Advice Column regarding T1D at Work


"3. My boss is trying to manage my diabetes for me

I started a new job in January this year. I love it — the boss is kind (I came from kind of a stressful situation before this), the coworkers are awesome, and I’ve had a great year.

One small fly in the ointment though. I have Type 1 Diabetes. I’ve had it so long I was actually diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes before the name change. My diabetes is well-managed and well-controlled and has never caused any issues in the workplace, other than occasionally having to have a snack at odd times, which has never been an issue. It isn’t an issue here, either. The thing is, my boss is a micromanager, and he’s trying to manage me and my illness as well. We had a three-day trip in October, and he nearly drove me insane questioning if I was eating as I should, should I be doing anything, did I need to test, etc., etc. It’s coming from a good place, I know that, but Oh.My. God.

How do I say “Dude, I was diagnosed in 1968. I’ve got this” and make him understand that, unless I’m laid out on the floor (which hasn’t happened in years), I really have got this?

The next time he brings it up, be very direct: “Bob, I know you’re coming from a place of concern, but I have this under control and I consider it a private health condition. It’s not something I want to discuss at work. Thanks for understanding.”

Then if he brings it after that: “That’s not something I want to talk about at work! But about (work-related topic)…”"

I love Ask A Manager and thought it was interesting to see T1D mentioned on there. I know that at my own job I’ve typically encountered nothing but good intentions and support, although one time an opportunity was closed to me bc another coworker said to my boss unbeknownst to me, “Oh, I don’t think she should be picked for that trip. She’ll never be able to manage her blood sugar with all of those meetings on the itinerary.”