Author Topic: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!  (Read 50664 times)

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JoyinVirginia

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Take care of yourself and do not discuss it at all with cow-irker. Silence is best response to any complaints from her.just pretend you do not hear the comments.

shhh its me

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As far as being rude for taking care of your own health - heck no!  Please stop thinking that way.  Even without the background of you covering for her, the point is you are unable to work due to your current medical condition. 

You are kind to share those details, and now you may be realizing why some people don't - to avoid the judgement.  It's neither helpful nor appreciated and I'd be so tempted to respond to her comments with sarcasm and condescension... but to try to avoid that while still getting the point across, you could try this: 

"CW, I shared my private medical issues as a courtesy.  I need to ask you to refrain from commenting on what you think my capabilities are or should be and what my treatment plan should be.  You are not my physician.  If I continue to hear these comments, I will need to ask boss or HR to address that with you directly.  Thank you for respecting my wishes."Good luck to you.  I hope your diagnosis turns out to be benign and you can recover quickly from the surgery.

I like the bolded answer the best. 

HUGs .  This might make you feel better.......I've had both kinds of cysts,(I;m not sure maybe 3 kinds)  At least one type does go away on it's own and at least one type will not.  To my knowledge they can't tell the difference before they can remove them and biopsied them, unless of course they just go away then obviously it was the type of cyst that self resolves.  I have had 2 surgeries. Once the cysts showed up while I was pregnant the cyst were not huge and were not giving my much trouble they were monitored for 18 months.  The second time the cyst was over the size limit recommenced for monitoring  and caused a great deal of pain and were removed ASAP.I also had 4 small cysts* caught via ultrasound that resolved on their own quickly.  *At least, that was how many grew and resolved themselves in 6 months of observation.  Based on how they feel  I'm sure I've had dozens but since I get both (3) types of cysts I don't go in unless I think I have a cysts for more then 3 months or one is real painful. The first surgery the doctor  thought cyst strongly but could not rule  out cancer. The second surgery the doctor knew cysts but would not absolute rule out cancer " It's a cyst but we can not say it;s not cancer until it is biopsied"   I felt better instantly after the surgery , the post op recovery was no where near as painful as the cysts.

RubyCat

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No, it is not rude to take time off to tend to your own medical issues. Your coworker is way out of line. Your health has to come first.  I cringed when I read how you cancelled you own appointments so you would be able to cover coworker's absence. You went above and beyond and I hope you employer appreciates

I was recently diagnosed with ovarian cysts and though they did not cause me much discomfort, because of their size & characteristics they had to come out.  It's scary stuff to deal with I'm furious with coworker on your behalf. Talking to the supervisor or HR would be wise. If confronted, I would probably say something along the lines of coworker is not your doctor, does not know your situation, and you would expect the same level of support during your illness the has been given to others. Beandip? Or maybe the icy stare would be more appropriate.

Fwiw, my cysts turned out to be benign. Try now to worry too much & focus on what you need for right now.  Sending good thoughts to you.  Keep us updated?

TootsNYC

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I would also say that you can point out to her that you covered quite willingly and uncomplainingly for her when she was out.


"When you were quite ill, I tried to be very supportive. I've never said anything, but it did impact me pretty seriously. I handled a very heavy load, because I didn't have the extra help that you are going to have. So I've been in the position of doing your job for you because you were ill. I'm disappointed that you can't show me the same support."

Be frosty and aloof in your tone. And then walk away--completely away. Don't do her the courtesy of listening to any reply--this is not a conversation; this is a statement.

And then be really, really cool to her when you get back from the bathroom.

ebrochu

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Wow. You guys are making me feel SO much better about this! I'm feeling a lot more relaxed, knowing that i'm not "in the wrong" for feeling slighted at all. And you've given me a ton of great responses and reactions to work with. Thank you!

Yeah, the pain has been pretty dang awful. There's swelling all the way to my hip (which greatly concerned the Gyno) and i'm either up for 1-2 days at a time from the pain, or sleeping 16 hours a day.

I'll create a new post once I get the cat scan and the results.

Thank you again for making me feel SO much better about this, both coworker wise, and medically speaking!  ;D



Roe

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Yep, I'm also quite upset on your behalf. 

DianeRN

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No medical advise but definitely agreeing that your boss needs to know about this.

ShanghaiJill

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your coworker is an idiot.

Just sayin' ::)

artk2002

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Ignore her whining as best you can. You know that she's a hypocrite, criticizing you for exactly what she does, so why would you care one bit about what she says or thinks? Make sure that you're square with your boss and ignore the whiner.

Remember this: Just because she's unhappy, it doesn't mean that you're doing anything wrong.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

MindsEye

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No, it is NOT rude for you to take time off for your medical issues.  Can I emphasize that enough?  Not rude!  You need to take care of yourself!

Co-worker doesn't like it and is complaining?  Well, too dang bad. 

