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Text message that made Aussie worker quit job: ‘I felt betrayed’

Madeline Whittaker lives with endometriosis and says she’s lost jobs over the illness.

An Aussie woman has revealed the single text message from her boss that caused her to quit her job on the spot.

Madeline had only recently started a new job working in administration for a construction company in Adelaide.

The 27-year-old is one of nearly 1 million Australians who live with endometriosis. She had previously told her boss about this and said she would occasionally need time off at short notice to manage her illness.

Text message from boss to worker
A young Aussie worker was stunned by a message she received from her former boss.

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Three weeks into her job, she sent a text message to her boss letting him know she would need the following day off work due to her endometriosis pain.


“Hey! I’m not fit to come into work tomorrow due to my endo/period. I will send a doctors certificate tomorrow and be back in on Tuesday. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience,” she wrote on Sunday night.

Madeline said her boss’s response left her stunned.


“Sorry Madeline, it’s 20 past 8 at night. It is not acceptable. Please consider your options,” he wrote back to her.

Shocked, Madeline decided there and then to hand in her resignation, writing back: “Please accept this as my formal resignation. Thanks, Madeline”.

Madeline said there was no point getting her boss to understand her chronic illness and said she wouldn’t feel comfortable asking for time off in the future.

“I felt small, I felt betrayed and like my rights had been taken away,” she told

Madeline ended up finding another job with a different company working in accounts but found she was also experiencing pain “every single day”, which she pushed through.

She eventually asked her new boss for time off for surgery and said she was initially met with a kind response. But, days later, she said she was “dismissed” from her job and told she hadn’t passed probation.

Madeline believed this was because she asked for time off. She has since found a new job but has been left reeling from her past experience.

Madeline is among the one in seven females in Australia estimated to live with endometriosis, which currently has no cure. While symptoms are variable, people commonly experience pelvic pain that puts life on hold around or during their period.

It’s estimated one in six people with endometriosis will lose their employment due to managing the disease, Western Sydney University research with Endometriosis Australia found, while one in three will be overlooked for a promotion.

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