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Coworker Uncomfortable with Diabetic Employee Checking Blood Sugar in Cubicle. Says, “I’ve A Phobia, Go To The Bathroom To Do It”. Is This Fair?

An internet user asked, Am I a jerk for checking my blood sugar at my desk when my coworker has a severe blood phobia? We’re all ears for your opinion!

Backstory: 

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The Original Poster (OP) (24M) enjoys his job and has two coworkers, Megan (25F) and their new coworker James (23M) who just started.  The three of them each have their own office space, but because they have to frequently collaborate on work throughout the day, they are often at each other’s desks.

What Does OP Have

Shocked young businesswoman sitting at her workplace at the office, looking at computer

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OP is a type 1 diabetic, he gives insulin and checks his blood sugar throughout the day as needed. OP gives insulin through a pump so that’s not an issue. 

OP says, “Checking my blood sugar involves pricking my finger to draw a drop of blood, the blood gets sucked up into a test strip that is connected to a glucose meter, and the meter displays the reading. The whole process takes like 10 seconds.”

What Happened When OP Was Checking His Blood Sugar?

Close-up Of Young Happy Man Checking Blood Sugar Level With Glucometer

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OP was checking his blood sugar in his office right when James walked over. Immediately, James’ face went white, he looked like he was about to puke or faint or maybe both.

OP was like, dude are you okay? He told OP that he has a major blood and needle phobia and gets therapy for it. 

What Did OP Do

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OP explained what he was doing and why it was necessary and he said it was “freaky” that he has to MAKE himself bleed multiple times a day. James told OP he never wants to accidentally walk in on him checking his blood sugar again because he could pass out. 

OP said that if he’s checking his blood sugar and hears him coming over, he can call out a warning like “Give me a sec!”. James said that won’t work, just knowing that OP is doing *that* just before he comes over is enough to freak him out, and he would be stressed that OP might not hear him walking over.

What Did James Suggest OP?

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James told OP he should check it in the bathroom from now on. OP told him that he doesn’t think he should have to do that and it’s unsanitary. James said another option was if OP only checks his blood sugar at certain times, say 9 am, 12 pm before eating lunch, and 4 pm, that way James would know when to avoid OP. 

OP said these things can’t always be predicted, he’ll need to check if he feels his blood sugar going high or low.

What Next?

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James said he understands that OP has Diabetes but that he also has a special need (his blood phobia) that needs to be accommodated and that he doesn’t want to have to avoid OP at work and only talk to Megan for fear he might see OP checking again. He said he’ll talk to HR about this and that he’ll tell them that OP refused to compromise with him.

OP says, “That was last Thursday before the holidays. Tomorrow I’m thinking of going to talk to HR before James does, but first I need to know that I’m in the right here. So mm I a jerk for not being more accommodating of James’ blood/needle phobia and checking my blood sugar as needed at my desk.” 

Some More Context 

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Image Credits: pathdoc, Shutterstock

OP later edited the post and added the following information:

“To clarify something, James cannot see me test my blood sugar unless he is literally standing in my doorway. It’s not a communal-style workplace. I do not test in common areas, only in my office.”

You Are Not The Jerk!

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Image Credits: Carlos Banyuls, Shutterstock

“Not the jerk. I’m diabetic too type 1 one of the old places I worked before someone had an issue and made me look like I was being a jerk for checking mine too at work I called HR she was fired.” 

A Phobia Is Not A Special Need To Accommodate

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“A phobia is not a special need to accommodate, especially when he walked into your office unannounced. As you already said, the bathroom is not a sanitary place to check your blood sugar, and even then, there’s no guarantee he wouldn’t have walked in on you there. If your HR has any sense, they will tell him the exact same thing.”

Go To HR Before James Gets To Spin His Story

Head,Portrait,Of,Young,Beautiful,Spanish,Surprised,Woman,Amazed,In

Image Credits: Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley, Shutterstock

“Not the jerk, and please do NOT check it in the bathroom. You are in YOUR office. Go to HR before James gets to spin his story. You tried to accommodate him, he is the one who said no to each of your ideas.”

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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.