Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Speaking of Breastfeeding...

Funny story time.

So I pump at work. Pumping isn't the most fun time of my day as it makes me feel like a commercial milk cow attached to a machine but luckily for me my company did set up "New Mom's Rooms" in each of our locations, so I feel like this is more courtesy than most new mom's get at their companies. I've heard horror stories of women pumping in their cars or in bathroom stalls, ew! So I do feel lucky!

That being said I work at a company that is mostly male, especially in the building that I work in. It just so happens that the location of the "New Mom's Room" is right bang slap in the middle of the building's Facilities Department, which houses basically a bunch of engineers who work on all of the tools and on the building in general. So it is all men. Men who were super uncomfortable when we put in the New Mom's Room last year... For example, here's a snippet of a conversation I had last year when setting up the room (before I was even pregnant I got the job of setting it up):

Me: "It's a room for new mothers"

Facilities Man: "For new mothers? For new mothers to do what?"

Me: "Er...pump."

FM: "Pump? I don't get it..."

Me: "Pump. Milk. For Babies."

FM: Turning Bright Red. "Ohhhh... I have to go, er, get something from, er somewhere..."

So I walk through this room a couple times a day, most of the time I go through without interruption...until last week. One of the older men stops me to ask if my boss is in today. I, pump bag slung over my shoulder, People magazine in hand, reply no, but is there anything I can help him with? I should have just said "No" and went on my way, but I didn't. This is how the rest of own conversation went...

Man: "No, no..it's nothing urgent but hey, so...I have this friend..."
Me: "Ok.."
Man: "She's a Director of a Nonprofit."
Me: "Oh, er, that's very nice."
Man: "She used to be a Lactation Nurse. You know? For like 10 years."
Me: Totally confused as to how we got on this subject as we're now talking about lactation, "Oh! Really...that's er, very nice."
Man: "So she the Director of the Milk Bank here in Oregon." Looks at me expectantly...
Me: "Oh! Er, um...That's a very good thing. Very important stuff. Um...er..."
Man: "I just thought you should know."

And he walks off.

The most awkward conversation in my workplace to date. I'm not sure if he was suggesting that I donate... or if he thought I needed to get some additional milk. But this guy was the LAST person who I would have expected to talk to me about lactation. So awkward!

Oh man, too funny!

Note: I would love to donate to the bank but all my milk goes to the Goose!


“Women aren't embarrassed when they buy men's pajamas, but a man buying a nightgown acts as though he were dealing with a dope peddler”

-Jimmy Cannon

ps. The new website is coming soon...and by soon I mean 3-4 weeks. Patience is a virtue, right? Good things come to those who wait, no?

14 comments:

Lindsay said...

I'm so glad you are blogging again! I enjoyed your blog way back when and was happy to see it pop back up on my reader.

Oh, and I pump at work too. I have three male bosses one of which asked "so how is pumping going? Cause my, um, wife wants to know." lol.

an octopus: said...

They have a nice lactation room here at work, too - though it's in the next building over. My old boss acted as though I was off to something horrendously embarrassing every time I'd mention it. Like when he'd schedule a 5 hour meeting and I'd mention I'd have to leave at hour 3 for a bit... he'd stammer and sweat while telling me that was fine.

If the man knew that I pumped in his office on his days off I'm SURE it would kill him. LOL!!

Emily said...

This is hilarious! I work with all men and they are super awkward around all things "female." :o) I'm pregnant now and don't want to think about the great conversations that will come up when I need to pump...milk...for babies. Haha - great story!

Jessica said...

That's hilarious! It's so cute he was trying to talk to you about breast milk.

Stacy Cross said...

That's so hilarious . . . and actually, I think, pretty cute! Sounds like he just really wanted to show you that he approves of or thinks that what you're doing is great. :)

April E. :) said...

Oh wow...how incredibly embarrassing!!! I guess it's an "A" for effort in trying haha!

Rebecca said...

What a strange situation? What did he expect you to say??? ;)

Robert and Carmen said...

That is funny! I pump at work as well. Ironically, my office is the only one that is not all window, so I have taped pink paper over the slit in my door. At first I just locked my door, but then sometimes people would knock and I didn't know if I was supposed to tell them I would be out in a minute? Most of the time I would ignore them, but then they would knock again. Now I just hang a "On a Call" sign and they leave me alone for the most part! The things we do for the little ones!

Courtney said...

That is so great that you have this at work but i can understand the placement might not have been such a plus lol.

I felt like a cow as well and everyone laughs at me when i say that. I am so glad to hear someone else say it!

edmo said...

My most awkward pumping at work moment came when I was walking from the pumping room to the bathroom to rinse out the parts, which I would transport in a yellow plastic container. This guy saw me carrying this container and said, "Wow, that's a big lunch." I told him it wasn't my lunch, and he said, "Sure looks like you're lunch. You were hungry today." I repeated it's not my lunch and he asked what it is then, so I said, "It's my breast pump parts." He was so embarrassed he didn't talk to me for like 3 days.

JackiJaguar said...

LOL...guys are so funny. I wonder if he even knew what he meant by the lactation consultant/milk bank comment. Though, on some awkward level, maybe he was trying to be nice? I set up my closet in my classroom to pump. It's a tiny little thing but it fits a comfy chair, a lamp, my pump, etc. Not exactly glamorous but it saves me time being right in my classroom.

We are the Guerra's! said...

Too funny! My company has mostly women but no moms, so I would just book a conference each day when I needed to pump...you are very lucky! Good for you for pumping so long. Congrats on the beautiful baby you have, she's precious!

Kate said...

I think some engineers are just kinda 'out there' to begin with. Just has to do with how their minds work.

Kat said...

Ha! I have a couple of friends at work who just came back from maternity leave... They get to reserve the small conference rooms to pump and there's a gingham curtain that circulates around the office to put up over the door... Every time one of them is in there and someone comes in asking for her, my response is always "Personal time in the conference room".... and then the seeker gets this PRICELESS look on their face... I absolutely love it!

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