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What to tell coworkers?



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5 minutes ago, Tracy1978 said:

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!

I think that sounds perfect! This is defiantly the road I think I am going to be taking. Thanks so much.

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I agree with some others here, you do not owe anyone an explanation. If a coworker asks why will you be out for two weeks you can say. " I have some things I need to take care of" . If they keep pressing for an explanation you can say... Thank you for being concerned, but I am keeping that private right now.

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Wow - I must be so lucky. My supervisor and team haave been amazingly supportive. I knew given my starting weight that people would be quite curious about my sudden weight loss. I told my supervisor and my team exactly what I was having, including explaining what a gastric sleeve was. They were all incredibly happy and supportive for me, and most had stories of someone they knew who had a similar surgery, and how it changed their life.

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I've told very few people and only one person from work, whom I can trust to not say anything about it. My supervisor only knows that I'll be having surgery, and he thinks it's for a revision for the major abdominal surgery I had last August. This is partially true because I'll be having the verticle sleeve gastrectomy and the revision surgery at the same time. I was out for six months last year after surgery so he's not expecting me to come back quickly. When I do return, I know people will have questions about my weight loss. I'll just say I got with a nutritionist and a personal trainer and starting eating much better and exercising more. None of these statements is a lie (except for the trainer, since I have not hired one yet...)

It is your business. It is up to you to tell people or not, not up to them. Don't ever let anyone pressure you into telling them more than you want to say.

Good luck!

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2 minutes ago, macadamia said:

I've told very few people and only one person from work, whom I can trust to not say anything about it. My supervisor only knows that I'll be having surgery, and he thinks it's for a revision for the major abdominal surgery I had last August. This is partially true because I'll be having the verticle sleeve gastrectomy and the revision surgery at the same time. I was out for six months last year after surgery so he's not expecting me to come back quickly. When I do return, I know people will have questions about my weight loss. I'll just say I got with a nutritionist and a personal trainer and starting eating much better and exercising more. None of these statements is a lie (except for the trainer, since I have not hired one yet...)

It is your business. It is up to you to tell people or not, not up to them. Don't ever let anyone pressure you into telling them more than you want to say.

Good luck!

Thank you so much! Best of luck to you as well!

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4 minutes ago, chelsey211 said:

Thank you so much! Best of luck to you as well!

Thank you! I am planning to do awesome!

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22 hours 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.

Lol I love your response! Its true its nobody's business! I hate that people feel because they know you or work with you, you owe them some kind of open door into your personal life. I think your response is perfect.

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On 7/23/2018 at 1:10 PM, 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.

@Diana_in_Philly I'm dying...that is sooo funny and true. LOL,LOL :D

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Tell who you want and need to tell. I trust my manager/supervisor and told him and that person is to keep your privacy. Only because there were days I went to appointments that I may have needed to stay longer or could leave sooner and come back to work. Whatever I could do to save my PTO. I took a week off for surgery and I wanted him aware if anything was wrong when I came back, just in case. As far as my other co-workers, I slowly came out and started to tell only certain people because I felt comfortable enough to do it.

Assess your situation and make sure YOU are comfortable.

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On 07/24/2018 at 11:06, chelsey211 said:





I think that sounds perfect! This is defiantly the road I think I am going to be taking. Thanks so much.


I used a story like Tracy1978 mentioned. I told my boss that I found out that I have a hiatal hernia repair and will be going through a strict diet to prep me for surgery and will need about 1-2 weeks to heal as I can’t do any heavy lifting or strenuous lifting, pushing, etc.. she says to me ‘I have a hiatal hernia too! I just deal with it!’ And then laughed.. I said well I can’t deal with it and more power to you for dealing with the constant uncomfortable heartburn you’re probably experiencing from it (I can’t do it anymore) and left it like that.. I’m about 6weeks away from approval and then surgery.

You can also say it’s personal.. it doesn’t have to be put out there (it’s really no one’s business) I had to take two weeks off from work and it was for a surgical procedure and didn’t say what the procedure was for (of course gossiping started) because I lost a few pounds when someone joking asked if I had gone for weightloss surgery I turned and looked at her and said ‘actually I had a miscarriage and had to go for a D&C’ (the look on that person’s face turned beet red) and she repeatedly my apologized .. no one knew why I had put on weight and then suddenly dropped it in four months(gained it all back and some since everything happened) since that incident no one had really inquire about my personal time off because really it’s nobody’s business. I just chose to use the hiatal hernia repair because it’s partially true and really I don’t want someone coming up to me and making a joke about it :/

Good luck to you and journey!

