Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ham sandwich with a side of toilet water, anyone?

So, over a month ago, I talked to our human resources manager about making sure I have a private place I can pump each day (probably three times a day) when I return to work. All I need is a chair, table, access to an outlet, and someplace with a door I can lock so no one inadvertantly walks in on me. She offered the company's testing/interview room since she said it has all those things and she doesn't need to use it very often.

Well, she e-mailed me two weeks ago and said she was checking the room again down there and realized the door does not have a lock like she originally thought, so she said she was having someone get a lock to put on the door. That was two weeks ago. This morning she e-mailed me and said they're "still looking into getting a lock for the door. Hopefully we'll have it by the time you return on Monday."

*blink, blink*

Excuse me? Looking into it? What's to look into? You go to a home improvement store, you buy a handle with a lock, you install it. It's not rocket science, as they say. What, do we need some kind of committee to explore all facets of this proposal?? And what bugs me most is that I talked to her about this over a month ago. I gave them plenty of time, and now it's three business days before I return and they still don't have this done? i mean, it's either getting cooperation on stuff like this, or I don't come back to work. I figure getting the very few allowances I'll need to continue working is much better than having to look for a new full-time copy editor. Apparently they do not realize this.

So I heard back from the HR manager again this afternoon, and she said she was "unsuccessful in being able to get a lock" without further explanation (which I've asked for in my response). She then goes on to suggest that I could use the one-person basement bathroom (that's about 7x7-feet big) if we add a chair in there. Well, it does lock, so that's better, but there's no room for the small table I'd need. Plus, one of the times I'm going to have to pump will be on my lunch break, so I'll have to eat at the same time. Anyone else think that eating lunch within full view of a public toilet doesn't sound appealing...or sanitary?

I realize it's been years since we've had a new mom with this particular need at my office. But, that's also why I bought this up weeks ago, so I wouldn't have to be stressed about it in the few days I have left at home, but that's exactly what has happened. Unfortunately, our state does not have any laws about the availability of private space in the workplace for nursing needs. Serenity suggested that I whip 'em out at my be-cubicled desk and pump away, saying that she guarantees I'd have a lock on that room by the end of the day. I'm that pissed off about this, but not quite that brave. A co-worker suggested that I just bring the baby in to feed her at my desk, and surely that would get a reaction. Again, interesting suggestion, but I'm just not that bold...yet.

If this isn't resolved with the HR person, I'm planning to jump straight to our company president/editor (her supervisor), who often gets things done without all the crap. Perhaps I should have started there first, but I thought it was more appropriate to take the HR step first. I'll keep you posted.


At April 18, 2007 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would tell them if they cannot accomodate your simple needs to pump and provide nourishment for your child, then you will have to leave work 3 times a day to feed your child at the daycare. That is absolutely ridiculous. It cannot be that hard to find an office to use in the building for 20 minutes!

At April 18, 2007 11:47 PM, Blogger ~~Rae~~ said...

Oh geesh gimme a break further explanation what more do they need to know a lock its that expensive its not like your asking for a room with a view and a tv my goodness a table, a chair and a door that locks..I am sure they can find that for you without all the bs they are putting you through

At April 19, 2007 10:27 AM, Blogger Carolina Girl said...

Man, I'm sorry you're having to spend the rest of your maternity leave worried about this. Definitely talk to the president ASAP if you think that will get you a decent room wtih a lock. Good luck!


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