Advice Needed: Telling My Boss

Okay, folks. I need some advice. I am at the point where I need to tell my supervisor that I’m pregnant. All three supervisors above me are women with young-ish children, so I have no concerns about them taking the news poorly. Two out of three are also employment attorneys, so I am not concerned that they will do or say anything out of line. The problem is this: I don’t like my supervisor. We have had a few “incidents” lately related to work, and while we are cordial and professional, we don’t chit chat or joke around, really.

I would like to tell her by email. Google tells me that is a bad idea. But the idea of a phony “ooooh, that’s wonderful, how exciting!” conversation seems really unpleasant. I’m not a warm person, generally. And I definitely don’t like to share personal information. So talking about my body, health, or growing baby with someone I don’t like is akin to poking needles under my fingernails.

What say ye? Can I send a brief, polite, professional email to my two immediate supervisors (as soon as one knows, the other will know within seconds)? Is that too faux pas? Advice, please!!

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6 responses

  1. I think you should tell your supervisors in person. It’s the more professional thing to do. It may be an awkward conversation for you, but it’ll be brief and over with and then you’ve got it out of the way.

  2. I agree that you should tell them in person. Not only is it probably the more professional thing to do, but it also saves you from waiting for their reaction after you’ve sent the email. Even if you send an email, you’ll still have to deal with the phoniness, so why not just take care of it with one in-person encounter.

  3. I think it should be in person too. It will say more about your character and the 10 minutes of a fake conversation may save your reputation later. Try and find a time where you know it will be a quick conversation. Good Luck!!

  4. I would have thought it was entirely appropriate to tell a boss by email… In fact, if I hadn’t blurted out my pregnancy news to my PhD advisor in his office yesterday (WAY ahead of schedule…), I had fully intended to send it in an email because I thought it would be more professional than getting all personal about my personal life. My imagined email would have been something like this: “Dear… I wanted to let you know that I am currently 3 months pregnant, and I will therefore be needing to take a leave of absence in September. Perhaps we could set up a meeting to talk about how this will impact my timeline for the program.”
    But then again, I am a socially awkward person who prefers email over any other mode of communication. The others are probably right!

    Good luck! Hopefully the supervisor you don’t click well with is genuine, and the moment doesn’t last too long!

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