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What to tell coworkers?



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1 minute ago, Diana_in_Philly said:

Repeat after me:

I have to have a medical procedure and the doctor says I must be out of work for x time.

To your supervisor - I will bring in the medical note as soon as I have it, but wanted to let you know for scheduling purposes.

To your coworkers - I'm having a medical procedure and I will be out for x time. Thank you so much for your concern and asking about it, but I don't want to discuss my medical issues with anyone other than my doctor.

Assuming you are in the US and you work for an employer of more than 50 people, they cannot force you to say anything else. If co-worker's push, say - did you have sex last night? When they are shocked explain that you feel the same way about your medical issues - they are private and no one else's business. I only had to do that once. It worked.

That is worded very nicely. Thank you so much for that!

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I'm eight years out and no one knows but my doctors. I took three days off and then had a long holiday weekend and was back to work on the following Tuesday. I'm a psychologist and had to have coverage for my patients as well, but I mastered the death stare long ago to shut down nosy people. If you want to be nice but firm, I like Diana-in_Phillys answer very much.

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11 hours ago, chelsey211 said:

I chose to say gallbladder because I have already had that removed lol. The hernia is a good idea too. The only reason I would make something up is because I know my supervisor will want an explanation. I know that is not professional, but my supervisor isn't professional lol. She is very nosy, negative, and judgmental. I feel like if I give a reason besides just saying surgery, it might stop some rumors that I know will start spreading through my office full of gossiping people. After surgery, I do plan on just saying that I am working hard to loose weight buy eating better and exercise. Which is totally true! :D

I did something very similar. I have not told anyone but my husband and best friend. I have been very public about my meal planning and doing modified Keto. I post my weight loss milestones. No needs to know that I had surgery to give me a better tool. I know some people would say I took the easy way out. I told my work I needed to have. Minor surgery for a reoccurring medical condition. For all they know it was to fix a Hemmeroid.

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I'm eight years out and no one knows but my doctors. I took three days off and then had a long holiday weekend and was back to work on the following Tuesday. I'm a psychologist and had to have coverage for my patients as well, but I mastered the death stare long ago to shut down nosy people. If you want to be nice but firm, I like Diana-in_Phillys answer very much.
Thank you!

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I did something very similar. I have not told anyone but my husband and best friend. I have been very public about my meal planning and doing modified Keto. I post my weight loss milestones. No needs to know that I had surgery to give me a better tool. I know some people would say I took the easy way out. I told my work I needed to have. Minor surgery for a reoccurring medical condition. For all they know it was to fix a Hemmeroid.
Thank you! How long did you take off?

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On 07/23/2018 at 08:22, chelsey211 said:



I am only in the approval phase for VSG. I hope to have surgery in Dec. I know I will have to tell my supervisor, HR, and coworkers something since I plan on taking 2 weeks off. I have been going back and forth about tell the truth, only telling the truth to my supervisor and HR, and then just tell everyone a lie, like I am having my gallbladder out. I've been at my job for only 5 months, and I know my supervisor and some coworkers will be judgmental. I defiantly won't say anything until closer to time though. How did you handle this?


Ok so I’m in EXACTLY the same boat. I’ve been at my job for 6 months and my probation period ends 8/20. My consults are on 8/27, and my hopeful surgery date is 8/25. I’ve told my two cube-mates about it and they have been supportive and one other coworker I did not intend to tell overheard me talking about it and asked what was wrong so I told her. Then a couple weeks ago another coworker pulled me aside and told me to stop talking about it with one of my cube-mates because she will use it against me as ammo if she needs to. So that freaked me out. I quit talking about it with her. I have emailed HR asking about protected leave for medical reasons and know that the day after my consults I will be filing for medical leave and will have to tell my
Manager that day as well. I’m super nervous about that too. I later read a post that mentioned telling everyone it was gallbladder surgery and now I wish I had just kept my big chatty mouth shut about it completely but I don’t have a big social circle and spend 45 hours a week with these ladies and we get along ok so I figured what the hell. I have decided they know, and I’m not going to be ashamed of it or secret about it. It’s a lifesaving decision just like any other surgery like gallbladder or appendix, etc and I’m not going to worry about trying to hide it. I’m most worried about taking 2 weeks off in my first 7 months at a new job.

