My pal sent me her company’s recently developed ‘Menopause Policy’. ‘How enlightened!’ I thought. Until I read it. Six pages of twaddle with only one meaningful tangible item of support. Well, when I say meaningful – I mean ‘menopausal women can be offered a fan as long as it is environmentally friendly’. That was it!! Clearly they had not actually consulted with any menopausal women otherwise I feel the policy may have looked very different!.
So as a free gift to all the HR and High Heid Yins out there – I have developed meaningful Menopause guidance that you are welcome to copy and paste into your existing HR policy documentation – saving you time and money that you can spend on providing free wine to Menopausal Women at the end of each shift.
Here we go…
Menopausal Women at Work: A guide for Managers
The menopause can affect how a woman performs her work and her relationships with colleagues. For example she just may not want to be arsed working sometimes particularly if she has been up all night with hot flushes. She may also often refer to her colleagues using such terms as ‘Dicktard’, ‘Fuckwit’ and even the C word. It is imperative therefore that ‘reasonable adjustments’ are made to accommodate her needs at this time.
All managers must adhere to the following guidance:
Cases of minor misconduct or unsatisfactory performance is best ignored. If, using the case above as an example, the menopausal woman does refer to a colleague in a derogatory tone then pause to consider if she is perhaps justified and that colleague is indeed a twat. Indeed you may want to use this opportunity to remove all fucktards from your team as hormones can mean that the menopausal women can be prone to actions that may see her end up in prison and this is to be avoided at all costs. Honesty is one of the benefits you can reap from a menopausal woman. If you want honest 360 degree feedback then rather than refer to the made up crap your subordinates write just in case you can track it back to them – simply ask the menopausal woman. It is imperative that you foster a safe environment for the woman to say exactly what they think.
If, after careful consideration, you do decide that action must be taken against the menopausal woman in these cases we would suggest a paid day off or bottle of wine as potential acceptable responses. Such kindness will be appreciated but possibly responded to with tears of gratitude so ensure you have tissues ready just in case.
More serious cases such as posting ‘XYZ company is full of twats and arseholes’ on social media or punching a colleague in the face are probably due to mitigating circumstances such as hormonal fluctuations and perhaps self medicating with wine and gin. Therefore the usual social media rules will be relaxed for the menopausal woman. Indeed the firewalls will be removed from their logons to enable them to talk on Support Forums when they feel the need and to order expensive shoes if they feel that is necessary as both can be a great support at this time of change.
Central to this policy is the ownership of temperature control – it should be handed entirely over to the menopausal woman. If others in the office complain that it is too cold then they should be asked to wear a jumper. It is imperative that the menopausal woman is able to regulate the temperature around her as there is fuck all she can do about the raging inferno inside her. If budget permits then for a fee, Sam Heughan and/or Helen Mirren can be employed to waft large palm leaves as and when required.
Headphones and access to carefully selected Spotify playlists will be provided with tissues in case they cause a hormonal woman to start crying when they realise every line means something.- nothing by Adele as it might make them cry and nothing by Eminem as it might make them angry and nothing by Kanye West as he is a twat. A focus group will be created to come up with acceptable songs for inclusion.
If the menopausal woman is expected to wear a uniform then it must be able to be adapted. If she would prefer to wear a loose smock with birkenstocks rather than pour herself into a tight skirt and blazer then this should be accomodated. Indeed, she may choose to simply come to work in her pajamas and this should not be discouraged as it is entirely appropriate at this time of life.
A bra is unlikely to be worn – not in a sexy Kardashian way but more in a tits swinging round the waist ay – and this should be considered totally appropriate.
Exceptional circumstances should be considered and responded to appropriately. For example a menopausal woman may find it beneficial to just piss off from everyone and everything and sit on a beach in Greece either to write bad poetry by herself or to shag the waiter like in Shirley Valentine. Every menopausal woman is different so there is no structured guidelines around this but we would suggest a 3 month menopausal career break on full pay as a minimum standard to aim for. This leave may not be shared with a partner even if they beg – they must stay and keep the home fires burning.
Fully flexible working will be encouraged as it is very likely that the menopausal woman will only find a cure for her insomnia three seconds before the alarm goes off. So it is best if she can simply hit the off button and return to sleep til she feels able to come in. Or just work at home watching Loose Women if she feels that would be a more supportive environment.
Organisations would be well advised to review their benefits and perks policy. It is a cruel truth that as the menopausal woman’s eyesight starts to deteriorate their facial hair will start to increase. Laser eye surgery should therefore be offered as a tax free benefit as well as high quality tweezers. Tena ladies should join the sanitary protection in the toilets and vodka should join the chocolate in the vending machines. Note – JOIN – not replace.
Mandatory training will be given to managers to help them implement this policy (unless the manager is a menopausal woman in which case she can have the day off to lie beside the river and read magazines and drink those wee cans of pims you get in Tesco. There will be pre-course work – which is likely to involve being kept awake all night by an incessant chatter in your ear about every little thing you ever did wrong or messed up in your life. You will need to dress in your warmest vest and coat then twice in the night your electric blanket will be turned to full and you can make a decision whether to just lie in it or get up and change fully before experiencing the same thing two hours later. The next day you will attend a full days immersion session to enable the manager to fully empathise with the menopausal woman. Such sessions are not restricticted to, but will likely include: standing in front of an industrial oven on full blast for 15 mins 4 times during the day to develop empathy for the hot flush – followed by being put in a sealed room with lots of midgies to feel that unbearable itching. A temporary full frontal lobotomy will be given at the end of the course and not reinstated for 24 hours so the manager can experience brain fog and forgetfulness at first hand. It is recognised that additional training in conflict resolution may be required and this will be an optional module that we believe most managers will choose to take up.
We believe these measures set the tone for a positive working environment for the menopausal woman. To ensure the long term success of this policy any transgressions will be dealt with by a forum of menopausal woman headed by Big Mags who is permanently hangry due to trying to get rid of the menopausal midriff but this keeps her focussed on the importance of dealing with any infringements of due process.
Menopausal ambassadors will be around to help where required, with stocks of hankies; numbers for therapists (six sessions provided free of charge); vouchers for plus size stores; wine; chocolate and access to the menopause room which is equipped with cool comfortable beds that rock you gently to sleep when you need it most.
Managers and Companies Everywhere – you are WELCOME! No charge – simply make a donation of a bottle of wine or gin or large box of chocolates to the next menopausal woman you meet.