everything you need to know about being a new employee, and more about the menstrual cup manager

I helped Medium put together a guide on being the new person at work.

And that manager earlier this week who’s pressuring people to use menstrual cups? I talked to Bustle about the situation.

{ 41 comments… read them below }

  1. Amber T*

    I fully appreciate all the Parks & Rec gifs used for the menstrual cup article. Another great work show where it makes for great comedy, but the boss might be a little too into her colleagues.

    1. PB*

      I agree. I re-watched Parks and Rec recently, and realized how awful it would be to have Leslie as a boss. She’s so into her work, she does not understand why everyone else wouldn’t want to put in a 100 hour work week!

      1. nnn*

        It’s so interesting how they managed to write a whole show where every single character is delightful as a character to watch on TV but would be exhausting to have in your life in real life.

  2. Hold My Cosmo*

    Corporette included the menstrual cup article as the “WTF of the Week”, which, lol.

  3. CouldntPickAUsername*

    Wow, I missed that letter earlier in the week. I don’t have tons to add aside from being reminded of the time Captain Awkward had to shut down someone emailing her about the menstral cup and to also point out that this manager is making a big assumption about these women all being cisgendered.

    1. Serenata*

      Or what about assuming that the women didn’t go through early menopause, or have her uterus removed because of cancer, etc.? I’m 35 and I have PCOS, so I only get a few periods per year… and they’re waaaaayyyyy too much for a Diva Cup to handle when they come. If someone gave me a menstrual cup, I’d be giving that thing back right away, citing medical reasons, and hopefully they’d feel a tad embarrassed by their presumption.

      1. many bells down*

        My SIL is losing her uterus to cancer, at 36, and she’s devastated. She’d be too nice to say anything but a manager like this would absolutely shatter her.

    2. Shannon*

      Also, cisgendered women of childbearing age can not have periods for a variety of reasons, some of which can be voluntary. I choose to take birth control which stifles my period because I just really don’t want to have it. Period.

    3. Janie*

      FYI it’s just “gender”. Adjective, not verb. Like “tall” – a person is not a “talled” person lol.

  4. Amethystmoon*

    I would add to the things about being a new employee:

    1. Don’t sit there and brag about yourself non-stop to your coworker in the office chat program because you’re bored. Had a co-worker who did that and he turned out to be completely the opposite.

    2. Don’t talk non-stop about what your previous workplace did, because you’re not there anymore.

    3. Actually do make an effort to go back and read your notes when you have questions and retain information, especially if you know you have memory issues. I spent hours writing up documentation because co-worker requested it, but then he wouldn’t read it and asked the same questions 10+ times, even though there were click-here, click-there screen shot guides that answered all of his questions. Bragger co-worker did that for over 2 years and the boss wouldn’t do anything about it.

    4. Don’t constantly pester your new coworkers on chat with random personal talk just because you’re bored. Some of us do have work that we’re getting paid to do and cannot actually spend hours online just chatting. I had to ask bragger coworker repeatedly and constantly to please leave me alone because I needed to concentrate on what I was doing. He would repeatedly not leave me alone.

    1. AnonyMousse*

      I second the importance of #4. Don’t assume familiarity where there is none. Build that rapport over time and it will be much stronger and more meaningful. For the love of god don’t touch your new coworkers when greeting them.

    2. fnom*

      Re: #2, and that’s the reason the “at my OLD school…” girl on The Magic School Bus was annoying.

    3. irene adler*

      If you had done # 3 for me- I’d think you were a god.

      For me, whenever I trained new employees, it concerned me if they NEVER asked any questions. And my concern usually turned out to be valid. It can’t be stressed enough- ask the questions (but obviously if someone has been kind enough to take the time and trouble to create documentation, thoroughly consult this first).

    4. The Other Dawn*

      2. Don’t talk non-stop about what your previous workplace did, because you’re not there anymore.

      I agree with this one in most circumstances; however, I just started a new job and was hired specifically to affect change and they’re actually wanting to know how I did things at the last company, since we had very clean audits and worked efficiently–as efficiently as we can in a highly regulated industry, anyway. I’ve been there a week and have mentioned many times how X was done there, we did Y, etc. I’ve apologized several times for doing that and was told, “No, that’s why we hired you. We WANT to know how else these things can be done.”

      But yeah, 99.99% of the time we shouldn’t go on about how we did things at other companies.

  5. NYC Redhead*

    Sorry of this is off-topic, but I was at a nonprofit event today about lack of access to menstrual products by people who use food stamps and rely on food pantries (a big problem in the US) when someone asked about menstrual cups and whether they’d be better to provide from a cost and environmental standpoint. The response was tactful and boiled down to:
    – We respect a woman’s decision about what products she chooses for her body
    – Menstrual cups need access to privacy & hot water, which not all people have
    – Environmental degradation is a big problem but should not be “balanced on the backs of the poor,” so to speak

    1. RUKiddingMe*

      Also, it’s unfair tell “the poor” that they have thus one single choice because “cost/environment.”

      They get treated as “less-than” non-entities who should be grateful for any spare scraps that get thrown at them already. It wont kill anyone to treat poor women with a little dignity.

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      During the government shutdown, some group set up a pantry, around the corner from the food one, with menstrual supplies, baby diapers, and adult incontinence aids. I remember thinking how thoughtful that was, because you really need those things regardless of what the government is up to in a given month.

    3. CupLoving, Appropriately*

      It would, however, be good to offer menstrual cups as an option for people relying on food pantries, along with offering tampons and pads. Speaking as someone who can’t use tampons (they cause extreme painful dryness for me) but can use cups, and pads alone usually aren’t enough for me. If I were on food stamps and didn’t already have a menstrual cup, or needed a new one, I would be very grateful if it were provided.

      However, I would NOT appreciate Menstrual Cup Manager, even if she were giving me a cup when I needed one. Way too violating.

      1. Observer*

        This is is a very good point.

        Bottom line is that it just makes sense to allow / help women gain access to the menstrual products of their choice.

    4. Janie*

      If you want a four, a lot of people I know are who are uncomfortable with them because they can trigger dysphoria. And from experience, the vibe of “a womanly woman’s project for women’s periods which only women get” is just… not cool.

      1. Observer*

        I don’t think it’s even necessary to go there. It should fall under “we respect a woman’s choice” because there are a multitude of reasons why a cup is a bad idea for many women. And it is no one’s business. On the other hand, if you started listing all of the potential reasons why it’s an inappropriate choice, you would probably wind up with a list several pages long and way TMI for a standard policy statement.

  6. Mary Beth*

    Perfect timing! I start a new job on Monday (thanks to your awesome resume/interviewing/negotiating advice) and now I’ll be prepared to be the new kid in the office.

  7. Nervous Accountant*

    Super late to this but if you’re new, please don’t ask for an evaluation 2 weeks in and get upset if we say no.

    If you decide to come on board literally days before a major deadline, accept that we have a shortened training period and all other training resumes after the deadline.

    and for the love of God, if your supervisor says NOT NOW do not steamroll them and say OH its just a quick question 20x a day.

  8. NKOTB*

    I’m new at my job (start of my fourth week here, it’s gone by so fast!). I anticipated not being busy at first (based on previous experiences) and having time to get acclimated and I’ve been ridiculously busy since the day I started. I like to be busy and I’m glad I’m apparently needed but it’s tough to be so busy as the new person when you still don’t know how certain things in the office work. It’s hard to prioritize too because I handle special events and executive travel so it’s all time sensitive. Any advice would be much appreciated!

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