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Can we talk? I have chosen not to tell anyone outside my family and my boss that I'm having lapband surgery. The only reason I told my boss was so that I could have the time away as sick leave and was pleasantly surprized at her supportive response and promise that she would keep it confidential. I have especially chosen not to tell my co-workers (none of whom have a weight problem)as I work in a gossip mill..the likes of which you wouldn't believe. I know they will talk about me when the weight starts coming off and I can handle that but I don't want to discuss the ins and outs of lapband surgery or my reason for going this route; it's such a personal decision for me and while I'm very open by nature, this is something I want to be private. This was especially brought to light recently - I think the day after I booked my surgery date - when the topic of bariatric surgery was the hot discussion of the day. Hearing their distastful opinions about the procedures and the people who have the surgery left me utterly shocked and bewildered that the people I have known for so long would have such negative opinions. Then today, my boss called me into her office and asked me to close the door. My pulse quickened and I knew she was going to discuss the surgery and my leave request. My mind was racing, "Why hadn't I made the decision earlier in the year and had the procedure done this past summer when I was on vacation? No one would have needed to know." Well, apparently I have put her in an awkward position. When she is asked why I'm out of the office, she doesn't feel she can support me by saying that I'm on a mini vacation with friends - which is what I have told my co-workers. (And is true; I'm meeting friends in California for a few days before I go to TJ for the surgery). No, wait for it...she says she will say that I am away on sick leave having a medical procedure!!!! AND, she has instructed me - in no uncertain terms - to tell the 2 people who will be partially covering my job (one of whom is physically incapable of keeping anything to herself) that I'm having a 'medical procedure'. Her reason for feeling she is in an awkward position? She doesn't want my co-workers wondering how I come to have enough vacation time to be away. Well, I've never said to anyone at work that I'm taking vacation leave, or even implied it, I've just said that I'm taking some time from work. I had to fight back the tears when she told me this. She's a very determined, single minded woman who gets what she wants and there was no way she would reconsider; she had made up her mind. I just don't want to tell people anything more than I've already said. I'm very anxious and feeling more stressed about the surgery and my life after the band than I expected and am in tears over this work situation. What do I do?

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Not sure what kind of environment you are working in, but that seems like a breach of confidentiality on your boss's part. Is there an HR department that you can request input from? I know that means at least one more person knows, but if they can tell her she is not allowed to share that info, you have your solution. Me, personally, I would tell her my plans had changed. Maybe I couldn't get the funding. Or I'm just going to diet and exercise, surgery is too scary. BUT that I still plan on taking the time off and meeting up with my friends. Maybe she figures it out later, but then there's no reason to talk about it months after the fact, right? Good luck!

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Dear Call me Crazy,

I am an HR Manager and this is a violation of the HIPPA law (please tell her to look this up)

She at no time is obligated to tell anyone of your medical condition or that you are having surgery.

She simply has to say you are on leave. Do you have an HR department? If so I would certainly speak with them.

Hang in there, one of my favorite sayings is common sense is not common.

Sleevester73

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Dear Buffalot,

I feel for you so much. I understand you wanting your privacy regarding your decision to have surgery. It is nobody's business unless you choose to share your decision. Your boss is DEAD WRONG!!! She is not behaving like a boss at all. It's not her right to say ANYTHING about why you are not at work. It's not ethical for her to discuss your private business with anyone! I love Sleevester's comment about common sense is not common. Haha. Your boss has NO common sense whatsoever!

I have chosen not to share with anyone outside my immediate family that I had lap band surgery. I am a very private person and I too have listened to ignorant people's rants about why someone should not have this surgery. These people are not educated about the surgery. As I have lost weight, people have asked me how I did it. I tell them portion control and exercise. This is the truth without going into detail.

Bottom line, this is your life and your body and your business. Don't feel bad for being private about your decision. I was anxious before surgery and scared too. It's okay to feel this way. You are going to do great. It is the best decision I have made and I don't regret it. Please don't let your boss get away with her wrongful behavior.

Let us know how this turns out. Take care!

