“How Will She Handle The Presentation If She Sits There Saying She’s In Pain?”

Periods and related hormonal issues are a part of most women's life. We need to support them, not make fun of them at the workplace.

The office is hustling and bustling with work. There is a coffee break and groups of staff are seen laughing and gossiping.

Oh! that Astha ma’am… how she comes waving a newspaper like a fan everyday, claiming she is feeling very hot…hahahaha! She shows her blouse sleeves which now have become tight leaving a mark on her arm, attributing it to water retention of menopause. Must be! Her irritable nature speaks volumes….hahahahaaa they all laugh.

And that Sandhya, married for the past eight years is not able to conceive. She said her doctor has diagnosed her as a case of endometriosis. She says she has excruciating pain during periods.

We people have seen her holding her tummy while at work.

And gosh! Have you seen Shikha has hairy skin to an extent that even her face shows up hair at wrong places? And just see her weight…. who would ever marry her?

*****************************

There is an announcement in the room. It is about the next meeting scheduled after three days. Saurabh, the project manager, delegates the team leader Shovan to handle the meeting and give the respective responsibilities to his team.

Shovan goes up to Saurabh and almost whispers in his ears “Should we include Sandhya or not?”
“Of course you have to. She has been working on this project for the past many days”
“But sir …err…err….”
“Go on… what’s the issue?”
“Sir…. She suffers from some disease…and keeps on saying she cannot sit or stand or walk and what not…!” he starts laughing loud.

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Saurabh raises his eyebrows and looks up. “What disease? But she comes to the office daily.”

“Arrey sir you don’t know. She comes daily but is all the time either sitting with her head down at the desk or is drinking coffee or even going to the nap room frequently. Her friends are helping her do her work.

“Sir if you agree, we can talk to Neil sir or Astha Ma’am and take Sandhya off the project. I’m sure Rajeev or Utpal can handle it much better.”

“Hmmmm…OK I never knew about Sandhya and her disease….”

Shikha ambles through the corridor and as she is entering the Project manager’s room, she stumbles upon Shovan who mocks her.

“Oh oh…. the elephant is here… let’s take refuge….”
“And Shikha? Why don’t you join the gym yaar?”
“Look at how you are swelling up like a flooded river…” and he laughs out loud…..much to Shikha’s annoyance.

Together, they both start going to Astha ma’am’s chamber to discuss. Neil, another senior executive is already there and both of them are seen discussing the upcoming project.
“Yes come in”
Astha calls in Saurabh and Shovan and asks them to be seated.

“Ma’am, we wanted Sandhya to be replaced by someone from the men… as…”

“What do you mean?” Interrupts Ashtha ma’am and Neil looks on wide eyed.
“Ma’am Sandhya is having some disease which all of us know of. She will not be able to handle her stomach pain during the meeting…”

Their conversation is interrupted by a phone call and she signals to them that she will talk later.

Day of the meeting

Saurabh, Shovan, Neil, Astha, Shikha and Sandhya all settle around an oval table while waiting for the delegates to arrive for the meeting. Shovan feels upset and he is sure that Sandhya’s disease is going to botch up today’s meeting.

In walks the director of the company, Mr. Shekhar Arora, as everyone stands up to greet him. After greeting them back with a smile, he walks up to the projector screen. He asks for a mic….and starts addressing the gathering.

“Guys today I have an important agenda for this meeting. Are you aware?”

“Yes sir…yes sir…” every one choruses.

“Today we are going to talk about periods.”

“Whatttttt?” Almost everyone is heard saying this in disgust.

“Yes you heard me right….I will talk to you about periods. Shovan tell me what do you know about periods?”
Everyone is stunned….including the girls specially Sandhya.
Shovan stammers….”Sir…errr…errr….It’s a woman’s issue….”

“No Shovan…It’s not an issue. It’s what every woman endures in those five days in the form of pain, bleeding, bloated feeling, mood swings, nausea every month. Yet she doesn’t give up coming to office or looking after her family. We tease them, taunt them, bully them and want them replaced. What say Shovan? Ms Astha suffers from menopausal symptoms and Shikha has PCOD, a condition where her hormonal system has gone haywire. These girls need our support not our mockery.”

Shovan was pale. How did the director know about this?

“Sandhya is our star here. She will present the case if she feels fit enough or else we will wait till her pain subsides.”

Sandhya’s eyes were welled up as she was trying to blink them back. “No sir…I’m fine today….yes sir….sir…I will present it…”

And she walks up to the podium amidst loud claps and cheer.

Shikha is shedding tears as Shovan walks up to her to apologize.

Author’s note: Every girl after puberty has her periods. During periods she may or may not have abdominal pain. This pain increases with the blood flow and subsides in a day or two. It may sometimes be unbearable enough to warrant medicine. If this pain has started recently and was not there since menarche’, the lady could be suffering from an entity called endometriosis which can also be the causative factor for infertility.

Periods are nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, they are just as normal as any other system like eating or breathing. Those in their periods need to and are advised to take care of hygiene like changing pads regularly and using the washroom frequently. They may therefore need a separate toilet which workplaces need to cater to.

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About the Author

Lalita Vaitheeswaran

Lalita Vaitheeswaran is a gynecologist having a passion for writing in both Hindi and English. She has authored 6 books of poetry, both in Hindi and English, and a book of short stories in English, read more...

10 Posts | 5,769 Views

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