When this employee is annoyed with their coworker, they ask Reddit:
I (24M) enjoy my job and have two coworkers, Megan (25F) and our new coworker James (23M) who just started.
The three of us each have our own office space, but because we have to frequently collaborate on work throughout the day we are often at each other’s desks.
I am a type 1 diabetic, I give insulin and check my blood sugar throughout the day as needed. I give insulin through a pump so that’s not an issue.
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.
I was checking my blood sugar in my office right when James walked over. Immediately, his face went white, he looked like he was about to puke or faint or maybe both.
I was like, dude are you okay? He told me that he has a major blood and needle phobia and gets therapy for it. I explained what I was doing and why it was necessary and he said it’s “freaky” that I have to MAKE myself bleed multiple times a day.
He told me he never wants to accidentally walk in on me checking my blood sugar again because he could pass out. I said that if I’m checking my blood sugar and hear him coming over I can call out a warning like “give me a sec!”.
He said that won’t work, just knowing that I’m doing that just before he comes over is enough to freak him out, and that he would be stressed that I might not hear him walking over.
He told me I should check it in the bathroom from now on. I told him that I don’t think I should have to do that and it’s unsanitary.
He said another option was if I only check my blood sugar at certain times, say 9am, 12pm before eating lunch, and 4pm, that way he’d know when to avoid me.
I said these things can’t always be predicted, I’ll need to check if I feel my blood sugar going high or low.
He said he understands that I have 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 me at work and only talk to Megan for fear he might see me checking again.
He said he’ll talk to HR about this and that he’ll tell them that I refused to compromise with him.
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 AITA for not being more accommodating of James’ blood/needle phobia and checking my blood sugar as needed at my desk.
NTA. Your blood sugar being too high or low could literally kill you. You did offer to compromise- you offered to warn him if you heard him coming over. The bathroom is not sanitary for checking blood sugar. Is he also going to ask HR to remove all the paper in case he gets a paper cut?
NTA. As someone who who also has a severe blood/needle phobia, walking into a room and seeing someone checking their blood sugar is enough to make me pass out, which isn't a good time for anyone.
However, checking your blood sugar is absolutely vital for your survival. Both of these are legitimate conditions. You calling out a warning should be sufficient though, I don't see why he's having a problem with it especially if it's in your office.
He can knock first without looking. If you were doing it in a shared space I can see why he would have a problem however.