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How much detail did you give co-workers? How much detail did you give co-workers?

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Unread 04-16-2012, 12:10 AM
How much detail did you give co-workers?

I've been lurking and reading through the forums. I appreciate all the shared experiences, advice and information. Here's a question I couldn't find an existing thread for:

I don't really want to provide information to co-workers on why I'm going to be out on medical leave. For me, it's a private issue, and I just don't want to have a conversation about it with people who aren't my family or close friends.

Please let me know how you handled taking leave -- how much detail did you provide?

For some background, I'm 32, married, no kids, work in office corp. setting as a web developer and designer (desk job).

Thank you.
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Unread 04-16-2012, 12:14 AM
Re: How much detail did you give co-workers?

It's ok to keep it private. tell those that need to know and leave it at that. The last thing you'll want is to be listening advice from people you barely know.
Unread 04-16-2012, 05:12 AM
Re: How much detail did you give co-workers?

Though this is a private matter, I chose to tell my co-workers only because two of my other co-workers recently had the same surgery. I took it as a learning experience. They have actually been encouraging me to get my rest and remember that I am having major surgery. My co-workers are already planning on bringing meals to me and my family while I am out.

Remember it is your decision if you tell your co-workers or not.
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Unread 04-16-2012, 06:17 AM
Re: How much detail did you give co-workers?

I understand where ur coming from. I work at the hospital where I am having surgery tomorrow and I am so modest and private. Already had a girl come to me making jokes for when I am in recovery. I kindly told her I am very nervous and this is a private issue so please let me be . I assured her I knew she was playing with intentions to ease my fears but I explained how private I am and I am not the same person I am at work as I am in my personal life and this is very personal. I simply kinda of evade the why questions and go into how I appreciate them asking. most I find are just asking like u ask how much a baby weighs it is just what people ask. Know they don't mean harm it is just really what people ask. Don't jeopardize ur comfort level. This is about u. Take care of u first real caring people will understand. I know that advice doesn't take away the questions and it's still uncomfortable but knowing we understand and feel the same might I help.
Unread 04-16-2012, 09:08 AM
Re: How much detail did you give co-workers?

If you say something like, surgery for some abdominal issues, abdominal surgery, health issues, or even just medical leave, that may do it. Abdominal surgery or surgery for some health issues are my favorites. Really I didn't have further questions beyond "are you OK?" And saying yes I'll be fine was sufficient. Although coworkers who shared they were having a hyst did get more support than I did, but I'm very private. I think being vague works for all but the nosiest coworkers.
Unread 04-16-2012, 10:09 AM
Re: How much detail did you give co-workers?

Thank you so much for the answers. You've given me some ideas on how to field inquiries and what to say initially.
Unread 04-16-2012, 10:14 AM
Re: How much detail did you give co-workers?

I started out telling people that I was going to have surgery and would need a 6 week recovery. I don't work, but many people needed to know because I have obligations at my daughter's school that I'll be able to help with because I won't be able to come with my 2 year old perched on my hip. People started to speculate that I was getting breast implants, so I started telling people that I was having a hysterectomy. No one has asked me questions beyond that. How much i nfo you share really depends on what you're comfortable with them knowing. When I was a teacher I had to have polyps removed from my uterus. I tried to keep it private, but I taught high school and teenagers are so nosey. They finally found out what I was having done and it wasn't nearly as awful as I thought it was going to be. My students and co-workers were all very supportive.

If you really aren't comfortable with sharing about your hysterectomy then say you need abdominal surgery to fix some issues. People will most likely assume that you need something done to your bowels.
Unread 04-16-2012, 07:22 PM
Re: How much detail did you give co-workers?

I work in healthcare and this has been a big problem in my office because some people haven't been discreet when other people were on medical leave .I shared the information with my boss that i wanted to keep it private but learned last week that she's already been talking to people about my leave .I don't know for sure that she disclosed my reasoning for the leave but nonetheless I don't appreciate her discussing the fact that I'm even going on medical with people already especially with the woman who is not discreet because she's so pushy and bossy. I'm sure she made my boss disclose everything. This woman is very junior highish with her behavior and when other women have been off on medical leaves she has told everybody and anybody including our advertising agencies why the women were off on gynecological medical leaves.I was very disappointed and frustrated and upset and angry last week but I realize that I'm going to continue to just tell eople I'm just gonna be out for 6 weeks and just focus on my surgery and not women that I have no control over .even though we work in healthcare and talk about surgery all day long this is my body and my personal business and I don't feel that is something for the entire office to know especially as the center of the office in the position I hold.
Unread 04-16-2012, 07:59 PM
Re: How much detail did you give co-workers?

Well thankfully my mamanger is a woman, so she was aware of it already. Last month I had a very heavy period and I soaked through my pants so I had to leave to change clothes. She was VERY understanding which I really appreciated it. We are a two person office, so it was easy to get away!
Unread 04-17-2012, 05:05 PM
Re: How much detail did you give co-workers?

I found openness to be the easiest route. People were more sympathetic and understood. To be honest knowing it was a hysterectomy shut them up real quick like. I tried being vague, and it was really more of an issue than being up front for me. They were full of speculation and continued asking questions even when I said "female stuff." Shut them down instantly when I finally just said hysterectomy, especially my male co workers LOL.

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