey ho.

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EBearhug · 23/07/2017 23:02

The adhesive pads I have state specifically that they should not be placed directly on bare skin, and I've always been taught not to put HWBs directly on bare skin either. A layer of fabric doesn't stop either being effective, though.

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iklboo · 23/07/2017 23:19

She was wearing a hot water bottle over clothing, not Space Shuttle re-entry tiles. Of course the heat from a hot water bottle would penetrate 1-2 layers of clothes (speaks from actual, real lady experience).

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corollajet · 23/07/2017 23:38

Again LassWiTheDelicateAir, always happy to help the less informed. LMAO

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corollajet · 23/07/2017 23:55

Penny4UrThoughts Try reading it slowly and you with understand that my overall point has nothing to do with a created scenario. Fingers crossed for you, hun.

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Guepe · 24/07/2017 00:01

Simply nestled in your lap isn't going to do the trick. Anyone who knows the hot bottle treatment knows this
What is this nonsense? LMAO

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corollajet · 24/07/2017 00:04

Now we have someone saying adhesive heat pads shouldn't be worn on bare skin. LORD. LMAO. Hardly surprising, though, after seeing the other responses. How about you all go back and read my original comment a few times and see if you can come up with a response to my overall argument rather than trying to latch on to one bit of a larger point.

I've made my point and now unfollowed this thread. Quite the nutty bunch here.

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Guepe · 24/07/2017 00:06

Was your point that you're a fundamentally stupid person? If so, job done.

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HarveySchlumpfenburger · 24/07/2017 00:10

school holidays have started then. LMAO

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Fishbiscuits · 24/07/2017 00:15

I've not posted on this thread before, but I'm LMAO at all this LMAO business. If anyone is nutty it's you corrolajet. LMAO.




Still LMAO btw.

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Guepe · 24/07/2017 00:19

corollajet - if you think that a layer of a material between the heat source and someone's skin stops the heat from providing effective pain relief, then you probably need to forego the hot water bottle entirely and just pour hot water over yourself next time.

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