General Question

girlofscience's avatar

If you had to call out of work because of female issues, what would you say to your male boss?

Asked by girlofscience (7545points) July 21st, 2008

Saying you’re “sick” sounds fake, and so does making up any other illness which you obviously don’t have. Saying you are having “female problems” is bolder and sounds less like a lie, but possibly oversteps the boundaries in a professional relationship.

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26 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I would say that you are not well enough to come to work. It is the truth.

gailcalled's avatar

Keep it simple: “I am under the weather and need a day to recover.” Also the truth.

richardhenry's avatar

You can use “female issues” if they start to question it, but otherwise using something like Gail’s answer is fine.

Kay's avatar

You could say you’re having severe abdominal cramping/migraine/other symptoms etc that you are actually experiencing without referring to them as “feminine problems.” Just be straightforward, specific, and short.

trudacia's avatar

I’d go with stomach cramps. He’ll understand the problem without you needing to go into detail.

gooch's avatar

I am sick. The law says you don’t have to say why.

scamp's avatar

Just say you’re not feeling well. If he gets nosey give him the gory details. I bet he will never ask again after that.

emilyrose's avatar

I would not say feminine problems since many men don’t even believe that PMS exists. I would say you’re sick, that’s true. I would not give your symptoms as cramps or whatever. Most people could endure cramps and still work.

girlofscience's avatar

Thanks for the answers, everyone! This one actually wasn’t relevant to me or anyone else (I work 9–5, so I wouldn’t be calling out at this time anyway), but I was just interested in people’s take on it.

gailcalled's avatar

It is similar to saying that you have either food poisoning or GI problems. No one wants to hear the details even if one could spell diar**ea correctly.

TheHaight's avatar

I agree with what Scamp said. One time I said I couldn’t make it to work and simply just said “I’m not feeling well”... Well, my boss asked why (very rudely) and I told him the gosh darn truth! Ever since then he never asks why.

zina's avatar

I have definitely had this problem. The worst example was during the most important job interview I had ever had – I woke up with absolutely terrible cramps, and not knowing them had to call them that I was “sick” – but then had to call back a few hours later saying I was better because I really didn’t want to have someone else get the job because of a couple hours of cramps! (Fortunately, they were very cool about it, and I did get the job!)

I still find it awkward to say sick (when in my case it’s usually a matter of hours, and they see you later that day perfectly fine, or whatever – and I don’t even like giving the impression that I’m sick, and too sick to come to work at that, that often when it’s just not true), and with a few exceptions I find it awkward to say it’s my period.

I’m looking forward to hearing more solutions!

bitemedotcom's avatar

I’d say, just be honest about wat ‘female’ problem ur having.
it may be embarrassing, but its only for ur own good.
wats the point in lying and end up getting urself in trouble.
let him knw the real reason u called out of work.
But as for me, i LOST MY JOB for standing up for the truth.
Apparently my boss cant accept people whose outspoken.
I only defended myself to state why i couldnt some to work.
But I lost my job due to that. So, becareful, u gotta knw wat kinda
boss u have in ur organisation first. learn his pattern. Make sure u
dont loose ur job ok…

gailcalled's avatar

Borat redux? ^^

girlofscience's avatar

@gailcalled: lol.
@bitemedotcom: ????? As I mentioned above, this wasn’t even relevant to me – I was simply curious about how people felt about this issue… My job is quite secure, and I highly doubt I would lose it no matter what I said to my boss, or even if I didn’t come in at all without saying a word. It pays to have SKILLZ. Furthermore, what was the reason you couldn’t attend work that he found so utterly offensive?

ninjaxmarc's avatar

I run an office and the female employees tell me straight up. I’d rather know then get lashed at with bad attitude and crankiness.
I usually keep my distance when I know.

cheebdragon's avatar

And some people wonder why women arnt taken seriously in the workplace…....

Lightlyseared's avatar

Start simple, then elaborate if needed.

bippee's avatar

Define “female issues.” If we’re talking cramps, take a Midol and get your ass into work. Anything not cured by Midol then go see your doctor and find out what is wrong & whether there is a presceiption for it.

miki's avatar

I agree with bippee. If you’re old enough to have a job, you should be old enough to know what to do by now. btw I’m female.

Yanaba's avatar

It isn’t that simple for everyone. Chills, shakes, nausea, weakness and headaches are all things a Midol won’t solve—often one of the only solutions available is taking hormones in the form of the pill or otherwise, and that only grants a reduction in symptoms. For women who want to have children soon, and others generally concerned about their health, being forced to take hormones is not okay.

I also have a friend who has a sensitive GI tract which means she can’t take ibuprofen or the like. These things happen and while I agree that society and the economy and our lives must go on, I fail to see how the demands of capitalism trump personal health in every circumstance.

Yes plenty of women are not afflicted with this, or only very slightly, and those people should be thankful they fall into that group. But this is not a “man up”-type situation for most people. Who wants to go through that regularly, like clockwork anyway? It’s natural, maybe there should be a set number of vacation days as well as a few teleworking days available every month, for both genders. The focus should be on being humane while getting the job done, not one at the expense of the other.

