{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Hi guys! Not a tech related question but how do you tell your male boss that you're running late because you woke up with your period and are almost dead from the cramps? \nI don't know how to frame it right I just said I'm late due to personal issues. Why do us women try to make legit issues seem like not a big deal? I'm open about the conversations but not at work place.", "post_id": "62668e1dbd399b0039edeb13", "reply_count": 35, "vote_count": 15, "bowl_id": "58f8171d753e990016608c07", "bowl_name": "Women in Tech", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Hi guys! Not a tech related question but how do you tell your male boss that you're running late because you woke up with your period and are almost dead from the cramps?
I don't know how to frame it right I just said I'm late due to personal issues. Why do us women try to make legit issues seem like not a big deal? I'm open about the conversations but not at work place.

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We’re conditioned to minimize our issues so we’re seen as a team player instead of “trouble”. 😔 There’s also a taboo surrounding periods and it’s difficult for people who don’t have periods to understand what they feel like and how debilitating it can be.

With that being said, if you don’t want to tell them directly — and you don’t have to! — I believe that “personal issues” is a good way to frame it if it’s once or twice a year.

If you’re worried that it’s too vague, in the past I’ve told a boss that I’m feeling unwell and I’ve taken some medication and I’ll be in as soon as it kicks in and I start feeling a bit better. If you routinely have painful periods your HR dept may be able to help with accommodations so that there’s something on record if you’re late to work each month due to your period. Period pains are legit and we should treat them like a real illness!

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Do you know if he has a wife, sisters, or daughters? If he does, then he'll likely be semi to well-versed in this arena and then you can decide how much you share.

Otherwise, stick with medical issue.

On a side note, I had excruciating cramps for two decades. Finally, someone told me about IUDs, stating there were solutions to mitigating extended painful periods. It was painful for the first two months, but I now feel like a new woman those times of the month.

Good luck!

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I see two options:

1. Lean in and own it, normalize talking about periods and say it straight forward and factually. It’s a medical issue like any other.

Or

2. Go for the no-details-needed “temporary medical issue” and leave it at that.

With any medical issue, you never need to share details. How much you share is up to your comfort level and your relationship with your boss.

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I agree 100%. Personally, “I’m not feeling well” should be sufficient. But if they want to pry I’d give them the details in vivid color. 🤷🏻‍♀️

likefunny

Can you say you weren't feeling well? It's legit!

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Don’t give more than you weren’t feeling well. It’s not their business and in some cases illegal for them to ask

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There is a stigma about it because you don’t talk about it, period 🩸

I tell my male manager than I am on my period and will start later or take some time off until I feel better or my painkillers kickin. I am a young professional and work in a male dominated industry (tech and legal).

I have found it good just being transparent about it - it’s feels refreshing for me and I think they also appreciate it as they know what is actually going on…

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Wait I have to do this frequently - I usually say something a long the lines of “hey I’m not feeling super well (girl things, sorry! TMI!) but I think I should make it in later. Super sorry!! Will be there as soon as I can!” It makes it sound like you’re super sorry and they’ll feel to awkward to be upset about it hahahaha

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I would normally think to reply just like this but if it’s a male manager I think replying girly things and being overly apologetic over something you can’t control and that happens to half of the population is just not good for any woman. It makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me when there’s not and this is a normal human thing that managers should have HR training on to not pry and be flexible about.

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just say it. As women its something we deal with, and we shouldn't have to censor ourselves to not make men uncomfortable. "Hi, im sorry im going to be late today. I woke up to extreme menstrual cramps but will be in asap." i guarantee he won't question you further & won't ever even bring it up.

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YES!

I understand it might make you feel uncomfortable to talk about it but that’s the stigma right there. By not talking about it like it’s super normal we don’t make it better. So I usually just say it like I would announce I have a headache…

“Hey all, woke up with terrible cramps. Just took some painkillers and waiting for them to kick in. I’ll be a bit late” or “I don’t feel well, heading home early” and if someone asks what’s up (Often these days people are like “oh no is it covid?”) I go like “Not to worry, just paying the price for being a woman” :-)

I find that it’s super normal in my team now and nobody makes a face or anything, so I can recommend this approach☺️

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Tbh… he should understand. I would say that I am running late due to terrible abdominal cramps.

I have suffered with this my entire life. I did get lucky that my current boss is understanding. But if you use the “personal issues” too often it could be held against you. So, please be careful.

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This is the first time I've used it because I was genuinely so confused as to what to say, usually I get my periods around the same time so I'm mentally prepared! This time it was early. But definitely agree I was hesitant to use that excuse.

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I tell my reports that I don’t want them to share with me personal things because I don’t want them to feel that obligation. I even tell them not to tell me that it’s a dentist appointment ———just to always say I had an unplanned or a planned personal issue. If they are sick And need more time off, usually they still tell me. But I feel like some bosses are just too judgmental.

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I have same problem. I always find hard to tell my male manager that I need to rest as I usually have heavy period cramps.

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Just apologize for being late. Don’t give a reason.

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"Why were you late this morning?" "Just felt like it" 😂😂

likefunny

Others have mentioned this, but if you said you had a medical situation they absolutely should not press for details.

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I think saying something like "Personal emergency", "medical situation" is fine and saying it's all under control now is acceptable. No one in a professional setting should push for further details

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Sometimes, they can be dismissive: "you've been getting those for a while now, don't you have a handle on it by now?"

Gratefully, I can say this hasn't happened to me. But I will back up any lady that needs the support. I got midol, emergency pads, and so much chocolate.

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Hmmm this is a good question. I'd like to know, too. I usually just tell them that I woke up with a migraine or something...

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I said migraine once and I legit have that problem but we shouldn't be covering it up like this. They will never know till we tell them it's massive pain and requires rest!

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"Not feeling well"

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NO. You dont need to disclose that ..

I usually say I’m dealing with lady issues if they pry and they usually stop asking lol

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I'm all for normalizing the discussion of periods, but in this case, it's more important your boss doesn't feel entitled to know your personal business.

I usually send an email stating I ran into a couple of unexpected things and I will be late. Maybe add what time I'll be there, if I know. Most bosses don't ask for more details. The few that have, I say it's personal and sensitivity and I'm uncomfortable sharing. Most people just back off after that.

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I would mirror your org culture. In some workplaces everyone talks openly about health issues, other places are stricter about everyone’s confidentiality and don’t want people to disclose health information unless it’s absolutely necessary. If I’m late I just wait until someone asks, and they usually don’t.

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