The fact is that the workplace is inhospitable to menopause. When you think about it, it’s really atrocious. I mean, here we have a situation in which female baby boomers are more numerous than any other age group. They constitute a generation that is the hardest working the world has seen. And, although the retirement age is still only 65 – 67, they’re living decades beyond that. They’re workaholics and creative people who want to work. But no one will hire them!
And if they’re already in the work force, they worry about being replaced by the younger generation. Unfortunately, they’ve raised a bunch of kids who don’t know how to live on their own and don’t know how to take care of themselves, so they have to keep playing the role of parenting in many cases.
And, ironically, it’s that younger, less capable and less productive generation that employers prefer to hire simply because of their young age. Employers, like everyone else, are clueless about menopause. They don’t recognize it when an employee is experiencing it. They may not have ever even uttered the word, “menopause.”
There are no allowances made for the menopausal woman who can’t sleep night after night. Or the one who goes through a bout of depression. Offices are not specially equipped with individual temperature controls for menopausal comfort. And employers don’t want to hear the excuse that, “Menopause made me do it.”
A menopausal employee knows that divulging her menopause is as good as getting a pink slip. That puts the menopausal employee in the position of hiding it or suffering in silence.
Think about it: We have maternity leave. We have family leave to care for a sick child or elderly parent. We even have temporary disability. But we have nothing to accommodate the devastating effects of menopause when it affects an employee’s ability to carry out her duties in the workplace.
We have child care centers at work. We have gyms at work. We have disabled access and resources in the workplace. But we have nothing for menopausal women at work.
We have special parking spaces for pregnant women. We have special rooms for nursing women. We have special parking for handicapped women. But we have nothing special for menopausal women.
I’ll bet there would be all sorts of accommodation if men went through menopause.
Why doesn’t the work force recognize the added value that a menopausal woman brings to the work place?
- She has no PMS.
- She doesn’t have the drama of dating guys.
- She isn’t going to get pregnant and take maternity leave.
- She has no childcare problems.
- She shows up on time to work.
- She’s reliable.
- She’s sophisticated.
- She’s professional.
- She’s a good leader.
- She’s motherly.
- She’s not drawn into office politics.
- She’s confident.
- She’ diplomatic.
- She possesses better judgment than her younger counterparts.
By all measures, she’s the dream employee. Why can’t the workforce and employers recognize this?
Work is good for a menopausal woman. It raises her income, her self-esteem, her state of health, and her state of calm.
If you decide to apply for a job, I think you should list all the things I’ve enumerated that make you the best employee for the position.
“Mr. Potential boss, I can assure you that I am, without doubt, the best person for this position. And I’ll tell you why:
I’m older and more mature than any other candidate. In fact, I’m old enough to parent any other candidate. I can take care of you, your office, the workload, and your dog if you want me to. Heck, I can keep the office spic and span, take care of your dry cleaning, and still complete all my work. Not only that; I can take care of everyone in the office, carpool you all to work, and intercept any arguments that crop up. No one’s too old for a time out … Without pay!I’ve been doing all this at my own home for years, and I’m pretty darn good at it!
I’m reliable, and I’ll be at work on time … every day. I won’t call in sick just because I want to use my sick days. And I won’t be rushing out at the end of the day to go on a date. I’ll complete every task long before it’s due and ask for more work. Office dynamics won’t ruffle my feathers. I won’t engage in any petty office politics.
I have no children to care for. My dog died long ago. And my husband sleeps in his recliner snoring most of the time, and won’t even know I’m gone. He tunes me out when I’m home, anyway.
I won’t come in after a late night of partying. I’m in bed by 8 PM. I have nothing to compete with this job. I can pour all my energy and passion into it.
It won’t even have to compete with my sex life. I have no sex life (impotence, you know).
I won’t complain about cramps or PMS. I won’t be getting pregnant. Nor will I be in need of childcare services, a breastfeeding room, or a raise.
I won’t be creating any drama. I won’t dress provocatively; my attire will be conservative. I don’t have any off-putting tattoos or piercings.
And I’m polite. I’ll look people in the eye, smile, and serve them happily. I won’t act like a robot with no emotion.
And you don’t need to tell me how “special” I am all the time. I already know I’m special, but I’ve worked hard to deserve that designation. I didn’t get it merely because I exist.
And I won’t be texting or checking Facebook all day. I’m not even on Facebook!
Oh, and I can spell … without Spellcheck! I know the difference between t-w-o, t-o-o, and t-o, too (that’s t-o-o). I can even do arithmetic … in my head: Addition, subtraction, even multiplication and division!
There’s really nothing I can’t do … as long as I know where the bathroom is.
So if you want stability and predictability, hire me. You’ll be glad you did.
Would you like me to start right now?
This article, was written by Dr. Barbara Taylor.