Sorry, I know this is an ancient thread but I don’t like seeing this sort of thing stand.

cheebdragon's avatar

Monthly vacation days for your period???....I’m so fucking far from being a feminist but even I find the thought of monthly vacations just for women, incredibly insulting. Getting your period is not the end of the world, don’t be so dramatic, if you can’t take ibuprofen, there are million other products you can try.

Yanaba's avatar

Uh, just so you know my comment wasn’t meant to be an attack on you or anyone else…speaking of “don’t be so dramatic”. Most places have sick days available already, accessible to both genders for whatever they need. Generally this amounts to about a day or two a month, though if you regularly take them there can sometimes be problems. I’m not saying women should have a special allotment of anything—what I’m saying is that maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for everybody, not just women, to have the option of teleworking (working from home) two or three days a month in the same style as we have sick days now. So you have (up to) two sick days a month if you need them, and you also have (up to) two work-from-home days in a month that you can use if you have a problem like this one. On those days you have a set amount of work to complete before work opens the following day, and it doesn’t matter if you are curled up in bed half the day so long as the job gets done.

It can’t work for every industry, and I’m not arguing enough of society would need it for us to implement it widely. I’m just saying it could be a feature of the ideal workplace. If people don’t do their work at home, you revoke the privilege.

For the minority of women who really have this pain problem, I’m sure they’ve tried everything that works for you and it isn’t enough. Do you think that everyone who claims to have this problem is a parasite or an idiot? No, a few surely are but there are people who have a problem here that is difficult to treat short of serious surgery or drugs strong enough to interfere with their work. The friend I mentioned in my answer can’t take any painkillers of any kind (I’m told) unless they’re intravenous. What is she supposed to do? She may already have to get uterine surgery the moment she’s finished having children. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

marniewalls's avatar

Alright, ladies. Telling a male boss this stuff is awkward, but I’d be grateful your male boss isn’t some of the females posting here!

For 20 years I had normal periods with decent cramps. They’d hurt like crazy, I’d get queesy, but I could make it through school or work whenever I needed to in a haze of pain killers. I thought maybe I was just tougher than other women who…at times, couldn’t.

Then one month it started to hit me bad. I don’t know what the difference was (I saw a doc and everything’s just fine). Suddenly I’d get so dizzy and nauseous, it would be followed by the sharpest pain I could imagine—so bad I couldn’t sit or stand up, or even talk at times. This doesn’t happen to me every month thank God, but I passed out in front of my classroom (I’m a professor of mathematics) twice, (so embarrassing!) and I’ve had to puke at work a bunch of times the pain was so bad.
I thought to myself——THIS is what those girls meant! Wow.

So, ladies, please. Don’t assume your sisters are all a bunch of complainers. Who are you to think you know what other people experience? If you’ve never felt it it must not be real? really?.......really?

LisaS10's avatar

THANK YOU MARNIEWALLS! I have had my period since I was 11 – I am now 26 & have always had terrible cramps; from the dizziness to the migrains-which I already get aside from my menstrual cycle, abdomenal pain, back pain etc you name it I have it – as I write this I am in pain contemplating going home early bc the pain is & will continue to get worse unfortunatly for at least the rest of the day possibly the next 2 days…

so to all of you ladies who THINK they get bad cramps & r so tough for tollerating them you need a wake up call bc if you experienced terrible cramps like the ones I do you would see that not only is it a physical issue but mentally you start to shut down bc the pain is so unbearable..

I hope 1 day the rest of you and others alike will learn that not all women are like JUST because we all bleed – everyone experiences it differently & some go through nothing so until the day EVERY woman has the same symptoms & level of pain you should kee p your judgements to yourself.

keepingconfidential's avatar

Just because you have it easy doesn’t mean we all have. I’m on a three month pack to space out my dreadful periods. I used to get them every three weeks. Cramps, nausea, vomiting, pelvic pain and pressure, dizziness, fatigue, constipation… all at once. So debilitating I still have to sit in a hot tub of water for hours just to quell the worst symptoms.. and once I get out, they come back. Being on the pill has at least calmed it somewhat so that I can survive. I used to be in so much pain and so weak that I could not get around, I had to lie on the ground, asking myself where to draw the line before gonig to the hospital. Went to the doctor and she put me on the pill to calm the symptoms of what she thinks is endometriosis. Surgery usually does not even help and if it does, the problem keeps coming back. Even on the pill, my periods are barely “Regular.” So before you tell other people to suck it up and get to work or whatnot, for some people it is very serious. I can barely walk muchless operate a vehicle to even get to work. I also have acid reflux and can’t take ibuprophen unless i absolutely need to because of the damage done to my esophagus. Don’t judge. If you can’t be understanding and helpful, bud out. Then you can’t know this person’s situation. Consider yourself lucky to not have it so rough.

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