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You Shouldn’t Have To Get That Personal To Get Sick Leave!

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: angstyart | August 4, 2022

When I was twenty years old, I worked at a fast food restaurant to afford textbooks for the upcoming semester. When I am not on birth control, I go through h*** during my periods. I have a condition called retroflexion; instead of bloating forward into my belly, my uterus bloats into my spine and presses my sciatic nerve. If she pushes hard enough, it gets to my knees and I cannot walk. The first three days are the worst. Normally, I had a shift at [Restaurant] fall on the second or third day, and I would just suck it up and take a medically risky amount of Tylenol.

The first day of my period hit the day I had a weekend shift. I knew it was crazy busy and I really did feel bad about skipping out, but I was in so much pain. I managed to get dressed and walk around for a bit before a wave of intense nausea and pain hit, and I had to lie down. I called my manager and let him know I couldn’t make it. I hated working there, but a job is a job and this was the first time I had ever called out.

Me: “Hey, [Manager], I know it’s insane over there, and you know I don’t call out for stupid s***, but I’m really sick and in pain right now. I’m gonna have to stay home today.”

Manager: “Wait, why do you have to clock out? What’s going on?”

Me: “It’s around that time for me, I’m nauseous as h***, and it’s too painful to even walk around.”

Manager: “You can’t walk around?”

Me: “No, the pain is too bad. It’s shooting through my back and legs. I’d be useless today.”

Manager: “I’m sorry, I’m not sure what that is. Is this an illness of some kind?”

Me: *Getting embarrassed* “Yes, you know, a woman’s kind of illness. I have it severe sometimes, and it’s hitting very hard today.

Manager: *Pauses* “I’m sorry, I’ve never heard of that. I’m gonna need you to tell me what’s going on.”

Me: “[Manager]? Do you have sisters? This is a thing for women; it’s a regular thing.”

Manager: “I’m gonna need you to, like, describe it to me, because I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Me: “[Manager]! I’m bleeding heavily — from downstairs? My uterus is pressing up against my spine. It is pinching a nerve that goes down into my knees. If I manage to stand up right now, I’m going to pass out. I have intense periods, dude!”

There was a heavy silence.

Manager: “Oh, okay.” *Click*

He was a nice manager, but he wasn’t wearing his thinking cap at all, and I ran out of patience after the fifth question.

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