Thursday, July 16, 2015

Only Me

Last year I shared a few little stories about things that seem to only happen to me. If there is an awkward situation, please, sign me up. I am very experienced in awkward happenings. Another one of these 'only me' stories happened on my first day back to work. When telling these stories I ALWAYS have to start out with....



So. My first day back at work. I wasn't back full time yet as I was using those last couple of weeks to ease us both back into the swing of things, but it was (supposed) to be my first full day away from Laney. We only made it until 2:00, however. Here's why...

As you know I'm breastfeeding Laney so pumping is now a part of my daily routine. It's very time consuming but I'm cheap, as you also know, and the cost of formula is a big reason why I continue to breastfeed despite the annoyance of the pump. Anyways, prior to having Laney I talked with a few coworkers that I know had recently had babies about where one may pump after having a baby, and every single one of them told me that they weren't able to breastfeed for one reason or another and didn't know if anyone in the company had EVER pumped after having a baby. Basically, there was no dedicated space for this. One coworker suggested using this lesser used bathroom/locker room (um no) and another suggested using an office that belongs to the OWNER of the company as he rarely comes to the office anymore as his son runs the business now. Not only would that be super awkward when he does come to the office, but most of his office walls are glass, so, again, no can do. After getting nowhere with them, I went to HR to ask for their help in figuring out a space that would work.

The lady in HR is single and didn't know much about breastfeeding or pumping either, so her first suggestion was also that locker room. To appease her we went to check it out but luckily there wasn't a place where I can set the pump down that was close enough to a power outlet so it truly wouldn't work. Whew. The ONLY other place that seemed to work was this one random office that was recently vacated that just had the one long glass window in the door - kind of like a classroom door. It could easily be covered with contact paper and there were no immediate plans for the office so it was perfect. She assured me that by the time I got back from leave that the room would be ready for my use. Perfect.

However, in the weeks after choosing that location and before Laney arrived, a new part time coworker needed a place to sit as all cubes were full and made herself home in this office I was soon going to need. No biggie, I thought, because surely they'll find another home for her in the next couple of months.

As you can guess, they did not find another home for her. I called in the day before I was to return and asked HR if that space was vacated which she of course told me it wasn't, but that she'd take care of it that day. Her and my boss then kicked the lady out of the office, covered the window with contact paper and let me know it was ready for me. Perfect.

I came into work that day and decided I'd do 3 pumping sessions per day. Laney ate at 6:30 that morning so 10, 1, and 4 seemed like good spaced out times. My first session at 10:00 went great. I pumped plenty of milk and felt comfortable in the office and of course locked the doorknob. It is one of those doorknobs that you can lock from the inside, but there is no need to unlock it each time because the knob still turns from the inside. Since I was the only one using the room I decided I'd just leave the door open when not in use so I wouldn't have to worry about locking the door each time.

Well someone else didn't think that was a great idea. It isn't really clear WHO, but someone decided that door should be closed and shut the door. The door was now locked and my pump was locked in there. No biggie, right? I'll just find the maintenance guy and I'm sure he has a master key. Guess what? He didn't. He suggested HR may have a key. Guess what again? They also didn't. No one had a key to this office and now my pump is locked away and it is getting really close to time to pump again.

For the next hour there were people trying credit cards, pry bars, and any other possible thing to get into this office for me. I am growing uncomfortable with not only the need to pump, but also with the fact that the previously discreet reason for my use of this office was now pretty public. I mean, not really a big deal, but when there are 6 men trying to break in a locked door they obviously sort of needed to know they were rescuing a breast pump and that was why the need to get in was so strong. Ha. But, nobody was able to break into this office by the time I HAD to leave. My only other source of relief at that point was Laney so I left at 2:00 to go get her. There were still a few hours left in the work day so I figured they would get it taken care of that evening for me before I returned the next morning.

Laney on her first (half) day with my sister. She had a good day!

As you can imagine, they didn't get it taken care of. I really just think most people there didn't understand the urgency of pumping. So, when I got to work at 8:00 the next morning, I made it known that I would only be able to stay until 10:00 unless we were able to get into the office. Finally, a locksmith was called and they had to pay extra to expedite his services. Not my fault! I a) didn't shut the door in the first place and b) left with plenty of time the prior day to have called a locksmith then.

When the locksmith pulled into the parking lot, there were cheers all around but none louder than me! Hooray!


$250 later, all was back to normal. I inadvertently normalized breastfeeding in my office without even trying. Ha. Also, they made sure to give me the spare key to the new lock. My boobs, and Laney, thank you.


diana bowers said...

I would want to cry and would have probably started leaking if I was in the same situation as you. Ugh, what an unpleasant situation.

Heather said...

Oh my goodness, that's quite the story! It never ceases to amaze me now much employers DON'T have this type of thing figured out ahead of time. In my early working days with Tory, I was forced to pump in all kinds of semi-public and unsanitary locations. I wish I would've spoken up like you did. The good news is, now everyone knows exactly what you're doing in there and will likely steer clear every time the door is closed.

Rachael said...

I LOVE your stories. Maybe one of these days I should break out my own "desperately needing to pump awkward situation story." Don't know if I could tell it as well as you could, though.