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Can we talk? I have chosen not to tell anyone outside my family and my boss that I'm having lapband surgery. The only reason I told my boss was so that I could have the time away as sick leave and was pleasantly surprized at her supportive response and promise that she would keep it confidential. I have especially chosen not to tell my co-workers (none of whom have a weight problem)as I work in a gossip mill..the likes of which you wouldn't believe. I know they will talk about me when the weight starts coming off and I can handle that but I don't want to discuss the ins and outs of lapband surgery or my reason for going this route; it's such a personal decision for me and while I'm very open by nature, this is something I want to be private. This was especially brought to light recently - I think the day after I booked my surgery date - when the topic of bariatric surgery was the hot discussion of the day. Hearing their distastful opinions about the procedures and the people who have the surgery left me utterly shocked and bewildered that the people I have known for so long would have such negative opinions. Then today, my boss called me into her office and asked me to close the door. My pulse quickened and I knew she was going to discuss the surgery and my leave request. My mind was racing, "Why hadn't I made the decision earlier in the year and had the procedure done this past summer when I was on vacation? No one would have needed to know." Well, apparently I have put her in an awkward position. When she is asked why I'm out of the office, she doesn't feel she can support me by saying that I'm on a mini vacation with friends - which is what I have told my co-workers. (And is true; I'm meeting friends in California for a few days before I go to TJ for the surgery). No, wait for it...she says she will say that I am away on sick leave having a medical procedure!!!! AND, she has instructed me - in no uncertain terms - to tell the 2 people who will be partially covering my job (one of whom is physically incapable of keeping anything to herself) that I'm having a 'medical procedure'. Her reason for feeling she is in an awkward position? She doesn't want my co-workers wondering how I come to have enough vacation time to be away. Well, I've never said to anyone at work that I'm taking vacation leave, or even implied it, I've just said that I'm taking some time from work. I had to fight back the tears when she told me this. She's a very determined, single minded woman who gets what she wants and there was no way she would reconsider; she had made up her mind. I just don't want to tell people anything more than I've already said. I'm very anxious and feeling more stressed about the surgery and my life after the band than I expected and am in tears over this work situation. What do I do?

It is illegal for your boss to disclose anything about your procedure. Please let her know this. Simply tell her that you understand where she is coming from but she is required by law to keep what you have told her private. All of that being said,it doesn't help what's already been put out there. There is probably already some talk about you having a procedure. If I were you I would pull the two people covering for you to the side and pretend to be taking them into your confidence. I would say "Hey guys, I normally don't like to talk about personal things but since you'll be covering for me I need to fill you in. I'm having a small female problem and have found a doctor in California that is known for doing a really good job with this particular problem. It's going to require surgery so I will be out for a little while. I find this to be a little embarassing and really don't want to talk about it any further, you understand, don't you?" That should put it to rest, at least with them. I have found the more embarassing you make the problem seem the more embarassed people are to ask about it. Then bring back a small present for those covering for you, a keychain or mug or something equally touristy. When you give it to them tell them how much you appreciate them covering for you and thank them for keeping your confidence. They'll feel they are a part of a selective little "club" with you and it will probably keep them from wagging their tongues too much. Trust me I am a teacher and you have not seen a rumor mill until you have been in a faculty room. Let me know how it goes,

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I am an HR manager in a healthcare facility and what your boss is doing is a HIPAA violation. Everyone has a right to privacy when it comes to their health issues. You need to contact your HR department because she can be fined and fired for violating this. We have fired several recently for this exact thing, one being a manager. You should not be put in any position where you feel you have to tell you medical issues to anyone.

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no no no!! you DO NOT have to tell ANYONE about the medical procedure. She is out of her mind and seems like she's a big contributer to the whole gossip in the office if she can't have control and keep this to herself. I know for a fact she can not force you to tell ANYONE why you are taking the time off. I once called out of work sick and explained to my boss what was wrong... in confidence. he then turned around and told everyone in a meeting. everyone was so offended that he would talk about my personal issues, well, he is no longer working with us.

So no, this is a personal issue and no one will even know you had anything done when you get back. So talk to her or your HR department.

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no no no!! you DO NOT have to tell ANYONE about the medical procedure. She is out of her mind and seems like she's a big contributer to the whole gossip in the office if she can't have control and keep this to herself. I know for a fact she can not force you to tell ANYONE why you are taking the time off. I once called out of work sick and explained to my boss what was wrong... in confidence. he then turned around and told everyone in a meeting. everyone was so offended that he would talk about my personal issues, well, he is no longer working with us.

So no, this is a personal issue and no one will even know you had anything done when you get back. So talk to her or your HR department.

Stand up for yourself now, or "she" will continue to do this to others. She may not even know what she is doing is wrong and you need to let her know.

Stay focused on doing what is right for you and your health, you are making a good decision and consistent with that, you need to tell her that her decision is wrong!

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