‘I think my colleague is faking’
EVERYBODY knows that you need to be careful what you say to a pregnant woman.
Commenting on her size is a big no-no, as is telling her what she can and can't eat (unless she's asking), and jokes about watermelons coming out of something the size of a lemon are never going to go down well either.
But what happens when you suspect the pregnancy is all a ruse?
A woman has posted to parenting forum Mumsnet about a colleague that she suspects is just pretending to be pregnant in order to get out of work. In their particular field, once someone announces their pregnancy, they are immediately placed on light duties.
"There was some confusion initially about dating and her saying she had a miscarriage then didn't that was all a bit suspicious but no one said anything," she wrote. "She then stated last week she went for her 12 week scan and there was no baby to be found and she was to come back the next day for another scan."
The woman went on to say that she had messaged her colleague on Facebook after the scan to ask how it all went.
"She said 'great' and sent me a picture of the 'scan'," continued the post.
But the woman noticed one small detail.
The scan itself was pushed up to the top, we're assuming to cut off the personal information that is usually printed across the top of the scan.
This didn't stop the woman noticing that it had a date on it of 2015.
So, armed with the knowledge that this woman "has quite a rep for lying about things," as most mums would, she went Face-stalking back through her co-worker's online profile for evidence.
She wrote, "She has other children and I was a bit suspicious so I checked her previous Facebook photos and found it was the exact scan of her previous child."
The woman added that her position is higher than that of the 'pregnant' colleague, and she's still asking for time off to attend appointments, and is still working light duties, for which other people in the company are required to pick up the slack.
Her dilemma is that she feels a responsibility to report her discovery to management, but also considers it to be none of her business.
"It will all come out eventually regardless," she predicted, "but I see my other colleagues picking up the slack and feel quite bad that it's all potentially made up? Would you go to the manager or just leave it?, she asked the mums of the internet.
This girl has quite a rep for lying about things ...
People were quick to judge
Many responses just outright said, "report it."
"Go to the manager," said one, adding, "I used to work with a compulsive liar. As well as all the bullsh*t 'sick' days she stole quite a bit of money from the company before she was caught."
Another recalled a friend doing similar all through school: "As a teen my friend faked pregnancy after pregnancy, mc (miscarriage) here mc there - def fake. Drained us all of sympathy tbh. As an adult she has been unable to have dc. Poor woman. Def take it higher, she obviously needs some help."
Which brings us to the next point.
Could the woman have some health issues?
A few, more understanding Mumsnetters suggested that the OP take a step back and let nature run its course.
"Obviously it will all be resolved soon enough," wrote one. "Just in case there has been some kind of miscarriage or there are problems I would hold off doing anything for now. Give it a couple of weeks and if you still have concerns speak to your manager."
Another suggested that the woman may have some personal issues that she is covering up: "It is totally possible that she could have had some issues in early pregnancy and has been vague or given misinformation rather than divulge personal details. Personally, I would probably step back and see how it unfolds as you can't lie about a pregnancy for long." She added that the sensible thing to do would be to speak to a manager about any concerns.
There may very well be other factors at play here, and a pregnant woman (as well as a pretend-pregnant woman) should be treated with extreme care. Would you say something if it were you?