Mortified mum told off at work for period cramps

What year is this?

A mum says she’s ‘flabbergasted’ at her treatment after reaching for a hot water bottle at work to ease her period cramps.


Sharing her story on Mumsnet, she says that she was having a terrible day with menstrual cramps and that her regular painkillers weren’t making a difference.  

Remembering that she had a hot water bottle stashed away for chilly days she filled it up and popped it on her tum before getting back to work.

Her ‘sort-of-supervisor’, who for the story is called Guy, then apparently wandered over and upon noticing the hot water bottle asked the mum how she could possibly be cold.

‘I say “um, no, just for the pain relief”. He looks confused and then literally horrified and then he walks away.’

She’s prepared to put the awkward moment behind her when suddenly she gets a message from the company’s HR department asking her for a meeting.

‘She then tells me that I shouldn’t disclose my medical problems to anyone who isn’t part of HR as it can make them uncomfortable. I’m literally shocked, I explain exactly what happened, she says “yes I understand, if you’re so unwell you need a hot water bottle you should be home, Guy is extremely uncomfortable and it’s unprofessional”.’

Office worker with stomach pain.
(Credit: Getty)

The mum says she was ‘flabbergasted. Especially considering that Guy has been known to take meetings with clients whilst laying flat on the floor on his back because of back problems – which seems to me both unprofessional and likely to make people uncomfortable, not that I really cared personally.’

‘Am I right to be completely f***ing furious?’ she asks.

And by the sounds of it the people who have read her story say ‘yes, she is.’

One person wrote ‘What did I actually just read?’.

Another says: ‘That’s an idiotic attitude and Guy needs to grow up. Surprised HR took this up with you. It’s beyond weird and sexist and you’re right to be furious.’

Most agree she shouldn’t have to put up with that: ‘I’d put in a complaint. You didn’t disclose a medical condition, you simply said you were using the hot water bottle for pain relief. Guy needs to stop clutching his pearls.’

This article first published on New Idea.

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