I went to my Spring Regional Meeting for work, today, and had my first taste of what a freaking pain in the ass pumping must be for women who don't have the ideal set-up that I do.
At my office, we have a break room, and when it's time for me to pump (which I do at 1000 and 1400), I hang my little "Holy Cow!" sign on the handle, shut the door, and get to pumpin' (/reading my book). There's even a sink back there, so I can clean up right away. And sure, the door doesn't lock, but since I work in a two-person office, I just holler out, "I'm taking my mommy break!" and it's fine. (Plus the aforementioned Holy Cow sign theoretically keeps away any clients that might wander in.)
Today, however, I was not at my office- I was at a country club with about forty colleagues, spending all day long in a conference room being conferenced at. (That makes it sound way less awesome than it was- I actually quite enjoy our Regional Meetings, but that's a blog for another day). Fortunately I'd had the presence of mind to remember to bring my pump home last night, so that I could bring it with me today, but as the day crept closer to 1025 (our first scheduled break) I suddenly realized- where the hell am I going to pump?!
I took a peak at the bathroom (okay it was more than a peak- I was in there like three times before 1000 due to my hydrating ways) and there as an outlet (which my pump requires), but I'd be taking up over half of the hand-washing area, which just seemed rude. Plus, while I don't particularly care if other people see me pump, I realize that other people might be made a little uncomfortable by my roboticized nipples. I mean, it's not the most professional look, you know? What has been seen cannot be unseen, and all that. Eventually I asked one of the passing wait-staff if there was a place I might use, and they did have a suggestion- yep, you guessed it: the bathroom.
But then I looked around at all my colleagues and realized: every last one of them was a woman. Which meant that in all likelihood they'd all be using the women's bathroom. And so, in my own grand tradition of disregarding signs when they don't suit me, I took myself to the "men's room" and set up pumping-shop.
It worked out really well- no one did use that bathroom but me, so no one was traumatized (I mean beyond the long lines they had to wait in for the other bathroom), and I got the milk I needed for my baby. And a healthy dose of sympathy for women who don't have it as good as I do.