(Closed) IBS and telling work?

posted 5 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
4439 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

I also work for a small family company and my co-worker has IBS.  

So clearly she told me, LOL but because we’re a small business we notice when somethings wrong with one of the other 3 in the office and discuss it (not always my fave but it helps in these situations)

She recenly moved to a gluten free diet and is doing 90% better!

Post # 5
Member
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I also have it. I didn’t tell my employer specifically, but I worked for a pretty big company (and it was mostly men… and they were all much older than I…). I just said I had a digestive system issue, if they asked. (they rarely did though – they were big on ‘get the f*** out of here if you even think you’re sick.)

In your situation I would just ask, since its a small company, are you comfortable with the higher ups? Like if there’s no embarassment or whatever (not that its an embarassing disease, just that it can be kind of awkward to explain it to someone who doesn’t know exactly what it entails) I’d say go ahead and tell them. If you aren’t comfortable going into specifics, maybe just do what I did and say you have issues with your digestive system that are typically managed by diet and lifestyle but occassionally flare up and its out of your control. 🙂

Best of luck!

Post # 7
Member
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@missjewels:  Oh that does suck. No one who doesn’t have IBS or a similar condition can possibly understand, and it’s too bad that you work for people who think you should be able to work through anything. I wish I had better advice. 🙁

Post # 9
Member
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@missjewels:  Oh. my. God. That is awful – both the accident/injury and what your bosses daughter said! I can completely understand why you’d be scared to discolose it. A lot of people don’t consider it a “real” disease anyway which is so much BS (no pun intended). 

I think, though, that if you feel like they’re looking down on you, you should say something. Maybe even just something like, ‘I feel really badly about missing work, but I wanted you to know that I do have a medical condition that’s out of my control. I try to, and usually succeed, in managing it with diet and lifestyle. I am not lazy nor am I taking this time to just relax – it’s can be a very debilitating condition. I just wanted you to know, so that you don’t think poorly of me.’  They might still say that you’re being a big baby about it, but at least you tried and can defend yourself if you hear that you’re being talked about in a less than complimentary manner?

Post # 10
Member
817 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo

I don’t have a chronic medical condition, but I am a manager and I would always always always advise telling your boss. I would go to the owner, ask for a private meeting, and just explain that you have been diagnosed with IBS and sometimes it results in discomfort or embarassing symptoms. You will never ever let work slide, but sometimes you will need to flex your hours/work from home in order to be able to feel well enough to do any of your job. You may also want a note from your doctor detailing your diagnosis and what kinds of accomodations you may need, on an as-needed basis only of course. Emphasize that most of the time you are totally fine to work, but when you are sick it is important that you take time to manage it immediately so that you won’t get sicker and end up having to take more time later.

Your company is probably too small for you to get actual legal protection, but it’s always good from an employee/employer relations standpoint to be upfront so they know what to expect.

Post # 12
Member
4099 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@missjewels:  I know it’s different, but FH has Crohns disease, as soon as he found out, he told his employer.. When he quit that job, he informed his new employer immediately… Than quit that job and went back to the old one, and reiterated his problem… They seem to understand, and seem to be willing to help and be flexible when they can be (he works for a small diesel shop).. I say if you think it will be an issue, mention it to your supervisor/someone above you, so they atleast know that it’s not an intentional thing….

Post # 13
Member
10573 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

You can always inform them that you have a chronic condition without disclosing what it is.  Most doctors are more than willing to give you a note stating what your needs may be without giving the condition.

Post # 14
Member
1577 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I have IBS & celiac disease.  In workplaces that have a less-than-private washroom like you described; I always try to inform. If I am having an attack or accidental gluten exposure, or just a bad week, I don’t have the luxury of waiting for lunch or going elsewhere 🙁

I have found people much more understanding if they know it’s a medical issue.

Post # 15
Member
4439 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

@missjewels:  Can I ask what kind she had?


I don’t think that she even knows what kind she has/had.  Her doctor was very dismissive about it, telling her to just take pepto bismal on a daily basis.

and if your employers know?


They do know, like I said we’re a small business so they’re concerned for her, we all interact on a daily basis.  She tells me more about it just because we’re in the same space daily so I see how it affects her more.

and if she misses alot of time?

She does miss A LOT of time, but she is elderly (like 65) and has other issues including a predisposition to lung issues/infections and really terrible migraines.  She used to be in the full time position that I now have but because of the amount of time she missed (among other things) she was moved to the part time position.

Thanks.

No problem!  What do your employers think?  (If they know?)

Post # 16
Member
817 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo

@missjewels:  Theoretically your company would have a policy about use of leave time, call-outs vs planned vacation, etc etc. If you have an employee manual, it should be in that. Since your company is so small though, who knows…. The policy at my job is no more than two call-outs per month (defined as less than 24-hours notice of illness, but if you’re sick for 3 days that’s one call-out, not 3), and no more than 6 per year. After that they can start giving you shit. I would certainly have concerns about someone who was calling out more than twice a month (that’s more than once every two weeks!) but if it’s twice in the past year your manager is an inhuman monster if they think you’re out too much. Are you using paid leave?

And I will 2nd PPs, talk to your boss. And get a note, not necessarily with your diagnosis, but with what accomodations you may need. If they have forenotice, you have way more leeway if you get sick for an extended period or go therough periods of really bad flare-ups.

Good luck! With an illness like that, it’s enough of a burden on your lifestyle as it is. Work should not be the thing standing in your way.

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