September 23rd, 2010


poll: female parts and male coworkers

Most of you know I'm a woman who works with all men. I'm in a department of like 200 electrical engineers and eight women, none of whom are ever in my group. My group is all men, all my bosses are men, you know how it is. Usually this is not an issue.

I was talking to Ms A last weekend about pumping breastmilk at work... an activity that takes me away from the desk 20-30 minutes, twice a day. I've never said anything to any coworkers about this. Maybe some more observant ones know what I'm doing, maybe not, I don't care too much. A mentioned that I might at least tell my immediate supervisor what I'm doing, so he doesn't think I'm just locking myself in empty conference rooms to take naps or something. I didn't think it was a big deal because my boss and I have a pretty good relationship, I think he trusts me. He doesn't harp on me to account for every minute of the day. And honestly, if he's like most of the guys I work with, he probably doesn't want to know that I'm pumping breastmilk. So why bring it up?

Second topic: I already mentioned here that I'm getting an IUD in a couple weeks. Websites I've read said you can be pretty crampy and uncomfortable for a couple of days, and it might be good to schedule work off if you can (the only appointment I could get was for the dead-center of the week, of course. sigh.). So I'd like to ask for two days off, but I think both my boss and I would both feel more comfortable if he didn't know what my uterus would be up to during those two days.

So it's time to wonder... what would you all do?

Quick note: I posted this poll, realized I forgot a question, so I re-posted it ten minutes later. My bad to the five people who took the first one

Poll #1622902 female issues

In real life, you are a


What should a lactating mother say to her male boss about pumping breastmilk?

Nothing. If he asks, make up an excuse
If he asks, tell him it's a female thing
Tell him you're pumping... but only if he asks
Tell him you'll be pumping before he asks

If you were me, how would you request two days off to get an IUD?

I'd use up precious vacation hours to avoid the whole topic
I'd go to work in pain to avoid the whole topic
I'd just suddenly call in sick and say it was the flu
I'd request sick leave in advance, say it was a "medical thing"
I'd say I'm getting an IUD

Do your answers change for a female boss?