MG Asks: Is Your Office Rad or Bad When it Comes to Periods?
What’s trickier than having your period? Having your period at work. From cramps to mood swings to noticeable chocolate binging, dealing with your period at work can be a struggle. Then there’s your office itself – some workplaces make having your period way easier than others. For example, some employers always seem to have plenty of satisfying snacks in the staff kitchen, whereas some workplaces don’t even have trashcans in each bathroom stall!
We decided to ask our friends how their workplaces measured up and their responses were pretty interesting:
The company does not supply tampons and the bathroom is not equipped with a tampon dispenser. I learned the hard way that the Advil they supplied was expired. When it comes to that time of the month, I’m avoiding eye contact while shoving a tampon up my shirt sleeve and booking it to the bathroom. That bathroom has a single stall in the office to it’s awkward and unnatural to bring a bag in there. The only period talk at the office is an occasional woman asking another woman for a tampon. The management team allows employees to work from home from time to time but it’s against policy to do that on a Monday or a Friday. So…if you have your period on a Monday or Friday, break out your long sleeved shirt and get your own Advil.
Our office does not provide tampons, so you need to keep them at your desk. If you don’t have any during your time of the month, you are left walking around whispering to other girls and asking for a tampon… It is difficult to deal with your period even when you’re at home, but it becomes even more challenging when you have it at work and you are expected to be “on” from 9-5. It would be nice if having your period could be more accepted by your co-workers, as strange as that may be.
Our office has tampons, Advil, and sometimes Midol in the women’s restroom. Periods are not typically a topic of discussion or at least I have not participated. I haven’t personally asked to work from home when I have had symptoms (although maybe should because I tend to get migraines). Maybe as a social experiment I should ask and see next time!
I work in one of the largest women-owned architecture firms here in NYC and you’d think one perk of working for a women would be free tampons. Although we don’t get the tampon hookup we are always stocked with Advil and every kind of Talenti ice cream bars, which are a nice remedy for my migraines and chocolate cravings.
Overall, I think I’ve just become less embarrassed by all these lady things so I usually don’t feel self-conscious at work if I walk to the bathroom holding a tampon. Sometimes I leave a little pouch of them in the ladies bathroom (and so do many of my coworkers) for both convenience and privacy.
They don’t have little trash bins in the ladies bathroom stalls (which means you have to walk out with it cupped in your hand and wiggle past people to get it to a trash). We are a mostly female office (duh as with all art jobs), but the majority of managers (all but one) are male, so there is a power imbalance there. I do wonder if we talked about it more things would change?
Our company does provide free tampons and pads, and they’re kept in the multi-stall women’s room. It’s nice because you don’t have to lug a discreet bag around. However, sometimes they don’t have enough. It’s not clear if they’re for emergencies or for all the time. We do have Advil around as well. Occasionally I’ll talk about periods with my coworkers, but I prefer not to.
NO ONE provides free tampons. Some places have had the old fashion tampon machines where you have to pay 25 cents which is somehow still embarrassing at the age of 27. I really wish that companies would provide this because it’s something that all their female employees are experiencing, and it would just be a stress reliever to not have to always about having a tampon on you.
MS, Brand Strategy
Given that my department is predominately women (5:35 ratio), “period talk” is very common and an often discussed topic amongst those I am closest with. My company offers tampons in every single bathroom for a fee of 25 cents. As for Advil, I believe it is offered in most vending machines in each kitchenette (on each floor of every building) for 75 cents.
My company has tampons and advil, not to mention dry shampoo, flossers, etc. The bathroom is fully stocked. We also have a kitchen full of snacks, lots of chocolate and salty food for when you need it.
Quite a spectrum, right? Kudos to our pals for sharing their experiences. How does your office stack up when it comes to periods? Let us know in the comments!