I Lost A Promotion ‘Coz My Periods Decided To Arrive On A Critical Day At Work!

Especially in big companies with their huge campus, state-of-the-art technology and security, can't they provide some basic amenities to the women working for them?

It was a critical day at the workplace for me as I was supposed to give my first-ever presentation in front of clients and foreign delegates. And my much-needed, and coveted promotion veered around that.

But unexpectedly my stomach bloated, my muscles cramped like never before and I felt fatigued and weary.

I was feeling irritable and emotionally low and went through intense mood swings. Anger, sadness, and anxiety, all emotions were changing as quickly as thoughts one after the other.

Periods!

The moment I felt sticky and wet down there I knew Aunt Flo had already arrived.

Last week I was busy as hell preparing for the presentation. Every day turned into a long day full of hard work, on top of little sleep and screwing my brains out most of the night. Amidst this hullabaloo, I overlooked that I was nearing my date.

I was at my wit’s end. I rummaged through my handbag and reached for the safe compartment where I always keep a few pads for such unexpected and unforeseen times. I was surprised to find nothing but immediately remembered that last week I had given it to a colleague who needed it just as much as I do now.

Having situated on the outskirts of the city, finding any store or shop near the office building was out of the question.

Time was running out and I was sweating bullets as I was in an all-white outfit.

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Scared and confused I couldn’t discuss it with my senior managers and went home on the pretext of ill health.

I could not give my presentation and was deprived of otherwise sure promotion. Who or what was responsible for this?

Who should I blame for this? Who should I hold responsible for this?  My company, my situation, or myself being a woman? Everyone or none? It’s an ambiguous question.

I wish I could open up and speak about my anxiety and apprehensions.

I wish I could have gotten the essentials on time; I would be a senior analyst today.

How can a good work environment make it easier on employees who menstruate?

A good work environment and culture are vital for employees to feel comfortable, work efficiently, and be productive. A positive setting assures employees especially women to feel free to share their problems and confer their concerns with higher-up authorities. Organizational culture and workplace design should be such that women feel encouraged to speak their minds without trepidation and embarrassment, without the fear of judgment and categorization.

Women seem to be less concerned and careful about their health as they get lost in the labyrinth of prolonged work hours and lasting job demands.

As the number of women is soaring in the workforce every day, isn’t imperative to take care of the basic needs of the women.

Such big companies, their huge campus, and buildings with state-of-the-art technology and security, can’t they provide some basic amenities to the women working for them?

Can’t companies and offices make arrangements to provide women with clean tampons and menstrual pads along with other toiletries? Shouldn’t it be made mandatory for the company to install sanitary pad dispensers in women’s washrooms for the well-being of the women employees? To provide them with health, comfort, and happiness. To provide them extra peace of mind and freedom from worry so that they can work more effectively and efficiently.

Are we still stuck in the last century and the silence around periods?

Though we have reached the moon somewhere we are still stuck with the trivialities of menstruation and period. Instead of spreading awareness and the importance of cleanliness and hygiene in such times, we hide it and consider it impure and dirty.

Entrenched with societal stigma and shame, talking about periods and menstruation openly still seems more of a taboo. In some parts of India, it is considered an embarrassing and dirty affair and women are kept isolated from the household and treated as untouchables when this monthly visitor arrives.

In some contexts, it is rendered socially invisible shrouded in privacy, and an extensively concealed affair.

It’s not a matter of shame and embarrassment. It’s Mother Nature’s gift and feminine divinity to be able to produce life, we wear that red badge of courage with honor and pride as it matters to sustain humanity and mankind.

Image source: Sad Woman Looking through a Window by Dziggyfoto from Getty Images, Free for Canva Pro

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