Gifts for sick work collegues - Weight Loss Support

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Gifts for sick work collegues

anu75 profile image
anu75Restart Oct 2021

Hello, bit of advice / your thoughts...

As you know, I had my miscarriage. In the same week another member of staff lost her beloved dog. My manager knew what happened to me and I had said I really did not want people to know. In the past she has organised flowers for certain staff who have been off sick but do not want to have the details of their sickness disclosed. Anyway with this staff member of staff who lost her dog, she organised flowers. It sort of bothers me but then I think I shouldn't really care. I mean I obviously have a problem holding onto a pregnancy. I am asian and most of my work collegues are white and I didn't know if this 'bias' had anything to do with it.

The only other thing is another work collegue is unwell and she did not disclose for a number of months what was wrong to her team. Again she is asian. Now after 5 months, she has discolosed she is ill with cancer and the team are organising gifts. The senior managers knew all along and again did nothing until now ( with other collegues she organises pamper sets with her own money and then lets the team know what she is doing for cetain collegues going through a lot but don't want to diaclose).

I'm not sure if it is any type of racial bias as a male white collegue a few months ago was off ill and he got nothing organised for him. He did raise it at a team meetinh and it was brushed off. Thr manger just shrugged her shoulders.

I just wanted to ask what you all thought really of this work practice and if you think it 's fair.

In one way it is nice to think your work collegues think of you but as the practice is not equal I would also find it awkward, especially if you are not the 'Chosen one'.

On balance , I am ok with it but I personally find the practice unfair for collegues not chosen and unsure if it builds any resentment. This is a very minor issue , I know, when we think what others go through in the world right now x

4 Replies

Hello anu75. I'm so sorry about your miscarriage. I lost my first pregnancy over 40 yrs ago and I still remember that feeling of shock and loss, I still wonder what if. It wasn't until I had my miscarriage that I realised just how many women have miscarriages. I guess it's nature's way of sorting out things that are not quite right. I went on to have 2 chdn so please don't despair. The issue of gifts for work colleagues is a tricky one and having been a senior member of staff you can be damned if you do or damned if you don't. Ethnicity or gender should never come into it, it's about respecting personal wishes and showing people are valued. I do think that this sort of personnel approach to dealing with how a staff team shows mutual support needs to be agreed by the staff team as a whole. We were a relatively small staff and agreed that as a whole staff team we would celebrate birthdays and gifts for big birthdays but other issues wd be managed by individual teams, i.e office team wd deal with office, kitchen staff w kitchen, year group team (I was in a school) with their team. In that way we felt we can acknowledge and support in a more private way.

It does appear to me that you all do need to agree a way of handling this type of issue that does not leave people feeling aggrieved that they have been left out. Lets face it we spend more of our waking time at work, and it's vital we feel valued and supported.

I wish you well.

anu75 profile image
anu75Restart Oct 2021 in reply to dontdojogging

Thank you for your reply and sorry to hear about your loss 'don'tdojogging ' (great name by the way). For me , I feel on balance I 'm happy that I did not get anything and for me would feel awkward as I would l then feel for the male colleague who got nothing a few months ago. I agree, I think it needs to be fair across the board. Yes we do spend a lot of time at work and having the time out has made me realise how sucked in I got into teams and having more or less online work relations rather than proper works relations and how these things begin to be more significant ( I suppose a side effect of the pandemic). Hopefully as things ease , these sorts of issues can be ignored. I may say something in a couple of months , just generally on how we all handle illness.

PandQs profile image
PandQsMaintainer

Hi anu75, first of all I am so sorry that you lost your baby and are grieving. I know from experience for myself and close members of my family, how traumatic things can be over many years when you are trying desperately to create your family. But also, from a mixed ethnicity family, I would say please don't see racial bias when it genuinely might not be there. I suspect that flowers are sent to members of staff in times of serious illness or sadness, but maybe not when they are off for three weeks with flu. Your situation was certainly extremely sad, but the important thing is that you did not want your colleagues to know about it, and as you said, the manager normally tells people what she is doing (you know about the flowers that have been sent to others). In your situation and the other colleague who didn't want people to know about her cancer, the manager has respected that and kept it in confidence. Sending flowers would certainly have caused questions to be asked which you did not want.

anu75 profile image
anu75Restart Oct 2021

Yes I didn't want people to know. I have lost two other pregnancies and unfortunately for me my line manager left and then we fell out and he accused me of lying about my miscarriages which to this day really hurts as I really like my manager (he has gone on to say he never said anything but he said it three times 'you're a liar you would have told us'. I was also off last year for a month with labrinthitis and when I returned one of the female staff said under her breath' how can you get round if your so dizzy'. She then went on maternity leave and when she returned I did say it was wrong and she accused me of bullying her. Me and my manager and her went for a meeting but in crowded tea room and I felt very awkward about confronting her ( I also had realised that my baby was dead and I didn't want to start crying if she was going to start accusing me of bullying her). She accused me of bullying her because she was on a KIT day and still on maternity leave and had asked me for a meeting. I then raised the issue for a second time and she went to her manger and told her I was bullying her whilst on maternity leave. Our manager was quite perplexed as I am far from a bully. I actually just wanted her to apologize which I did not get in the end and then the manager just said 'oh sometimes people just say things'. So I made it clear I don't want people to know about this third miscarriage.

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