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Also I have an interim male supervisor that hates dealing with stuff like scheduling etc, and I’m terrified to say anything before the end of my probation because I feel like that will be used as a reason to not keep me permanently.

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I was pretty open with my supervisor and folks in my department. My supervisor has been super supportive and I received a very nice arrangement from my team afterwards. I work with a great group of people and felt really comfortable sharing this part of my life with them. But your situation may be different. I was/am around 150lbs overweight and they’re a pretty bright group, so I knew/hoped/figured they would catch on to what I’d done whether I told them or not.

Above that at our organization- I provided them(HR/ higher ups) with only the info they needed.

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6 minutes ago, beingdina said:

Also I have an interim male supervisor that hates dealing with stuff like scheduling etc, and I’m terrified to say anything before the end of my probation because I feel like that will be used as a reason to not keep me permanently.

Girl, I feel you. There are a couple people I work with that I feel like I could tell and they would be supportive, but they are also chatty and I don't want it ti circle back to people that I don't want knowing. I plan to use FMLA while out. I know my job is protect just because this job has high turn over and I'm good at it, so they defiantly won't let me go lol. I still think I am going to stick with gallbladder since I have already had mine removed, I know that I obviously won't be having any isues with that lol.

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1 minute ago, insta_adventurer said:

I was pretty open with my supervisor and folks in my department. My supervisor has been super supportive and I received a very nice arrangement from my team afterwards. I work with a great group of people and felt really comfortable sharing this part of my life with them. But your situation may be different. I was/am around 150lbs overweight and they’re a pretty bright group, so I knew/hoped/figured they would catch on to what I’d don’t whether I told them or not.

Above that at our organization- I provided them(HR/ higher ups) with only the info they needed.

See that's kinda what I'm thinking. I am about 150 lbs over weight as well. I will have several months until surgery, so I may change my mind by then. That's why I'm just keeping my mouth closed for now lol. I know I sound mean, but quite a few of the people I work with are like wolves in sheep skin, sweet to your face but can't wait to tear you apart later. My supervisor is just rude to your face lol. She will tell you she is a b***h and proud of it. :rolleyes:

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There is a such thing as the HIPPA law and you simply don’t have to say anything about your surgery and that’s the law, but if you feel you should tell your supervisor then you can say I’m having a female surgery or gallbladder surgery not naming what your having and they actually don’t suppose to really lawfully ask what. It’s NONE OF THEIR DANG BUSINESS! Don’t feel obligated to discuss your medical records with co workers even your boss!

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It’s time to look in the mirror, that persons opinion is the only one that matters. I’m four months post and have lost 104 lbs. people will notice and ask questions. Tell them the truth. This has been by far the hardest thing I have ever done. Yet at the same time the most rewarding.

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13 minutes ago, SummerEssence said:

There is a such thing as the HIPPA law and you simply don’t have to say anything about your surgery and that’s the law, but if you feel you should tell your supervisor then you can say I’m having a female surgery or gallbladder surgery not naming what your having and they actually don’t suppose to really lawfully ask what. It’s NONE OF THEIR DANG BUSINESS! Don’t feel obligated to discuss your medical records with co workers even your boss!

Thank you so much!

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9 minutes ago, blackhawkpro said:

It’s time to look in the mirror, that persons opinion is the only one that matters. I’m four months post and have lost 104 lbs. people will notice and ask questions. Tell them the truth. This has been by far the hardest thing I have ever done. Yet at the same time the most rewarding.

WOW!! That is amazing!! Congratulations! Thank you very much, and you are right about only my opinion mattering.

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Yeah I wouldn't tell any of them. You are new there and there is no reason to make things more stressful on yourself You are still getting to know these people just like you are getting used to the fact that you are having a life changing surgery. To keep questions at bay I would recommend saying you are having hernia or gallbladder surgery. That way if they notice you aren't eating out with them anymore or they see you just on liquids only it wont be a shock to them. Most MDs prefer you do a soft/liquid diet before any abdominal surgery. When you start to lose the weight, and they ask how you are doing it, tell them after your hernia surgery you realized you needed to take control of your life and thus you are. You could go as far as to tel them you didn't want to have to have any more unnecessary surgeries due to your weight. Leave it at that. Tell your supervisor the same thing. The doctor's note will suffice alone.without any further explanation. Good Luck!

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