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1 hour ago, 1Mila said:

I used a story like Tracy1978 mentioned. I told my boss that I found out that I have a hiatal hernia repair and will be going through a strict diet to prep me for surgery and will need about 1-2 weeks to heal as I can’t do any heavy lifting or strenuous lifting, pushing, etc.. she says to me ‘I have a hiatal hernia too! I just deal with it!’ And then laughed.. I said well I can’t deal with it and more power to you for dealing with the constant uncomfortable heartburn you’re probably experiencing from it (I can’t do it anymore) and left it like that.. I’m about 6weeks away from approval and then surgery.

You can also say it’s personal.. it doesn’t have to be put out there (it’s really no one’s business) I had to take two weeks off from work and it was for a surgical procedure and didn’t say what the procedure was for (of course gossiping started) because I lost a few pounds when someone joking asked if I had gone for weightloss surgery I turned and looked at her and said ‘actually I had a miscarriage and had to go for a D&C’ (the look on that person’s face turned beet red) and she repeatedly my apologized .. no one knew why I had put on weight and then suddenly dropped it in four months(gained it all back and some since everything happened) since that incident no one had really inquire about my personal time off because really it’s nobody’s business. I just chose to use the hiatal hernia repair because it’s partially true and really I don’t want someone coming up to me and making a joke about it :/

Good luck to you and journey!

Thank you so much! Good luck on your journey as well!

Edited by chelsey211

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I just had the procedure a few weeks ago and I am already down about 20 lbs. I tell people I have been dieting for some time, which is the truth and it is just starting to show. I also tell them I gave up bread, and that usually gives them the answer they want. Good luck.

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I am an open book. I am working hard and told my supervisor and crewmates about my surgery. No one else knew until I was out for 2 weeks (had some surgery complications) and came back to work about 25 pounds lighter. Then the rumors started! i.e. cancer, divorce, etc. I finally had one co-worker ask if I was okay and what was going on. I told her I had wls and am working hard to lose weight and hope everyone will be supportive. Just like the rumors, the news spread fast and everyone has been supportive and encouraging. I look at it as I am a walking billboard for the surgeon! LOL

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4 hours ago, Kasrielle said:

Wow - I must be so lucky. My supervisor and team haave been amazingly supportive. I knew given my starting weight that people would be quite curious about my sudden weight loss. I told my supervisor and my team exactly what I was having, including explaining what a gastric sleeve was. They were all incredibly happy and supportive for me, and most had stories of someone they knew who had a similar surgery, and how it changed their life.

I think it depends on how long you've been somewhere. Like I had said, I've only been at my job for 5 months... as nice as they are I'm still a probationary newbie and can't mess up my getting a permanent position. Overall, I am fine with people knowing, since at 405 pounds they will quickly start to see the changes in me. I think the biggest thing for me was when a coworker told me to not talk about it with another coworker because she would try to use it against me in some way. I am the largest person in my department and know they will be glad to see me lose the weight for my well-being (and their discomfort with obesity probably, I'm not naïve), but I just don't want to lose my job over it.

I'm not technically eligible for FMLA until I've been here for a year, but there is state medical leave that I am eligible for at my 6 month anniversary that I am taking advantage of.

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1 minute ago, beingdina said:

I think it depends on how long you've been somewhere. Like I had said, I've only been at my job for 5 months... as nice as they are I'm still a probationary newbie and can't mess up my getting a permanent position. Overall, I am fine with people knowing, since at 405 pounds they will quickly start to see the changes in me. I think the biggest thing for me was when a coworker told me to not talk about it with another coworker because she would try to use it against me in some way. I am the largest person in my department and know they will be glad to see me lose the weight for my well-being (and their discomfort with obesity probably, I'm not naïve), but I just don't want to lose my job over it.

I'm not technically eligible for FMLA until I've been here for a year, but there is state medical leave that I am eligible for at my 6 month anniversary that I am taking advantage of.

Since I talked to you this morning about FMLA, I looked into it and I also will not be eligible. My 1 year is not until February. How did you learn about the state medical leave? That is something I may need to check into.

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