View Full Version : Discuss Medical Test with Supervisor

6-20-11, 7:48pm
I took a job working for a municipality 9 months ago. The job supports the Town Manager and the Board. Like all jobs, I have two hats on at one time. I seem to have fit in fairly well with the Board and regular staff. The Town Manager has been a pickle from the start. She's definitely an A Personality style. She's fairly disorganized and tends to gossip with staff about me and everyone else too. I mean she gossips with other secretaries about secretaries. It's fairly immature I know.

Seriously speaking, I am scheduled for a fine needle biopsy on Wednesday of next week. She knows I had a second mammo planned but only I and a few friends are aware of the results. I need three cysts checked for what is inside. I have been facing my fears and developing courage to go forth with the tests. The outcome is unknown and a challenge on its own. I am uncertain if I should tell the Town Manager as I would prefer confidentiality. This may sound awkward but I would be more comfortable chatting about this with regular staff and would trust them to support me. I just don't know what she may say. Should I keep this quiet?

6-20-11, 8:05pm
Yes. All she needs to know is that you have a medical appointment and that you need the appropriate time off. Your manager doesn't need to know any more than that. Most of my staff tell me things that I'm not sure I really want to know, but some don't tell me anything about their personal lives at all. And that's okay. All I really need to know is a) when will you be out of the office, and b) if you you have health issues do you need any "special accommodations" such as FMLA leave or flexible hours, etc.

6-20-11, 9:49pm
It is none of her business, Cypress, and she's already proven that she doesn't have any discretion whatsoever.

I wouldn't add to your stress by talking to someone like that about it. Gather your support system around you instead. (She can hardly be considered your support group if she does the things you say...gossips are only pariahs)

Big hugs to you - I have been through this and know just how scary it is.

6-21-11, 7:07am
The management side of me says, tell her you need to take Wednesday off for follow up medical testing but do not elaborate. The reality side says say no more, just call in sick that morning and go on with the testing. I am trying to keep my perspective and have doubts about her support at all. It's awkward having to consider coping with someones response. According to my benefit sick time, I have 61 hours set aside for illness. The test may show only clear fluid in the cysts, but we don't know. The last thing I need to hear is her talking to someone about my medical condition. I have mentioned this to her on several occasions, even with her office door closed, the acoustics are such that unless she speaks in a whisper, the words come thru the door and walls.

I appreciate the replies.

iris lily
6-21-11, 10:44am
In my world, a scheduled "out all day for medical tests" is better than "call in sick the day of."

But do not give her specific information, no need to do so even if she asks. If she asks "test for what?" you just smile and say "oh, I won't go into details, but I do need to be gone for tests."

She'd better be mindful of chatting about employee personal health issues since that could land her in legal trouble, I would think.

For me, the less I know, the better. I just want to know will they be at work fully capable of performing all duties, and leave the medical details to someone else.

6-25-11, 12:43pm
As a follow up to this concern, I did mention yesterday that I would be out all day Wednesday. She didn't blink an eye at that, she was wrapped up in something else and not paying much attention. I did not say out all day for medical tests. I had an appropriate answer but did not need it.

Thanks, let's just hope the tests are even less of a concern than dealing with mercurial management.

6-27-11, 12:34am
Best wishes to you, Cypress, on your dr. visit, and for a happy outcome. I have been through this too and it is stressful. Give yourself some extra TLC, and surround yourself with trusted, supportive friends.

You will be in my thoughts.

6-27-11, 5:51am
Cypress - I hope all goes well, and, as an HR-type, I'll chime in for those who might be reading this thread. Aside from your personal instincts for privacy, HIPPA laws preclude your boss from not needing to know what your medical situation is. You handled it like a champ; should she have pressed, Iris Lily's response would've been a great way to go.