I Told My Boss I Am Menstruating. What’s The Big Deal?
As India is developing, we see more and more women working across industries at various levels. Information technology akka IT industry has a good number of women working in leading IT organizations. These organizations encourage women talent by organizing diversity drives where only women candidates are screened and hired. When organizations want to have diversity amongst employees, I don’t understand why so much of hooh haah happens when a woman asks for a sick leave stating “not feeling ok”.
I have been working for over 8 years now. Most of the times I take off on first day of periods. If I start chumming in office, I go home taking a half day leave. If at all I have a lot of work, I work from home. In short, if I don’t have to work on something urgent, I seek flexibly to work or not to work. It is not because I feel embarrassed to visit washroom every now and then. It is so because most of the times I experience terrible back and abdominal pain and it only worsens in AC. Unfortunately, I sit right under the AC vent in office. When I take off on first day of periods, I text my boss – “I am not well”. But does this end the story here? Well, NO.
Next day in office, people ask me “How are you?”. I reply with a straight face “Never felt better “. Deep inside, I want to kill some of them. So when I say I am not okay, obviously people know! They know because it’s obvious. I give out very tell-tale signs. I give “what the **** ” looks when someone cracks a PJ. My smile which is usually so broad vanishes somewhere.
I visit the loo one hundred times. I growl in pain due a sudden cramps. My arms will keep pressing my aching back. I am irritated at the nicest of things. In short, people know. Then why are we so hypocrites we can’t say something which is so natural. I was tired of sending messages faking illness to my Boss every month, so I decided to call him. I said – ” I won’t lie, I am not sick. I am menstruating. I am in a lot of pain, can’t sit straight. Can I work from home today? “. I was surprised at his answer. He said “Tarun, take rest. There is nothing urgent to be done”. I thanked him and held up. My God, it was so easy. In fact, next day when I went to office, he smiled and said – “I appreciate you are so bold”.
Unnecessarily we women feel embarrassed because of periods. Well, men understand, they know they did not fall from some tree huh! Stop hiding sanitary napkins in wrappers while going to loo as if you are going to plant a bomb somewhere.
We all, our entire society needs to accept that womanhood exists because of menstruation, period(pun intended)
Do you too make excuses when you have periods?
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