If she keeps complaining, I would pull her aside once, tell her in no uncertain terms how much unsupported work you had to do to cover for her and how you put your life on hold to cover for her... and after that I would report every instance of harassment from her to your supervisor and to HR.  Honestly, pulling her aside and telling her to cut it out could be of benefit to her, as it could help her avoid disciplinary measures from HR.

When you do go back, I wouldn't say anything to co-worker.  I would also never again bend over backwards to cover for her.

And with that out of the way, now a quick note on  behalf of co-worker - sometimes people who have chronic conditions/pain have problems with empathy and have difficulty understanding that someone else's condition/pain is as important as their own.  However, this does not excuse her rudeness and nastiness.  And your boss and HR absolutely need to know how she is acting.

I hope that you feel better soon.

Redsoil

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Having had emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst myself (saw the GP at 3pm, was in surgery at 5pm), do NOT feel you should keep "managing".  I've had multiple surgeries since (not trying to scare you, as yours may be a one-off thing) so please don't neglect this.  Your co-worker had no idea what she's talking about, and in this instance I'd be very tempted to say a few home truths to her.  However, your call.

Please make sure your GP (and any specialist you're under) is fully aware of the increasing pain and debility.  You most definitely do not want to go through anything more complex than need be - good luck and take care!
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Dindrane

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I agree with everyone else.  There is nothing in the world that is rude about taking care of yourself.  Your health is not subject to the rules of etiquette -- only your interactions with other people.

That said, one other comment that I think might help you deal with this -- you have been talking about your situation at work as though it is your job or your co-worker's job or your other co-worker's job to ensure that there is adequate coverage for your function when one of you is unable to be at work.  It's an admirable trait as an employee to be cognizant of and feel responsibility for keeping the flow of work going.

However, it's not your job to make sure it happens.  It is your supervisor's job.  Part of the responsibility of managing people means making sure that their function at work can happen even when they are not there.  So while it definitely shows an excellent work ethic to feel responsible for helping to make sure things are covered, it isn't ultimately your job, and you shouldn't think of it as such.

That goes double for your co-worker, who apparently thinks it is her job and therefore her right to criticize you for making it harder to get all the work done.  It isn't her job to make sure things happen either -- it's her/your supervisor's.  And if she has a flare up and can't work, then it's her/your supervisor's job to figure out how to get things done in her absence.

I definitely think that you should talk to your supervisor, and make sure that he/she is aware of the comments and how they negatively affect your ability to work with your co-worker.  I also agree with Toots' suggestion for talking to your co-worker, if you need to.


wyliefool

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No, it is not rude to take time off to tend to your own medical issues. Your coworker is way out of line. Your health has to come first.  I cringed when I read how you cancelled you own appointments so you would be able to cover coworker's absence. You went above and beyond and I hope you employer appreciates
Quote
You have been talking about your situation at work as though it is your job or your co-worker's job or your other co-worker's job to ensure that there is adequate coverage for your function when one of you is unable to be at work.  ... However, it's not your job to make sure it happens.  It is your supervisor's job.  Part of the responsibility of managing people means making sure that their function at work can happen even when they are not there. So while it definitely shows an excellent work ethic to feel responsible for helping to make sure things are covered, it isn't ultimately your job, and you shouldn't think of it as such.

All of this. Frankly, if there was only one person to do the job, who very nearly spent 8 weeks working nonstop, then management dropped the ball. That's what temp agencies are for. For crying out loud you were already getting sick--you put yourself thru a lot for the company, and I guarantee you that if they'd decided in the midst of it all that it would make 'business sense' to fire you and send your job to Albania then they'd have done it without a second thought. DON'T make yourself sick or miserable for your job. It's just not worth it and won't be appreciated.

I mean really, it sounds like you're grossly understaffed. There was only 1 employee to do this job for 2 months and it didn't occur to anyone to hire help??  ::) and  >:(

As for your coworker, I think you should definitely remind her that you covered for her with no help and therefore she can suck it up and do her job. Through pain like you did, if necessary. Or else take it up w/ boss about hiring help.

Reason

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This woman is now rather mad at me, for my being off with this cyst. She has told me that "every woman gets them, they just go away on their own, you don't need to have surgery"

You could respond with -"Funny, my doctor doesn't seem to agree with you... "

Not that something so far over the line even deserves a response.

amylouky

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CW is way out of line, and I would have a hard time staying e-hell approved as well. Ovarian cysts can be incredibly painful, and can be life-threatening.
I like Toots' response, and I would also talk to your boss about CW's comments, who knows what she will be saying to others while you are out.
By the way, I have a friend who had a huge cyst removed surgically. She'd been putting it off for months, and afterward said that she felt so much better that she didn't know what she was waiting for, the recovery was a lot easier and less painful than dealing with the cyst.
Best of luck to you!